The northernmost beach in Kihei where you would want to snorkel is Charley Young beach, which is also known as the north end of Kamaole I.

Snorkeling in Kihei, Maui

Here’s everything you need to know about snorkeling in Kihei, including where and when to go, what you’ll sight, rental shops and outfitters, and which boat tours that focus on sightseeing and snorkeling.

Early mornings are the best time for snorkeling in La Perouse Bay.

Snorkeling South Maui: Makena and Beyond

Makena offers some of the south side’s best snorkeling, but sometimes the entry and exit points can be a little challenging. There are a few spots suitable for beginners, as well as a few hard-to-reach gems. Here’s where to go, what you’ll see, and seasonal tips.

Another nice shore dive is the Ahihi Kinau cove.

Dive Sites in Makena and Beyond

In addition to being one of the best shore dives in Makena, Nahuna/Makena Landing/5 Caves/5 Graves also takes the cake as the spot with the greatest number of names. Another nice shore dive is the Ahihi Kinau cove. Since this cove is protected from the wind, it offers pristine diving conditions as long as the surf isn’t up.

Of all the beaches in Wailea, the best for a morning shore dive is the point at Ulua Beach.

Wailea Dive Sites and Rentals

Wailea offers shore dives with shallow depths perfect for novices, with entry points that are sandy and easy. Expect to see a number of Hawaiian green sea turtles along with healthy coral formations, endemic reef fish, and perhaps a rare spotted eagle ray or spiny lobster.

Aerial view of Molokini Crater off the coast of Maui.

Snorkeling Charters from Ma‘alaea Bay

If you want to snorkel the amazing underwater world of Molokini Crater, you’ll need to charter a boat from Ma‘alaea Bay. You’ll have plenty of choice in your experience, from low to high-priced trips, snorkeling or snuba, sailing or power catamarans, and excursions that incorporate other good snorkeling sites.

Kamaole III Beach is home to ‘u‘au kani (wedge-tailed shearwaters).

Bird-Watching in South Maui

If there were a bird to be associated with South Maui it would be the Pacific golden plover, or kolea. For the opportunity to sight this migratory bird and other native species, there are a few locales to check out, some well-known and one often overlooked gem.

Aerial view of Molokini Crater off the coast of Maui.

Snorkeling Molokini Crater

Nowhere else in Hawaii can you find waters as clear as those in Molokini Crater, a half-submerged volcanic caldera that rises from 300 feet of water. Snorkeling at Molokini is such a popular activity that if you want as much water to yourself as possible, you had best plan ahead to get there as early as possible on one of the smaller available charters.

The Hoapili Trail through a rocky landscape near La Perouse Bay in South Maui.

Hiking Hoapili Trail in South Maui

Anyone who heads out on the Hoapili Trail will realize right away that this isn’t your average hike. Hot and barren and set in the middle of nowhere, the Hoapili Trail isn’t as much about hiking as it is about taking a literal step back in time.

A resort on Wailea Beach in South Maui.

Discover South Maui

If one word defines South Maui, it’s “beaches.” South Maui is graced with dozens of sandy stretches waiting for your footprints. In fact, you could visit a different beach every day of a weeks-long vacation and still leave some areas untouched.

Keawakapu is one of Kihei’s most popular beaches.

South Maui Beaches: Kihei and Ma‘alaea

When it comes to beach weather in dry South Maui, the wind and clouds can greatly affect the comfort level. The morning hours are the best time to hit any beach. In the afternoon, the pocket of beaches in south Kihei and Wailea have the best chance of being sunny and calm.