This snorkeling paradise was formed about 150,000 years ago, and is located off the coast of Maui. Molokini Crater’s base is 300 feet below the ocean’s surface and rises up to 160 feet above sea level.
In Hawaiian mythology Molokini was a beautiful woman. Once you experience Molokini Crater snorkeling you will understand why this place was named after her!
During the second world war, the navy used Molokini for target practice since it kind of looks like a battleship. This resulted in public outrage since it was destroying all of the coral around the area. Finally, the crater and the surrounding area was declared a marine life conservation district in 1977.
Today, you’ll see a thriving ecosystem with crystal clear waters that boasts over 150 feet of visibility – the clearest water in all of Hawaii.
What You’ll See While Snorkeling at Molokini
This spot is one of the very best snorkeling spots in the world. On a good day you will find Trumpet Fish, Puffer Fish, Butterfly Fish, Octopus, Manta Rays, and Reef Sharks around Molokini.
If you’re facing the inside of the crater, the left hand side will usually have better fish than the right hand side. Since this is such a popular spot, there will likely be 3-5 other snorkeling boats. Even with so many people, we never felt crowded.
A lot of the Molokini snorkeling tours will also include a stop at Turtle Town. If you’re into seeing massive green sea turtles then you have to check this out. Since Turtle Town is close to an area with large ocean swells the trip will be weather dependent.
Pro Tips for Snorkeling at Molokini
Book a morning snorkeling trip. The marine life will be much more active, and you’ll also have a better chance of going to Turtle Town as the water will be calmer.
Use prescription snorkel goggles if you need them. Most tour boats will have these so make sure to ask for them when you get on the boat.
Take motion sickness pills. The boat ride out to Molokini will be about 45 minutes, and the waters can get very rough. Don’t let motion sickness ruin your day.
Consider using a flotation device even if you’re an experienced swimmer. It will make it much easier to hover over a group of Fish without startling them.
Do not use aerosol sunscreen. The aerosol sunscreen is really bad for the reefs. Most snorkeling tours will have eco-friendly sunscreen for you to use.
Bring an underwater Camera. You can buy an underwater Nikon Coolpix from Costco for about $200. This will allow you to take amazing underwater pictures for all of your snorkeling trips!