Where is Molokini Crater?
Molokini Crater is a sunken extinct volcanic crater that sits 2.5 miles off the south coast of Maui, Hawaii, in the Pacific Ocean (20° 38′ 1″ N, 156° 29′ 50″ W). See Molokini Location Map. The remanence of an ancient volcanic eruption was once used for target practice during World War II but now serves as a living reef and shelter to many species of ocean life. Because of this, snorkeling at Molokini Crater in its shallow inner cove has become the most popular activity on Maui.
Molokini Snorkeling Trips
Molokini snorkeling tour boats depart daily from Makena Beach, Kihei Boat Ramp, Maalaea Harbor, and Lahaina Harbor to take visitors to the crater. Snorkeling, snuba diving, and scuba diving at Molokini are some of the most popular activities on Maui. Many boats visit Molokini, where guests can see sea turtles, tropical fish, beautiful variations of coral reef, and other marine life. During the winter months, guests of these exciting Molokini Crater tours will have the opportunity to see Hawaiian humpback whales on the way to and from Molokini. Early morning Molokini crater snorkel trips tend to be less windy and less bumpy than in the afternoon.
Molokini Crater Snorkeling and Dive Sites
This ancient volcanic atoll can be found between the islands of Maui and Kahoʻolawe in the Alalakeiki Channel. At 160 feet tall, the Molokini location comprises around 23 acres with a diameter of approximately 0.4 miles. Molokini’s crescent shape makes it one of the best dive spots in Hawaii. From its world-renowned back wall along its southern rim, scuba divers can enjoy up to 100 feet of crystal-clear visibility from the crater wall. On the other side, Tako Flats and Middle Reef dazzle the eyes with beautiful reef formations and tropical sea life.
Molokini Crater Conservation
The crescent-shaped Molokini islet and the surrounding 77 acres have been deemed a Marine Life Conservation District and Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary. Molokini has a wide range of marine animals and a long, tumultuous history. Although Molokini Crater does not have a sand beach, the crater’s submerged floor is a snorkeling and diving playground full of fish and color. Here are some boats you should check out for your Molokini Crater snorkeling tour. Molokini is a top destination for people visiting Maui, but this has taken its toll on this habitat, including serious effects on local marine life and nesting seabirds. From reef-safe sunscreen to volunteering or donating to research and conservation entities, we can do a lot to conserve Molokini in its current condition and possibly bring more life back to it for years to come!