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Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

Long Beach...
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Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

Where are the best coves for seeing Gods beautiful underwater creatures where there aren't a zillion people. Thanks.

Menlo Park...
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1. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

Well, if I told you, then there would be a zillion people. Since they closed land access to the Aquarium in La Perouse bay, all the best snorkel spots are along the west and south coast beaches, often within sight of some hotel. It seems that more and more people are discovering the joy of snorkeling which I feel is positive, because it motivates people to help protect the reefs and underwater habitats. But you can't expect to be alone.

Newport Beach
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2. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

North of Kahana just beyond Kapalua is Honolua Bay, you will see cars parked alongside the road. A minor hike takes you down to the shore (all rocks so wear sandals). A large bay and both the right and left arms of it have great snorkeling, bring frozen peas if you like to be flocked with fish. South of Kapalua is Napili Bay, a lot of smaller hotels such as Napili Shores you can park at. Nice bay and good snorkeling. Black Rock at Kaanapali is somewhat crowded, but actually pretty good and almost a guarantee of turtles. Those are your best close options.

Long Beach...
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3. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

what the trick with frozen peas...that's a new one to me.

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Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

The fish will eat the frozen peas but that isn't natural food nor behavior for them to be fed. I recommend not doing that and just enjoying their natural behavior.

Just my two cents worth.

Destination Expert
for Maui
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5. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

You won't find much good snorkeling in the Kahana area, but it can be found a few minutes drive in either direction. Just south of Kahana you'll find some good snorkeling on Kahekili Beach. Drive to the public park just south of the Westin Villas. There is a nice reef directly out from the park (Kahekili is also a sensational beach.)

The previous poster mentioned Honolua Bay which is excellent...unless you are going in the wintertime. Then it gets a heavy north swell and becomes a great location for the surfers. Kapalua and Napili Bays both offer good snorkeling. And often overlooked, probably because there is no beach and access is limited is Honokeana Cove. I've often found lots of Sea Turtles in that cove when snorkeling there.

But also as previously mentioned, finding a secluded spot to have to yourselves is pretty difficult. Try going first thing in the morning while the water is still calm and the relaxed vacationers are still in bed.

And please DO NOT feed the fish frozen peas. Go and observe them in their natural habitat and enjoy the experience. But there is enough junk going into the ocean without hand feeding human food to the fish.

santa barbara
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6. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

Aloha Singlediver,

I don't know how good this spot is, but I know people who snorkel in front of the Kahana Reef Resort. If you look on Google Earth you can see the size of the reef, it looks like it would be an interesting place to snorkel. You can't park in their lot of course, but there is parking across the street and there is a path just to the North of the Outrigger that will give you access to the beach and the reef. Let us know what you think if you get a chance to snorkel there.

Victoria, Canada
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7. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

We have snorkeled in front of the Royal Kahana

It is shallow, rocky, and full of teeny critters not much else. It also can get quite full of seaweed. We were staying on the 12th floor looking down, thinking that we could see lots of neat reef formations.

Well once in the water, we were embarassed to find it was mostly sea weed, dead coral and rock.

Of course I know better now

Caddy taught me the difference ;)

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8. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

Kapalua is the easiest place to get to and find parking in the public lot next to the Napili Kai. I've never seen big crowds here but then we go in October and May (low season) and hit the beach before 9am.

Here's another fish lover telling you not to bring frozen peas snorkeling with you. It tends to attract the more aggressive big fish which tends to scare off the littler variety. Just like you aren't supposed to feed the animals at the zoo.

Napili Bay is nice and then just south is a little cove that you may find some little creatures - it's just a little dicier to get into this cove. You need to enter from the rocks or trespass onto the condo property just in front of the cove and walk down a ramp. Turtles hang out around the lava point.

I too have snorkeled in front of the Hololani in Kahana and it wasn't too unpleasant. Found some trigger fish, yes, mostly small fishy. Sometimes its just nice to be able to swim out in front of the condo and look for fish when the water is calmer.

Hana, Hawaii
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9. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

So very true julauf, related to the use of peas. It attracts much large aggressive fish, such as the pink clad "HummmammamammammammaammamCaddy".

Fish such as theses "Humacaddies" are often lured by free food, knowing all well they can not afford an expensive meal at a nice place like Longhis. :)

I too can teach all who wish, the difference between coral and seaweed. It's just a little gift I have!

Reedsport, Oregon
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10. Re: Maui-Kahana snorkeling coves

Throwing another hat in the ring for NOT taking peas to feed the fish. Do not take anything to feed the fish. Even the so called "Healthy fish food" still sold in some places. Many of the dive shops have joined with various organizations such as REEF and CORAL to put a stop to fish feeding. I along with many others have experienced first hand the effects of fish feeding. In Honolua Bay I was bit by a large Chub looking for handouts. I was lucky and it grabbed my finger but didn't give me a serious chomp. I have seen some pictures of some pretty bad hickeys left by Chubs and other fish. The feeding makes them very aggressive.

As for your original question I agree with Honolua Bay. With the limited parking, small hike and rocky entry make it undesirable to many. But if you are going in Winter you'll probably be out of luck. The water will be too rough and churned up.

There is a couple of photos and a vid on my profile from Honolua.