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Maui Snorkel Tours

Maui’s pristine crystal clear water and abundance of marine life easily makes it one of the best places for snorkeling in the world. Breathtaking colorful coral reefs, sea turtles, moray eels, manta rays and more; the possibilities of what marine life you might discover up close and personally are new every day. In season, you can even hear the soulful humpback whale song.  Allow Sea Monkey Private Charters to take you to the best snorkel destinations Maui has to offer without the crowds.

Maui Snorkel Destinations

You can rest assured that your captain is assessing conditions and weather patterns right up until departure.  He will choose the best and most fun destinations for you on a daily basis. Hawaii and its oceans are world renowned for their rugged beauty, and while the weather is typically mild and tropical it can become wildly unpredictable. We always think safety first and fun second, blending the two together to give you the best Maui private boat charter experience you have been dreaming of. There are too many snorkel destinations to name, but we want to share a few of our favorites below.


A favorite snorkel destination for locals and tourists alike with good reason, its beauty is unmatched as the shoreline meanders long sandy miles.  Although the shallow shoreline sits close to the roadside with numerous places to park and swim for the day, there is no better way to explore the beautiful reef than out on a private boat tour. The outer reef is teeming with scores of tropical fish and beautiful marine life that simply cannot be found within swimming distance from shore, unless you are a highly skilled snorkeler/swimmer. Hawaiian green sea turtles, brightly colored fish, rays, eels, mollusks, and more make their home amongst the coral reefs in the outer rim. The depth brings more clear waters where turtles like to cruise and munch. This reef extends a full half-mile; what better place to play and explore in the water, and see the majestic beauty of the West Maui Mountains from out at sea. Winter months bring the most spectacular sunset viewing in Olowalu, during those months consider the afternoon snorkel adventure and get the best of everything all rolled into one perfect private boat charter experience!


West Maui Mountains

Cliff House

This beautiful little cove sits tucked in Kapalua. It is another one of our favorite Maui snorkel destinations, especially for the adventurous at heart. Swim, snorkel, look for turtles that love to hide out in the cove and discover this beautiful reef! Watch from a short distance as cliff jumpers show off their skills and try to emulate ancient Hawaiian traditions in free falls and dives. You might decide to swim over, climb the ladder and do a few jumps yourself!  Some of our more daring guests have shared that this experience was the absolute time of their lives.  Cliffs range from short to tall with many different levels in between making them fun for the adventurous guests appealing to all levels of your comfort zones. Protected from potential winds and waves that might kick up, this is a great place to enjoy lunch on the boat.

Black Rock

The white sandy beaches, extending from Black Rock in Ka’anapali, have been listed as the most beautiful in the world by Condé Nast and other travel publications. To have the opportunity to view these coastlines from the sea is unprecedented. Snorkeling the deep blue waters allows our guest to find a multitude of tropical fish along with other creatures of the sea, including our famous Hawaiian green sea turtles that you simply cannot find from shore. We do our best to set you close enough to swim to Black Rock point and view the marine life that trolls along its rocky underwater ledge over a beautiful sandy bottom. Black Rock is a local favored spot for sunset.  Listen as the pu’u is blown from atop the rocky cliff as the sun sinks into the ocean. A torch is lit, a Hawaiian prayer is chanted, a lei is dropped into the water along with the torch, and the kahuna dives into the sea from atop the lava point. During the winter months our afternoon snorkel overlaps with sunset making this a highly sought Maui private boat charter.


Moorish Idol

Mala Ramp

Once a bustling little wharf during the years of whaling as well as being the come and go place for WWII soldiers visiting Lahaina, Mala Ramp was a hive of activity. And it is still bustling with activity today only in a completely different kind of way. In 1992 hurricane Iniki blew through and left most of Mala Ramp lying on the ocean floor creating a wondrous home out of the broken steel beams, deck, and outer piers for Hawaiian green sea turtles, white tip reef sharks and a variety of reef fish amongst the sunken pier and coral heads. For nocturnal predators, the sunken wharf created the perfect hunting grounds. For divers and snorkelers it created the ultimate habitat, like our very own personal little aquarium, to view these amazing creatures up close and personal.  Sharks at Mala are very used to human visitors.  We wouldn’t take you there without feeling you are safe; we also get in the water with you for your snorkeling adventure to offer guidance and keep watch. Just use common sense, don’t approach them aggressively, simply keep your distance and watch them do their thing, which is mostly laying on a ledge or the ocean floor like a couch potato. Never consider trying to pet one, always respect the creatures of the sea, you are in their home. Strong currents can make getting out to the end of the fallen wharf from shore exhausting before you even get there, going out by boat will conserve your energy and help you be more relaxed as you arrive at one of the best West Maui snorkel destinations.


Mala Boat Ramp

Coral Gardens

Set amid the cliff-side of ‘pali’are many wondrous coves; and among them is the coveted snorkel destination, Coral Gardens. The journey at sea to reach the cove is breathtaking as you view the shoreline-strewn beaches, ultimately to find yourself looking up the steep cliffs many with small caves at sea level. These magnificent sights cannot be seen unless by sea or air. Upon entering the water you will understand why this place is given its name. The coral heads are rivaled in beauty and abundance of marine life. This is definitely one of our favored destinations for beauty and fun!

Lana’i Snorkel Destinations

The sleepy little island of Lana’i sits across the basin from Maui and is a super fun boat ride when the trade winds and swells are cooperating. Weather will always dictate where we can take you; and unfortunately sometimes Lana’i isn’t possible for safety reasons. Lana’i has a handful of exciting snorkel destinations to explore, some are more rare to be able to visit; but when Hawaii decides to give you a gift some days you get really lucky and you simply just have to go for it!


Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

Hulopo’e/ Manele Bay

Hulopo’e / Manele is a lovely picturesque crescent shaped bay and a protected marine preserve which makes for great snorkeling. The Hawaiian spinner dolphins love to play in this bay and the coral heads are full of brightly colored tropical fish, eels, nudibranchs and Hawaiian green sea turtles. If you are lucky and the dolphins are playing alongside you, never deliberately approach or reach out to touch one, simply celebrate how lucky you are to share your water space with them and enjoy the show. No wonder this place is awarded the title of America’s #1 beach!

Kahalepalaoa (Club Lana’i)

The Hawaiian green sea turtles love to hang out amongst the coral heads outside of Club Lana’i.  It is a great place to see parrotfish, octopus, and sometimes even lobster. Club Lana’i offers some of the more shallow waters for snorkeling, as little as 10’ in some areas. Kahaleapalaoa is a deserted, once upon a time remote little getaway that was dotted with bungalows, food, and music. Rumor has it a resort will inhabit the tucked away little gem again in the near future, but truth be told, we enjoy it the way it is now. It let’s your imagination drift away as you make up stories in your head about the secrets that are lost in the deserted little club. Snorkeling Kahalepalaoa is beautiful, fun, and nostalgic, it captures the magic of Hawaii.


Club Lana’i

Shark Fin

A great, fun place for the more adventurous guests and it gets its name for several reasons. There is a shark fin shaped rock that majestically stands proud up out of the water, its underwater ledges are the perfect habitat for an abundance of friendly tropical fish, some of the larger pelagic fish, turtles, sponges, and white tip reef sharks. The unpredictable weather patterns can make visiting Shark Fin a challenge on some days. However if this sounds like an adventure that appeals to you, let your captain know, if he can make it happen, he will. Always trust your captain and remember, safety first!


Shark Fin Lana’i

Kaumalapa’u (Barge Harbor)

Sitting on the leeward side of Lana’i, this cozy little snorkeling spot is nestled closely to the port of call for supply vessels bringing goods to the island and visited nearby by fishing charter boats. It is a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy exploring the underwater world in hopes of gaining glimpses of marine life surprises. Kaulalapa’u was a bustling place back in the day of Lana’i’s booming pineapple industry. This is a fun place to snorkel because it is a little more out of the way. Sea Monkey Private Charters has the perfect boat for cruising to more private, outer locations like this one.

What’s included and what to bring

Snorkeling, cruising, lunch at sea, Hawaiian history, fun facts about the sea creatures and areas you are viewing, and whale watching in season are the agenda. Wear your swimsuit aboard. Here is a short list of things you might want to throw into a tote for extra comfort: sunglasses, a hat, a lightweight long sleeve shirt, camera, seasickness remedies (just in case), and sunscreen lotion if you prefer your own. Spray on sunscreens are prohibited aboard for safety purposes. We provide reef friendly sunscreen that is safe for all ages. To find out more about protecting our reefs, marine life, ocean, and your own skin, please visit this article to find more information. The most important things you need to remember to bring for your day is a smile in your heart, excitement in bones, and your spirit of adventure… Get ready and hold onto your hat because we are about to make your Hawaiian vacation dreams come true!

Book your private snorkeling tour today by clicking below or call us at: 808-491-9141

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