Tips to Snorkel Coral Gardens in Maui, Hawaii

The History of Coral Gardens

Coral Gardens was formed as a result of a natural disaster that occurred over 500,000 years ago. It was said to have been formed from the Mauna Kahalawai Crater lava that flowed into the ocean. This flow created lava fingers, which automatically affected the marine life in that environment.

Today, marine creatures in Coral Gardens survive under volcanic formations and the fingers, now beautiful ocean floors, a good site for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Why Choose Coral Gardens, Maui?

Coral Gardens, Hawaii, has abundant marine life in a protected bay caused by a natural reef formation. This tourist site, located along the Pali Highway Mountain Pass, Maui, houses Hawaii green sea turtles and different species of fish. It is a private and safe location with waters ranging from medium to shallow depth, suitable for snorkeling.

If you are looking for the best holiday location to practice your skills as a beginner or intermediate snorkeler, Coral Gardens is definitely a place to visit. From the South end of Papalaua Beach to the South of Lahaina and Olowalu, this Gardens stretches underwater towards the cliffs, offering a good snorkeling opportunity. Besides, the secret coral caves and passageways are incredible side attractions.

What are the Facts About Coral Gardens?

In preparation for your snorkeling experience in Coral Gardens, there are some important things you should learn about this tourist site. In some way, you’d be learning about the existence of marine life in the area and how snorkeling or scuba diving activity would be more fun.

First, Coral Gardens is only accessible by boat because most of the entire area is covered by water. Also, there are tall rock cliffs in the location, providing shelter to the locals.

Coral Gardens lives up to its name, i.e., it houses different varieties of corals and coral heads and other marine life like the Green Sea Turtles.

Finally, Coral Gardens is listed as one of the world’s top 10 snorkel sites.

What are the Snorkeling Tips You Need?

Now that you have an idea about your snorkeling site and the incredible animals you will find during your time there, you need tips on snorkeling successfully. You must take these tips seriously because they determine whether or not you will enjoy your time out.

Prepare Ahead

Tourists who are up and about wanting to snorkel in this site need to prepare as much as possible. Snorkeling is an interesting activity but needs adequate preparation for an enjoyable experience. Therefore, you can decide to get basic snorkeling or diving equipment or accessories back at home or dive shops in Coral Gardens.

While you have your gear ready, you need to hire the services of a tour guide to help you find your way around the area. This tour guide would also be responsible for finding suitable accommodation for you to stay during your time in Maui.

Find out the Perfect Snorkel Spot

It isn’t a surprise that Coral Gardens is one of the best snorkeling sites; however, some spots support great snorkeling.

Coral Gardens is located near the coastline right before Olowalu along Pali Highway Mountain Pass; it has cliff lines offering some sort of protection against wind and rough seas. Just so you are safe and don’t interfere with coral formations and marine life in the area, you are can only access the snorkel location by boat. Water visibility is about 40 feet. There are only a few boats at this location, confirming that you are in the right spot for the activity.

Stay Within Safe Zones

Coral Gardens is quite an overwhelming place, but it doesn’t mean you should wander off without your tour guide. It would be best if you stayed in safe zones. Getting a map of the Gardens is also consequential to your safety so that if you ever get lost, you can always find your way back to a known location.

The same logic applies to snorkeling. You shouldn’t go beyond the shallow waters, especially if you are new to the experience.

Train before Snorkeling

A more important tip to help you get settled in, in this snorkeling site is training. Exploring marine life is fun, but you need to get familiar with them to have an awesome water experience. Therefore, before you begin snorkeling, you must train first and familiarize yourself with the habitat and the creatures living in them.

As a part of Maui Reef Conservation, some assisting or training organizations provide help to tourists to have a great snorkel time. Often, they advise that guests use Reef Safe Sunscreen, made available onboard all vessels for safety.

Follow Rules

Regardless of wherever you visit – whether Coral Gardens or somewhere else, some general rules are in place to keep snorkelers and divers in check. One of them is to avoid touching marine life because of their fragility. Incessantly touching marine creatures like corals can damage them, and in turn, affect the ecosystem adversely. It is part of the duty of a Maui Reef Conservation crew to protect corals and the reefs surrounding Maui.

See tips for Grand Cayman Snorkeling here.


On many occasions, people have found it difficult to find some of the best snorkeling sites in the world; however, with a place like Coral Gardens, things are about to become better. With the facts about this snorkel location, there is so much hope for a better experience. In conclusion, exploring the marine environment and learning more about aquatic creatures in their natural habitat is such a fascinating thing to do.