Where do I go to snorkel with turtles?

Just about every beach with rocky outcropings and good reef off shore has turtles.  One of the best places if you dont mind a bit of a swim is Makena Landing.  Most of the snorkel boats go here on there snorkel tours but you can see it from shore.  As you face the easy beach entry follow the reef to the right and follow the unerwater ridge that goes out to sea where the snorkel boats are ancored at the point.


Regarding Hawaiian sea turtles and reef etiquette:

Maui turtles our federally protected. You usually will see green sea turtles on your snorkel excursions. They are called green sea turtles because their meat is green when freshly cut open. If you get to see a hawksbill turtle you are very lucky as there are only a couple hundred (maybe less) left on the islands. A hawksbill turtle has a sharper hawk like hooked beak on the front of its mouth. You are not to harass any sea turtle in any way. Because of this protection it is likely you will be able to see them while you snorkel and approach closely as long as you do so slowly while respecting the turtles space. Keep in mind they must come up to breath so don’t hover above them. They can stay down for hours if asleep but usually only are down 15 to 30 minutes during the day. When they are resting on the surface you can approach from the side fairly closely but the big nono is touching a turtle and god forbid holding on to one! Touching a turtle is a federal offense and can result in fines and imprisonment. Sounds like I am going overboard here but keep in mind there are hundreds of thousands of snorkelers every year all wanting to get up close and personal. It doesn’t take much imagination to consider the impact this makes on the animals and the reef. The other big nono is standing on the reef, even if it seems like only rock. Coral polyps get crushed when touched and are very slow growing. Even if there does not seem to be coral where your standing you will be with other plant and animal life so please what ever you do don’t stand on the reef or let your fins touch. Many Mahalo’s. If you get a cut accidentally brushing up against the reef it is important that you use antiseptic on the wound to avoid infection. Loren recommends 'triple antibiotic ointment found in any grocery store. It does not matter the brand as long as it says 'triple antibiotic'.

Current weather

Kihei, Maui

  • Scattered clouds, light rain
  • Temperature: 78.8 °F
  • Wind: East, 17.3 mph, gusts up to 26.5 mph
  • Rel. Humidity: 65 %
  • Visibility: 9 mi
Reported on:
Tue, 01/26/2021 - 06:24

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