Molokini is the crown jewel for Maui snorkeling and dive spots. The little islet is prized for near-perfect visibility and a bounty of marine life. And despite its small size, Molokini boasts about ten different snorkel and dive sites.

Molokini’s various sites are kind of like neighborhoods in a big city. Each section of the reef has a unique atmosphere with distinct characters and different things to see and do. Some locations are suitable for snorkeling, while others are ideal for diving. Some sections are known for their octopus population, others for their schools of triggerfish, eels, sharks, etc. Molokini really is like a bustling underwater city.

Want to learn more about the different sites at Molokini Crater, the areas best for snorkeling, diving, SNUBA, and the creatures that reside there? Read on to discover which section is right for you, and bookmark it for your next trip to Maui!

Molokini Snorkeling & Dive Spots Map


Tako Flats

Great For: Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, SNUBA

Tako Flats is located near the western tip of Molokini Crater. This spot is characterized by a large, sandy channel bordered by coral heads on both sides. It’s said to have some of the calmest water within the crater, making it a great scuba spot. Tako Flats has excellent visibility, which makes it one of the top Molokini snorkeling and dive spots.

Molokini Snorkeling & Dive Spots Tako Flats

The sandy channel is littered with coral heads and rubble – a favorite hiding place for octopuses. Octopuses are called tako in Japanese, and the abundance of these eight-legged critters gives Tako Flats its name. In addition to octopuses, divers and snorkelers at Tako Flats frequently encounter manta rays, moray eels, nudibranchs, and barracudas.


Middle Reef

Great For: Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, SNUBA

Adjacent to Tako Flats is Middle Reef. Middle Reef is one of Molokini’s most well-preserved treasures, comprising the center of the crater’s massive underwater bowl. The reef here is made up of hard corals, and snorkelers and divers are likely to see flurries of butterflyfish, Moorish idols, unicorn fish, trumpet fish, and other tropical fish. Giant Trevallies are known to cruise through, too.

Molokini Snorkeling & Dive Spots Middle Reef

Middle Reef is popular among snorkelers, scuba divers, and SNUBA-ers. Like Tako Flats, Middle Reef has excellent visibility, so snorkelers can enjoy watching the bustling reef from the surface, while scuba and SNUBA divers can descend for a closer look.


Reef’s End

Great For: Scuba Diving, Snorkeling

On the western edge of the crater, Molokini’s tip tapers off and dips below the water, running north just below the surface for another 200 yards. This area is aptly named Reef’s End. The inner edge of the reef is great for snorkelers, while divers tend to stick to the outer edge.

Molokini Snorkeling & Dive Spots Reefs End

The western side of Reef’s End has terraced “steps” that descend 350 feet into crystal-clear water. This area is known for its abundance of colorful cauliflower coral and tropical fish like damselfish, triggerfish, and wrasses. Bigger creatures are also known to hang around Reef’s End, like reef sharks and rays. There have even been dolphin, whale shark, and humpback whale sightings here. Currents can be strong near Reefs End, so knowing your limitations is important.


Shark Condos

Great For: Scuba Diving

Are there sharks at Molokini Crater? Yes! But they usually like to hang out at Shark Condos near the crater’s eastern rim.

Shark Condos is located at a depth of around 130 feet. Here you’ll find a collection of underwater caves (“apartments,” if you will) where groups of white-tipped reef sharks like to hang out. Other residents in the Shark Condos community include boarfish, Giant Trevally, and lobster. On days with exceptional visibility, you can see reef shelves cascading toward the ocean floor.



Great For: Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, SNUBA

The Enenue dive site hugs the eastern inner wall of Molokini Crater and gently slopes down about 60 feet before reaching deeper waters. Butterflyfish congregate en masse in the shallower areas of Enenue, which creates a colorful underwater scene. At deeper depths, prepare to see moray eels, white-tip sharks, and the occasional ray.

Molokini Snorkeling & Dive Spots Whale


Flying Sea Cliffs

Great For: Scuba Diving, Advanced Snorkeling

This dive site is located along Molokini’s exposed back wall. This section of the wall is made up of a series of ledges. Divers tend to explore the underside of the largest ledge, which juts out about 50 feet below the surface. The shelf is studded with vibrant red sponges and tube coral, and spiny lobsters and ghost shrimp hide out in the shadowy crevasses. Read: bring your dive light! Below the shelf, a vertical ledge drops to the seafloor 80 feet below. Some snorkel charters also make brief stops here to give their guests a taste of Molokini’s mysterious back wall.

Molokini Snorkeling & Dive Spots Flying Sea Cliffs


The Backside

Great For: Scuba Diving

A renowned wall dive, this section of Molokini’s back wall plunges vertically to the dark seafloor. The depth invites larger creatures to the area, like sharks, manta rays, and sometimes, spinner dolphins and whale sharks. Near the surface, divers will spot unique corals, eels, and large schools of butterflyfish.

This is not a spot for beginner divers, as buoyancy control is key here. Conditions on the Backside can often be unpredictable and even dangerous at times.


Edge of the World

Great For: Scuba Diving

The Edge of the World is the most eerie dive site at Molokini Crater. Parts of this site are in near-constant darkness, which brings out some unusual creatures and large marine animals like sharks and rays. Like Flying Sea Cliffs, a large ledge sticks out about 50 feet below the surface. Beneath the ledge, the back wall of the crater drops vertically to a depth of 250 feet – making Edge of the World the deepest drop-off on the backside of Molokini Crater. Experience, buoyancy control, and a strong dive light are essentials here.

Molokini Snorkeling & Dive Spots Backside


Thank you for reading about Molokini snorkeling and dive spots.

Find more about Molokini tours and recommendations.


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