Molokini Snorkel Marine Life Guide
One of our most popular excursions is our Molokini Snorkel Tour, which brings you out to this charming little crescent island just 2.5 miles off Maui’s South Shore, so you can explore its vibrant reef. This little island is charming and full of character, boasting an astonishing visibility of up to 150 feet, thanks to its lack of beaches. With no sand to be kicked up by wave action, Molokini provides some of the clearest snorkeling and scuba diving anywhere in the world.
Molokini is home to around 250 species of endemic fish and marine life. That means those species can be found nowhere in the world but here. The reef is filled with interesting residents, like the curious black triggerfish, the docile parrot fish, the schooling convict tang and the flashy moorish idol. You may even see moray eels, manta rays, octopus and whitetip reef sharks. The many marine animals living around Molokini are well acclimated to the presence of humans, what with so many visitors, so don’t be surprised if you get a close up look at some of them.
If you happen to be snorkeling Molikini during humpback whale season, you’re sure to hear whale songs while in the water. The whales aren’t known to enter the waters within the crater’s encircling arms, but they are known to swim near the island. Since they come to Hawaii, and especially Maui, to mate and give birth to their calves, you are likely to see the whales and maybe even some babies on the way to or from Molokini.
Another fun facet about Molokini is that it’s also a federally owned and protected Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary. While the island seems barren above the waves, its rocky terrain hides nesting seabirds, which enjoy an environment free of the marauding predators found on Maui, like rats, feral cats and mongoose. Its most common inhabitants are the Wedge-Tailed Shearwater and the Bulwer’s Petrel. The shearwater hunts fish both near the surface and down at depths of up to 216 feet! The petrel feeds on planktonic creatures on the ocean’s surface.
If you want to learn more about the charming island of Molokini, check out this cool little website with its interactive map: molokinicrater.com. Otherwise, feel free to ask our knowledgeable crew any questions you might have about the island, and the marine life you can find there. If you have any questions about booking a tour with us, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!