Honolua Bay, Maui

2015.04 Maui 015
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Honolua Bay, Maui

Driving down the bumpy dirt road to Honolua Bay gives one the sense of stepping out of civilization and into another world. The car rocks back and forth, and its passengers resemble popping kernels of corn, thumping and bumping about. It’s almost as if they’re in Disneyland; the car slowly rolls slowly towards steep sea cliffs before the screaming freefall. But when finally approaching the edge, passengers immediately discover that this place is way better than any Disneyland!

Honolua Bay has every blue imaginable in its waters and vast ocean cliffs that block the winds, creating prime conditions for surfing, snorkeling and swimming. It’s tucked away on the northwest side of the island and belongs to the Mokuleia Marine Life Conservation District. This means no fishing, spearing or removing sand and rocks from the area.

Most people on a Hawaii Vacation enjoy the inside of the bay, which is more easily accessible than the outer bay. Volunteers have information booths to educate first-time visitors about the marine life and proper etiquette to snorkeling. Some of Hawaii’s most beautiful features reside in the bay. In the winter, be on the look out for migrating whales. Jump in to get a split view above and below the ocean surface, where two separate worlds exist. In the winter months, big surf stirs things up above while life below maintains its slower pace. Surfers from around the world travel to Honolua Bay for its long right-hand waves and hollow barrels. If you happen to be around during a winter swell, be sure to take up a seat on the cliff and enjoy the Hawaiian version of a colosseum.

Honolua Bay is a world-renowned snorkeling spot located on the northwest coast of Maui. It is known for its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and stunning scenery. The bay is protected from the open ocean by a reef, making it a safe and enjoyable place to snorkel for people of all ages and experience levels.

What to Expect

When you arrive at Honolua Bay, you will be greeted by a beautiful crescent-shaped bay with lush green mountains in the background. The water is typically calm and clear, with visibility up to 100 feet. The bay is home to a wide variety of marine life, including fish, turtles, eels, and even sharks.

There are several different areas to snorkel in Honolua Bay. The most popular spot is the outer reef, which is located about 150 feet from shore. The outer reef is home to a wide variety of fish and coral. If you are looking for a more challenging snorkel, you can try the inner reef, which is located closer to shore. The inner reef is home to larger fish and turtles.

How to Get There

Honolua Bay is located about 10 miles north of Kapalua. To get to the bay, take Highway 30 north until you see the Honolua Bay turnoff. There is a small parking lot at the bay, and there is also a fee to enter.

Tips for Snorkeling at Honolua Bay

  • Be sure to rent or bring your own snorkel gear.
  • Arrive early to get a parking spot.
  • The bay can get crowded, so be respectful of other snorkelers.
  • Do not touch or disturb any marine life.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for currents.
  • Have fun!

When to Go

The best time to snorkel at Honolua Bay is during the summer months (May-September) when the water is calm and clear. However, the bay can be snorkeled year-round.

What to Bring

  • Snorkel gear
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water shoes
  • Towel
  • Snacks
  • Camera

Honolua Bay is a truly magical place. It is a must-visit for any snorkeler who is visiting Maui. With its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and stunning scenery, Honolua Bay is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.


(1)Park along the road before the bridge (don’t leave any valuables in your cars) and then follow a forest trail for about five minutes before reaching the ocean.

(2)Drive past the bridge and up the hill before turning left down a bumpy dirt road. Park along the sea cliff for a panoramic view. But I wouldn’t recommend getting down to the ocean this way, as the trails may be very steep and unstable.

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