If you’re looking for the perfect spot to go snorkeling in Maui, then look no further than the Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve. Known for its marine life conservation efforts, this reserve is teeming with an abundance of fish and beautiful coral. What’s even more exciting is that we had the opportunity to see a reef shark up close (don’t worry, they’re not considered dangerous)! Just keep in mind that there are no amenities like sand or drinking water, so it’s important to plan accordingly. Make sure to check out our channel for more amazing snorkeling spots on Maui.

When it comes to top-notch snorkeling experiences, the Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve definitely ranks in the top five for us. We saw an incredible variety of fish and were in awe of the stunning coral formations. It was truly a good day out on the water. So if you’re ready for an unforgettable snorkeling adventure, grab your gear and head to the Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve! You won’t be disappointed.

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Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve


Welcome to the Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve, one of the best places to snorkel on Maui! This beautiful reserve is known for its abundant marine life and stunning coral reefs. As a marine life conservation district, the reserve enforces a strict no-fishing policy, which means that there are more fish to see while snorkeling. In addition to the diverse sea life, one of the highlights of snorkeling at Ahihi Kinau is the opportunity to encounter reef sharks, which are not considered dangerous. So get ready for an unforgettable underwater adventure!


The Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve is located on the southern coast of Maui, Hawaii. It is situated between the towns of Kihei and Makena. The reserve covers an area of approximately 1,238 acres and extends from the shoreline to the edge of a large submerged lava flow. This unique geological feature creates a habitat that is rich in biodiversity, making it an ideal destination for snorkeling enthusiasts.

Conservation District

Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve falls under the category of a conservation district. Conservation districts are designated areas that aim to protect natural resources, including marine life, ecosystems, and cultural heritage. The establishment of conservation districts helps preserve the delicate balance of the environment and encourages sustainable practices. At Ahihi Kinau, the no-fishing policy plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the marine ecosystem, allowing visitors to witness the wonders of underwater life to their fullest extent.

Maui Snorkeling Spots

Top Snorkeling Spots on Maui

In addition to the Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve, Maui offers a plethora of other amazing snorkeling spots. Let’s explore some of the top spots that you should definitely check out during your visit to the island:

  1. Molokini Crater: Located just off the coast of Maui, Molokini Crater is a volcanic cone that has partially sunk into the ocean. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the crater are home to an abundance of vibrant marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and even manta rays.

  2. Honolua Bay: Situated on the northwestern shore of Maui, Honolua Bay is known for its pristine coral reefs and diverse array of fish species. The bay’s calm waters make it an ideal spot for snorkeling, and the lush green coastline adds to its natural beauty.

  3. Napili Bay: With its picturesque golden sand beach and calm turquoise waters, Napili Bay is a snorkeler’s paradise. The bay is teeming with colorful fish, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a pod of playful dolphins swimming by.

  4. Makena Landing Beach Park: This hidden gem is tucked away in the southern part of Maui. The beach park offers easy access to the water, and the coral formations close to the shore attract a wide variety of marine life, making it a great spot for snorkelers of all experience levels.

  5. Black Rock Beach: Located near the Kaanapali resort area, Black Rock Beach is famous for its unique rock formations, which provide an excellent snorkeling opportunity. You can expect to see a dazzling array of fish and even the occasional sea turtle gliding through the water.

Benefits of Snorkeling in Maui

Snorkeling in Maui offers numerous benefits, both for your physical health and overall well-being. Here are a few reasons why snorkeling should be at the top of your activity list in Maui:

  1. Physical Exercise: Snorkeling is a fantastic way to stay active and enjoy a full-body workout. Swimming against the gentle currents and exploring the underwater world helps strengthen your muscles and improve cardiovascular health.

  2. Stress Relief: The tranquility and beauty of the underwater world have a calming effect on the mind and body. Snorkeling allows you to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life and immerse yourself in the serenity of nature.

  3. Connecting with Nature: Maui’s marine ecosystems are home to a diverse range of marine life, including colorful fish, coral reefs, and fascinating underwater landscapes. Snorkeling gives you the opportunity to witness the wonders of nature up close and personal, fostering a deeper appreciation for the environment.

  4. Educational Experience: Snorkeling in Maui provides a unique opportunity to learn about marine biodiversity and conservation. As you observe the different species of fish and coral, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the delicate balance of the underwater ecosystem and the importance of preserving it for future generations.

  5. Unforgettable Memories: Snorkeling in Maui is an adventure unlike any other. The vibrant colors, fascinating marine life, and breathtaking scenery will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. So grab your snorkel gear and get ready to create unforgettable moments under the sea!

Reef Shark!

Encountering a reef shark at Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve

One of the most exciting experiences you can have while snorkeling at Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve is encountering a reef shark. These majestic creatures are not considered dangerous to humans and are typically found patrolling the reefs in search of food. While the sight of a shark may be intimidating at first, it’s important to remember that they are an essential part of the marine ecosystem.

If you happen to come across a reef shark during your snorkeling adventure, remain calm and observe from a safe distance. Avoid making sudden movements or attempting to touch the shark, as they are wild animals and may react unpredictably. By respecting their space and appreciating their beauty from afar, you can enjoy a truly unique and awe-inspiring encounter with these incredible creatures.

Safety and Behavior around Reef Sharks

While encountering a reef shark can be an exhilarating experience, it’s essential to prioritize safety and follow certain guidelines to ensure a positive interaction. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Maintain Distance: It’s important to give reef sharks plenty of space. Maintain a distance of at least 6-10 feet to avoid interfering with their natural behavior.

  2. Avoid Direct Eye Contact: Eye contact with a shark can be seen as a sign of aggression. Instead, observe the shark’s movements and behavior without staring directly into its eyes.

  3. Swim Calmly: Make slow, deliberate movements in the water to avoid startling the shark. Sudden movements or splashing may provoke a defensive response.

  4. Respect the Environment: Snorkeling in marine life conservation areas like Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve means respecting the natural habitat of the animals. Do not touch or disturb the coral reefs or any other marine life you encounter.

  5. Observe from a Distance: Always remember that you are a guest in the shark’s environment. Observe and appreciate their presence from a safe distance without attempting to chase or touch them.

By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and memorable experience snorkeling with reef sharks at Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve.

Video by Murphy Travels

Introduction to the Snorkeling Experience

In the video created by Murphy Travels, you get a glimpse into the incredible snorkeling experience at Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve. The video captures the beauty of the underwater world, showcasing the vibrant coral, diverse fish species, and the thrill of encountering a reef shark. It offers viewers a firsthand look at what they can expect when snorkeling at this popular Maui destination.

Gear Used in the Video

Murphy Travels also provides information about the gear they used during their snorkeling adventure. While snorkeling, it’s essential to have the right equipment to ensure your safety and comfort in the water. Some of the gear used in the video includes:

  • Snorkel Mask: A high-quality snorkel mask with a secure fit and a wide viewing area is crucial for enjoying a clear view of the underwater world.

  • Snorkel: A snorkel allows you to breathe while your face is submerged in the water. Look for a snorkel with a comfortable mouthpiece and a splash guard to prevent water from entering.

  • Fins: Snorkeling fins come in various shapes and sizes and help you maneuver through the water with ease, conserving energy while exploring.

  • Flotation Device: Depending on your swimming ability, a flotation device such as a snorkel vest or a float belt can provide added safety and peace of mind.

These are just a few examples of the essential gear needed for an optimal snorkeling experience. It’s important to choose gear that fits well and suits your individual needs.

Affiliate Links and Disclosure

In the video description, Murphy Travels includes a statement about affiliate links and disclosure. This disclosure informs viewers that some of the links in the description may be affiliate links, meaning that Murphy Travels may receive a small commission from sales of certain items. However, the price remains the same for viewers. It’s important to note that Murphy Travels only recommends products that they use frequently and truly believe in.

By providing this transparency, Murphy Travels ensures that viewers have all the necessary information about the gear featured in the video and any potential affiliation relationships.