Molokini Crater
Molokini Crater
4
About
The unique crescent shape and rugged beauty of the Molokini Crater make it a popular day trip for travelers to Hawaii’s Maui island. With stunning reefs and some of the clearest water in Hawaii, the crater has become a snorkeling hot spot—there are more than 250 species of marine life, from colorful fish to stunning coral, and even turtles at Turtle Bay. Tours will take you by boat to the crater from Maui island, which is also a great chance to spot whales gliding through the water if you keep your eyes peeled. – Tripadvisor
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Top ways to experience Molokini Crater
The area
See what travellers are saying
  • Jess
    19 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just ok
    There are other spots on the island you can go for free from shore that has amazing views. I think the crater is overrated and there wasn’t much of anything unique to see there. The fish were average and only a couple different varieties. Not a terrible adventure and if you are looking for something unique it’s fun to say you did it, it’s just a lot of money for what you get.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 28 December 2023
  • Hrothmir
    199 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the trip (for snorkeling)
    Based on some other reviews and sources, I wondered if it was worth taking the trip to Molokini. Several reviews indicated the coral was in poor shape and that one was far better off saving one's money and just going to some of the snorkel spots one can access from the coast of Maui. That last point has some validity; one can snorkel at places like Ahihi-Kinau and see just as good fish without incurring the cost of a boat excursion. But there is value on being out on the ocean on a boat, seeing the coast of Maui from the ocean, approaching Molokini from the ocean, and having professionals take you right to a great place for snorkeling and (at the 2nd stop) swimming with sea turtles without your having to figure it all out on your own. While the coral at Molokini was not mind-blowing, it was healthier and more interesting than I had expected from some reviews/comments I had seen. Our guide explained that Covid was actually great for the Molokini coral; the lower volume of visitors gave the coral a chance to recover; perhaps some of the reivews I had read were before this recovery period.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 13 March 2024
  • aussiewanderers
    Sydney, Australia607 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    DSNORKEL HERE NOT FOR THE CORAL OR SEA LIFE BUT FOR THE CLEAR DEPTHS
    The distinguishing feature of snorkeling here is not the coral, which is very basic, and not the sea life, which is scant populations of fish (and not much more unless you are very lucky), but the tremendous depth of crystal clear water over which you are snorkeling. The rocky and sometimes sandy bottom is 100 feet down yet your view of it is as if it is 5 feet down, the water is that crystal clear. Snorkeling gives the sensation of flying. If you are not interested in that, skip the trip as snorkeling elsewhere (eg, shore of Maui) will produce better coral and more interesting sea life If you do go, pick your weather very carefully. The crater is exposed to the north, so any wind (as distinct from a slight breeze) with a northerly component will wip up the water surface and detract from your snorkeling experience. Ditto for any northerly sea swell. Mornings are a far superior time to go than afternoons when the wind usually picks up. Tour operators will try to sell the option of snorkeling behind the crater wall where it is sheltered from northerly winds but assess this carefully as if there is a southerly swell, it is very uncomfortable and the snorkeling view is very limited - just a sheer wall of rock with not much coral plummeting to the depths (about 300ft) with no bottom in sight. Finally, it is a long day. Morning cruises get away early (7am) but provide a crude breakfast and also lunch. Take warm clothes as after you snorkel, you will be cold and will suffer in the wind as the boat returns to Maui unless you are in dry warm clothes. A further tip is to bring or use boat-supplied floatation gear as the water is so deep, it will give you more confidence snorkeling in the rocky water which has some currents.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 13 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles743 reviews
Excellent
389
Very good
157
Average
111
Poor
61
Terrible
25

aussiewanderers
Sydney, Australia607 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
The distinguishing feature of snorkeling here is not the coral, which is very basic, and not the sea life, which is scant populations of fish (and not much more unless you are very lucky), but the tremendous depth of crystal clear water over which you are snorkeling. The rocky and sometimes sandy bottom is 100 feet down yet your view of it is as if it is 5 feet down, the water is that crystal clear. Snorkeling gives the sensation of flying. If you are not interested in that, skip the trip as snorkeling elsewhere (eg, shore of Maui) will produce better coral and more interesting sea life If you do go, pick your weather very carefully. The crater is exposed to the north, so any wind (as distinct from a slight breeze) with a northerly component will wip up the water surface and detract from your snorkeling experience. Ditto for any northerly sea swell. Mornings are a far superior time to go than afternoons when the wind usually picks up. Tour operators will try to sell the option of snorkeling behind the crater wall where it is sheltered from northerly winds but assess this carefully as if there is a southerly swell, it is very uncomfortable and the snorkeling view is very limited - just a sheer wall of rock with not much coral plummeting to the depths (about 300ft) with no bottom in sight. Finally, it is a long day. Morning cruises get away early (7am) but provide a crude breakfast and also lunch. Take warm clothes as after you snorkel, you will be cold and will suffer in the wind as the boat returns to Maui unless you are in dry warm clothes. A further tip is to bring or use boat-supplied floatation gear as the water is so deep, it will give you more confidence snorkeling in the rocky water which has some currents.
Written 14 May 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.

Relax33052240069
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We enjoy the view of the crater from the cruise ship, the most incredible views. Highly recommend it. There are plenty of tour which will take you to the area and you can snorkel.
Written 29 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.

Hrothmir
Smyrna, GA199 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Based on some other reviews and sources, I wondered if it was worth taking the trip to Molokini. Several reviews indicated the coral was in poor shape and that one was far better off saving one's money and just going to some of the snorkel spots one can access from the coast of Maui.

That last point has some validity; one can snorkel at places like Ahihi-Kinau and see just as good fish without incurring the cost of a boat excursion. But there is value on being out on the ocean on a boat, seeing the coast of Maui from the ocean, approaching Molokini from the ocean, and having professionals take you right to a great place for snorkeling and (at the 2nd stop) swimming with sea turtles without your having to figure it all out on your own.

While the coral at Molokini was not mind-blowing, it was healthier and more interesting than I had expected from some reviews/comments I had seen. Our guide explained that Covid was actually great for the Molokini coral; the lower volume of visitors gave the coral a chance to recover; perhaps some of the reivews I had read were before this recovery period.
Written 13 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.

Jess
19 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
There are other spots on the island you can go for free from shore that has amazing views. I think the crater is overrated and there wasn’t much of anything unique to see there. The fish were average and only a couple different varieties. Not a terrible adventure and if you are looking for something unique it’s fun to say you did it, it’s just a lot of money for what you get.
Written 28 December 2023
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.

northwestfam
Seattle, WA25 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
This was probably a breathing taking spot at one time. The abundance of fish I expected was not there. Still a nice variety, but not worth the cost and effort to go out to snorkle at when you can have a same if not better experience just off the coast at any reef.
Written 28 May 2023
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.

Patrick R
San Rafael, CA12 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
I give this a poor rating not because of the tour or boat operators, but because the lack of sealife was very disappointing. Keep in mind that this is from a Honolulu boy that now lives in the Continental US and wanted to bring his family to experience it. I had not ever had the chance either.
I think the lack of sea life was probably due to the impact of people on the area and other factors. My older twenty-something kids even commented on it. We found more sea life and better viewing along the shoreline of Maui, especially toward the Makena side.
Maybe we hit it at the wrong time of the year, but it was sad.
Written 9 February 2023
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.

quotebutt
South Bend74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
I loved snorkeling here. On the way back saw a few whales which added to the experience! I highly recommend snorkeling here.
Written 20 October 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.

brian
7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
In our opinion the site is vastly over rated. Yes you do see lots of fish maybe 4-5 different varieties but was expecting much more after reading reviews on here. It is very crowded as boats set their snorkel areas and are bound to get a flipper to the face lol. We were scheduled to go to turtle town second but the ocean didn’t cooperate so we stayed longer at the crater. Main purpose was to see some turtles which didn’t happen.
Written 29 June 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.

Kia O
Rice Lake, WI45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We snorkeled with Boss Frog's on the Malolo. We had a wonderful experience! For people who have never snorkeled this is a perfect set up. The crew was very helpful and put everyone at ease. Food and beverages were just right. We jumped right off the boat at the crater and saw so many fish! The water was so clear, it was an amazing first time experience. We went to "Turtle Town" in search of sea turtles and were not disappointed. We saw 5 huge sea turtles very close up; it was a once in the lifetime experience. After this experience we felt more comfortable snorkeling on our own later in our vacation.
Written 23 June 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.

Duong N
6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
The guides were very friendly, helpful and accommodating. The site was somewhat crowded and the snorkeling was OK, nothing extraordinary. The reefs were very pretty.
Written 10 June 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.

Showing results 1-10 of 632
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

MOLOKINI CRATER: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

All Maui HotelsMaui Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Maui
All things to do in Maui
Day Trips in MauiZoos & Aquariums in Maui
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire