Favorite Snorkel Spots on Maui


Our Favorite Snorkel Spots 

The islands of Maui and Lana’i offer incredible wildlife, breathtaking views, as well as some of the best snorkeling in the Hawaiian Islands. Our trips aim to get people out on the water and to enjoy all the riches that these islands have to offer. Our boats are some of the smallest in Lahaina harbor, but that gives us one main advantage to get to the far reaches of the Maui Nui Basin: speed. Our rafts are comfortable and zippy, perfect for being able to make the most of the beautiful sights here. Depending on the snorkel tour and time allotted, there are quite a few different spots that are favorites among our Captains and Crew. 

Manele Bay

While driving along the coast of Lanai, you are treated to stunning views of tall sea cliffs and a somewhat arid and uninhabited-looking island. Once you turn the corner, however, you will start to see some signs of habituation. Manele Bay is part of the Manele- Hulopoe Marine Sanctuary which spans two beautiful bays. It is prohibited to enter Hulopoe Bay on a vessel as it is a sanctuary for the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins as it is a preferred resting spot for the large pod. Manele Bay on the other hand, is a favorite snorkeling spot among locals and visitors alike. This snorkel spot hosts large schools of fish and beautiful coral. What makes this spot so spectacular is that fishing is regulated in the preserve and that allows for some amazing interactions with the local reef fish. Make sure to keep an eye out for Stefan, a friendly parrotfish who has a spearfishing scar on his shoulder!

Club Lana’i

This spot boasts an incredible amount of coral coverage, making it one of the healthiest reefs in the Hawaiian Islands. Part of what makes it so healthy and rich in biodiversity is that it can be inaccessible under certain conditions. It is situated in such a way that current and wind can make it very difficult to snorkel on rough days, but on a calm day, it is magnificent. Look out for Blue Rice coral, a periwinkle-colored encrusting coral that tends to look a lot like paint splatter! This species is also endemic to the Hawaiian Islands meaning it can only be found among our Hawaiian reefs. 

Mala Wharf

Have you heard of Turtle Town off of Kihei? Well, this is Turtle Topia, and in my humble opinion WAY better than turtle town. Mala Wharf was essentially “created” with the destruction of a dilapidated wharf from the 1920s that fell under the force of Hurricane Iniki (1992). Thus, it created a wonderful habitat and an “artificial reef”. An artificial reef is a  manmade structure that mimics some of the qualities and characteristics of a natural reef (NOAA). There are large schools of fish, Whitetip reef sharks (absolute puppies of the sea), and even the occasional Spotted eagle ray. But what this spot is really known for, is the abundance of Green sea turtles brought in with promises of a sparkly clean shell. There is a large cleaning station where fish will help the turtles out by eating the algae off of their shells, and in exchange, they get a little snack. With how many turtles frequent this spot, you want to make sure you are practicing proper turtle etiquette because no one likes a turtle toucher. 


Known as the “mother reef” and stretching over 100 acres it is Maui County’s largest reef and helps to provide coral throughout the Maui Nui Basin. This reef features some very large (huge) coral heads and some very fun (think 8 legs) creatures. This is a fantastic spot to find octopuses, but only the most patient tend to catch a glimpse. The Day octopus, or Tako in Hawaiian, are masters of camouflage and can not only change the color of their skin using chromatophores but they can also change their skin texture. The easiest way to spot these masters of disguise is by looking for a certain fish that likes to take advantage of their scraps; the Manybar goatfish! 

Honolua Bay

A world-famous surf spot and snorkel site? This particular site is normally best in summer when the North swell dies down, usually timing perfect for the summer months and our snorkel season. It is a marine reserve as well which leads to fantastic snorkeling. There are two sides to this bay and both are slightly different from each other with a deep sand channel in between the two. A large school of Akule, Bigeye scad, frequents this spot with numbers in the 100s. This spot boasts a large amount of biodiversity from turtles to mantas to even nudibranchs found among the coral heads. 

The 6-hour snorkel allows us to be able to travel to the backside of Lana’i if conditions allow. Potential spots known as Lighthouse, 5 Sisters, and Dino are on the table for these longer trips. These spots are a lot less frequented by tourists and larger boats, offering a much more intimate and remote snorkel feel. The snorkeling along Lana’i and Maui is magical and breathtaking and allows us a glimpse at another world. Around 25% of all marine life here is endemic, meaning it can only be found in Hawaiian waters. Come out on a snorkel and have an unforgettable trip seeing all of the splendors that Maui has to offer. 

snorkeling with green sea turtles

Join us in caring for and enjoying our oceans and our world just by booking an eco-snorkel tour with us!
Check out our Lanai snorkel tours from Lahaina today!