Something about being on the tropical island of Maui makes you want to be outside and in tune with your health! One of the best things about vacationing in Hawaii is that spending time in the sunshine and snorkeling has health benefits!
Maui is home to beautiful sandy beaches, palm trees and many of the best snorkel spots in Hawaii. What makes the snorkeling so great in Maui is that many locations are easily accessible from shore or just a short boat ride! The consistent, warm weather in Maui also makes snorkeling one of the healthiest activities to do on vacation. West Maui’s average temperature is 80 degrees and the water near Lahaina, Maui and Lanai is between 70-80 degrees depending on the time of year! Exercising in warmer climates and water helps relax your muscles as it reduces soreness. Aside from the temperature, there are many other health benefits to snorkeling!
If you’re still not convinced you can have fun exercising on vacation, check out our top five reasons snorkeling is good exercise!
#1 Health Benefits of Snorkeling : Snorkeling is Low Impact Exercise!
Snorkeling is a low impact exercise! Snorkeling, which is similar to swimming, allows your body to experience exercise and movement while the buoyancy of the water pulls your body upward toward the surface, taking pressure off of your joints while allowing you to move more freely! Not only is snorkeling a beneficial exercise if you are looking for a low impact workout due to injuries, it is a great way to prevent injuries! Consider swimming and snorkeling in rotation with high impact running or jumping rope so your body and joints can have a break!.
#2 Health Benefits of Snorkeling : Snorkeling Improves Lung Health!
Snorkeling helps improve breathing techniques and lung health! When you learn to breathe out of a snorkel, it is more difficult and works like an exercise for your lungs, increasing their capacity to hold oxygen! Just like any other part of our body, strengthening our lungs keeps them healthier, helps them recover if they experience any kind of illness and helps increase the overall oxygen we can receive in our body!
#3 Health Benefits of Snorkeling : Snorkeling is Excellent Cardio!
Did you know most people burn about 300 calories an hour while snorkeling? Snorkeling is a
leisurely exercise that is low impact and enjoyable, but also benefits your heart and body! While you are snorkeling your heart rate increases, pumping your heart harder, helping it grow stronger and healthier! Increased heart exercise helps decrease risk of heart related health problems like heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure and high cholesterol! As a recreational sport, snorkeling works out your entire body as well and increases circulation, carrying the oxygen in our blood to every part of the body, helping with healing, repairing and strengthening!
#4 Health Benefits of Snorkeling : Snorkeling benefits Mental Health!
Studies show that spending time in nature for as little as 10 minutes has shown to reduce anxiety and depression! They even named time in nature for mental health, it’s called ecotherapy! By helping reduce stress, anger and anxiety, snorkeling in nature can have a positive effect on blood pressure, heart rate and tension in our muscles! The distraction of seeing nature, tropical blue waters, colorful fish, peaceful sea turtles and other marine creatures can be a great way to take our mind off our current worries and remember that rest and peace are priorities.
Best Places to Snorkel in Maui
Now that you are convinced (or at least intrigued) by snorkeling as an exercise, check out our list of the best places to snorkel in Maui and give snorkeling a try!
Our number one spot for Maui snorkeling tours is the island of Lanai! Lanai is a small island of the West Coast of Maui and it is a part of Maui County! Lanai has very little coastal development which has protected it’s reefs and the marine animals there. It’s about a 20 minute boat from Lahaina Harbor, Maui to the closest snorkel spot on Lanai! Lanai has over a dozen snorkel spots to choose from, many of the best located on the East and South sides of the island, due to wind and current! There are three types of reef systems you can snorkel near Lanai: Cumulative Reef, Pinnacle Reef and Aggregate Reef. Each of these styles of reef system look different and host a variety of Maui’s marine animals. Some of our favorite Lanai snorkel spots are Club Lanai, Manele Bay, Sweetheart Rock, Armchair, Buddha Bay, Shark Fin, Dinosaur, Lighthouse to name a few! Captains will select the best snorkel spot for that day depending on the ocean’s current, swell (waves), water clarity (has it been raining or waves causing murky water?) and the level of snorkelers onboard.
Our Express and Extended Maui Snorkel Tours snorkel Lanai where you can see green sea turtles, tropical fish and sometimes octopus or eagle rays! There are some tropical fish on Lanai that can not be found anywhere else in the world, outside of Hawaii ! Traveling from Maui to Lanai for snorkeling we often encounter the resident dolphin pods that live in the Maui Nui Basin! Most often we see spinner dolphins! They can travel in pods up to 300 animals, making them easier to spot than the smaller pods of bottlenose dolphins which we encounter as well! On special occasions we see spotted dolphins, false killer or melon headed whales and have had quite a few encounters with the world’s largest fish species, whale sharks!
Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii every winter to mate and give birth! We see them in the winter and include whale watching in our Maui snorkel tours from December- April! Humpback whales are protected in Hawaii so swimming or snorkeling with whales is not permitted. We also follow regulations which do not allow us to approach a whale closer than 100 yards. The whales have the freedom to approach us though, making the close whale encounters even more special as it is all the whales’ doing!
Snorkeling Lanai from Maui can only be done by boat as it is 8 miles away from the closest spot! Our Maui to Lanai Snorkel Tours are offered as group or private charters! Our group charters are small groups on rafting vessels so every seat is a front row seat and the low to water style vessel is perfect for closer marine animal encounters like dolphins! If you want to snorkel with just your own family, you can charter the boat for the duration you choose and plan a custom Maui snorkel adventure for your ohana!
Learn more about our Lanai snorkel tours and watch a recent video of our favorite Maui snorkel trip today!