Snorkel, Whale Watch, Get Wet
Maui's Water Activities
You'll find plenty of opportunities to get into the warm waters of Maui and all of them are good. Make sure you bring a couple of bathing suits because if you do Maui right it's what you will be wearing most of the time.
From sunset cruises to high adventure surfing, you can't come to Maui without experiencing the variety of water activities it has to offer. Adopt the "you only live once" attitude and try them all, it's what a perfect Maui vacation is all about.
Top Water Activities on Maui
Rent Snorkel Gear for the Week
There's another world below the surface
Maui is known for great snorkeling and renting your gear on Day One is a smart move. Stay away from the rental shacks at the resorts and head over to a Snorkel Bob or Boss Frog and rent your snorkel gear, beach chairs and umbrellas for the week. Having the gear stashed in your trunk makes spontaneous snorkeling possible and once you get your face in the water and see for yourself the exciting colorful world below you'll want to go again and again.
Honolua Bay is a popular spot with both walk-in's and snorkel boats but there are many great spots all around the island. Ask around for the best places to snorkel as they change due to water conditions.
Take a Boat to Molokini and Turtle Town
Take a boat to an incredible snorkel adventure
Molokini is one of only three sheltered volcano calderas in the world and why in the world would you NOT want to snorkel in it? With visibility down to 150 feet and hundreds of species of fish it's an experience to remember forever. Hey look, there's a shark! Not to worry, the crater is often visited by whale sharks, harmless vegetarian sharks who would rather have your salad than your leg.
As if swimming in a volcano wasn't enough, most tours stop by "Turtle Town" (aka Maluaka Beach near Wailea) on the way back where you'll finally get to swim with turtles - lots of them. First a shark and now turtles? It's truly amazing and a Maui adventure you won;t want to miss. There are dozens and dozens of tour boat options so pick the one closest to your resort and recommended by your hotel concierge.
Food, Music, Mai Tai's and a Maui Sunset
maybe you'll even see a whale
Yeah, I know, the idea of getting on a booze cruise to see the sunset is a bit touristy but lighten up, it's really fun. Wipe the cynical smirk off your face if they start playing Jimmy Buffet tunes and just enjoy the feeling of the ocean breeze in your face and the incredible views of both the ocean and the shoreline. The food may not be your finest meal on Maui and the Mai Tai's will be weak but the sunset view will be truly epic. Most tours are two hours and feature live music, pay attention to the age and type of boat (catamaran or "ferry boat" style) so you find one that fits your style.
Tripadvisor Reviews | Trilogy Catamaran |
Let's Go On a Maui Surfin' Safari
Surf lessons for all ages
Every Travel Channel show that comes to Hawaii has the obligatory "watch the TV show host take a surf lesson" and now it's your turn. Even if you have zero skills or experience if you ever wanted to give surfing a try you should do it on Maui where there are plenty of surf schools catering to people just like you. Great for the kids and the entire family, you should be standing and catching waves by the end of your two hour lesson. No previous skill required, just a willingness to have fun.
Proof That Whales Don't Want to be Kept in Tanks
Best from December until March
Humpback whales migrate right past Maui during the winter months and while you can see them from the shore there is nothing like being right up close as one breaches the water right next to your boat. There are plenty of people willing to take you out there, from kayak rentals to catamarans to larger vessels so choose one that fits your style. For me, the bigger the boat the better as whales are way bigger in real life than you might imagine, especially if one decides a little water never hurt anyone. The Pacific Whale Foundation is a good place to start and the usual suspects for snorkel boats and sunset cruises also offer whale watching during the migration months.
Did someone say Bbq tonight?
Don't worry if you've never fished before as nearly all of the Maui deep sea fishing charters are aimed at the vacationer, meaning you don't even have to bait your own hook if you don't want to. You'll feel like a character in a Hemingway novel when you hook a big one and get strapped into the chair to reel him in. Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna and Ono catches are common but who knows, you might be the one to hook up a Marlin or other big sport fish. Cruise the Lahaina harbor to get a feel for what boat to book and what's being caught and make sure you get to keep at least some of your catch for a BBQ as not all boats allow this.