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Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

San Francisco...
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Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

So we are staying in kihei and would love to some snorkeling nearby. We will have already snorkeled on lanai and will have another 8 days on Maui. I was just thinking since we will be driving doin the road to Hana and Haleakala and again upcountry to go to a spa(not all in one day of course), is it worth spending more time in the car to drive to kapalua for another snorkeling spot. If it rivals other places than I think the extra car ride will be worth it. Thoughts?

S.F. Bay Area
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1. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

I think you should -- weather/shorebreak dependent of course (particularly, with respect to Honolua..) -- roll out early & kick out at Honolua Bay for a spell (do it once & you'll definitely wanna come back again!), then turn around and give Kapalua a bit of a whirl (besides the stellar snorkeling, also my favorite beach on island!). Honestly, it's really not all that much of a drive!

If you haven't packed some munchables, you could also then grab something to go at the Napili market, Mama's Rib's & Rotisserie right next door ... or the Honolua Store by the Ritz & head north again up to Nakalele (& perhaps beyond,), making the northern trip completely worthwhile!

Alo)(a, NKO

Sacramento...
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2. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

Agree with MauiNOKaiOi!

San Jose, California
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3. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

Kapalua is pretty good, but I wouldn't say it is not to be missed. However, Honolua Bay is an amazing spot for snorkeling. My favorite on Maui. If you love to snorkeling, it is definitely worth rolling out of bed early in the morning to go out there.

And since you are going out to Honolua Bay, then might as well drop by Kapalua Bay too, because they are near by each other.

We like to say in South Maui, but we always make the trip to Honolua Bay (2 hours of snorkeing), then we stop by Kapalua Bay for a short snorkel.

S W Arkansas
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for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
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4. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

If ocean conditions are great on the south beaches, why drive with so few days and a busy schedule If south swells are in and ocean conditions favor the west then head up there, that's what we do. Remember you have to return to Maui because it's impossible to do it all in one trip or even 10 trips...

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

For me, Kapalua is more about the whole thing, beach, snorkeling, shade, parking. It ticks every box and we always enjoy going there. You can even walk to the restaurant at the SeaHouse, next door at Napili. The snorkeling is good, but nothing stands out vs. other good snorkel spots. I've seen eels and turtles, pretty much every snorkel, though the turtles tend to hang out further out the right side. Once (out of 6 or 7 years of going there) we had a visit from spotted eagle rays. One swam slow circles around me from about 6 feet away (it's my avatar picture). THAT was an amazing experience.

Honolua is a better snorkel spot, hands down, but...and this is a big butt...it is not a beach visit. The "beach" is all rock, the parking is on the side of the road and there is a long-ish walk to the beach. None of these things should stop you from going, but I want you to be aware of what you're signing up for. Personally, I prefer to go to Honolua by boat, but that's just me.

In any case, I would plan a day to west maui. Visit Kapalua (and/or Honolua) for snorkeling, drive up to the Nokelele Blow Hone (but don't stand too close!), then swing back to Lahaina for dinner and walking around, before heading back to your side. We do the opposite, every trip. We stay on the west side, but always plan a day or two to drive over to South Maui. As MauiNoKaOi says, it's really not that long a drive, particularly from Kihei.

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6. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

We loved Kapalua! Beautiful beach with a grassy area with shade, try to get there early in the am for the best parking. Have fun! :).

Overland Park...
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7. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

How early is early? Just wondering what is the ideal time if going early morning.

Boston, MA
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8. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

Get there by 9am to find a parking space. After 9 is hit or miss. People park on the side of the road, also, but I don't know if they ticket or not.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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9. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

I go to Kapalua basically for the same reasons grandeau does. It is where I learned to snorkel, where I worked as a volunteer for a solid year and also a great excuse to go up to the west/north side of Maui. Honolua Bay, IMHO is much better but doesn't have the nice beach.

Plenty of great snorkeling on the south side too. If you don't want to take the time to go north, stay south or go where ever conditions are the best at the time.

I was always at Kapalua Bay by 8:00am to make sure I had a place to park. You can park along side of the road as long as it doesn't have a "no parking" sign!!

Escondido...
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10. Re: Kapalua snorkeling not to be missed?

If you decide to take the trip to Kapalua and you want to be assured the opportunity to swim with turtles, find your way to Honokeana Cove. Located just to the east of Napili Bay, a foot path connects you to Honokeana Cove. Entry into the water from the rocks is manageable on a calm day. If not, a farther walk to the beach will be necessary.