Does Molokini Offer the Best Snorkeling on Maui?

Maui and all the Hawaiian Islands offer some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever done.  On Maui, one of the top hits for tourists is a boat trip to Molokini.  This offshore island was created when an undersea vent burst and spewed lava high enough to build up a “tuff cone.”  It is far enough offshore to be free of runoff and sand, so the visibility is typically 100-200 feet – crystal clear.

On our last trip to Maui we tried to take a boat trip to Molokini, but the trip was rerouted when too few people signed up.  I was psyched to get Elliott there this time.  We managed to pay just $14 for the two of us, after attending a timeshare presentation.  Considering this boat trip costs over $100 per person, we were again pretty psyched!  But there was one trade-off.  This particular boat was huge, and carried over 120 people!  If we had chosen ourselves, we would have gone with a much smaller group.

The boat ride was lots of fun, and the food provided was excellent.  When we arrived, we jumped right in and marveled at the clear, clear water.  The reef was colorful and there were lots of fish.  We realized, though, that we had already seen many of these other fish snorkeling at other beaches during the week.  Then again, these boat trips restrict you to a tiny area, so maybe it’s better around the rest of the tiny island.  I would have so loved to snorkel around the back of Molokini if only they had let me!

In the end, we were super glad we did this boat trip, if for no other reason than I had done it years ago and Elliott never had.  Then again, we were also really glad we didn’t pay more than a few dollars for it!  We decided there’s a lot of hype around Molokini making it sound like the best snorkeling on Maui, but we know plenty of other great places to go that you can get to for free (or only the cost of snorkeling equipment rental)!

So here are some photos from our various snorkeling sites.  We have more photos from some sites than others, but feel free to judge for yourself which is best!

Ulua Beach

Molokini

Po’olenalena Beach

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