Maui offers numerous snorkeling locations, yet Molokini stands out as a top choice for both novice and experienced scuba divers. If you seek a flawless snorkeling adventure with breathtaking scenery, Molokini is the ideal destination for you!
History of Molokini:
The distinctive crescent shape of Molokini is easily identifiable, yet its formation was a result of significant geological processes. Roughly 230,000 years ago, an underwater eruption caused the earth to swell, forming a cone-like structure. Subsequently, numerous walls of the cone exploded and collapsed. While Maui boasts numerous ancient cinder cones beneath the waves, Molokini is among the select few that emerged from the ocean floor. Over countless years, the relentless erosion from waves has sculpted and shaped this beloved ancient volcano into its current form.
Present Day Perks of Molokini:
Just a few miles off the Makena coast lies Molokini. What may not be apparent from the shoreline is the extensive protection this crater enjoys, both on land and in the water. Molokini is under federal ownership and is designated as a Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary, serving as the habitat for two species of seabirds, whose graceful flights adorn the skies around the crater.
The entirety of the 77 submerged acres is designated as a Marine Life Conservation District, imposing strict regulations prohibiting fishing, collecting, or any destructive activities. This protective measure has fostered the thriving ecosystem within the crater. The unique shape of Molokini provides a secure refuge from the depths of the open sea, and a diverse array of remarkable fish species have made these waters their home.
The crescent shape of Molokini serves as a natural barrier against waves and currents, contributing to the exceptional clarity of its waters. With visibility ranging from 100 to 200 feet, spotting marine wonders like the Black Triggerfish, Yellow Tang, Moorish Idol, Parrotfish, Raccoon Butterfly Fish, and Bluefin Trevally is a delight among the 250 species inhabiting this area. Thanks to the frequent visits from snorkeling and scuba diving tours, these fish are accustomed to human presence, providing swimmers with an up-close view of one of the world's premier underwater spectacles.
The rear side of Molokini, reserved for smaller tour boats, is renowned as one of the top 10 dive spots globally. The crater's wall plunges vertically out of sight, even with excellent visibility. Noteworthy inhabitants include the pyramid butterflyfish, orange cup coral blankets, black coral residences, long-nose hawkfish, and gobies, adding to the site's unique allure. Be prepared for surprises in these waters, as Molokini is known to unveil unexpected wonders, so keep a keen eye out!
Best Way to See Molokini:
Although we believe that exploring Molokini through snorkeling or scuba diving is the optimal way to appreciate its wonders, some individuals prefer to admire its beauty from the comfort of a boat. There are diverse ways to experience Molokini, and we offer a range of options to cater to your preferences and requirements!
Awesome Maui Snorkel Tour to Molokini and Kanaio Coast with Redline Rafting: Seeking an adventure on the thrilling side? Crafted for both stability and speed, these ocean rafts guarantee a swift journey to your destination! The compact size of the tour allows for a sneak peek at the backside of Molokini. This excursion extends beyond Molokini, taking you to two additional locations. After three hours of snorkeling, you'll be treated to a complimentary onboard lunch. The tour covers all your equipment needs, eliminating any guesswork and ensuring you have an enjoyable time!
Turtle Town and Molokini Snorkeling aboard Frogman II: Catamarans are renowned as the sea's steadfast steed, and this expansive 55-foot power catamaran ensures a seamlessly enjoyable tour! The journey encompasses Molokini and Turtle Town, complete with complimentary breakfast and lunch. What adds an extra thrill is the presence of a waterslide on the boat, igniting excitement in the inner child of every passenger!
Discover Molokini – Trilogy Excursions offers an exhilarating alternative if traditional snorkeling doesn't quite satisfy your adventurous spirit and you're not yet prepared for scuba diving. Enter snuba—a perfect hybrid of snorkeling and scuba diving that enables you to breathe through a straightforward regulator while your air supply is conveniently tethered to a support raft at the surface. Dive into the underwater wonders of Molokini at depths of up to 20 feet with this sailboat excursion, promising an adventure from start to finish!
A Few Insider Tips:
Choosing the right tour can be a bit overwhelming with the multitude of options available. Here are some key considerations before making your decision:
- Luxuries: Tour packages vary widely. Some include everything from fresh cinnamon rolls to wetsuits, while others may only cover transportation to the snorkeling location. Ensure your chosen tour aligns with your preferences, whether you prefer an all-inclusive experience or just the essentials.
- Boat Mates: Tour sizes range from 20 to 150 participants. Larger tours offer a lively atmosphere, but smaller ones provide more individual attention and the chance to explore the backside of Molokini. Keep in mind that bigger tours often come with amenities like hot showers, a welcome comfort after a few hours of swimming.
- Rise and Shine: Most tours depart early in the morning. Check the departure location and choose a tour close to your accommodation to avoid stress and ensure you can make the early start time.
- Windy City: Consider the trade winds, which typically pick up in the afternoon. Morning tours are recommended for a smoother ride and better visibility. While afternoon tours are available, be aware that the journey may be rough, impacting your overall enjoyment. Opt for an early bedtime and select a morning tour for a more pleasant experience!