Maui is home to an underwater population of tropical marine life, including endangered species and species that can only be found in Hawaii. Tourists come to the islands for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these creatures up close. There are a number of snorkeling tours operating on Maui that take snorkelers to remote locations such as Molokini and Turtle Town.
Molokini is a crescent-shaped remnant of an ancient volcanic cinder cone that is now a bird sanctuary. The crescent shape of Molokini acts as a barrier to waves and current, providing an underwater sanctuary to an abundance of tropical fish and marine life. Molokini is only accessible by boat, approximately 3 miles off of Maui's south shores. There are a number of tour companies operating out of Lahaina and Ma'alea harbors, including the Kai Kanani, the Lahaina Cruise Company and the Pride of Maui. These boat companies charge per passenger and take passengers out for hours of crystal clear snorkeling at Molokini.
Snorkeling tour operators such as the Kai Kanani and Lahaina Cruise Company offer a dual snorkel trip that visits Molokini and Turtle Town. There is not an exact location to pin point Turtle Town on a map. Turtle Town refers to a general area off the west shores that is home to sea turtles. Keep in mind that the Hawaiian green sea turtles are an endangered species and are protected by law. According to the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, you are required to stay a reasonable distance from the green sea turtle in its natural habitat and are not allowed to touch or feed them.
Maui to Lanai Snorkel
Lanai is a neighboring island about nine miles from West Maui and is known for spinning dolphins and clear blue waters. Tour operators such as the Lanai Explorer take passengers from Maui to Lanai for snorkeling. The Lanai Explorer even has a landing tour, where the boat will stop on Lanai, giving passengers the opportunity to hike, snorkel and explore Lanai.