Molokini Crater
Molokini Crater
4
About
The unique crescent shape and rugged beauty of the Molokini Crater make it a popular day trip for travelers to Hawaii’s Maui island. With stunning reefs and some of the clearest water in Hawaii, the crater has become a snorkeling hot spot—there are more than 250 species of marine life, from colorful fish to stunning coral, and even turtles at Turtle Bay. Tours will take you by boat to the crater from Maui island, which is also a great chance to spot whales gliding through the water if you keep your eyes peeled. – Tripadvisor
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  • Jess
    19 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just ok
    There are other spots on the island you can go for free from shore that has amazing views. I think the crater is overrated and there wasn’t much of anything unique to see there. The fish were average and only a couple different varieties. Not a terrible adventure and if you are looking for something unique it’s fun to say you did it, it’s just a lot of money for what you get.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 28, 2023
  • Hrothmir
    199 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the trip (for snorkeling)
    Based on some other reviews and sources, I wondered if it was worth taking the trip to Molokini. Several reviews indicated the coral was in poor shape and that one was far better off saving one's money and just going to some of the snorkel spots one can access from the coast of Maui. That last point has some validity; one can snorkel at places like Ahihi-Kinau and see just as good fish without incurring the cost of a boat excursion. But there is value on being out on the ocean on a boat, seeing the coast of Maui from the ocean, approaching Molokini from the ocean, and having professionals take you right to a great place for snorkeling and (at the 2nd stop) swimming with sea turtles without your having to figure it all out on your own. While the coral at Molokini was not mind-blowing, it was healthier and more interesting than I had expected from some reviews/comments I had seen. Our guide explained that Covid was actually great for the Molokini coral; the lower volume of visitors gave the coral a chance to recover; perhaps some of the reivews I had read were before this recovery period.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 13, 2024
  • aussiewanderers
    Sydney, Australia607 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    DSNORKEL HERE NOT FOR THE CORAL OR SEA LIFE BUT FOR THE CLEAR DEPTHS
    The distinguishing feature of snorkeling here is not the coral, which is very basic, and not the sea life, which is scant populations of fish (and not much more unless you are very lucky), but the tremendous depth of crystal clear water over which you are snorkeling. The rocky and sometimes sandy bottom is 100 feet down yet your view of it is as if it is 5 feet down, the water is that crystal clear. Snorkeling gives the sensation of flying. If you are not interested in that, skip the trip as snorkeling elsewhere (eg, shore of Maui) will produce better coral and more interesting sea life If you do go, pick your weather very carefully. The crater is exposed to the north, so any wind (as distinct from a slight breeze) with a northerly component will wip up the water surface and detract from your snorkeling experience. Ditto for any northerly sea swell. Mornings are a far superior time to go than afternoons when the wind usually picks up. Tour operators will try to sell the option of snorkeling behind the crater wall where it is sheltered from northerly winds but assess this carefully as if there is a southerly swell, it is very uncomfortable and the snorkeling view is very limited - just a sheer wall of rock with not much coral plummeting to the depths (about 300ft) with no bottom in sight. Finally, it is a long day. Morning cruises get away early (7am) but provide a crude breakfast and also lunch. Take warm clothes as after you snorkel, you will be cold and will suffer in the wind as the boat returns to Maui unless you are in dry warm clothes. A further tip is to bring or use boat-supplied floatation gear as the water is so deep, it will give you more confidence snorkeling in the rocky water which has some currents.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 13, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles743 reviews
Excellent
389
Very good
157
Average
111
Poor
61
Terrible
25

michmaciasg
Dallas, TX9 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Although our tour guides were great and on-time. This crater is NOT worth the visit (time or money) since we saw minimal fish, minimal coral - You're better off exploring the many snorkeling options the island has to offer. I would not recommend any tours here to anyone.

Most of the people in the boat looked just as disappointed as us and the couple next to us recommended we drive up to the NW shore which was SO much better.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aussiewanderers
Sydney, Australia610 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
The distinguishing feature of snorkeling here is not the coral, which is very basic, and not the sea life, which is scant populations of fish (and not much more unless you are very lucky), but the tremendous depth of crystal clear water over which you are snorkeling. The rocky and sometimes sandy bottom is 100 feet down yet your view of it is as if it is 5 feet down, the water is that crystal clear. Snorkeling gives the sensation of flying. If you are not interested in that, skip the trip as snorkeling elsewhere (eg, shore of Maui) will produce better coral and more interesting sea life If you do go, pick your weather very carefully. The crater is exposed to the north, so any wind (as distinct from a slight breeze) with a northerly component will wip up the water surface and detract from your snorkeling experience. Ditto for any northerly sea swell. Mornings are a far superior time to go than afternoons when the wind usually picks up. Tour operators will try to sell the option of snorkeling behind the crater wall where it is sheltered from northerly winds but assess this carefully as if there is a southerly swell, it is very uncomfortable and the snorkeling view is very limited - just a sheer wall of rock with not much coral plummeting to the depths (about 300ft) with no bottom in sight. Finally, it is a long day. Morning cruises get away early (7am) but provide a crude breakfast and also lunch. Take warm clothes as after you snorkel, you will be cold and will suffer in the wind as the boat returns to Maui unless you are in dry warm clothes. A further tip is to bring or use boat-supplied floatation gear as the water is so deep, it will give you more confidence snorkeling in the rocky water which has some currents.
Written May 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hrothmir
Smyrna, GA203 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Based on some other reviews and sources, I wondered if it was worth taking the trip to Molokini. Several reviews indicated the coral was in poor shape and that one was far better off saving one's money and just going to some of the snorkel spots one can access from the coast of Maui.

That last point has some validity; one can snorkel at places like Ahihi-Kinau and see just as good fish without incurring the cost of a boat excursion. But there is value on being out on the ocean on a boat, seeing the coast of Maui from the ocean, approaching Molokini from the ocean, and having professionals take you right to a great place for snorkeling and (at the 2nd stop) swimming with sea turtles without your having to figure it all out on your own.

While the coral at Molokini was not mind-blowing, it was healthier and more interesting than I had expected from some reviews/comments I had seen. Our guide explained that Covid was actually great for the Molokini coral; the lower volume of visitors gave the coral a chance to recover; perhaps some of the reivews I had read were before this recovery period.
Written March 13, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelMore
Parker, CO151 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
We snorkeled the crater with a tour during the first part of our trip. The weather was beautiful and the water was crystal clear. However there were not as many fish as we were expecting. Due to the fact that many tour boats come here you’re restricted to one section to snorkel in. I have no idea if other areas are better but we were a little underwhelmed with the fish and coral here.
We had a much better time an Honolua Bay and saw tons of fish as well as a greater variety. I’d go back to that bay in a heartbeat.
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Old Pro
Seattle, WA2,457 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
If you've done much snorkeling around the world this place is pretty lame by comparison. However it is about all Maui has to offer. There are a few places on the island but this is about the best you're going to find. The problem is it's expensive to get there and sometimes crowded
Written April 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jess
21 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
There are other spots on the island you can go for free from shore that has amazing views. I think the crater is overrated and there wasn’t much of anything unique to see there. The fish were average and only a couple different varieties. Not a terrible adventure and if you are looking for something unique it’s fun to say you did it, it’s just a lot of money for what you get.
Written December 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

northwestfam
Seattle, WA27 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
This was probably a breathing taking spot at one time. The abundance of fish I expected was not there. Still a nice variety, but not worth the cost and effort to go out to snorkle at when you can have a same if not better experience just off the coast at any reef.
Written May 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel D
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We went here on a cruise boat. There were 4 boats that day and the captain said it was not very packed. I was hit by a couple of inexperienced swimmers but overall was not to bad. The water was crystal clear and we could see for a very long distance. There was numerous fish. I should have done the snobing which is, you are attached to a tube delivering air to you 10 feet under the water
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lee L
83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
What an awesome spot to snorkel! Not a swimmer, I was able to snorkel and see the reef underneath! What a beautiful world down there! I saw so many fish, some bright yellow fish and even a few long yellow fish shaped like eels.

Note: I could feel the waves by the end of the trip. We ended up with some seasickness but it was all worth it.
Written July 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Beckibecka
Aurora, CO452 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
I think Molokini Crater is a little overrated. It's still a cool place to snorkel and see a lot of fish. It was a bit rough when we were out, so got pushed around a lot by the ocean. It was pretty crowded and really cold. We didn't see anything super cool or different from the snorkeling around Maui.
Written October 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Molokini Crater - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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