Do you want to know where to find the best snorkel beaches on Maui? We ladies love to snorkel, and we have been snorkeling all over the Island of Maui!

The Maui Snorkel Stores’ Top 10 List of the Best Snorkel Beaches on Maui.

West Maui {Kapalua, Napili, Kaanapali, etc…}                                          

*Starting from the top (north) side of the West Maui Mountains (Mauna Kahalawai) going south to Kaanapali, Lahaina towards the South side of Maui…. 

  • Teralani at Honolua BayHonolua Bay: Farther up the coast, past Kapalua. Near the 33 Mile Marker. No Bathrooms, showers or facilities, however Honolua Bay is one of the most popular snorkeling spots on Maui. It is also one of the most beautiful. Honolua Bay is a Marine Preserve. There are lots of Honu (Sea Turtles) and tropical fish and live corals. Dolphins are also known to come into the bay in the mornings. *Insiders Tip: Honolua Bay is best in the Summer Months. We locals call it “slaughter house” for 2 reasons: #1 it used to be the location of a Slaughter House. #2 In the winter months due to the powerful waves that can roll into Honolua Bay.
    There are several luxury sailing catamarans that depart from Kaanapali Beach that cruise up the coast and snorkel Honolua Bay. That is the Ultimate way to go! You will also get to see the whole west Maui coastline along the way…from the Ocean. With all the little bays, coves and beaches along the way. All the Maui snorkel boats, except the Hula Girl Include Continental Breakfast, Deli or BBQ Lunch and Cocktails!!
  •   Mokaulei'a Bay; best snorkeling and beach Mokulei’a Bay: is a very pretty beach that is off the beaten path. There are fabulous views of Moloka’i Island on a clear day. A lot of people mistake Mokulei’a Bay for Honolua Bay (which is more popular for snorkelers).  Mokulei’a Bay, also known as “Slaughter House” to surfers, is a good place to snorkel on a calm day, if you head out to the point on either side of the Bay.  Mokulei’a Beach is not the best beach for snorkeling, however it is very beautiful, so we include it because this is a nice, out of the way, beach. The Surf will be a lot calmer in the summer months!!   Napli Bay: In Napili Bay, snorkeling is best on the right side, by the Sea House Restaurant, however on a calm day, you can try on the left side over by the Gazebo Restaurant (voted #1 hideaway restaurant on Maui; open until 2:PM only serving Breakfast and Lunch). A beautiful Beach, and healthy colorful reef with live corals and tropical fish and even Honu (Hawaiian Sea Turtles) * Best in the Summer Months, as Napili is on Maui’s North Shore; famous for big waves in the winter time. 
  • Kaanapali Beach; Black RockBlack Rock @ Kaanapali Beach; the best snorkeling is between what looks like (in this photo) claws of a crab. While you can see snorkelers from the beach, that is where everyone cliff jumps now days. There is no healthy coral or colorful fish to see until you swim around the corner in front of the Sheraton’s premier hotel rooms, seen in this photo. (the main hotel is to the right “on” the beach, however it is cut off in this photo) Because Kaanapali beach is what we call a “shore break” (like Makena and Baldwin Beaches) the waves do not break until they reach the shore. This can make for a steep beach entry into the water and also means that waves break right onto the shore, vs farther out. Since Kaanapali Beach is famous for high waves in the summer months, you need to be very careful, as your friends, family and other beach goers CANNOT see you from the beach. So be careful!
  • 14 Mile Marker on Honoapiilani  Hwy #30; Very shallow snorkeling until you get farther out. Good for families with children and beginner snorkelers. Lots of free and easy parking. However do not leave valuables in your car. On average they are safer on the beach. Central location on Hwy 30 about 15 min outside Lahaina, and about 15 Min from the edge of Kihei. The reef is not as healthy as other reefs as people have a tendancy to stand on the live corals. (which you should not be doing!) There is still lots of tropical fish and Turtles here, as well as easy access into the water and shallow snorkeling, good for families.

 South Side of Maui {Kihei-Wailea-Makena} 

From the Turtle reef in front of the Sugar Beach to Ahihi Bay and La Perouse…..

  •  Sugar Beach Resort has 1 of Maui’s best kept secrets right out front, in front of our Pool and “Mill Building” there are lots of Turtles, resident Mata Rays, as well as ‘mounds’ of Corals and tropical Fish. Snorkeling is anywhere from 3-20 ft. deep until you hit “reefs end” where the deep blue water starts. You can be snorkeling in 3 ft., and then a deep ravine between the coral will be about 10-20 ft., then 5 ft. over this coral head etc. The conditions are best in the morning, from the moment the sun rises over Haleakala Volcano, to around 9:30 AM. There is something about Maalaea Bay, that the ocean water starts getting “murky” early on. *safety says only snorkel in clear water with no waves. You can rent snorkel gear and beach chairs from us, and snorkel right out front, then have lunch and a Maitai at Dina’s Sandwitch, also located here at the Sugar Beach Resort.
  • mauis best snorkel beaches, Keawekapu; ManaKai beach Keawekapu Beach : In front of the Mana Kai; and also in the middle of this long beach. Again, look for the dark patches of water and the Rocks. Most of the grass in between Hotels is State (or county) land, you are welcome to bring a Beach Chair and coolers and hang out for the day. Bring a picnic or pop up to the 5 Plams Beach Grill for lunch. 5 Palms is also very popular for Happy Hour :-). There is a free parking lot between the Mana Kai (5 Palms Restaurant) and the Maui Ocean Front Inn (Sarentos Restaurant). As with all snorkel beaches on Maui, there are a lot of Hawaiian Sea Turtles here, as well as a plthora of tropical Fish!  Keawekapu Beach runs right into Mokapu Beach, you wont even notice its a seperate beach during low tide. Keawekapu beach is one of the best beaches on Maui for families. Free Parking, Tide Pools, Restaurant, Bathrooms and shower and a nice beach!
  • Ulua Beach - Mokapu Beach Ulua BeachUlua Beach is located next to the Wailea Marriott and the new Hotel Andaz, in the resort comunity of Wailea, where all the big fancy hotels are on htis side of the Island. The Beaches are all beautiful. There is free parking, however it fills up early as this is one of the most popular Snorkeling and Scuba Diving beaches on the south side. (Kihei-Wailea-Makena). There is usually a nice sandy beach, great snorkeling along the right side; between hotels. There is a nice grass area to hang out on, with shade if you like. (not always an easy thing to find). There are public Bathrooms and showers. This is a good spot to hang out for most of the day. There is a “boardwalk” that goes from Wailea Ekahi and Mokapu Beach Park to the Fairmont Kealani and Polo Beach. stop up at any of the Hoels for Lunch and possibly shopping and more sightseeing. 
  • maui's best snorkel beaches, Maluaka beach park Maluaka Beach: The Hotel is now extremely high end private residences and golf course. The Beach still has public access at both ends of the beach. Looking at the Ocean, the best snorkeling is on the left side about 50 yards out. Out and to the left. It is so beautiful here, with views of Pu’u O’lai cinder cone, Molokini crater and the Island of Kaho’olawe in the distance. Maluaka Beach is also usually a somewhat quiet beach in comparison to the busy Wailea Beaches. A lot of people consider this to be the real “turtle town”.  At about mid-morning sometime, several ‘Molokini and Turtles’ snorkel cruise boats will pull up and let their guests snorkel with the Hawaiian Sea Turtles (Honu) that are in abundance here.  There is free public parking (limited), bathrooms and showers, a grassy area and shade.
  • Maui btop 10 snorkel beaches, ahihi bay Ahihi-Kinau Marine Reserve; Waiala Cove: (known Ahihi bay)  is out past Makena, and all the fancy hotels. Ahihi is one of the most beautiful spots and bays on Maui. There is only a smal patch of beach If it is low tide. (our tides don’t go far here in Hawaii). for the most part you will have to climb over the few large rocks along the shoreline,it’s not hard for most people. There is even a small tideo=pool area good for small children on a calm day. ( and it it’s not calm…you should not be snorkeling here anyway) Ahii’i Bay Marine Preserve is one of the best snorkeling bays in Hawaii. The Hawaiian tropical fish seem to know it is a Marine preserve, as there are a lot of Fish and they get pretty big. The Local boys are not allowed to fish or lei net in this whole area anymore. There is limited parking on the side of the road (you can see everyone snorkeling), however there is a lot of free parking at “Dumps” about a “block” farther down the road on the right side….. a road that is going to go over the Lava Fields, from the last volcanic eruption, and ends 2 miles down at La Perouse Bay.


This site is provided by Maui Snorkel Store; the information and links provided on this site are offered solely for your information and convenience. Maui Snorkel Store is offering suggestions only for Maui’s best snorkel beaches.  Maui Snorkel is not responsible for you in the Ocean and strongly suggest always check for current safety conditions . Before you participate in any, water sports, activities  consult with a qualified physician regarding  any and all health concerns .