Credit to Te Au Moana Luau at The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort on Maui, Hawaii

Photo Credit to Lost on Lanai

Snorkel at Molokini Crater and Discover why it is one of Maui’s Favorite Excursions!


Just offshore from Maui lies a crescent-shaped gem sparkling in the sapphire Pacific – the wondrous Molokini crater. This partially submerged volcanic crater cradles a vibrant marine ecosystem and is one of Hawaii’s premier snorkeling destinations.


Formed over 230,000 years ago from fiery volcanic eruptions, Molokini’s weathered rim offers stunning 360-degree views of the Maui coastline. The real treasure lies hidden below the surface.

When the United States entered World War II, the military used Molokini Crater for bombing practice. Years of protests and lobbying led the US government to deem Molokini Crater and the surrounding 77 acres a Marine Life Conservation District and Bird Sanctuary. The reef has restored its health and the fish have returned. Now the island is used primarily as a tourist destination for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Snorkel Molokini

Slip below the waves to discover Molokini’s mesmerizing underwater world. Sunbeams radiate through crystal clear waters, illuminating a kaleidoscopic reef resplendent in shades of pink, green and orange. Schools of butterflyfish, angelfish and parrotfish dart amidst the corals, their scales shimmering like precious stones. Green sea turtles glide through swaying kelp forests while spinner dolphins dance playfully in the surf.

The calm inner lagoon provides ideal snorkeling for beginners while the outer reef offers challenging dives for experienced adventurers. Whether an enthusiastic novice or seasoned pro, Molokini has something special to offer every ocean lover.

Beyond its spectacular marine life, Molokini holds deep cultural significance for native Hawaiians. Once an important fishing ground and spiritual site, Molokini is now a protected Marine Life Conservation District and seabird sanctuary, preserving this natural treasure for future generations.

The best conditions for snorkeling occur from May to September although tours operate year-round. Numerous operators offer snorkeling and diving trips from various locations on Maui. Choosing a responsible, sustainable tour company is key to preserving Molokini’s fragile environment. Please check out the selected Molokini Snorkel Excursions below!

So don your mask and fins and prepare for a breathtaking underwater adventure in this island gem. Molokini’s magical reefs and marine creatures await you!

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