Indulging in one of Maui’s many boat tours, whether a basic cruise or an elaborate snorkel adventure, is highly recommended – but you don’t have to leave the shoreline to experience a world-class snorkeling outing. Much of Maui’s magic lies below sea level: clear, warm, extra-buoyant water makes the island a dream destination for snorkelers and a great place to learn.
A few dollars to rent a snorkel set is your ticket to a vast, brilliantly colored undersea world that brings to mind an aquarium, times a thousand. The reef life is astonishing in its variety and beauty, even in surprisingly shallow water. You don’t have to stray far from the reef for this ever-changing show, and many of the best spots are very close to shore.
Rent a snorkel set from a local shop or kiosk – don’t buy or bring one, unless you’re experienced and know your gear. The good shops make sure you have a good mask fit, which will make or break your whole adventure. Weekly rental is best, as it enables spur of the moment adventure.
It’s highly likely that you will be treated the sight of one or more of Maui’s graceful “Honu” (sea turtle), one of the most graceful of the reef inhabitants. Please keep your distance and do not approach or touch them: not only is it unwelcome island etiquette frowned upon by the locals, but it is against the law and could result in a hefty fine. Likewise, please do not feed the fish: both of these actions have the potential to disturb natural behavior patterns and can impact the amount of sea life on the reef.
The following four locations are among our favorites, and on calm days, there’s a high likelihood of a great underwater show. (On some days, the fish may have different ideas). There are dozens more and everyone here has their favorites – ask around and explore!