Hawaii, Maui, Scuba Diving

A Maui Favorite: Snorkeling at Black Rock

Black Rock, Maui
A beautiful west Maui morning

“I am happiest near the sea.”

It’s true. And it’s no secret.

The moment that I step onto the beach and hear the calming sound of the ocean I immediately feel my blood pressure drop. Just thinking about those soothing vibes makes me feel a bit calmer as I type this very sentence. So on our recent visit to Maui when I realized that I had an entire morning free, I jumped out of bed, grabbed my snorkel gear, beach bag, and a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks, and walked along Ka’anapali Beach just as the sun began to rise above the West Maui mountains.

I am often asked about my favorite snorkel spot on Maui, and while I have a few favorite locations (surprise, surprise!) Black Rock is definitely one of them. The prominent volcanic formation known as Black Rock is found on the north end of Ka’anapali Beach and is a breathtaking backdrop as you snorkel in the crystal clear, turquoise sea. On almost every visit we see honu, schools of fish, the elusive snorkeling tourist 😉 , and even sting rays every once in a while. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, Black Rock is also a great spot to go cliff jumping (just watch out for the turtles and tourists below). 🙂

Turtles at Black Rock, Maui

Honu at Black Rock, Maui

Turtles at Black Rock, Maui
Aloha Honu!

Where’s your favorite spot to snorkel in Hawaii?


7 thoughts on “A Maui Favorite: Snorkeling at Black Rock”

  1. We have tried most of the areas on Maui over the years. Honolua Bay is very impressive, but probably best accessed by boat. It is a hike down to the beach from the road and the entry into the water is rocky and really murky. Once through the surf, the coral on both sides of the bay is spectacular.

    Closer to our condo the rocky outcrop between Kamaole II & III provides a great variety of fish, turtles, coral, etc. You can stay inshore around the rocks or wander 1/4 to 1/2 mile off-shore.

    I think the other beach we normally visit is Kapalua, which has parking (arrive early), but water clarity depends on the wind. Some days are great, others not so great.

    However with the abundance of shark attacks, I will not be venturing off-shore or even snorkelling as often, as our schedule used to alternate playing tourist 1 day then beach/snorkel the next.

    1. All amazing suggestions! We hiked down to Honolua Bay on our honeymoon. The hike was incredible but the access into the water was pretty difficult. My husband also broke out into a crazy rash after we snorkeled at that site. I’d love to try it again by boat next time. I haven’t been able to explore a lot of south Maui (other than Big Beach), so I’ll add your suggestion to my “next visit” list. 🙂 I also haven’t been snorekling at Kapalua. I love to go to Napili, which is close.

      All of the shark attacks over the recent years have been a little scary. It doesn’t keep me out of the water, but they are always at the back of my mind.

      Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  2. I’m not a snorkeller. 2 shark attacks while we visited Maui. I like to stick close to shore 🙂

    Still, sea life is amazing! Love watching the turtles come ashore at Ho’okipa.

    1. I can’t blame you. There have been an abundance of shark attacks lately. While it won’t keep me out of the water, they are always a thought in my mind if I feel like I’m venturing too far from shore.

      Love Ho’okipa! 🙂

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