Snorkeling in Maui: Molokini and Turtle Town

In Adventure, Travel by Kirsten AlexisLeave a Comment

Maui is a truly magical island. Maui, also known as “The Valley Isle,” is an adventure enthusiast’s paradise. It has seemingly endless pristine beaches, world-class snorkeling and diving spots, diverse flora and fauna, epic sunsets and Haleakala, an iconic volcano that boasts numerous hiking trails. The opportunities for adventure are everywhere. On any given day I can surf, snorkel, hike, take a road trip and explore the local cuisine.

Growing up, Maui was where my family often took me on school breaks. We’d go snorkeling at the local beach near our hotel, road trip to the legendary Hana, learn to surf out in Kihei and take the tour to Molokini, amongst other activities. The trip out to Molokini was always one of my favorite excursions, and has been something I always highly recommend for travelers visiting Maui.

Molokini Crater can be accessed by boat from Maui. It is a marine preserve and federally protected sanctuary for seabirds. Molokini has some of the clearest, bluest waters I have ever seen in all of my travels. On a clear and sunny day, the visibility here is around 150 feet deep. With over 250 species of fish and almost 40 species of coral, it’s hard not to feel like you’re swimming in an aquarium.

My friends and I chose to take the tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation‘s Eco Adventure Tours. We decided to go with them because we wanted to go with a nonprofit, sustainable company that was geared towards conservation. Each tour is led by Marine naturalists who aim to educaate you during the excursion. At the crater, we got to explore both the front and back side, each one home to different species of fish and coral. The most common species we encountered were Black Triggerfish and Angelfish.

Depending on what time of year you visit Molokini, you may have the chance to see dolphins or whales on the boat ride over. We got lucky and saw some dolphins near the boat, and a huge pod in the distance!

After we left Molokini we had one more stop: Turtle Town. Located off the shores of Makena, Turtle Town is a premier destination to see sea turtles and other species of fish and coral. Because it was in the afternoon, and the weather was changing for the worse, the water was a bit choppy and not as clear as Molokini was earlier in the morning. We lucked out though, and ended up seeing two turtles. I managed to get a few shots before they swam away, and then it was time to head back to the boat.

If you are looking for the best place to snorkel and see ocean life, look no further than Molokini. I hope that you can one day experience this magical place, and enjoy it as much as I have throughout the years.

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