Tip: Snorkel over reef!
The first thing you learn snorkeling is that fish like the reef. Good news: Maui is surrounded with reef! Some areas have more reef than others, but all an experienced snorkeler needs is spotting from the shore with polarized sunglasses and maybe a closeup peek through the ocean surface using Google satellite maps.
View MauiGuidebook.com West/South Maui Snorkel Map in a larger map
The maps that can be found at rental shops, guidebooks and the one above are really just meant for beginning snorkelers and newcomers to snorkeling on Maui – these are generally great places to go and you’re certain to see loads of sealife.
If you plan to snorkel a lot, you should rent your gear from snorkel or dive shops found all over the resort areas. It is cheap, and the gear is better than the inexpensive gear you can buy at the big box stores. Boss Frog and Snorkel Bob are the most prevalent – but smaller dive shops are great too! All have knowledgable staff that will fit you properly, and can give you pointers and suggestions for where to snorkel in current conditions.
Ocean conditions can vary from location to location and day to day. Know your limits, observe the ocean before entering, and be aware of conditions. If you are not well experienced a guarded beach or snorkel boat are great options to consider while learning.
Please don’t stand up!
Learn to adjust masks and clear snorkels without standing before you go out over shallow reef. Do your very, very best to never stand while snorkeling. “Just one time” might not sound like a lot, but one step kills many years of coral growth instantly.
Here are some beaches that are good to get started on:
I have only included West & South Maui on the following map, as North Shore and Hana snorkeling is for more experienced snorkelers who will have no trouble at all finding plenty of reef 🙂