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5 Sea Creatures You Absolutely Can’t Miss on Your South Maui Snorkeling Trip

The tropical region of South Maui is host to some of the warmest beaches and clearest waters found anywhere! This has led to many recognizing Maui for being a great snorkeling location. The area also has some exotic wildlife you simply won’t find anywhere else. This article will show you some of the coolest water creatures you just have to try and find while you’re vacationing in South Maui!

South Maui Offers Amazing Snorkeling Locations

There are multiple good reasons why South Maui makes for excellent snorkeling, but the biggest has to do with geography. The island of Maui has several bays that are naturally protected by the way the island is shaped. This creates large bodies of water that are free from disturbances like waves and currents found farther out in the ocean.

Because the water surrounding Maui is fairly calm, it allows for wonderful visibility. You can easily see beyond 100 feet into the water, making for great opportunities to spot cool aquatic life. Many fish feel quite comfortable inside these protected bays, which will allow you to get fairly close and see them with your own eyes!

Another reason why snorkeling is so wonderful in South Maui is the simple abundance of exotic fish and other creatures! Many species are endemic to Maui, meaning they’re only found within Maui and nowhere else! Because of that, you’ll quite literally see fish here that you physically can’t see anywhere else in the world!

Throw in the perfect tropical climate of Hawaii, and you have an environment rich with underwater life. It would be a shame not to enjoy their beauty, but that’s why you can snorkel to get a closer look! Read on to see the absolute coolest water creatures in South Maui!


Spinner Dolphin

Dolphins are one of the most intelligent non-human species on the entire planet. They’re also quite majestic creatures that really spice up the water. When you start talking about spinner dolphins, that just becomes more clear because spinner dolphins are the ultimate performer!

The spinner dolphin is a smaller species of dolphin that is commonly found in tropical waters. The word spinner is an accurate representation of their behavior, as these dolphins literally spin as they leap out of the water. This makes for a really jaw-dropping visual that you won’t want to miss!

Spinner dolphins are natural acrobats and often have a color pattern of three different shades of grey. While they are still a smaller breed of dolphin, they can grow up to more than 7 feet in length and 200 pounds in weight. These little dolphins are always a crowd pleaser!

Hawaiian Monk Seal

The monk seal is definitely the rarest creature on this list and you’d probably have to be pretty lucky to encounter one. The Hawaiian monk seal is only found in Hawaii, and there are less than 1,500 of the breed still alive in the wild. They’re undoubtedly an endangered species, making it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if you do see one!

Monk seals are a fairly laid-back breed and enjoy sunbathing on the beach. They have a unique body shape that makes them natural swimmers and hunters. They have a leathery looking coat and four flippers they use to navigate with. Hawaiian monk seals are beautiful animals, so savor the moment if you do find one!

Humpback Whale

Yes, you can see whales just about anywhere in the world. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you see them often though. In South Maui, humpback whale sightings are an everyday occurrence.

Humpback whales are definitely larger than life, growing upwards of 50 feet and weighing as much as 30 tons in adulthood. Humpbacks in particular are well known for coming above the surface of the water, a behavior known as breaching.

Because humpback whales are so large and frequently leave the water, they’re a great creature to watch! In addition to seeing them, you might also hear them as humpbacks often sing!

Whitetip Reef Shark

Hawaii is home to a few non-aggressive breeds of shark. The whitetip reef shark almost fits in that category, as they don’t often attack humans unless they’re trying to steal the fish you caught!

Like other sharks, the whitetip reef shark is a master hunter, and prefers to hunt at night. It can be found during the day, but it definitely prefers hiding in underwater caves where you might not notice them.

If you see any shark, it’s a good idea to keep your distance! These respectable beasts are unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them from afar.

Leatherback Turtle

Maui is more commonly known for green sea turtles, but it is also home to a great number of leatherback turtles! Leatherbacks bear the same profile as green turtles, but they have a shell made of leather rather than a hard shell made of bone.

Leatherback turtles are the largest turtle breed in the world, and also the best swimmer of the species. One of their most distinguishable features are their giant flippers, which can grow up to nine feet in length!

Both the green sea turtle and leatherback are certainly worth viewing. If you’ve never seen a turtle without a traditional bone shell, the leatherback is a must-see!

Book a Tour to Ensure You See Them!

One of the best reasons to vacation to new areas is to see the exotic wildlife that live there. Hawaii and, in particular, Maui are home to dozens of species that can’t be found anywhere else! Throw in perfectly clear water and protected bodies of water to house aqu

atic life, now you’ve got an excellent spot to slap on a mask and go snorkeling!

Whether you want to see dolphins, sharks, turtles, whales, or seals, the region of South Maui is home to them all! You can find a selection of tour options here to help you craft the perfect underwater life viewing experience this summer!