Honolua Bay
Honolua Bay
4.5
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
940 reviews
Excellent
620
Very good
235
Average
58
Poor
16
Terrible
11

AshBernadette88
Colorado Springs, CO1,511 contributions
My husband, uncle, and I went to Honolua Bay for snorkeling, and it was spectacular! From the parking area, the short, easy walk through the woods led straight to the beach, which is composed primarily of lava rock.

The conditions were perfect for snorkeling. The water was clear and calm, and we were able to swim over to Slaughterhouse Beach from Honolua Bay. Throughout our excursion, we saw several species of tropical fish (including the state fish of Hawai'i), and we swam nose-to-nose with a sea turtle! We could also hear the whales talking to each other under the water.

If you're snorkeling anywhere on West Maui, put Honolua Bay at the top of your list!
Written February 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kregg J.
Seattle105 contributions
While there are tour boats that'll take you to Honolua Bay at a hefty price for a day of snorkeling, if you have a rental car and you're in Lahaina and vicinity, then take the short drive up the coast to the Bay and save yourself a few dollars for celebrating a good visit to the scenic location later. Parking is catch as catch can but if there are no empty spaces up above the Bay in the designated parking area, then wait a bit and one will likely be available. There wasn't one when we drove to the bay but after turning around a little further up we came back and found one. As we pulled in a second parking space became available so there's that as well. Be patient or go early. Also, while it looks like a difficult walk down to the water, it isn't. Actually, it's a nice little comfortable walk down the road a bit, through the trees, and finally out to the rocky (and I do mean, rocky) shore. It isn't wheelchair or walker available, so keep that in mind. Take comfortable shoes. The bay itself is cresent shaped and generally busy. The rocks also make for a tough go even for those in great shape so be careful. However, once you get into the water you'll find some great snorkeling with lots of colorful coral and fish, and hey maybe even a turtle or two!
Written June 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelMore
Parker, CO126 contributions
Family
Outstanding! We stopped here to go snorkeling one day and we loved it. We saw more fish and a greater variety by far then we saw at Molokini. Tons of coral and fish and clear water. We didn’t love that the shore is all rocks and no sand but it wasn’t a huge deal. This is a great place to go snorkeling - we highly recommend it.
Written June 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Naples Nomad
Naples, FL315 contributions
My favorite snorkeling spot yet on the island. Plenty of reefs, lots of reef fish and saw turtles, as well. We have snorkled the entire island now and this area was easy to get in and out of, well protected from the waves, and enough room to spread out. Don't waste money taking a snorkel trip here on a catamaran if you have a car in Maui. Best to drive. One thing to do on the way is to stop at Lorraine Shave Ice for banana bread and a shave ice. Lorraine is very good company and knowledgeable of all things on the island. Great stretching point.

There is a good parking lot at the top of the hill and a short walk down to the trail if you don't want to park along the road. On the side, there is a gate that says private road. Best to take this road and walk it straight back to where you see the beach. If you try to come in off the road, there is a small, steep hill and a lot of people wipe out.

Once down on the beach, it is very rocky. Most people stay at the base of the lagoon. If you don't mind a short walk, go either way left or way right. I would go way to the right as there is a flat area to sit in and is also the side with the turquoise water. Lots of fish on either side but the right side is best. You will encounter a lot of snorkelers on the right side so be prepared. I swam both sides and wasn't very many people on the left. If you go on the left, you will see a small rock jetty about 50 yards out, go out beyond that and follow the rocks along the bank. Water will be roughly 8 feet or more in that area and you will see a natural path through the big rocks to swim. We saw turtles in here along with a lot of colorful reef fish. Also had quite a few schools of fish swim with us. The fish are not skittish here like in other areas.

Very, very enjoyable here. One thing to keep in mind, the water here stays shallow for a ways out. There is not a lot of coral on the beach here so you can walk out a bit in your swim shoes if you have them and flipper up out in the deeper water.
Written September 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kurt H
Salt Lake City, UT357 contributions
When the surf's up and you want to get into local surf-culture, especially not the weekend, head to the dirt road that is on top of the cliff on the east side of Honolua Bay. Park, walk to the overlooks and you will see ~50 surfers in the water riding under wave curls directly below you in the water along the cliff. No need for binoculars! Most interesting to look down on them and see it in action. Meanwhile, this same bay is well known for snorkeling. Quite a great trip stop!
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Basinman
326 contributions
Couples
This bay is one if the top places we visited for snorkeling. The right side of the bay has colorful coral reefs, abundant fish, and is well protected from surf waves most days. We saw green sea turtles and a White tipped Reef Shark. The visibility is good too. Parking is on Hwy 30 shoulders and fills by 10am. We arrived before 9am and parking was easy. There are green portable toilets at the access trail just past a one lane bridge, across from Honolua Farms fruit stand. Its about 10 minutes walk down a mostly flat dirt path to the beach. This is a rocky beach. No sand. Primarily a snorkeling beach. The snorkeling boats out of Lahaina are common starting around 9am daily, so expect others snorkeling with you.
Written March 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KMZGAC
Orinda, CA87 contributions
Couples
We arrived here early (7am) and were among the first to arrive. The walk to the bay was easy. The beach is rocky and uneven—bring your own chair! We went out along the left side of the bay and saw fish and turtles. After warming up on shore, we went back out along the right side of the bay and amazingly, the snorkeling was significantly better if more crowded because all the tour boats anchor on the right side of the bay! But we swam with a huge school of fish we presumed to be mackerel, and turtles were spotted several times. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Key was to arrive early as there are few Parking spots in the small lot, and it was fun to have the bay practically to ourselves for over an hour.
Evidently there was an unfortunate incident involving a shark 12/2020 but luckily we did not see any shark the day we were there.
Written May 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gljohnson2
Minneapolis, MN23 contributions
Couples
My wife and I visited this location based on recommendations for snorkeling. As a “beach” that has almost 100 percent (mostly smooth) rocks and almost no sand, it’s not the most inviting to the eye. For snorkeling, it’s much of the same to start featuring cloudy water and a coral bottom.

Based on a review on allaboutmaui.com, we ventured to the left (south) side of the bay for snorkeling and were rewarded with views of several green sea turtles and colorful fish among the coral. I would not suggest this site for first timer snorkelers given the current and how waves crash into the rocks on either side of the bay. However, I’m not an expert snorkeler and still managed to steer clear of any dangerous settings while still seeing plenty of action under the water.

Once you park (look for porta-potties next to a few roadside spaces along the road), it’s a solid quarter-mile, non-paved flat walk to the beach.
Written March 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CircleTheWorld
Chicago, IL382 contributions
When I visited, the water was murky, so the snorkeling was not as good as the cove at the adjacent Slaughterhouse Beach (Mokule’ia Bay). Furthermore, entry into the water is difficult, as there is no beach along the shore. You must navigate slippery rocks. Lastly, the bay was filled with four tour boats, so it was more crowded than other snorkeling spots. Perhaps if I had visited on a clear water day with fewer boats, I would have had a more pleasant experience.
Written April 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Christine R
Alturas, CA7 contributions
Couples
We parked on the road and walked through a beautiful green forest/jungle. There is a sign that says if the surf is up and/or the water is brown then the snorkeling won’t be very good but we didn’t see that until after. Sure enough, the surf was up and the water was brown and we ended up not snorkeling. A couple that did go said they saw a few big fish but visibility was pretty limited. The bay seems to be protected from waves so water was calm. Nice visit overall, wish we could have snorkeled.
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Honolua Bay (Maui) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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