Molokini Crater snorkeling draws many tourists every year. The crater encompasses more than 20 acres, so while thousands of snorkelers may visit the crater daily during the summer it rarely feels crowded.
Molokini Crater snorkeling is just 2 ½ miles from Maui, which is a 30 minute boat ride. Located in the Alalakeiki Channel, the Molokini Crater is the remnants of a volcanic cinder cone. Part of the crate is 160 feet above water and creates a crescent like islet while the most amazing natural wonders are below the water’s surface. The crater is less than half a mile across.
Molokini crater snorkeling is tranquil within the actual crater as the back wall protects the inner crater from waves and high currents. This results in pool like diving in a life size aquarium.. The inner area of the crater has a diameter of 1,7770 feet and is home to all kinds of sea life, coral, and indigenous fish. Snorkeling outside the crater’s edge is dangerous and should only be left to certified divers and experts. The area within the crater drops off into terrace like volcanic rock structures after approximately 200 yards.
Tourists interested in Molokini crater snorkeling may plan the trip of a lifetime by booking a trip that incorporates an additional activity like whale watching or windsurfing. Some Molokini crater snorkeling packages are also centered around particular fish species, corals, and other sea animals.
The warmest water temperatures for Molokini Crater snorkeling is during the months of July through October when the water is in the low 80s. However, the water drops to the low to mid 70s during the winter months. Many tourists on their first Molokini crater snorkeling trip find a wetsuit necessary. Most tour guides will include these in the tour or rent one for a small fee.
Snuba is an option offered by many Molokini Crater snorkeling tours. This incurs an additional fee, but allows snorkelers to experience the beauty of SCUBA without having to wear the gear or get certified. Snuba allows for Molokini Crater snorkeling with a regulator in your mouth that is attached to a hose that is connected to a raft above the water. Snorkelers can reach depths of 20 feet with snuba and it’s worth the extra fee for many.
Snorkel in the Summer
Storms are not much of a concern during the summer and those that do approach shouldn’t affect your Molokini crater snorkel as they are usually short and fast. The trade winds pick up significantly during the day during the summer, making the early morning (7 am) the best time for a Molokini Crater snorkel.
Snorkel in the Winter
During October the Kona season begins and with it the winter season. The Kona season brings in the Kona winds and with them bad storms full of rain and bad surf. Many dive spots may be off limits during these storms, which can last up to two weeks, and could delay your Molokini crater snorkel. There are great diving sites available during the winter that can’t be visited during the summer, which is a benefit for a Molokini crater snorkel during this time. During the winter the water temperatures range from the low to mid 70s and most divers will need a wetsuit. The water visibility is the same as during the summer, except during storms when it is considerably reduced. Winter in Hawaii means storms, and there are usually two or three storms that can last as long as two weeks
Crater Snorkel and Others
After your Molokini crater snorkel you may want to snorkel or dive some of Maui’s other great dive spots. This includes Airport Beach, Honalua Bay, Black Rock, Kapalua Bay, Jodo Reef, Mala Wharf, Canoa Beach, and Marriott Reef. Beginners will love Jodo Reef as it is easily accessible and not deep. Marriott Reef has reefs as tall as 15 feet with all types of sea life.
Maui Must Sees
When you are out of the water there are other amazing sites you will want to see around Maui. Makhiku Falls are highly recommended and they are about a half a mile from the top of the Pipwai Trail. The falls are 185 feet tall, which is impressive. Continuing on the trail will carry you to Waimoku Falls, which are even more impressive.
Tourists should also check out Kuloa Point. However, it is dangerous to swim in the ocean here and tourists should stay in the pools. The trail that leads to Kuloa Point begins at the Kipahulu Visitor Center and winds its way past historic sites.