Aloha snorkelers! Here at Maui Snorkeling, we’re passionate about sharing the wonders of Maui’s underwater world. Today, we set our sights on the jumping-off point for countless snorkeling adventures: Maalaea Harbor.

Nestled in the central part of Maui, Maalaea Harbor is a vibrant hub buzzing with activity. It may not be the largest or most famous port on the island, but it certainly packs a punch with its charm and array of activities. Across the street, the Maui Ocean Center offers a glimpse of the marine life you’ll soon encounter. But the real magic unfolds when you set sail aboard one of our all-inclusive snorkeling tours!

Why Maalaea Harbor?

Maalaea Harbor offers a convenient location for exploring Maui’s prized snorkeling spots. Whether you’re interested in snorkeling, fishing, or embarking on a scenic whale-watching tour, this harbor has you covered. These tours departing from here whisk you away to underwater paradises like Molokini Crater, and Turtle Town. Additionally, our snorkel and slide afternoon tour frequently ventures out to Coral Gardens.

Molokini Crater, a crescent-shaped volcanic remnant, boasts crystal-clear waters packed with colorful fish, vibrant coral reefs, and occasionally playful Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Turtle Town, aptly named for its resident Hawaiian green sea turtles, offers a unique opportunity to swim alongside these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Coral Gardens is a vibrant snorkeling renowned for its clear waters, abundant marine life, and colorful coral reefs.

Molokini Crater

Unveiling the Jewels: Snorkel Sites Accessible from Maalaea Harbor

Maalaea Harbor’s true beauty lies in its proximity to Maui’s most captivating snorkeling destinations. Let’s dive deeper into these underwater havens you can explore with Maui Snorkeling:

Molokini Crater: A Sunken Paradise

Imagine a crescent moon cradling a calm lagoon. That’s Molokini Crater, a partially submerged volcanic cinder cone. This unique geography creates a sheltered environment with exceptional water clarity. Sunlight filters through the shallow waters, illuminating a vibrant underwater world.

Prepare to be dazzled by:

  • A kaleidoscope of fish: Moorish idols, butterflyfish, tangs, and even the occasional reef shark swim amongst the coral formations.
  • A symphony of color: Vibrant coral reefs teeming with life create a breathtaking spectacle. Staghorn coral, brain coral, and delicate finger coral provide homes to countless marine creatures.
  • Playful Hawaiian spinner dolphins: These acrobatic dolphins are known for their twirling leaps and playful energy. Spotting them on your Molokini adventure is a bonus!

Turtle Town: Encountering Gentle Giants

As the name suggests, Turtle Town is a haven for Hawaiian green sea turtles. These prehistoric-looking creatures graze on the algae beds, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim alongside them in their natural habitat. As a reminder, you must stay 10 feet away from these amazing creatures!

Turtle Town is not just about turtles, you’ll also discover:

  • A diverse underwater ecosystem: Schools of colorful fish weave through the coral formations, while eels peek out from their hiding spots.
  • Healthy coral reefs: The coral formations provide a vital habitat for countless marine species.

Coral Gardens: Discover vibrant coral reefs

Coral Gardens is a great choice for those seeking a convenient, accessible, and calm snorkeling experience with beautiful coral reefs and colorful fish.

  • Marine Life: Coral Gardens is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish. Butterflyfish, angelfish, parrotfish, and triggerfish are all common sightings. You might even spot eels, crabs, and octopus along the reef. Keep an eye out for the occasional Hawaiian green sea turtle!
  • Snorkeling Conditions: The protected cove provides calm and clear waters, making it ideal for beginner snorkelers and families with children. The relatively shallow depth allows sunlight to penetrate, illuminating the colorful coral formations below.

Maui Boat Tours

Slide into crystal-clear waters and snorkel alongside vibrant marine life! Both morning and afternoon tours are available!

The Maalaea Harbor Advantage

Departing from Maalaea Harbor offers several advantages:

  • Convenient Location: Situated centrally on Maui’s southern shore, Maalaea Harbor is easily accessible from most resorts.
  • Shorter Boat Rides: Compared to harbors further north or south, Maalaea Harbor allows for quicker access to Molokini Crater and Turtle Town, maximizing your snorkeling time.
  • Variety of Tours: With numerous snorkeling companies operating out of Maalaea Harbor, you’ll find tours tailored to your preferences, from beginner-friendly adventures to advanced exploration trips.

The Maui Snorkeling Experience from Maalaea Harbor

Our  Maui Snorkeling Tours departing from Maalaea Harbor cater to all experience levels. Our friendly and knowledgeable crew provides everything you need for an unforgettable day, including top-notch snorkeling gear, clear instructions, and safety briefings.

We offer two tours, morning and afternoon, perfect for fitting into your Maui itinerary. Relax on our spacious decks, soak up the sun, and enjoy delicious meals and refreshing drinks as you cruise to the snorkel spots.

5-Hour Maui Morning Tour

Calling all ocean adventurers who want to participate in Molokini Snorkeling! Embark on a half-day journey with the Maui Snorkeling Morning Tour, where crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life await. This action-packed adventure, departing daily from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM, whisks you away to two of Maui’s most sought-after snorkeling destinations: Molokini Crater and Turtle Town.

Whale of a Time: A Potential Bonus Encounter

As you cruise between these snorkeling paradises, keep your eyes peeled for the magnificent humpback whales (present during whale season, December-May). Witnessing these majestic creatures breaching and playing in the Hawaiian waters is an incredible bonus to your snorkeling adventure.

The Maui Snorkeling Morning Tour Advantage:

Double the Adventure: Explore two of Maui’s top snorkeling destinations in a single, convenient tour.

Prime Time Snorkeling: The morning departure allows you to experience the best water clarity and discover calm winds.

Whale Watching Bonus: During whale season, you might encounter these magnificent creatures on the way to the snorkeling spots.

Expertise You Can Trust: Our friendly and knowledgeable crew ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for all levels of snorkelers.

The Maui Snorkeling Morning Tour is the perfect way to experience the magic of Maui’s underwater world. So, pack your sense of adventure and join us as we unveil the treasures hidden beneath the waves!

3-Hour Maui Afternoon Tour

Are you looking for a unique and less crowded snorkeling experience in Maui? Look no further than the Maui Snorkeling Afternoon Tour! This relaxed afternoon adventure offers a perfect escape from the midday rush, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable exploration of Maui’s underwater wonders.

The Beauty of the Afternoon:

Departing in the afternoon allows you to:

  • Avoid peak crowds: Enjoy a more serene snorkeling experience compared to busy morning tours.
  • Ideal sun conditions: The afternoon sun provides excellent underwater visibility for spotting all the vibrant marine life.

Where Will We Explore?

The Maui Snorkeling Afternoon Tour takes you to one of two incredible snorkeling destinations, depending on weather conditions:

Coral Gardens: Renowned for its diverse marine life and stunning coral formations, Coral Gardens is a snorkeler’s paradise. Here, you’ll encounter a dazzling array of colorful fish, playful turtles, and vibrant coral reefs.

Turtle Town Maui: Aptly named for its resident green sea turtles, Turtle Town offers a unique opportunity to swim alongside these gentle giants. Explore the vibrant coral ecosystems and witness the diverse underwater inhabitants.

Bonus Fun: Water Slide Adventure (on most afternoons)
Adding to the afternoon fun, most Maui Snorkeling Afternoon Tours, like our morning tours, include a thrilling water slide experience! Take a refreshing plunge after exploring the underwater world, making your snorkeling adventure even more exciting.

Molokini Crater: A Rare Afternoon Encounter

While Molokini Crater is typically a morning destination due to wind conditions, there might be rare occasions when the afternoon offers calm seas and allows for snorkeling at this iconic location. If this happens, consider it a special bonus on your afternoon tour! Please keep in mind, that there will be no sliding at Molokini Crater on our afternoon tours.

The Maui Snorkeling Afternoon Tour caters to those who seek a unique and less crowded way to discover the magic of Maui’s underwater world. Join us for an unforgettable afternoon adventure!

Maui Snorkeling Tours

Dive into pristine waters and explore vibrant marine life with our snorkeling tours—available both in the morning and afternoon!

More Than Just Snorkeling

Maalaea Harbor offers something for everyone. Before or after your snorkeling adventure, browse the shops and restaurants lining the harbor for souvenirs and local treats.

Beyond the Reef: Exploring Maalaea Harbor’s Delights

Maalaea Harbor offers a vibrant atmosphere to explore before or after you slip on your fins. Here’s what awaits you on land:

Shopping for Memories: Lined with charming shops and boutiques, Maalaea Harbor is a treasure trove for souvenir hunters. Find unique Maui-made crafts, locally-designed apparel, and keepsakes that will remind you of your unforgettable snorkeling experience. You might even discover hidden gems like handcrafted jewelry or artwork inspired by Maui’s stunning natural beauty.

Maui Island Treasure: This store offers home goods, including locally-made crafts and art.

U’i Makana: Specializes in local Hawaiian arts and crafts, a perfect place to find unique souvenirs.

A Culinary Journey: After your snorkeling adventure, tantalize your taste buds with a delicious meal at one of the harbor’s many restaurants. Savor fresh seafood dishes featuring the day’s catch, indulge in juicy burgers with stunning ocean views, or explore local Hawaiian cuisine. For a casual treat, grab a refreshing shave ice or a scoop of locally-made ice cream – the perfect way to cool down after a day in the sun.

Hula Cookies & Ice Cream: Treat yourself to a refreshing scoop of locally-made ice cream or a warm, gooey Hula cookie after your snorkeling adventure. Perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth!

Tante’s Fishmarket Restaurant & Bar: This popular spot offers fresh seafood dishes, featuring local catches alongside Filipino and Hawaiian-inspired flavors. Enjoy your meal with stunning harbor vistas for a complete dining experience.

Historical Maalaea General Store & Restaurant: This historic landmark offers a variety of options, from breakfast staples at their espresso bar to red hot dogs at the deli counter. It’s a great place to grab a quick bite or a casual meal.

Several food trucks: Maalaea Harbor has various food trucks offering diverse cuisines, from tacos and poke bowls to local Hawaiian specialties. These are a great option for a quick and delicious bite.


For more information visit Maui Harbor Shops!

A Touch of History and Culture: Maalaea Harbor is steeped in Hawaiian history. Take a stroll along the harbor and learn about the area’s significance in Polynesian culture. You might even stumble upon historical markers or cultural events that offer a glimpse into Maui’s fascinating past.

The Harbor Vibe: Maalaea Harbor itself is a captivating destination. Watch the boats bobbing in the gentle waves, listen to the rhythmic sounds of the ocean, and soak up the laid-back atmosphere. This vibrant hub is a great place to relax, people-watch, and capture stunning photos of your Maui adventure.

Maui Ocean Center: Nestled right next to Maalaea Harbor, the Maui Ocean Center is a must-visit for any ocean enthusiast. This 3-acre aquarium boasts the title of the largest living tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. Explore a captivating underwater world, come face-to-face with vibrant fish, majestic sharks, and playful Hawaiian spinner dolphins. The Maui Ocean Center offers a glimpse of the marine life you’ll encounter on your snorkeling tour, and is a great way to learn more about the delicate balance of our ocean ecosystems.

Seascape Maalaea Restaurant: Located within the Maui Ocean Center, Seascape offers delicious island-inspired seafood dishes with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Enjoy your meal while soaking up the panoramic views of the harbor and southern shoreline.

So, whether you’re seeking souvenirs, indulging in delicious food, or simply soaking up the harbor vibes, Maalaea Harbor offers something for everyone to complement your unforgettable Maui Snorkeling adventure.

Ready to Dive In?

Let Maui Snorkeling be your guide to an unforgettable underwater experience departing from Maalaea Harbor. Browse our Maui Snorkeling tours to find the perfect adventure for you. We can’t wait to share the magic of Maui’s underwater world with you! Mahalo for reading, and we’ll see you on the water soon!

Ride the Slide

Head out on the Lani Kai II and ride the slide on our snorkeling tours!