We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Honolua Bay Snorkeling

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5,649 posts
72 reviews
Save Topic
Honolua Bay Snorkeling

Looking in to a Trilogy Snorkel Trip.... Did the Molokini Crater last time and wanted to go to a differant spot... thinking of going to Honolua Bay... I have read on TA "why pay for a boat trip when you could drive there" As we do snorkel on our own at various snorkel spots and we were going to snorkel at Honolua Bay ourselves, however, when i printed off info on where to snorkel off shore, It gave us a list of "easy entry" and one in particular said Primitive conditions or good swimming skills suggested that would be Honolua Bay... So,,,,,, should we take the trilogy snorkel trip to Honolua Bay? or go at it ourselves.. I am not a very good swimmer, although can keep myself safe but if I need to help my kids 16 and 12 who do not swim like a pro. but okay. is this area calm?

thx

djb

La Costa, California
Level Contributor
2,628 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

It's often very calm but gets rough in the winter months. I was just there arond the 1st of Sept and it was calm.

I just checked your other posts and see you're talking about June, is that right? Honolua should be nice in June but of course check for the best day to go.

The thing with Honolua is that you need to hike a short trail through the woods which is fun, but there is no beach just a bunch of big rocks that are kinda tough to walk on.

There's an old boat dock remnant that you can sit on to put on your flippers then slide into the water. I had my wife there to bring me my sandals when I got out. I would definitely call it a more advanced entry and exit.

Once in the water, yes it's a pretty long swim out to the best parts of the reef. It was an easy swim in both directions the day I was there.

Dave

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,409 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

Honolua has one of the more difficult entries of all the popular spots. There's a concrete ramp going into the water but at the water line it is broken up and there are large boulders you have to scramble over to get deep enough to swim. It's a bit sandier along the beach to the left, but still some rocks you have to navigate. The stylish way to enter the bay is off the back of your boat. The charters anchor in the middle of the sandy bay, and it's a short swim to the coral along the north edge of the bay. The sail up and back (or maybe they motor north and sail south) is a lot of fun. So I think that it is worth the expense of the charter to try it once. But after that it certainly saves a lot of money just to deal with the rocks.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
1,716 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

We took our children ages 8 and 11 there to snorkeling twice this past summer. On both days ( a few days apart), the bay was extremely calm.

The entry was not that bad at all. It was not sandy beach entry, rather the beach was rocky. With soccer ball to snow ball sized rocks. You can just crawl on fours to the edge of the water, and put on your fins and snorkel there. We had no trouble.

The bay is huge, we spent about 1 hour and 45 minutes each trip. We swam to the right side of the bay, then crossed over to the left side of the bay. You will NEED fins, and it is a good idea to bring floatation device with you, a noodle or tube or even a boogie board when you need a rest. The bay is big and deep, there is no resting areas when you are out there.

Swimming out to the bay was easy, swimming back to shore was a workout, the current was against us. And I did have to tow my 8 year old on the way back. My husband was luckier, our 11 year old was more self sufficient.

You can also search "Honolua Bay" on this site, there is a review site for this bay, and you will get additional information, and see if your family can simply drive yourselves there, or if you should go on a boat.

Where are you staying? If you stay on West Maui, why not stop by there on your first day or two, and take a look of the bay for yourselve, and then decide of to do it on your own or go with a boat. For a family of 4, you can save quite a few hundren dollars to simply do it yourself.

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5,649 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

peacenik and dhauk,

thank you!!! Yes, we are traveling in June.... It helps to know what we are getting into... I think we could survive the entry. We've done very hard hikes in the past on both Maui and Kauai. I was worried about the water being too rough on that side of the island. Though summer is a calm time to go to the islands. but you never know.

djb

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,409 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

I remember one visit a few years ago, when we decided to try to avoid the rough entry at Honalua by parking at the turn out just to the south and entering the water at the sandy bay there and then swimming around the point into Honolua. Bad idea. We decided that the surf was to high to risk returning to the beach. So we did the swim around the point, snorkeled Honolua, and then ended up walking barefoot back along the road to our car.

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5,649 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

happy traveler,

thank you for your information. we are staying at the Sheraton so it will be closer to just go and scope it out. but from what everyone said in response to my question, it is doable. We all have the inflatable life vests that we use when snorkeling off shore and floatation or boogie boards we use.

thx again!!!!!

P.S.

My aunt and uncle and cousins live in San Jose

Edited: 04 November 2011, 11:58
Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
47,021 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

I love going to Honolua Bay be it by boat or shore. It's far easier for me to go by boat, just due to the entry into the water. Be aware this is a primitive area, no lifeguards and currents that can easily take you out of the bay. In order to get where the best snorkeling is, you will have to go out at least to the middle of the bay. You may be able to keep yourself safe but can you keep your kids safe? I personally wouldn't take my kids out there without them being great swimmers and very comfortable in very deep water. At least with a boat trip you would have staff that are lifeguards and they will get into the water with you. You ultimately will have to make the choice, just make sure it's a wise one.

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
25,488 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

Aloha,

Yes, safety first.

A boat tour will be fun and safe with no worries and more energy for the snorkling.

Hope you bring home some good memories,

Aloha

Edited: 04 November 2011, 13:50
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
268 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

I agree with Msfuzz. If you are not a swimmer, the Pacific is not necessarily a good place to learn. BUT, if you are a swimmer, just not a good one, perhaps you can use a flotation device while snorkeling. Whether it is a flotation belt, or just bring a boogie board with you. Nice, relaxing way to enjoy the beauty and allow you to relax.

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,409 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Honolua Bay Snorkeling

currents that are going to sweep you out to sea? Where can I find one of those? I'd love to try it, sounds like fun. I've snorkeled up and down the Maui coast and all I ever found was a small current following the waves. Am I missing something? Let's not scare people. The only risk to swimming in Honolua is doing a face plant on those rocks during entry. Assuming they're wearing fins even a small child who can swim can deal with whatever "current" they may encounter in Honolua. Waves are another matter, but if there are waves you're not going to be snorkeling.

And the best snorkeling is rarely in the middle of a bay. It's along the edges as a rule. and at Honolua it's against the north edge of the bay in the shalllows.

Edited: 05 November 2011, 12:00