Snorkeling Molokini Crater

Molokini Island Preserve

Molokini Island Preserve

Maui has great snorkeling. All you need is a mask and fins and you’re good to go. Many locations are accessed right from the beach. So is it worth it to pay to go to Monokini Crater?

Taking the plunge
Taking the plunge

I have a friend who works for Kai Kanani charter. It’s a highly reviewed outfitter. We choose them because they allowed her to join us for free. Kai Kanani isn’t cheap I think we paid 138 p.p. with kamaaina discount.

Kai Kanani has resort pickup for Kihei, Wailea, and Makena. The best part of the adventure was beach pick up and landing. The catamaran pulls right up on to Makena beach for boarding. A refreshing change to  traditional marina access.

Pick up on the beach
Pick up on the beach

It’s only 15 minutes to Molokini from Makena beach. The morning we went, spinner dolphins rode the bow of the ship, which was a pleasant bonus. Complimentary breakfast, lunch, and drinks come included in the price, but people with dietary restrictions should beware. The breakfast buffet consists of sugary muffins and fresh fruit with no sources of protein.

The stopover at Molokini lasts about an hour, which sounds short, but is more than enough time to explore. I’ve seen better coral formations off the beach in Maui, but there are larger species of fish found at the crater.

Molokini Island Preserve

After Molokini is a stopover at turtle town. There are multiple turtle towns on the island and sea turtles are spotted from almost any beach. This turtle town was nice though because it’s actually a series of small caves the honu hang out in. Every 15 minutes or so they need to rise for air. The areas strong currents make it hard to reach without a boat. It’s near Makena Landing, which is one of my favorite places to snorkel.

The bar doesn’t open until snorkeling is over. Lunch consists of simple sandwiches and various salads. The boat cruises for a while giving everyone an opportunity to eat, drink, and relax before returning to Makena beach to disembark. The staff was very friendly and knowledgable. The whole excursion lasted from about 8:30 – 1:30 though boat time ran from about 9:30 – 1:00 by the time everyone was on board.

Molokini Island Preserve

Since I moved to Maui, visiting Molokini has been on my long list of sites to see. I’m glad I went. My friends and I had a really great time. Molokini is a good summer activity when there are no whales to watch and the water is warm. If your on a budget though, my recommendation would be to just stick to beach snorkeling. Save your money for a helicopter tour or something truly unique.

Tip: take motion sickness medication the night before if you get sea sickness. It will help you sleep better and allows time for the medicine to get into your system.

Molokini Island Preserve

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