Morning sunrises, driving winding roads, and eating fresh fruits, we had a lot of plans to cram into a few days.

I’m not much of a swimmer. Not because I’m not afraid of the ocean or the creatures that swim around in its waters but because my heart is in the mountains. Sometimes, you have to go off the normal travel routine and try something different. Besides, who doesn’t want to take a dip into the ocean when the sun is beating down?

Not the relaxing type, I need to be moving and exploring. Being active in a tropical area, causes me to be warm, so being able to cool down in the ocean is one of the many perks.

Not a huge fan of crowds? Wake up early.

I was looking forward to the early morning snorkel trip to Molokini Crater. During the height of tourist seasons, the crater can see thousands of snorkelers and hundreds of boats in its crescent shape, which is covered with coral reef. A short 2.5 miles off the coast from Makena State Park, the volcanic crater is a result from its eruption over 230,000 years ago. The crater is home to over 250+ marine species. However, the volume of marine life has been dwindling due to the amount of tourist activity over the years. Fortunately, we saw plenty and didn’t know any better.

After checking in, the staff walks down to the beach, where it is time to board the boat. If you weren’t already awake, walking through the water to board strengthens your sea legs for the journey ahead. Avoid bringing lots of gear for your trip because it’s not needed. No shoes are allowed on the boat and are left at the check-in location.

early morning snorkeling

Kai Kanani Sailing Charters Molokini Express Snorkel Tour leaves at dawn, feeds you breakfast, and is the FIRST boat to the Molokini Crater.

breakfast is served

Sailing out to the Molokini Crater, we had a nice continental breakfast spread to energize us for the morning’s activities.

snorkel gear

Snorkel gear (goggles and flippers) is included in the tour package. Staff help fit the masks and even have an anti-fog solution to spray on the goggles. This was extremely helpful as I have had trouble in the past with wearing goggles that didn’t leak.

Maui Snorkeling

Just keep swimming with the fishies. The blue water and coral reef were vibrant. 

the boat driver

Let the crew do most of the work, as you enjoy a morning off the island.

whale tail

An added bonus: pay attention and catch a glimpse of humpback whales. What gorgeous creatures!

Molokini Crater

The morning sun lighting up the Molokini Crater as we head to Turtle Town.

Maui Snorkeling

Maluaka Beach is known for the populous Hawaiian green sea turtles. Be careful not to disrupt the graceful swimmers in their natural habitat. 

boat to the crater

The tour usually holds 80+, but we were fortunate to only share the crater with 20 other early risers.

Have a favorite snorkeling destination? Please share!

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