By Blane Perun
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Molokini Crater snorkeling draws many tourists every year. The crater encompasses more than 20 acres, so while thousands of snorkelers may visit the crater daily during the summer it rarely feels crowded.
Molokini Crater snorkeling is just 2 ½ miles from Maui, which is a 30 minute boat ride. Located in the Alalakeiki Channel, the Molokini Crater is the remnants of a volcanic cinder cone. Part of the crate is 160 feet above water and creates a crescent like islet while the most amazing natural wonders are below the water’s surface. The crater is less than half a mile across.
Molokini crater snorkeling is tranquil within the actual crater as the back wall protects the inner crater from waves and high currents. This results in pool like diving in a life size aquarium.. The inner area of the crater has a diameter of 1,7770 feet and is home to all kinds of sea life, coral, and indigenous fish. Snorkeling outside the crater’s edge is dangerous and should only be left to certified divers and experts. The area within the crater drops off into terrace like volcanic rock structures after approximately 200 yards.
Tourists interested in Molokini crater snorkeling may plan the trip of a lifetime by booking a trip that incorporates an additional activity like whale watching or windsurfing. Some Molokini crater snorkeling packages are also centered around particular fish species, corals, and other sea animals.
The warmest water temperatures for Molokini Crater snorkeling is during the months of July through October when the water is in the low 80s. However, the water drops to the low to mid 70s during the winter months. Many tourists on their first Molokini crater snorkeling trip find a wetsuit necessary. Most tour guides will include these in the tour or rent one for a small fee.
Snuba is an option offered by many Molokini Crater snorkeling tours. This incurs an additional fee, but allows snorkelers to experience the beauty of SCUBA without having to wear the gear or get certified. Snuba allows for Molokini Crater snorkeling with a regulator in your mouth that is attached to a hose that is connected to a raft above the water. Snorkelers can reach depths of 20 feet with snuba and it’s worth the extra fee for many.