Visit Honolua Bay on a snorkeling or scuba diving trip by boat, which will sometimes include one or more spots along the west Maui coast. Independent visitors should swim out some distance from the beach for the best visibility. Expect to see plentiful coral, reef and tropical fish, turtles, rays, and even pods of spinner dolphins. In the winter, storms bring swells creating a long and powerful right point break at the bay. Spectators can watch the action from an overlook on the east cliffs.
Honolua Bay is also included in some guided sightseeing tours on land, which will often include other popular attractions such as Iao Valley State Monument, Nakalele Blowhole, and Olivine Pools. Opt for a private tour to fully customize your itinerary.
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Things to know before you go
- There are no lifeguards and no facilities at Honolua Bay.
- The rocky beach is not ideal for sunbathing, or bare feet.
- Fishing, and taking anything from Honolua Bay, including marine life and rocks, is prohibited.
- Local landowners have prohibited dogs and the use of sunscreen.
- Do not leave any valuables in your car as cars have been broken into here.
- The waves here are not suitable for beginners; only experienced surfers should attempt.
How to get there
Honolua Bay is located around 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of Kapalua. Look for mile marker #32 on the Honoapi’ilani Highway (Hwy 30). From there, followed the marked path from the road to the beach access.
When to get there
Visit in the summer to go snorkeling and scuba diving. Avoid visiting after a heavy rain as runoff and sediment can affect visibility. In the winter, Honolua Bay is more suitable for surfing. Winter is also a good time to spot humpback whales.
Top Snorkeling Sites on Maui
The best snorkeling sites on Maui can be found along the northwestern coast, and around the southern end of the island. In addition to Honolua Bay, the top spots in the northwest include Kapalua Bay and Black Rock Beach at Kaanapali. In the south, the top spots include Turtle Town at Maluaka Beach, Ahihi Kinay Reserve, and Molokini Islet.