Snorkeling Molokini Crater
Maui provides activities to keep a family busy for their entire stay. The most popular of them all is snorkeling. Maui is known for beautiful coral reefs providing vibrant colored fish that will make you blow bubbles under water. The 120 miles of coast that Maui has offers visitors many options to hop in the water with their snorkel gear. Of all the spots to explore underwater, Molokini is by far the best. Just off of the Maui coastline Molokini is a quick boat ride away. There are many outfits that provide daily adventures to this spot. The water is protected and not to deep providing a great location for beginners. If you are looking to go snorkeling in Maui, Molokini is going to be your spot.
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Choosing the Charter to Take You Snorkeling at Molokini Crater
Molokini Crater is a submerged volcanic crater that rests in the Alalakeiki Channel next to the island of Maui. To get to the Molokini Crater you will have to get set up with a snorkeling outfit. Maui is loaded with these companies and you will have no trouble finding one by searching on Google. The two things that separate most of the companies from each other are price and the number of people that go out on each charter. My best experience was with Seafire Snorkeling Adventures that cost $65/person and took out a small group of only 15 people. This allowed us to get a lot of focus from the instructors creating a great experience for beginners. Seafire also provided snacks and beverages for everyone, which is a must to get the seawater taste out of your mouth.
Molokini Crater Snorkel Experience
You couldn’t ask for a better place to snorkel. The crater provides such a beautiful underwater environment that makes you want to stay in until you are a prune. The array of fish was breath taking. Fish began to appear the first time you dipped your face into the water. The area felt very safe, which is always an important aspect to being in the water around Maui. The types of fish that appeared in this area seemed to change as you got closer to shore. This was outstanding because you would see such a variety of species while only having to move 30-40 feet. Once you got tired of viewing fish you were able to move onto the coral and all of the sea enemies. Most snorkel charters will spend anywhere from 1-2 hours at this location. The time goes by very fast because you are so absorbed into what the area offers you. If weather permits, charters may take you to the backside of the crater. When you arrive to the backside you begin to question if this side will even compare to the front. Once you hop in the water all of that goes away. The backside of Molokini has a steep drop off that creates a dark blue ocean color when you are looking away from the crater. You instantly begin to see new species of fish that did not appear on the front side. These fish are a little bigger and tend to hang away from the cliff base. Closer to the shore you see fish that were on the front side. The steep drop offs create an underwater image that reminds you of the Grand Canyon. It is an incredible experience.
Snorkeling Molokini - What to Bring and What is Provided
The great thing about a snorkeling charter such as Seafire, is that they provide almost everything you will need. The charter will provide all of the snorkeling gear. This includes the instructors from Seafire custom fitting your masks and applying anti fog solution. You can also bring your own snorkel gear if you desire. For those of us that are not great swimmers most charters will provide floatation devices known as “noodles” to help you float. Many beginners will start out with these and get rid of them once they feel comfortable. As mentioned earlier most charters provide snacks and beverages during the trip. The only items you will need to bring are towels, warm clothes for the ride over to the crater, underwater camera, and sunscreen. One tip on sunscreen is to not apply any to your face before you go snorkeling. The sunscreen will affect the seal of your mask, and may run into your eyes once the water gets to your face.
Snorkeling Molokini Crater is a must if you are visiting Maui. The experience is well worth it. The area of Molokini provides first time snorkelers with a comfortable setting and lots of brightly colored fish. Molokini is hands down the snorkeling destination of Maui.