Set your gaze to the ocean horizon on Maui’s south shore, and there, about 3 miles off in the distance, you’ll spot the half-sunken cinder cone of MOLOKINI , a world-class snorkel and dive location that can be reached only by boat.
TOURS DEPART DAILY from Lahaina, Kīhei and Mā‘alaea harbors for the short trip to this resource-laden wonderland. Molokini’s crescent shape acts as a fortress that provides protection from waves and powerful currents. And its status as a MARINE LIFE AND BIRD CONSERVATION DISTRICT gives shelter to approximately 250 species of fi sh, some of which are found nowhere else on Earth.
Most days the water is crystal clear, with more than 100 feet of visibility. Expect to see HUMPBACK WHALES in the winter months, as well as GREEN SEA TURTLES, MONK SEALS, EAGLE RAYS, SHARKS, RAINBOW-COLORED FISH and fascinating LAVA FORMATIONS any other day of the year.
The island itself is off -limits to humans, and no fi shing is allowed in the immediate area. Guides will insist that you do not feed the marine life or approach endangered sea turtles or seals.
TIP: The backside of the crater, where the crowds tend to thin out, and the back wall drops sharply to depths of 300 feet, is a great spot to bond with nature. At the center is a lush reef with excellent viewing. Another favorite destination is TURTLE TOWN , which is (you guessed it) home to a large colony of green sea turtles.
Most boat companies, such as MAUI CLASSIC CHARTERS’ Four Winds II, make a party out of a trip to Molokini. They carry snorkeling and diving gear, provide instruction and off er breakfast or lunch, and sometimes a bar. You can cruise aboard a catamaran, a powered raft or a sailboat. ALI‘I NUI SAILING CHARTERS 808-875-0333 OR 808-542-3483 EXT. 1 BLUE WATER RAFTING 808-879-7238 BOSS FROG’S 808-661-3333 MAUI CLASSIC CHARTERS 808-879-8188 PACIFIC WHALE FOUNDATION 808-249-8811 SNORKEL BOB’S 808-667-9999 HONO¯KOWAI; 808-875-6188 NORTH KI¯HEI; 808-879-7449 SOUTH KI¯HEI; 808-661-4421 LAHAINA; 808-669-9603 NA¯PILI; 808-874-0011 WAILEA PHO TO: HA W AI‘I T OURISM A UTHORIT Y (HT A) / T OR JOHNS ON; L OCA TION: MOL OKINI DISCOVER MOLOKINI’S WATERS 17 ES S EN T IA L