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Which is More Fun, Snorkeling in Maui or Kauai?

When you think of the tropical islands of Hawaii, great snorkeling should be one of the first places that comes to mind. Hawaii’s beautiful islands are perfect for snorkeling, with gorgeous coral reefs and thousands of sea creatures and tropical fish, many that are endemic to Hawaii. For snorkeling, most people think of Maui, but the island of Kauai is also an excellent choice too! Check out the rest of this article to learn which island will give you a better snorkeling experience, Maui or Kauai?

Hawaii is Perfect for Snorkeling

If you haven’t yet been to the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands, then you’re missing out on a mind-blowing vacation destination that has something for everyone. With an easygoing feel, eternal sunshine, endless beaches, and entertainment galore, Hawaii has a lot to love. It’s why thousands of people vacation in the islands every single year.

Tourists visit Hawaii for a variety of reasons, but one thing that nobody can argue about is that the water scene is absolutely fantastic. One of the only two American states located in the tropics, Hawaii has a warm climate all year. This lets the water keep at a comfortable temperature year-round.

As a result, this creates an environment where vibrant sea life can be found in abundance. Not only are they high in numbers, but the fish are visible thanks to the clear calm waters of the surrounding area, with average visibility above 30 feet year round. This makes for an absolutely fantastic region for snorkeling.

When you consider that Hawaii also has several species of creatures that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, there’s no reason not to plan a snorkeling vacation here. All that you have to do is pick an island!

Snorkeling in Kauai

When it comes time to selecting an island, you can’t go wrong with Kauai. Kauai is best known for being covered in a sprawling rainforest. Because of this, it is often overlooked when it comes to snorkeling options. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that you can’t have a great time snorkeling here.

The most prominent feature of snorkeling in Kauai is the incredible coral reefs you can find close to the shore. Coral reefs are actually living organisms and can get quite massive in size, so these are definitely creatures to appreciate.

As a matter of fact, they’re so important to Hawaii’s underwater ecosystem that there is actually a ban on toxic sunscreens that harm coral reefs. Next time you see a coral reef, take a second to appreciate how long it took to form! Amazing spots such as Nualolo Kai and Kee Beach rank among the best spots for snorkeling on Kauai. 

Snorkeling in Maui

Another great choice for snorkeling is none other than the beautiful island of Maui. The snorkeling is so good on Maui that it has become world famous, with a healthy following of tourists that visit each year. With several dazzling beaches with sands of all colors, Maui will check every box when it comes to snorkeling and sea life, from sea turtle to manta ray to Humpback whale.

Maui’s geography is quite unique, containing more than 100 miles of coastline. There are several areas along this coastline where natural bays of protected water have formed. These bays are protected from the harsh open ocean water, which allow for extremely clear and calm water inside them. These protected bays of water are actually perfect for vibrant tropical fish and oceanic life native to the region.

While you’ll definitely see plenty of fish snorkeling in Maui, the biggest attraction in the region is definitely the sea turtles. If you’re lucky you might see a leatherback or a hawksbill, but you’re much more likely to sight a green sea turtle. Maui is home to so many turtles that a stretch of the coast has actually been named Turtle Town!

The Best Island

Both Kauai and Maui are good choices when it comes to snorkeling, but when you’re planning your next vacation you want it to be incredible! Comparing between Kauai and Maui, there has to be a superior island right?

Without a doubt, Maui definitely has the better offerings for snorkeling. Not only is the snorkeling good in Maui, but it is one of the best snorkeling locations in the entire world! That’s pretty elite company, so what makes it so popular?

It ultimately comes down to a combination of geography, environment, culture, and the natural range of aquatic life that lives there. There are plenty of beaches to snorkel and there’s always plenty of fish there. The water is always warm and crystal-clear to see through.

Maui has all the positive factors needed for amazing snorkeling without any negative drawbacks.

Maui is also naturally blessed with the nearby volcanic crater known as Molokini Crater. Molokini has even clearer waters than the rest of Maui, and is home to hundreds of different fish species. In fact, Molokini has what is known as the clearest water in Hawaii, with visibility up to 180 feet! The crater is so life-abundant that it is actually a marine life sanctuary. Not everyone goes to Maui to visit Molokini, but they won’t leave Maui without having learned about Molokini. 

You also have a much better chance of seeing larger, less common creatures over on Maui. During the winter months, Whales are known to breach often, but all year round you can see dolphins, manta rays, seals, and even some sharks. When it comes to picking the best island for snorkeling in Hawaii, Maui makes a strong case for the top spot.

Maui Snorkeling Done Right!

There’s no question that the Hawaiian Islands are excellent for snorkeling. The climate is tropical and the water is clear, creating a perfect scenario for seeing all the colorful fish of the ocean. With warm temperatures year round, you can never go wrong with a trip to Hawaii no matter what time of year it is!

Like we have said, Maui and Kauai are the top choices. Kauai offers great views of coral reefs and is home to a rainforest. Maui is a snorkeling hotspot, known as one of the best spots to snorkel in the entire world. Both islands are good, but Maui is great when it comes to snorkeling. If you want to enjoy the underwater life of Hawaii like it was meant to be seen, then you need to plan for your next vacation destination to be Maui! Kai Kanani understands what it takes to make a snorkeling trip unforgettable. Book a trip with Kai Kanani today so you can reserve your spot for the best snorkeling in all of Hawaii!

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