Maui, this beautiful Hawaiian island has been voted as “The best island in the world” by the Condé Nast Travel Magazine for 10 years, so we decided to collect some information about this amazing destination and feature the best snorkeling Maui beaches.
General Maui guide
Maui, part of the State of Hawaii, is the second largest Hawaiian island. Only the Big Island is bigger than Maui. Maui’s greatest north-south dimension is 42 km (26 miles) and it is 77 km (48 miles) wide east to west. Maui is situated in the North Pacific Ocean, 3780 km (2340 miles) west of San Francisco.
Maui is a tropical island with a mild year-round climate, but there are many areas on the island with their own micro climates. The coldest months are December and January with the average temperature 18-24 °C (65-75°F). The hottest summer months are August and September, avg temperature is 25-32 °C (77-88 °F). The most rainfall hits the north, northeast shores due to the wind, showers are very common here. The south and southwest areas are relatively dry.
Due to the micro climates and various weather conditions, it is suggested to take different clothes with yourself if you visit Maui : swim suits, hot-weather clothes, and light waterproof and windproof jacket. The flora is various, you will see in Maui deserts with cactus bunch grass and tropical creepers, bamboo forests, eucalyptus parks and even pines.
The coastline is 200 km long (120 miles) with over 50 km (30 miles) of beaches. On this wonderful long coastline snorkelers at all levels will find their favourite spots among the best snorkeling Maui beaches.
Snorkeling in Maui
Snorkeling is a popular activity on the island. There are over 30 beaches and bays to snorkel, let’s see now some of them, the best snorkeling Maui beaches!
The best snorkeling Maui beaches are located on the south and on the west parts of the island. The reason is simple, these parts of Maui are protected from wind. The hawaiian “trade winds” are blowing from the northeast, so the water on south and west can stay calm and clear.
Best snorkeling Maui beaches
Kapalua Beach: This is a very popular beach in Maui, with its calm water has really a place among the best snorkeling Maui beaches. This beach is the safest year-round swimming and snorkeling spot on Maui. The Kapalua Bay is a perfect place for novice snorkelers and kids. The bay is “C shaped”, protected by two reefs. The beach is sandy, you just need to walk into the water. Because of the sandy shore the visibility could be bad (especially if the weather is windy) but if you snorkel along the rocky edge, the water is more clear. In the shallow water and around the reef you will see different tropical fish species here like butterfly, parrot, surgeon, damsel, trigger, box, scorpion, Hawaiian State fish, and other interesting crustaceans and invertebrates.
Napili Beach: The Napili beach is located on the northwestern coast, between two rocky points, this is a popular beach, can be busy, so it is recommended to visit the beach in the mornings or in the afternoons and avoid the busiest midday hours. Napili is perfect for active holiday makers, you can not just snorkel even paddle board and surf here. The winter months are the perfect time for surfers, because of the strong currents these months are not recommended for snorkelers at this time. The Napili beach is a snorkeling spot for advanced snorkelers because the water gets deep quickly. The reasons are why we mention this place among the best snorkeling Maui beaches is that Hawaiian Monk Seals are often seen here. Many feedback confirm that Napili is the picturesque beach on Maui!
Black Rock (Kaanapali Beach): The Black Rock is a snorkeling spot, situated at the north end of Kaanapali Beach. The soft powdery sand, clear water and romantic sunsets gives the place a very special atmosphere. According the travel magazines, the Kaanapali Beach has been voted as one of the best beach in the world so must be really among the best snorkeling Maui beaches. This place is very famous by tourists, and Maui’s best hotels are also located here, but you do not need to worry about the crowd. The beach is approx 5 km long (3 miles) so it seems not too busy. At the Black Rock the water is shallow, average depth is 2-8 m (8-26 feet). The visibility is usually good, the shore is sandy. You can see often turtles here as well, sometimes eagle rays and of course different tropical fish species.
Five Caves: tons of turtles, colourful fish and sleeping sharks, these words describe the Five Caves spot the best! This place is also known as Five Graves, because there was a burial site on the shore and five gravestones were placed near the parking area. The entry is easy, there are a lot of things to see underwater, this interesting site is a must-visit spot on the best snorkeling Maui beaches list! In the caves you can see often sleeping reef sharks. You will see turtles for at Five Graves, and with a little bit of luck manta rays, moray eels, eagle rays, frogfish.
Note : if you are first time at the Five Graves, a guide could help you to find the caves. The Five Caves is recommended for advanced snorkelers!
Maluaka “Big” Beach: Many visitors say that the Maluaka Beach is the Nr 1. on the list of the best snorkeling Maui beaches. It is located on the south site of the island, and as its name shows this area is the home of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. The beach is golden sandy and protected from wind, the bay offers easy and relaxing snorkeling opportunites. To get to the coral reef you need to go south down . According to your comfort you can snorkel in shallow water or even in deeper, because the reef is slightly steep. Here you will find various tropical fish and of course the famous Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Interesting fact is the Hawaiian Sea Turtles are brown despite of their names. The turtles are usually in the shallow water feeding seagrass.
Did not get enough from the best snorkeling Maui beaches ? Visit back tomorrow for more snorkeling spots on the beautiful Maui! All photo from pinterest.com