If you are searching for the best place to snorkel in Maui, Lahaina offers the perfect spots to explore all that is Maui. Lahaina is located in West Maui, and it encompasses Route 30 along the coast, which includes Kapalua and Kaanapali beach resorts. Lahaina is the home of West Maui harbor where most of the snorkeling, whale watching and fishing tours depart.
The Lahaina local population stands at more than 11,000 residents, but during the tourist season, the population can reach almost 40,000 with visitors. Lahaina beaches offer an abundance of marine life and crystal clear blue water. Some of the best spots in Lahaina include Mala Wharf, Wahikuli Beach Park, Kapalua Bay, Napili Bay and Honolua Bay.
Mala Wharf is one of the top snorkels in Lahaina. It is located on the Southwest coastline between Kaanapali and Lahaina about ten minutes from the Lahaina harbor.
Mala Wharf depth ranges from 30 to 100 feet deep. The range in depth makes it a great place for snorkeling, scuba diving and exploring a variety of marine life such as parrotfishes, black surgeons, goatfish, reef sharks and sea turtles. Mala Wharf offers great snorkeling adventures for both experts and beginners snorkelers, and you can enjoy it year-round.
Wahikuli Beach Park
Wahikuli Beach Park is also an excellent snorkel in Lahaina. It is located at the crossing of Leialii Parkway and Honoapiilani Highway which is across the street from the Civic Center. The best snorkeling spot, which is located on the west side of the beach is approximately 10 feet deep, the reefs are amazing, and there are plenty of sea turtles.
Wahikuli Beach is covered mostly with sand, and if you want to lounge when you are not swimming, there is a green lawn where you can take in the sun and view the sea turtles.
Kapalua Bay is another excellent spot for snorkeling. It is located on the upper shore of Lahaina. The bay is crescent-shaped and shielded by two reefs that form a C-shaped cove. The surroundings make it a great spot for snorkeling.
Some of the fishes at Kapalua Bay include the former Hawaii State Fish Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, scorpionfish, damselfish, goatfish, butterflyfish, crustaceans, surgeonfish, boxfish, parrotfish, porcupine fish, hawkfish, cornetfish, triggerfish, Moorish and perch.
Kapalua Bay tends to get crowded quickly, so try to get out early to get a good spot. Also, pace yourself and reserve your energy to swim back so that you can manoeuvre the rip currents on the return trip.
Napili Bay is a famous, spectacular, must-visit spot for snorkeling. It is nestled in a residential neighborhood of a five-star resort north of Lahaina. The bay is sandy, and the bottom is a steep entry that leads to the reef. There are plenty of sea turtles and a wide variety of corals and fishes. The best snorkeling is near the shelter, which is on the far right side of the beach.
Like Kapalua Bay, the cove can get crowded, so you need to get an early start. Fortunately, the bay is accessible to the carpark, which is conveniently located off the highway.
Honolua Bay is a legendary and beloved spot on Maui. It is also a Marine Preserve, which means there is no fishing. The best time to snorkel is around 7 am to 11 am.
Honolua Bay is located on the northwestern coast which is approximately five minutes from Kapalua and 5-15 minutes from major resorts and hotels. The bay is a tranquil, turquoise cove where you can see schools of fish, reefs and green sea turtles in many lively colors.
The beautiful corals are located on the right side of the shore along the rocks where you can see marine life that can be only seen in Hawaii. This is one of the reasons that so many visitors and residents find this spot so popular