Situated between Kaho’olawe and Maui, Molokini Crater is one of Hawaii’s most unique and identifiable natural landmarks. This volcanic crater is partially submerged, so only a rocky crescent of land rises above the waterline.
Classified as an islet, Molokini Crater rises 161 feet above sea level and covers 23 acres total. It’s located close enough to Maui’s coastline to be visible from the shore.
While Molokini Crater is uninhabited by humans, it’s teeming with wildlife. In fact, more than 250 fish species are native to the waters around the area. With clear water that boasts visibility of 150 feet, snorkeling, scuba diving, and snuba diving are very popular activities.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Hawaii soon or you’re a local with a desire to take in all that the Valley Isle offers, those staying on the south side will want the best views of Molokini Crater from both Wailea and Makena. Because the crater is located approximately 2.5 miles from the closest coastline, you may want to enjoy its beauty via a boat trip. You can also enjoy brilliant views of the crater from afar from several strategic locations on Maui’s southwestern coast.
Best South Maui Views of Molokini Crater
Ho’olei at the Grand Wailea
This beautiful Wailea community is located on the Wailea Blue Golf course across from the Grand Wailea resort and is ideally situated to provide spectacular ocean views. From many of the ocean view condo units at Ho’olei, you can see Molokini perfectly in the distance. The Ho’olei Villas are private, three-bedroom residences situated on a lush hillside behind a security gate.
In addition to having amazing coastal views, the residences feature private lanais, spacious bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and up to 4,000 square feet. The resort’s many impressive amenities include an art gallery, a restaurant, tennis courts, a pool, a spa, and much more.
This prestigious condominium community is located in Makena on one of South Maui’s best beaches. From many windows and lanais throughout the community, we’ve enjoyed crisp views of Molokini Crater, the West Mountains, and Po’olenalena Beach. The units feature spacious bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, gourmet kitchens, modern electronics, and concierge service.
The oceanfront condo community of Makena Surf offers incredible views and an array of amenities, including tennis courts and swimming pools. Several Wailea golf courses, shops, restaurants, and natural recreational areas are nearby as well.
Makena Golf and Beach Club
Not far from Makena Surf, you will find the Makena Golf and Beach Club in Makena. This is a private residential community that celebrates all that the Makena area offers while also offering a sustainable living experience.
This area delivers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, Molokini Crater, and other spectacular landscapes. The community spans across more than 1,800 acres and is situated directly on the edge of a sandy beach (Maluaka Beach) which is ideal for swimming and relaxing in the sun. Its amenities include a golf course, a lap pool, a lounging pool, a tennis court, and more. You can also depart for Molokini directly from the beach on Kai Kanani.
Views of the Molokini Crater, Lanai, and Kahoolawe can also be enjoyed from Wailea Point, an enclave of luxury condos in Wailea, a world-class residential community that is located on Maui’s southwestern coast. Specifically, this private condo community sits on 28 acres between Wailea Beach and Polo Beach.
In addition to having gorgeous condominium units that are outfitted with an extensive array of luxurious features and finishes, this oceanfront, gated community has three heated swimming pools, a lap pool, manicured gardens, pickleball courts, tennis courts, and a large fitness center.
MakenaBeach, which is also known as Oneloa Beach and Big Beach, is a popular boogie boarding spot. It features wide expanses of soft sand, and it offers views of both Molokini Crater and Kaho’olawe in the distance.
While the area has strong currents with large waves and is not suitable for children or inexperienced swimmers to splash and play in, it’s a great stop to take in views and to watch boogie boarders in action.
Whether you’re in Maui for a few days or you’re fortunate enough to call the area home, you don’t want to miss out on the beauty and recreational opportunities offered at our iconic Molokini Crater. Each of these locations offers spectacular views of the crater by land, and you can take a closer look at the crater by booking an excursion for a fun day of snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing off the coast of Maui, or sunset sailing.
Maui to know more about Molokini?
Check out our Molokini frequently asked questions for all your answers!