Where is the best place for snorkeling

Old Dec 18th, 2006, 08:05 PM
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Where is the best place for snorkeling

I'm thinking of going alone to Hawaii in early March. I have been 3 times, but that was ancient history.

I'm hoping someone knows which island, or area of a island, would be best for snorkeling? I also would like to keep my costs reasonable. The boat excursions were sky high compared to the Mexican Caribbean. If I go, I'm bringing my own gear.

Thanks to all who answer, and I will be happy to clarify my post if it is unclear.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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we recently went to maui. our top vacation priority was good snorkeling. we got it.

particularly on wailea beach, makena beach at the prince hotel, and la perouse bay.

lynne
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 10:26 PM
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Hawaii snorkel rule of thumb: south to north = best to OK (ie water temps)

big island has plentiful spots but the best (Capt Cook) requires a boat or kayak trip
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 04:10 AM
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We have experienced good snorkeling on the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, Kaua`i and Oahu. March is a good time to see whales as well.

As the friendly fodorites above have mentioned, the Wailea area of Maui has good snorkeling in particular to the left of the Maui Prince beach and also at Ulua Beach. We especially like the early morning Kai Kanani snorkel trip to Molokini from the Maui Prince Hotel for under 50$-). Agree that bringing your own gear is worthwhile, and if you stop by Maui Dive Shop or visit Snorkel Bob's website you can find free maps to snorkel sites.

The Big Island in our opinion has the best snorkeling along the rocky, lava, Kona coast, with easy snorkeling at Kahalu`u beach park-that is if you can find parking, while Maui has more
sandy beach snorkeling. Oahu has good snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, though some find it to be too popular. Kaua`i has good snorkeling at Poipu Beach Park and Ke`e Beach-if conditions permit. Feel free to ask more
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 05:27 AM
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The best snorkeling I've experienced in Hawaii was off the island of Nihau in July. The clearest water I have ever seen.

-pila
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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The absolute best place we've been on all the islands is Kealekekua Bay on the BI. There is a way to walk down, it's 2 miles downhill then 2 miles back uphill on a good, large trail, looks like an ex-4wd road. It's easy to get in the water from the Cook's Monument, where the trail ends, but tricky to get out over the urchins. Directions in the dreaded Big Island Revealed guidebook. Maui is better in terms of number of good spots and accessibility.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 06:57 PM
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I totally second the Kai Kanani snorkel trip to Molokini and "turtle town" out of the Maui Prince hotel!!! We booked with that tour operator and they were so courteous, friendly, and organized. We were BEYOND impressed.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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If you'd like to "keep costs reasonable", no reason to spend anything on snorkeling tours. There is excellent beach access snorkeling in Hawaii, especially on Maui and the Big Island. John D has listed some excellent snorkeling spots and here's a few more: Honolua Bay and Black Rock in West Maui, Ahihi-Kinau Reserve in South Maui and Honaunau Bay near Kona, Hawaii.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 05:08 PM
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what the last poster said is pretty much true! we didn't find the snorkeling at molokini crater to be unWORLDLY amazing or anything. great clarity, but really, the snorkeling at wailea beach and makena beach was equally impressive in terms of the numbers of fish and variety.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 09:26 AM
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My husband and son will want to do this as it's been 6 years since we've been to Maui. During the summer I remember a post about sharks in the Makena area. Is it safe to snorkel at the little beach that's part way between Lahaina and Maalaea Bay?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 01:36 PM
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We just returned from 9 days in Maui. Molokini provided the best snorkeling. But, of course, you have to take an excursion boat there. We took Four Winds and enjoyed it. Of the south Maui beaches we visited, Ulua Beach provided easy access and good population. Wherever you go, early in the day is best.
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