For a snorkeling experience unlike any other, head to Molokini Crater off the shores of Maui. Molokini Crater is a volcanic atoll that is also State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District. Its unique crescent shape protects against big waves and strong currents, making its calm water the perfect place for a family to snorkel for the first time.
The crater is packed with sea life, with over 250 fish species living atop a thriving coral reef. Calm waters and cool scenery – what more could you ask for?
There are literally dozens of tour boat operators who visit Molokini Crater every day. One good option to consider is the Pacific Whale Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Maalaea Harbor that is dedicated to protecting our oceans through advocacy and science. Because they take larger groups on their boats, their prices are lower than most tour operators. Adults can book a Molokini snorkeling cruise online for just $80, and kids ages 7 to 12 are about half that.
Your crew should make you feel immediately comfortable, helping your family with the equipment and discussing safety procedures. Once you’re in the water, you’ll find that there’s plenty to explore in the large crater. Visibility is excellent all over the area, and you’ll find yourself swimming with parrot fish, trigger fish, snappers, eels, needle fish, tang, damsel fish and many many more. Plan to spend at minimum an hour, and likely closer to two, enjoying the water.
If snorkeling is not for your family, you can still opt for a boat ride to the crater and enjoy the area’s natural surroundings from the comfort of a deck.