If you’re wondering and comparing Lanai vs Molokini snorkeling then you are not alone. Many tourists ask this question every year. Hawaii is known for its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and numerous snorkeling destinations. Two of the most popular spots for snorkeling are Lanai and Molokini, both offering unparalleled underwater experiences.

However, when planning a snorkeling trip to Hawaii, the question arises: which one is better for you? Lanai is famous for its remote and pristine snorkeling spots, while Molokini is renowned for its unique geographical structure. In this article, we'll explore the differences between Lanai and Molokini and help you decide which one is the perfect fit for your snorkeling adventure.

Both Are Ideal Snorkeling Locations

Both Lanai and Molokini offer excellent snorkeling opportunities for visitors to Maui.

Lanai is home to several prime snorkeling spots with crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life. Some of the top spots include Club Lanai, SweetHeart Rock, Shark Fin Cove, and Manele Bay.

Molokini, on the other hand, is a crescent-shaped volcanic crater that provides a unique snorkeling experience. The clear, calm waters inside the crater are home to over many species of fish and offer visibility of up to 150 feet.

Lanai is Preferred by Most People

The island is surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters teeming with colorful marine life, making it an ideal snorkeling location. Lanai's Club, Manele Bay and Sweetheart rock are must-visit spots, boasting some of the best snorkeling on the island. These spots are snorkeled on days with gentle currents and no crowds, making them suitable for all levels of snorkelers, and it's also home to a vibrant coral reef and a wide variety of sea creatures.

Lanai's secluded beaches and unspoiled landscapes make it a popular destination for those seeking a more tranquil and intimate snorkeling experience compared to the crowded Molokini crater.

Molokini Can Get a Bit Crowded

Molokini is undoubtedly a beautiful location for snorkeling. However, due to the popular press it has received for it’s geographical structure and small area for snorkeling, it can get crowded with boats and people. The limited space can make it challenging to find a spot to enjoy the underwater scenery without bumping into other snorkelers.

Additionally, the high number of boats can cause disturbances in the water, affecting the visibility and overall experience. It is essential to keep in mind that Molokini's popularity may impact the quality of the snorkeling experience.

Molokini Might Be Less Expensive

Compared to Lanai, Molokini snorkeling tours may be less expensive. This is because Molokini is closer to the mainland making it a shorter boat ride and there are more tour operators offering trips there, resulting in higher competition and lower prices. Both Lanai and Molokini snorkeling take you to other snorkel locations along the coast of Maui, one of the Turtle Town spots are popular stops. Molokini weather is typically less consistent than going to Lanai, which is another variable  to consider when booking your snorkel tour. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preferences, budget and where you are staying on Maui.

At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, we are proud to offer outstanding adventures on the water. Our knowledgeable and experienced guides provide personalized tours of Maui's breathtaking coastline, showcasing the island's stunning beauty and unique wildlife. Whether you're looking for an exciting dolphin or whale watching tour, a thrilling snorkeling experience, or a private charter to create your own adventure, we have something for everyone. Book your adventure with us today!

If you’re thinking about things to do in Maui for couples, this is a dream destination for  romantic getaways! From stunning beaches to breathtaking scenery and a rich culture, Maui offers endless possibilities for couples to create unforgettable memories together. In this article, our experts at Hawaii Ocean Rafting will share four amazing things to do in Maui that are perfect for couples. Whether you want to explore the island's natural beauty, learn about its rich history and culture, or simply relax and unwind in each other's company, Maui has something to offer every type of couple.

Book a Tour and Watch Whales

Maui is one of the best places in the world for whale watching, and booking a tour to see these magnificent creatures is a must-do activity for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Humpback whales migrate to Maui from Alaska each year, and the peak season for whale watching is from December through April. You'll be amazed at the size and grace of these creatures as they breach and play in the crystal-clear waters of Maui. It's an unforgettable experience that you and your significant other will cherish forever.

Learn to Dance Hula

Hula is a traditional Hawaiian dance that tells stories through movement and music. It's a beautiful and graceful art form that has been passed down through generations of Hawaiians. You'll be guided through the steps and learn about the history and meaning behind each movement. It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture and create a memorable experience with your loved one. Don't forget to take home some souvenirs, like a lei or a ukulele, to remember your hula dance lesson in Maui.

Walk Through Lavender Fields

Walking through the lavender fields in Maui is a serene and romantic activity for couples on a getaway. The Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm is a beautiful and tranquil oasis located in the upcountry region of Maui. The farm boasts 13.5 acres of lavender fields, olive groves, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Take a leisurely stroll through the fields, breathing in the sweet scent of lavender and enjoying the picturesque landscape. The farm also offers guided tours, workshops, and a charming gift shop where you can purchase lavender-infused products and souvenirs.

Snorkel to See Turtles

The clear waters of Maui offer the perfect conditions for snorkeling and observing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. A popular snorkeling spot is the Turtle Town, located off the coast of Wailea. Here, you can snorkel in shallow waters and see turtles grazing on the sea grass. Another option is to take a boat tour that will take you to various snorkeling spots, including Turtle Town reef which run along the south and west coast of Maui. Snorkeling to see turtles is a unique and memorable activity that you and your partner will love.

Discover an unforgettable ocean adventure in Maui with us at Hawaii Ocean Rafting! Our small group tours offer personalized tours that bring you closer to the stunning coastline and marine life of the area. With a variety of tours available, you can choose the adventure that best fits your interests and preferences. Book your Hawaii Ocean Rafting tour today!

Snorkeling gives us windows into the underwater world where we can see marine life in its natural habitat. Snorkeling is one of Maui’s most popular activities and almost anyone can explore the ocean with easy to use snorkel equipment even if they are a beginner snorkeler.


What Is Snorkeling?


It is said that sponge farmers in ancient Greece used snorkel style methods as far back as 3000 B.C., but the concept of snorkeling wasn't documented until 350 B.C when Aristotle used a reed to breathe underwater.  In 1933, the fin style we use today for snorkeling was first patented by Frenchman Louis de Corlieu, a French inventor, modeled after a design by Benjamin Franklin who loved spending time in the ocean.  In 1945, the definition of the word “snorkel”  was used to refer to the activity of snorkeling, deriving its meaning from the German word “Schnorchel” meaning submarine, related to the German term for snore.

The early snorkeling methods of breathing through a reed lead to the development of other diving techniques like scuba diving and freediving. While scuba diving, divers wear a tank of oxygen and descend under the surface, learning how to monitor their oxygen intake and how to resurface safely. Freediving takes snorkeling to the extreme, while divers do not use oxygen takes, and instead train their bodies to dive 100+ feet underwater while holding their breath. Both of these advanced diving techniques take special education and skills to learn but both start with the basics of snorkeling. 


What is Snorkeling like?


The actual act of snorkeling is when a person uses equipment like a snorkel tube to breathe near the surface of the water while their face is submerged wearing a glass lens mask to see underwater. You do not need oxygen tanks or any expensive equipment to enjoy snorkeling. Any level of swimmer can experience snorkeling, even if you are a beginner swimmer or snorkeler in the ocean. 

Snorkeling is similar to swimming but you do not need to know how to swim in order to snorkel. 

Snorkeling is essentially floating on the surface, which means floatation devices like pool noodles and float belts can be used to assist the snorkeler if they do not know how to swim. If you are a beginner snorkeler you may believe wearing a life jacket is the best option for your comfort, but because life jackets are meant to float your head above water, it can be very difficult to perform the activity of snorkeling while wearing one.

That is why floatation belts and pool noodles are recommended as they will float your abdomen or chest while allowing for your face to be underwater comfortable. These flotation devices are provided on almost every snorkel tour in Maui.

It is important that the snorkeler be comfortable in the water or ocean prior to snorkeling, so they can enjoy the experience and have confidence in their safety. 

Fins are also an important part of snorkel gear as they propel the snorkeler further and faster while swimming along the surface. They are not required but will give the snorkeler the ability to enjoy more time snorkeling and admiring the underwater world of Maui. 


Beginner’s Guide to Snorkeling


If you are a beginner snorkeler or considering snorkeling for the first time, here are 5 tips to use as a guide to snorkeling. 


1. Practice breathing with the snorkel tube.

It’s important to practice breathing through the snorkel tube before you enter the water. During most of our day, we breathe through our noses, but snorkeling requires you to breathe through your mouth into the tube that brings fresh air to the surface. Practice this breathing technique outside of the water and then in a shallow pool setting where you do not have to worry about waves or other variables.

Let yourself breathe naturally, like you would if you have a cold and a stuffy nose. Once you have your face in the water, breathe slowly through your mouth and snorkel tube, focus on relaxing and enjoying what you see around you. Don’t overthink! If you feel yourself start to panic, simply lift your head out of the water and remove your snorkel out of your mouth and breathe freely. It’s that simple!


2. Make sure your equipment fits

Proper fitting equipment will ensure your first time snorkeling is safe and enjoyable. If you are on a snorkel tour your guide will help you fit the mask correctly. If you are buying from a snorkel tour, the representative will do the same. You want your snorkel mask to fit securely without any gaps

Many beginner snorkelers gravitate towards full face snorkel masks because they are marketed as easier to breathe through and more visibility. Unfortunately, the majority of full face snorkel masks on the market are not made to circulate C02 properly and can lead to a lack of oxygen for the user.

There is also the style that makes it difficult to remove if the user is having difficulty breathing. With the separate snorkel it is as simple as removing the snorkel tube bite guard from your mouth as mentioned above, but for a full face snorkel mask, the entire mask has to be removed from the person’s head and face for them to breathe air freely. If you plan to snorkel often and advance in your diving skills, the regular two-piece mask and snorkel also allows for the ability to equalize which is necessary when diving below the surface. Full face mask to not allow for this skill to be learned or diving below the surface. 

Take your time to learn to snorkel the correct way with a two piece mask and snorkel. 


3. Snorkel in beginner friendly locations

It’s important to choose snorkel locations that are beginner friendly so you feel safe and comfortable snorkeling. Beginner friendly snorkel spots will be calm, less or no current and easy to access. The best way to determine if a snorkeling spot is beginner friendly is to contact the local snorkel shop which will have a snorkel report for the day, or go on a guided snorkel tour. 


4. Snorkel with a buddy

We recommend always snorkeling with a friend. If you have an equipment malfunction, a health issue while in the water or begin struggling with snorkeling, having a friend nearby to help is of most importance. When snorkeling with a friend, look up occasionally to ensure you are still together and have a plan where you are snorkeling too and for how long. Never snorkel alone. 


5. Go on a guided snorkel tour

If you want to accomplish the first 4 steps with less stress and more help, book a guided Maui snorkel tour. Snorkel tours on boats provide all the equipment and flotation devices and we provide snorkel instruction for beginner snorkelers, to ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable while snorkeling. 


Our guides will size your gear so you have the right fit, even providing prescription snorkel masks. We select snorkel locations that work for all levels of snorkelers and provide conditions that are ideal for beginners, calm waters with little or no current. We always have a marine naturalist guide snorkeling with you in the water, keeping you safe and pointing out unique marine life, fish and coral!

If you are coming to Maui, don’t miss the most popular underwater activity, snorkeling! Book a snorkel tour and learn how to snorkel, see tropical fish, turtles, and more.

Snorkeling is one of the best activities to do while vacationing in Maui. Getting a glimpse of Hawaii’s underwater world gives you the opportunity to see tropical fish, green sea turtles (also known as Honu), octopus and many other amazing creatures. 

Learning snorkeling can be easy for all ages, ensuring your snorkel equipment fits properly and you know how to use it will set you up for the best snorkel experience. 

How to get the best fit for your Snorkel Mask

Snorkel masks come in a variety of sizes with each brand and the sizing is not universal so you have a couple of options for finding the best fit for your snorkel mask. First, you can measure the space between the bridge of your nose and your chin and use that as a guide for fit.

The other option which I recommend would be to try on a mask in person. There is no substitute for feeling the fit and materials of a mask. To try on a snorkel mask, place it on your face and inhale in. The snorkel mask should sit snugly on your face before securing the back strap.

If you feel uncomfortable pressure on your forehead, bridge of your nose or cheeks or any locations, that mask is not the right fit. It should feel comfortable and snug. If there are any gaps between your face and the edges of the rubber mask seal, that is also an indication that the mask is not the right fit and may leak water while snorkeling. 

Once you have found a snorkel mask that fits properly, select a snorkel tube that attaches to the mask. You want the snorkel mouthpiece to be the best fitting size, it should not feel too big or inhibit breathing. The snorkel is traditionally worn on the left side of the mask, attach it to your snorkel mask and try them on together to ensure a comfortable fit. 

If you wear glasses you can also select prescription lenses that are custom for you so you don’t have to wear glasses with your snorkel mask. Many snorkel tour operators including us at Hawaii Ocean Rafting, provide prescription masks for guests within a few ranges. 

Are Full Face Masks safe?

A frequently asked question is whether full-face snorkel masks are safe. Understanding how a snorkel mask and snorkel (the plastic tube you breathe through) works can help you select the best snorkel mask options. The rubber around the lens creates a suction to the diver's face, sealing out the water, creating a glass or plastic barrier that allows the snorkeler to see underwater.

The snorkel is attached to the mask and acts as a breathing apparatus while snorkeling. The snorkel tube has a mouthpiece that you place in your mouth and can continue relaxed breathing, the mask will prevent you from breathing through your nose while your face is underwater. The snorkel will be above water, allowing you to breathe fresh air in and out of the tube, providing regular fresh oxygen.

Originally full face masks were designed with a proper breathing apparatus, but unfortunately, the general full face snorkel mask brands and designs available to the public now are not safe to use. The reason full face masks are not safe is because they do not circulate C02 properly.

When you breathe in oxygen and breathe out C02, the C02 remains in the full face mask much longer as they do not have a separate plastic tube carrying your CO2 out of the mask and bringing fresh oxygen back, causing you to breathe your same air instead of fresh air. 

The safer two piece mask and snorkel has a direct breathing tube so you breathe fresh oxygen in every time and the C02 you exhale leaves the tube back into the air. If you are wearing a full face mask and not getting proper oxygen, C02 builds up and can cause shallow water blackout without any warning signs. 

Full face masks also do not give you the opportunity to equalize. Equalizing is necessary if you are diving below the surface and is only possible if you can hold your nose which cannot be done with the full face mask. You cannot dive with the standard full face mask they sell at snorkel stores.

The full face mask they sell for scuba diving has a regulator attachment and are not the same design as the full face snorkel mask on the market. 

In summary, wearing a two piece mask and snorkel is the safer option than the standard full face mask on the market because the full face mask does not allow for as much fresh air to circulate or the opportunity for equalization. 

Tips for Defogging your Snorkel Mask

When you first purchase a snorkel mask there is a protective film lining the inside of the mask. Divers will often use a light abrasive like toothpaste or a lighter to burn off that protective layer. The reason they remove this protective layer is because it helps prevent the mask from fogging. Before you attempt to remove the protective layer, talk with your snorkel store or dive shop for assistance.

Once the preventive layer is removed, using defog before you snorkel is important. The most common defog solution divers use is part baby shampoo and water in a spray bottle. There are many other defog or anti-fog solutions on the market, you can research online or talk with your dive shop.

Other at home mask anti-fog solutions include saliva, potatoes and glycerin soaps. Research instructions on how to use each of these options to prevent your mask from fogging. Defog should be applied to the inside of your mask and given a light rinse then placed on your face immediately after and right before entering the water to snorkel. 

If your mask begins to fog once you are in the water, you may be able to create a quick on the go defog solution using saliva on the inside of your mask!

How to Clean your Snorkel Mask

The best way to care for your snorkel mask is to always rinse with fresh water as soon as you are finished snorkeling. When you return home, use warm water and dish soap to better remove salt water, sunscreen or any other residue left on your mask. Due with a soft towel or hang to dry out of the sun, store in a dry, cool place in a protective case to prevent the lenses from scratching. 

To learn more about how snorkel masks work, fitting your mask and caring for your mask on our Maui to Lanai snorkel tours! Contact us for more info!

Question of the day: Do you need to know how to swim to snorkel?

Snorkeling is one of Maui’s top activities to do! Maui’s underwater world is teeming with life. You can see tropical fish, green sea turtles, coral reefs and so much more when you snorkel in Maui!

But what if you don’t know how to swim? Do you need to know how to swim to snorkel in Maui?

The quick answer is no, you don’t have to know how to swim to snorkel in Maui!

Although knowing how to swim will make snorkeling easier, it does not mean you need to know how to swim to be able to snorkel in Maui. Snorkeling is a popular activity because anyone can get a glimpse of the underwater world with almost no experience or expensive equipment!

The concept of snorkeling was first documented in 350 B.C when Aristotle used an elephant reed to breathe underwater but It is also said that sponge farmers in ancient Greece used snorkel style methods as far back as 3000 B.C.! Modern swim fins were first patented in 1933 by French inventor Frenchman Louis de Corlieu, modeled after an earlier design created by Benjamin Franklin, who loved spending time in the ocean. The term “snorkel” was coined in 1945 and is derived from the German word “Schnorchel” meaning submarine, related to the German term for snore! Although snorkeling has come a long way, the same tips for snorkeling apply!

5 Tips for Snorkeling in Maui if you don’t know how to swim!

Make sure your snorkeling equipment fits properly!

It is important your snorkel gear fits correctly! Fitting your snorkel gear will ensure your mask is not leaking water and your fins stay on securely. When you go on a snorkeling trip with Hawaii Ocean Rafting, we size your mask and fins to fit comfortably and safely so you can enjoy your snorkeling trip! 

When fitting your mask, you want it to suction to your face when you breathe in prior to placing the strap on the back of your head. Avoid a mask that puts pressure on your nose or forehead, which leads to discomfort the longer you are in the water! If you have facial hair, you may want to shave for a better mask fit

You want your fins to also fit snugly, not too tight where they are pinching, but know that once you get in the water, they will loosen so make sure they are a good fit when trying them on prior to snorkeling. There are many styles of fins to select from, for snorkeling a medium length with a comfortable foot pocket is perfect for a casual swim! You can check our local Maui dive shops that sell snorkel gear in Lahaina like Snorkel Bobs and Boss Frogs.

Practice with your snorkel equipment!

If you purchase snorkel gear, put it on and practice breathing through the snorkel tube. You will be breathing through your mouth only, which works best when you relax and don’t overthink it! You can do this on land or in a pool or bathtub! Fins are not to be worn on land. If you want to practice with fins, walk into the pool or ocean prior to putting your fins on. Put your mask and snorkel on first, then sit in the water and place your fins on your feet. This will ensure you do not trip walking to the ocean (and also keep you from looking like it's your first time snorkeling! Lol )

Use Flotation Devices!

Our snorkel tours provide flotation devices for all snorkelers including float belts and pool noodles. We do not recommend wearing a life jacket for snorkeling as it is made to float your head above water. When you are snorkeling you want to float your body but allow your face to be in the water so you can see underwater while breathing through your snorkel tube! Float belts are perfect for this as they fasten to the snorkeler's waist and then float your mid section. Pool noodles can also be placed under your arms and waist for even more buoyancy and comfort. We also provide 2mm short sleeve wetsuit tops to rent which not only provide warmth and sun protection but also add more flotation while snorkeling.

Get Snorkel Instruction!

Our best recommendation for learning to snorkel if you don’t swim is to have snorkel instruction! Our Maui snorkel tours provide snorkel instruction for all levels of snorkelers, beginner and experienced! We will show you how to fit your snorkel gear properly, how to breathe through the snorkel, use floatation devices and how to safely enter and exit the water. We have a marine naturalist snorkel guide that snorkels in the water with you for the duration of the snorkel tour as well. It is also our goal to take you to the best places to snorkel in Maui where you can snorkel with turtles, tropical fish and see lots of marine life!

Always Snorkel with a Buddy!

Snorkeling with a friend is a safe snorkel practice whether you are a beginner or an experienced snorkeler. Equipment can malfunction, weather and ocean conditions can change or you may feel ill, having someone snorkeling with you ensures they have your back in case of an emergency or you need assistance!

When in doubt don’t go out!

How do you know if the location you are snorkeling is safe to go to? We suggest checking local snorkel reports either online or calling snorkel shops nearby. Lifeguards are often stations near beach locations where you may snorkel. Ask the lifeguards and also look for signs that say warnings like “High Surf”, or “Shark Sightings”. If it has rained recently and the water is murky, avoid snorkeling. Not only is there increased bacteria and low visibility, predatory fish may be in these waters hunting for other fish and it is not safe to snorkel until the water becomes clear again. Ask locals and snorkel places where other people are snorkeling as well!

Learning about snorkeling and the ocean can help you feel more comfortable when you are snorkeling even if you don’t know how to swim. Put your best fin forward by keeping these snorkel tips in mind and booking a snorkel tour with a guided snorkel company for one-on-one instruction and a glimpse into Maui’s underwater world!




Small Group Lanai Snorkel Tours

Who else wants to check snorkeling in the waters of Lanai off their Hawaii bucket list? Well now you can by joining Hawaii Ocean Rafting for our Half Day Snorkel Tour! Due to the lack of people living on the island and pollution, Lanai offers some of the clearest waters and most pristine coral reefs in all Hawaii! When snorkeling, you will see breathtaking corals that are beyond imagination and abundance of tropical fish. Make sure you take advantage of this snorkel opportunity by going out with us. Our rafts are geared for the snorkel and adventure enthusiast!

How do you get over to Lanai? Well, there is a nine-mile trek across the Au’au Channel that needs to be completed to get from one island to the next. With Hawaii Ocean Rafting, the journey across this channel is half the fun! Our small fast rafts can zip you to locations much faster than large boats. During whale watching season, you can see Humpback Whales splash in the water and play. Humpback Whales love to play in the channel between Maui and Lanai because the islands shelter them from harsh wind and other weather conditions. Seeing these magnificent creatures is truly magical and a must do for your Hawaiian vacation! Humpback whale season typically runs from December to early May here in Hawaii.

Additionally, most of our tours get the opportunity to see Spinner Dolphins off the coast of Lanai as well! They love to frolic and play in the wake that is created by our rafts. As their names suggests, Spinner Dolphins are known for jumping out of the water and spinning many times in the air. It is truly astonishing to see! A plus of spinner dolphins is that they can be seen and live in our waters year-round. Being that our rafts are closer to the ocean compared to larger vessels, you can get that up close experience everyone wishes for!

There are many different snorkeling locations in the waters of Lanai but some of our favorites include Manele Bay, Fish Rock and Club Lanai. You will see that Lanai snorkel locations are much less crowded than other locations such as Molokini Crater on Maui. For our Full Day snorkeling trips that operate from the months of April to December, we circumnavigate the entire island! This trip offers sights unseen by the vast majority of visitors! On the backside of the island there is a shipwreck that towers above the water that is very interesting to see and great for photos!

Snorkeling Lanai is truly a remarkable experience. We look forward to welcoming you aboard and providing the exceptional service we are known for! Call us at 808-661- RAFT (7238) to book your next Private or Group snorkeling adventure!

the maui snorkeling scene is off the hook

the top 4 must do activities on Maui

Sheraton Maui

Setting out on a whale watch is a bucket list item of many travelers around the world. There are very few things as thrilling as hopping on a boat bound for the open ocean in search of those magnificent and massive sea creatures. Whether you are cruising the tropical island of Maui, exploring rugged Alaska shorelines, or jet setting off on an international adventure - there are going to be a plethora of whale watching options. It is important to choose the tour that will get you the best views!

Visibility Is Important 

It is very likely that when you initially search for a local whale watching tour, the results will be filled with large boats meant for ferrying as many visitors as possible. While it could seem fun to be on a big party boat, these tours will not get you the best views of the whales. The crowds will limit many of the zones the boat can cruise. It also means the captain and crew will be too busy keeping people safe to answer any questions. This is a fine situation for just getting to a pretty snorkel spot or one viewing area, but if you want a real up close experience, it is absolutely your best bet to choose a small group whale watching cruise. 

maui whale watches

Go Small or Go Home

Small group whale watching tours will allow you to get a much more personal experience with the marine life, the crew, and your friends and family. Whales are much more keen to swim close to small boats, such as rafts, to come say hello and show off their amazing breeches. This is absolutely the case when you join Hawaii Ocean Rafting on a whale watching tour. We have hundreds of guest reviews  and tons of photos as evidence for this claim. Whales love to dive under the raft, breech right next to us, and generally play all around as a family right up close. This is likely due to the minor impact that smaller group whale watching tours have on the oceans and its inhabitants. Eco-friendly is the way! 



How can you be sure you are booking a small group whale watch? It could be tricky to be sure you are picking the right one! When checking out websites for potential tours, make sure you find the name of the type of boat they operate, then try a google image search. If the boat is actually small in size, you're good to go! You could also note the amount of passengers allowed in one trip. Usually that info will be apparent when clicking through the booking options. If there are 12 or less passengers each trip - that is an excellent indicator of a small group whale watch. Finally, just do a quick review search on Yelp or TripAdvisor. The best information is available from people who have already done the tour!


Why Choose Snorkeling with Us?

choose snorkeling

You may be lucky enough to see an eel just poke its head out of a hole on the coral and just as quickly tuck it back in. Jellyfish are also pretty rare (at least the stinging kind, which is all we are worried about, right?) when the stingers are around the whole island knows and we avoid their hangouts. The stinging jelly fish are only around a couple of times a year. As for sharks, well it just doesn't happen.

Google snorkeling on Maui’s West side and sharks and you will come up empty handed. You may glimpse a reef shark hightailing it when it sees you. You may also see a tiger shark looking for scraps in the harbor, by this point you will be safely back on the raft. (nobody swims in the harbor). Snorkeling is safe and the marine life you will encounter is myriad.This belief is just patently false and there are a few reasons for this.

Each of our tours is decked out with enough flotation to keep even the most reluctant swimmer afloat. We have flotation belts that you can actually buckle around your waist. Some prefer our boogie boards as a means of security, and we also have a whole bunch of pool noodles. However with a little trust in our expert instruction you will find that once you mask dips below the surface and your fins are securely on your feet, snorkeling is the most natural and struggle free experience you have ever had in the water. You just float along gazing at the beauty below and give a lazy kick every once in a while. It’s pretty zen really.

One more point to to address this belief we must point out that you can’t fairly equate snorkeling from the road system to snorkeling by boat off the beaten path. Our small group tours zip you across the channel to the neighbor island of Lana’i for pristine world class snorkeling. The half day snorkeling tour includes, food, beverage, snorkeling gear, and expert instruction so you really get  You could spend $80 your money's worth. You could spend the same amount walking from one end of the shops at Wailea to the other and not have a lifelong memory or stunning underwater photo to keep forever. Choose snorkeling, you won’t regret it.

Spring Break is Just Around the Corner!


With Spring Break just around the corner you may be looking for activities to keep everyone occupied. Look no further! There is no better way to spend a day than snorkeling or whale watching. We leave daily to provide snorkeling from Lahaina harbor on Maui’s majestic West side. Hop aboard one of our high speed ocean rafts for the experience of a lifetime. The snorkeling around the island of Lanai is unlike anything you will find while venturing around Maui’s road system. We set out from Lahaina harbor and head out across the channel to the island of Lanai. It pays to plan ahead, save %10 when you book directly at www.hawaiioceanrafting.com!

Lanai is home to several different species of dolphin which usually greet us upon our arrival to the shores of Lanai. There is something about our quick rafts and their wake that the dolphins find irresistable. They jump, spin and surf along side as we approach our first snorkeling spot. When you snorkel Lanai you will discover a snorkelers paradise. Not only is lanai home to 3 species of dolphins, but there are also Hawaiian green sea turtles. If you join us between December and May you will also be able to enjoy some whale watching. Our snorkeling tours travel right through Maui’s best whale watching territory. We also offer exclusive whale watching tours, most folks book a snorkeling tour and a whale watching tour in the end.

With so many wonderful rock lava formations all around the island there is a spot for each type of wind. There are pinnacles rising to just below the surface in sixty feet of water and outcroppings reaching out of the sea in the middle of calm little bays. Snorkel Lanai and find such diverse experience all in one trip. One of the great things about out small group snorkeling tours is that you can avoid the crowds. when you snorkel Maui’s road system you are often in the water with many  other snorkelers. The road system is easy and therefore often a bit crowded. When you hop on your own boat you can find your own private spots. If you join us for our full day snorkel Lanai tour, you will see the giant shipwreck towering from Lanai’s shallow coastal waters.