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Exploring the Underwater Wonders of Turtle Town: Snorkeling in Maui

Maui is known for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture. But did you know that it’s also home to some of the most incredible underwater wildlife? Turtle Town, located on the southern coast of Maui, is a popular snorkeling destination where visitors can get up close and personal with Hawaiian green sea turtles. In this article, we’ll dive into the underwater wonders of Turtle Town and why it’s a must-visit spot for any Maui vacation.

What is Turtle Town?

Turtle Town is a stretch of coastline on the southern end of Maui, encompassing the areas of Maluaka Beach, Makena Landing, and Nahuna Point. It’s known for its abundance of Hawaiian green sea turtles, also known as honu, which can often be seen swimming and feeding in the crystal-clear waters.

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

The Hawaiian green sea turtle is a species of sea turtle that is native to the Hawaiian Islands. They are easily recognizable by their dark green shells and yellow markings on their heads and flippers. These gentle creatures can grow up to 4 feet in length and weigh over 300 pounds.

Hawaiian green sea turtles are an important part of Hawaiian culture and are considered sacred by the native people. They are also listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, making it even more special to encounter them in their natural habitat.

Snorkeling in Turtle Town

Snorkeling in Turtle Town is a unique and unforgettable experience. The calm and clear waters make it the perfect spot for both beginners and experienced snorkelers. Here’s what you can expect when snorkeling in Turtle Town. Turtle town maui snorkeling will not leave you unsatisfied.

The Best Time to Snorkel

The best time to snorkel in Turtle Town is during the summer months, from May to September. During this time, the water is calm and clear, providing the best visibility for snorkeling. It’s also the time when the honu are most active, making it more likely to spot them during your snorkeling adventure.

What to Bring

Before heading out to Turtle Town, make sure to pack the essentials for a successful snorkeling trip. These include:

  • Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins)
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Water and snacks
  • Underwater camera (optional)

Where to Snorkel

There are a few different spots within Turtle Town that are great for snorkeling. Maluaka Beach is a popular spot for beginners, with its calm waters and easy access from the beach. Makena Landing is another great spot, with a variety of marine life to see, including colorful fish and coral. Nahuna Point is a bit more challenging to access, but it’s worth it for the chance to see larger marine life, such as manta rays and reef sharks. These are common Maui Wildlife.

Swimming with the Honu

The highlight of snorkeling in Turtle Town is swimming with the honu. These gentle creatures are used to human interaction and are not afraid to swim close to snorkelers. However, it’s important to remember to keep a safe distance and not touch or disturb the turtles in any way. It’s also important to never feed the turtles, as it can be harmful to their health.

Other Marine Life in Turtle Town

While the honu are the main attraction in Turtle Town, there is a variety of other marine life to see while snorkeling. Keep an eye out for colorful fish, such as parrotfish and butterflyfish, as well as eels, octopuses, and even dolphins if you’re lucky. Turtle town snorkeling maui is a great use of a day.

Coral Reefs

Turtle Town is also home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in Maui. These vibrant and diverse ecosystems are home to a variety of marine life and are essential to the health of the ocean. While snorkeling, make sure to admire the coral reefs from a safe distance and avoid touching or stepping on them.

How to Get to Turtle Town

Turtle Town is located on the southern coast of Maui, about a 30-minute drive from the popular tourist areas of Lahaina and Kaanapali. The easiest way to get there is by car, and there is plenty of parking available at each of the snorkeling spots. If you don’t have a car, there are also guided snorkeling tours available that will take you to Turtle Town and provide all the necessary equipment.

Tips for a Successful Snorkeling Trip

To make the most out of your snorkeling trip to Turtle Town, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Arrive early to avoid crowds and get the best parking spot.
  • Apply sunscreen before getting in the water to avoid harming the marine life.
  • Stay a safe distance from the honu and other marine life.
  • Bring an underwater camera to capture your snorkeling adventure.
  • Respect the ocean and leave no trace behind.

Other Things to Do in Turtle Town

While snorkeling is the main attraction in Turtle Town, there are also other activities and sights to enjoy in the area. These include:

  • Relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Maluaka and Makena.
  • Hiking the nearby trails, such as the Makena State Park Coastal Trail.
  • Visiting the nearby Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, known for its unique lava formations and diverse marine life.


Turtle Town is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to explore the underwater wonders of Maui. With its abundance of Hawaiian green sea turtles and other marine life, calm and clear waters, and beautiful beaches, it’s the perfect destination for a snorkeling adventure. So pack your snorkeling gear, sunscreen, and camera, and get ready to experience the magic of Turtle Town.


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