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Maui's Coral Gardens
Coral Gardens is a unique, beautiful natural reef formation that is located in a naturally protected bay, on the West-side of Maui. It is additionally home to many Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, hundreds of species of Hawaiian fish like; Parrot Fish, Angel Fish, Trigger Fish and Butterfly Fish. Crabs, Octopus and a variety of Eels are also full-time residents here too. Coral Gardens is located near the coastine, along the Pali Highway Mountain Pass. Although it can appear to some that this is spot accessible by land, it is only safely accessed by boat. What makes this snorkel spot truly special, is what lies beneath the surface... because the coral formations here are AMAZING!
The many natural reef formations, at Coral Gardens, provide a canopy of hard coral that are loaded with a multitude of nooks and crannies. These make the perfect dwelling place for a spectacular array of marine life. Coral Gardens is an ideal, medium to shallow depth, snorkeling location because the seabed slopes gently away from the shoreline along the West Maui Mountains which makes it the ideal spot for the beginner and intermediate snorkeler.
Coral Gardens is protected by the high cliffs of the Pali coastline. They provide shelter from the winds and make this one of the most consistently pleasant snorkel locations. When Molokini is too windy or high seas prevail, one can always count on Coral Gardens to typically provide perfect water conditions and the best spot for a fantastic snorkeling experience.
Coral Gardens Satellite Image: Courtesy of Google Earth
The water color and clarity here is truly marvelous. The shallow depths allow lots of sunlight to penetrate which makes for great underwater visibility too. When you view this location from high-atop the Pali Coastline, you see this amazing spectrum of blues and greens that come from all the colorful corals below. But snorkeling here is something else! The colors, coral formations and rainbow of fish are a magnificent underwater spectacle to behold!
Maui Classic Charters was one of the original boat companies to first explore this treasured habitat and because of this, we were able to secure one of the premium mooring spots. Centered in the middle of "all the action", the Four Winds II mooring provides the optimum Coral Gardens snorkeling experience! You are able to snorkel right on top of the most spectacular reef formations that is bustling with marine life.
Morning and afternoon snorkeling at Coral Gardens are both great times to enjoy snorkeling at this location. The waters are usually crystal-clear and underwater visibility is typically outstanding. This area is always teeming with fish, so there is lots to see below the surface. Looking down into the water, from up on deck, one can see straight to the bottom and even get a glimpse at the turtles that pop their heads up from time-to-time to breathe.
Within the first few minutes of snorkeling at this spectacular location, you can see the widest variety and most diverse collection of marine life than most other Maui snorkel locations have to offer. Although parts of it are accessible by shoreline access, the largest and best coral formations are located much farther from shore, so the premier sights and places to snorkel are only accessible by boat. Simply put, Coral Gardens is one of the highest-rated, and certainly more popular, Hawaii snorkeling spots! In fact, the snorkeling here is so amazing that, Coastal Living Magazine refers to Coral Gardens as one the "world’s top 10 snorkel sites".