Local Island Experts

Snorkeling at Turtle Town


The snorkel spot called 'Turtle Town' off the coat of south Maui is one of the best snorkeling location on the island. Turtle Town is actually a series of locations spanning an area of perhaps a mile or so along the coastline. 'Ground Zero' of this area is probably the area located off shore of Maluaka Beach. This is one area of Maui that lends itself to snorkeling right off the beach as there are areas of sand bottom and you don't have to worry about scraping yourself along coral as you are making your way out to sea. It is easy enough to see large parts of this reef by entering from the shoreline but the best snorkel locations are probably going to be found by boat and particularly by kayak.

The location here is so fabulous for snorkeling that it is almost universally considered an add-on location for boats traveling to Molokini. Generally most boats will leave from Maalaea Harbor and visit Molokini as a first stop before it gets windy and is interfered with by wind chop. The next stop will be a direct run of about 3 miles or so, right to the reefs at turtle town. The wind will usually not have wrapped around to this location yet and the protected areas here make for marvelous snorkeling on the outside of the reef.

Turtle Town is known for its clear waters and it many coral formations and fish life, but you guessed it, it is really known for it turtles. A number of varieties of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle make this spot their home and you can see them on most days off the reef. They may be in deep water but they enjoy the shallows too and it would he highly unlikely that you would go to snorkel here and not come across them.

Probably the very best way to view the turtles and the reef itself would be by kayak and we have a number of kayak companies that operate in these waters every day of the week. The advantages of visiting Turtle Town by kayak are that you can cover a larger expanse of area than you could simply snorkeling. This would also include being better in this respect with regard to boats because they will be limited to anchoring at one single area. The kayak trips we offer can be from 2 to 4 hours in length and many of them will make their way down close to where the island makes its turn at the immense cinder cone of Puu Olai.




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Hawaii snorkeling is by far the single most popular category of activities to be found in Hawaii. One reason for this is that snorkeling in Hawaii is often a component of many different types of tours found on any individual island such as many of the dolphin watches, whale watches, diving tours, raft excursions and even in some cases dinner cruises.

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