Honolua Bay
Honolua Bay
4.5
About
At Honolua Bay, you can snorkel among coral reefs, sea turtles, and puffer fish in the summer and surf in the winter. You can also tour the rocky coast on a boat year-round. Park off the highway and head to the shore through a short trail along the forest. From the beach, you’ll spot the islands of Molokai and Lanai. If you choose to take a dip in the water, watch out for the slippery rocks below the surface. A few wild chickens roaming around complement the natural scenery. Try to get to the bay early to find a parking spot. – Tripadvisor
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  • Jeff D
    Murrieta, California323 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great swimming
    We parked on the road and walked in. About a 10 min walk to the beach. The walk alone is amazing under some huge old trees and feels like a real jungle. Once at the beach, there is only rocks. You must know you will not flop down a chair and chill out all day It's hard to walk in and out of the water. However, once in the water the snorkeling is great. This is a spot many tour boats go to snorkel as well so don't be alarmed when there are 2-3 boats anchored up in the water. TO see the good stuff you need to get out there. If you stay just 100 feet out you missed the views. Get out as far are you feel comfortable and enjoy. We saw so many different fish and turtles. In the water its amazing. The parking along the road is a mess. Need to arrive early to find a spot. You really only need to be here just enough time to snorkle but I don't see spending a day here. Too hard to walk around to do that. Just snorkel and move along.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 August 2023
  • Hrothmir
    215 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Snorkeling (via short walk through dramatic forest).
    We went to the bay for the snorkeling - and the snorkeling along the edges was good. One has to park by the road and then walk a short trail through a forest to the bay. There were signs where we parked advising us not to walk through private property and directing us to the trail head. One thing I didn't see noted in other reviews (or failed to notice at the time I was deciding whether to go to Honolua Bay) is that the forest walk is a strong feature itself; it's beautiful. The beach is made up of big rocks vs. sand - so not a beach if you're looking to sunbathe vs. snorkel.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 13 March 2024
  • Shannon D
    Calgary, Canada77 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Treacherous walk to the water in the rain
    Muddy, treacherous walk if raining. Just remember that if it's raining you will get dirty, you will slip and you may fall. Good shoes are a must in rainy conditions as the walk through the forest (although beautiful) can be 15 dangerous minutes. Don't bring a chair..honestly if you are willing to try to balance a chair on the rocks..good for you. Personally, it took everything I had to get to the water in one piece with all my gear on the rainy day we were there. I even fell getting into the water and badly bruised my wrist because the rocks are so slippery and slimy. Once in the water, it's really beautiful and I saw two turtles and many, many fish. It was some of the best snorkeling on Maui but when I saw the catamaran tours I thought..."that would have been the safer way to go" but I'm sure those tours are costly. If you want to go on the cheap (looks like a cash donation is appreciated for crossing the land) this is the way to go, but bring only the essentials and enjoy. Also keep things hidden in your vehicle to be safe.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 March 2024
  • Jonnyjubb
    Rayleigh, United Kingdom229 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth The Effort To Get To The Water
    We visited here twice as we enjoyed it so much the first time. Get here early (7:30-08:00) to park in the very small parking lot (with the portacabins) otherwise you’ll have to take a chance by the side of the road. Nice walk along the way through the woods, enjoying the company of wild chickens. The beach is very stony/rocky, but worth the trek once you make it into the water. Lovely and clear for snorkelling, enjoying a huge variety of fish and of course the odd turtle… Definitely make time if you’re nearby.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 May 2024
  • Jay Y
    Naples, Florida10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Phenomenal snorkeling
    We drove about an hour up from the Wailea area to snorkel here. It was well worth it. We saw turtles, large trumpetfish, an octopus, squid, a barracuda, large parrotfish and many other colorful reef fishes. Some advice: Plan to get there at 8:30 AM. You’ll be more likely to get parking & it will be less crowded. There is a lookout just before mile marker 32. Access to a sandy beach is the first parking area past mm 32. Look for the green railing and steps down to the beach. The best snorkeling area is about 0.3 miles further just past the one lane bridge. This is a big rock beach. Do not plan to lay out or play in the sand. There is no sand. Just a difficult rocky access to the water. But the snorkeling is phenomenal. Stay close to the rocks on either the left or right side and go out as far as you can. We saw more fish and the turtles on the left side.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 June 2024
  • Ryan K
    Beaverton, Oregon1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    My favorite snorkeling spot on Maui
    EXCELLENT snorkeling! The “beach” is rocks. They get really slippery near the water where they’re wet. Use extreme caution getting in and out of the water. Once in, the snorkeling is tip-top. Today I saw six turtles and a shark about 4’ long. Reef on either side with a huge middle area that’s mostly sandy. Last time I was here I saw an octopus. The walk in is about 1/4 miles through the forest. It’s wide and flat. Very nice stroll. Parking is a challenge, but if you get there by 9am, it’s pretty easy. To me, the possible challenging parking and entry/egress from the water is totally worth it.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 June 2024
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4.5
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Kregg J.
Seattle, WA128 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
While there are tour boats that'll take you to Honolua Bay at a hefty price for a day of snorkeling, if you have a rental car and you're in Lahaina and vicinity, then take the short drive up the coast to the Bay and save yourself a few dollars for celebrating a good visit to the scenic location later. Parking is catch as catch can but if there are no empty spaces up above the Bay in the designated parking area, then wait a bit and one will likely be available. There wasn't one when we drove to the bay but after turning around a little further up we came back and found one. As we pulled in a second parking space became available so there's that as well. Be patient or go early. Also, while it looks like a difficult walk down to the water, it isn't. Actually, it's a nice little comfortable walk down the road a bit, through the trees, and finally out to the rocky (and I do mean, rocky) shore. It isn't wheelchair or walker available, so keep that in mind. Take comfortable shoes. The bay itself is cresent shaped and generally busy. The rocks also make for a tough go even for those in great shape so be careful. However, once you get into the water you'll find some great snorkeling with lots of colorful coral and fish, and hey maybe even a turtle or two!
Written 30 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelMore
Parker, CO174 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
Outstanding! We stopped here to go snorkeling one day and we loved it. We saw more fish and a greater variety by far then we saw at Molokini. Tons of coral and fish and clear water. We didn’t love that the shore is all rocks and no sand but it wasn’t a huge deal. This is a great place to go snorkeling - we highly recommend it.
Written 16 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Naples Nomad
Naples, FL318 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
My favorite snorkeling spot yet on the island. Plenty of reefs, lots of reef fish and saw turtles, as well. We have snorkled the entire island now and this area was easy to get in and out of, well protected from the waves, and enough room to spread out. Don't waste money taking a snorkel trip here on a catamaran if you have a car in Maui. Best to drive. One thing to do on the way is to stop at Lorraine Shave Ice for banana bread and a shave ice. Lorraine is very good company and knowledgeable of all things on the island. Great stretching point.

There is a good parking lot at the top of the hill and a short walk down to the trail if you don't want to park along the road. On the side, there is a gate that says private road. Best to take this road and walk it straight back to where you see the beach. If you try to come in off the road, there is a small, steep hill and a lot of people wipe out.

Once down on the beach, it is very rocky. Most people stay at the base of the lagoon. If you don't mind a short walk, go either way left or way right. I would go way to the right as there is a flat area to sit in and is also the side with the turquoise water. Lots of fish on either side but the right side is best. You will encounter a lot of snorkelers on the right side so be prepared. I swam both sides and wasn't very many people on the left. If you go on the left, you will see a small rock jetty about 50 yards out, go out beyond that and follow the rocks along the bank. Water will be roughly 8 feet or more in that area and you will see a natural path through the big rocks to swim. We saw turtles in here along with a lot of colorful reef fish. Also had quite a few schools of fish swim with us. The fish are not skittish here like in other areas.

Very, very enjoyable here. One thing to keep in mind, the water here stays shallow for a ways out. There is not a lot of coral on the beach here so you can walk out a bit in your swim shoes if you have them and flipper up out in the deeper water.
Written 14 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christine R
Alturas, CA7 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We parked on the road and walked through a beautiful green forest/jungle. There is a sign that says if the surf is up and/or the water is brown then the snorkeling won’t be very good but we didn’t see that until after. Sure enough, the surf was up and the water was brown and we ended up not snorkeling. A couple that did go said they saw a few big fish but visibility was pretty limited. The bay seems to be protected from waves so water was calm. Nice visit overall, wish we could have snorkeled.
Written 2 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KMZGAC
Orinda, CA84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
We arrived here early (7am) and were among the first to arrive. The walk to the bay was easy. The beach is rocky and uneven—bring your own chair! We went out along the left side of the bay and saw fish and turtles. After warming up on shore, we went back out along the right side of the bay and amazingly, the snorkeling was significantly better if more crowded because all the tour boats anchor on the right side of the bay! But we swam with a huge school of fish we presumed to be mackerel, and turtles were spotted several times. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Key was to arrive early as there are few Parking spots in the small lot, and it was fun to have the bay practically to ourselves for over an hour.
Evidently there was an unfortunate incident involving a shark 12/2020 but luckily we did not see any shark the day we were there.
Written 5 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shannon D
Calgary, Canada77 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Muddy, treacherous walk if raining. Just remember that if it's raining you will get dirty, you will slip and you may fall. Good shoes are a must in rainy conditions as the walk through the forest (although beautiful) can be 15 dangerous minutes. Don't bring a chair..honestly if you are willing to try to balance a chair on the rocks..good for you. Personally, it took everything I had to get to the water in one piece with all my gear on the rainy day we were there. I even fell getting into the water and badly bruised my wrist because the rocks are so slippery and slimy. Once in the water, it's really beautiful and I saw two turtles and many, many fish. It was some of the best snorkeling on Maui but when I saw the catamaran tours I thought..."that would have been the safer way to go" but I'm sure those tours are costly. If you want to go on the cheap (looks like a cash donation is appreciated for crossing the land) this is the way to go, but bring only the essentials and enjoy. Also keep things hidden in your vehicle to be safe.
Written 21 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CircleTheWorld
Scottsdale, AZ394 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
When I visited, the water was murky, so the snorkeling was not as good as the cove at the adjacent Slaughterhouse Beach (Mokule’ia Bay). Furthermore, entry into the water is difficult, as there is no beach along the shore. You must navigate slippery rocks. Lastly, the bay was filled with four tour boats, so it was more crowded than other snorkeling spots. Perhaps if I had visited on a clear water day with fewer boats, I would have had a more pleasant experience.
Written 12 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Basinman
561 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Couples
This bay is one if the top places we visited for snorkeling. The right side of the bay has colorful coral reefs, abundant fish, and is well protected from surf waves most days. We saw green sea turtles and a White tipped Reef Shark. The visibility is good too. Parking is on Hwy 30 shoulders and fills by 10am. We arrived before 9am and parking was easy. There are green portable toilets at the access trail just past a one lane bridge, across from Honolua Farms fruit stand. Its about 10 minutes walk down a mostly flat dirt path to the beach. This is a rocky beach. No sand. Primarily a snorkeling beach. The snorkeling boats out of Lahaina are common starting around 9am daily, so expect others snorkeling with you.
Written 14 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MomVL
Chilliwack, Canada335 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We always found free parking on the roadside but this place is becoming very popular. The snorkeling is very good but we didn't see the resident squids. Saw turtles and even an octupus. The snorkel store reports did not seem to be accurate here. Just because you see surfers out does not mean the snorkel area on the north side of the cove is wavy. It's quite protected and we enjoyed every snorkel we did here.
Written 8 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shutterbug444
Southwest38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
Honolua Bay is a great place to snorkel! There is free parking just off the main road but it's hit and miss getting a spot because it's a popular spot. Getting here early is a good idea. From there, you walk through a beautiful and peaceful rainforest, which is the Honolua Bay access trail, to reach the bay. I had as much fun exploring the rainforest as I did at the bay. There are many chickens and baby chicks running around.
Written 17 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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HONOLUA BAY (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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