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Honolua Bay Snorkeling and Beach Guide

By February 12, 2024 No Comments

Honolua Bay Beach GuideHonolua Bay Snorkeling and Beach Guide

Honolua Bay is a renowned and picturesque marine reserve located on the northwestern coast of Maui, Hawaii. It’s celebrated for its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and abundant marine life.


Honolua Bay MapDirections and Distance from Auntie Snorkel 

  • https://maps.app.goo.gl/v2jzg3BEeMQeCrAn9
  • Honolua Bay is on the northwest coast of Maui, off Honoapiilani Highway (Route 30), just past mile marker 33. The bay is approximately a 15-20 minute drive north from Auntie Snorkel Lahaina.

Parking and Access

  • Park in the dirt lot makai (ocean side) of the highway. Parking is limited and can fill up quickly, so early morning is the best time to visit. Do not leave valuables in your car. 
  • From the parking lot, take a short, magical jungle walk to the rocky shoreline of Honolua Bay. Access to the water is either over slippery rocks or via a slippery old boat ramp, so exercise caution entering and exiting the water. There is no sandy beach at Honolua Bay.

Facilities and Amenities

  • There are no lifeguards on duty, restrooms, or other facilities at the bay. There are some portable toilets at the dirt parking lot. Visitors should come prepared with their own supplies, including water and snacks.

What to Bring

  • Bring what you can carry for an enjoyable bay exploration experience! Auntie recommends your snorkel gear, floatation, a GoPro, reef-safe sunscreen, and snacks.

Snorkeling Honolua BaySnorkeling and Surf

  • Honolua Bay is a marine reserve and conservation district, preserving the delicate marine ecosystem. Therefore, fishing, spearfishing, and other forms of marine harvesting are prohibited within the bay, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving due to the abundant marine life.
  • Snorkelers and divers can explore the vibrant coral reefs that teem with colorful fish, sea turtles, eels, octopuses, and other marine creatures. 
  • Honolua Bay welcomes winter swells that can produce excellent surf conditions. Generally, surfing there is suitable for advanced and experienced surfers only, due to the powerful and challenging waves that break over the reef.

Environment and Seasonal Variation

  • Due to its status as a marine reserve, it’s crucial for visitors to respect the conservation efforts in place at Honolua Bay. Accordingly, do not touch or damage the coral, refrain from collecting, touching, or feeding marine life, and follow posted rules and regulations.
  • The bay provides some shelter from trade winds and currents. Currents and winds can be very strong just outside the bay.
  • The best time for snorkeling at Honolua Bay is during the summer months (May to September) when the ocean is typically calmer, and visibility is at its best. Conversely, winter months can bring larger waves and choppier, murky waters.

Honolua Bay Snorkel and Surf


Remember to respect the natural beauty and environment of Honolua Bay by leaving no trace and following any posted rules and regulations. Honolua Bay is a gem on Maui’s coastline, offering a serene and natural setting for those looking to experience the island’s underwater wonders. Whether you’re a snorkeler, diver, or simply looking to enjoy the scenic beauty of Hawaii’s coast, Honolua Bay is a must-visit destination.

About Auntie Snorkel

Auntie Snorkel shop has been serving Maui’s fun seekers for over 33 years, established in 1985. We're the original South Maui Snorkel Shop. When I bought the shop 10 years ago from Auntie, we decided to keep the name. The name "Auntie" is a term of respect here in Hawaii. I'm living my dream. I get to meet awesome people from all over the world and share with them my love and knowledge of this magical island that I get to call home. We know all the spots. I have lived here since 2001. We're the true definition of a family owned and operated shop. I answer the phones and work the shop along with my family. When you shop with us you're supporting my ohana and for that I thank you!! Why go anywhere else? We're the friendliest, fastest, cheapest and our location is the most epic! Mahalo and Aloha”. ~Mark Noble (Owner & Maui Fun Expert)

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