Maui is an ocean lovers paradise and there are several Maui activities to experience on the water. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for a thrill or a leisure admirer, there’s a Maui water activity suitable for everyone.
Planning a trip to Maui? Check out these articles below to draw inspiration and assist in planning your Hawaiian vacation.
- What to pack for Maui
- The best part of Maui to stay on
- The best vacation rentals on Maui
- The best time to visit Maui
- 10 tips to know before you go to Maui
- Locals Guide: 7, 10 or 14 day Maui itinerary
- 10 Incredible Places that Exist on Maui
- 15 Epic Things to do on Maui
- Top things to See on Maui
- The Best stops on the road to Hana
- 20 Awesome things to do in Kaanapali
- Best Things to do in Kihei
- Maui’s Best Beaches
- The Best Hikes on Maui
- 8 Epic Adventures in Hana
- Unusual Things to do in Maui
- 12 Activities to Enjoy when it’s Raining on Maui
- 13 Ways to Explore Upcountry Maui
Traveling Maui on a budget?
*I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post including Amazon that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling, coffee ☕️ and let's be real...probably wine 🍷. I thank you in advance.
Okay now let’s get down to it, here are 10 Maui activities in the water to try out on your next vacation.
10 Maui Activities to Experience on the Water
Go Surfing in Paradise
When most people think of Hawaii, surfing comes to mind. Hawaii is one of the surfing capitols of the world and Maui is no exception. With mostly consistent waves year round, tropical waters and easy beginner breaks, surfing in Maui is a great way to enjoy this island in the water.
If you are new to surfing book a surf lesson to get an understanding of the fundamentals/techniques of the sport, how the line ups work and a better understanding of the waves and ocean. If you are a more experienced surfer it is still recommended that you book a lesson instead of renting a surfboard and going out to your nearest beach.
A surf instructor can easily point you in the right direction based on your experience, and will help you avoid any possible rip currents, hidden reefs and rocks. Plus you’ll also skip any chance for local tension by going out with a certified guide and to get an understanding and lay of the land.
Go Snorkeling in Maui
The most popular way to enjoy a Maui water activity is to go snorkeling. The best places to snorkel in Maui are spread all over the island.
This is a great Maui activity if you are traveling on a budget as a snorkel and fins rental for a day cost around $5. Plus this is a Maui water activity the whole family can enjoy.
Best Beaches in Maui for Snorkeling
Some of the best Maui beaches for snorkeling are
- Kapalua Bay snorkeling
- Kam III
- Napili Bay snorkeling
- Honolua Bay
- Black rock at Ka’anapali Beach snorkeling
- Maluaka Beach a.k.a. turtle town (the best snorkeling in Kihei)
An even better way to enjoy the best snorkeling in Maui is by taking a snorkel trip. Spend the morning on the water at some of Maui’s best snorkel spots that can only be reached by boat.
Maui has over 600 species of tropical fish and an abundance of sea turtles. If you are staying in South Maui book a tour to snorkel Molokini, the horseshoe shaped atoll you can see from the south coast. This is some of the best snorkeling Maui has to offer.
If you are staying in West Maui opt for a snorkel cruise to Honolua Bay, another spot for some of the best snorkeling in Maui and you won’t be disappointed.
Tour in the Atlantis Submarine Maui
Imagine exploring the ocean floor on a submarine tour in Maui. This underwater experience allows you to spot reef sharks, colorful fish, reef and event remains of an old whaling ship, the Carthaginian.
This tour leaves out of Lahaina Harbor which is in the center of Lahaina Town. Experience the sights, sounds, and scenes of life beneath the waves as you take a ride on the Atlantis submarine.
Go on a Whale Watch
If you planned your Maui vacation during whale season (mid December – mid March), you must experience a whale watching tour at least once during your visit. To see these spectacular mammals in their true environment is truly a once and a lifetime experience.
The naturalists onboard are full of fun facts about the Pacific humpback whales returning home from Alaska to mate and give birth. The islands that make up Maui County offer protection from predators, which brings whales home every single year.
Paddle Board Maui
Another great Maui activity to enjoy on the water is paddle boarding. Not only do you get a chance to spot tropical fish and reefs from atop the water and even whales if you travel to Maui during whale season. It’s a great workout and the definition of what I call fitness travel.
If you are newer to the sport book a Maui paddle boarding lesson first to get familiar with getting in and out of the water, how to balance yourself on the paddle board and how to paddle. Plus you will get first hand knowledge and local insights about where reef and rocks are as well as strong, sweeping currents.
The best time to go stand up paddle boarding in Maui is early in the morning as the winds pick up in the afternoon. These are some of the best places to paddle board in Maui:
Best Places to Paddle Board in Maui
- Makena Landing
- Napili Bay
- Kapalua Bay
- The Cove in Kihei
- Kalama Park in Kihei
- Ka’anapali Beach
Go Kayaking in Maui
Kayaking in Maui is a great way to experience Maui on the water because it lets you adventure farther than you would on let’s say a surf board, paddle board or via snorkeling. Plus this is a great work out and the reward is unique and memorable.
Explore hidden coves, vibrant reef and the coast of Maui. If you are looking for more of an adventure visit Maui during whale season (mid December – mid March) and opt for a kayaking whale watch tour. This is an intimate and empowering experience that gets you up close and personal with some of Earth’s greatest creatures.
Sail on a Sunset Cruise
An epic and memorable activity in Maui on the water is to go on a sunset cruise. In fact there’s nothing quite like it, the warm, tropical breeze blowing through your hair, island jams, tasty drinks, delicious food and of course a dreamy sunset on the water.
Sunset cruises are possible all over the island. If you are staying in South Maui opt for Makena Sunset Cruise. This tour offers stunning views of Molokini Crater, the neighboring island of Kaho’olawe, Haleakala Volcano, and the white sands beaches of Makena. Watch the sun sink into the ocean as you listen to the live music on a ukulele.
If you are staying in West Maui consider a Lahaina Dinner Cruise. This tour includes a 4 course dinner, drinks, and island style music. Take in the scenic views of the West Maui mountains, neighboring island Lana’i and if you are here during the winter – humpback whales.
A Maui sunset cruise is perfect for a romantic evening or a night out with friends. Toast to the good life and cruise in style as you bid adieu to another beautiful day on Maui.
Go Scuba Diving
Take the adventure under water and go scuba diving! Whether you are a experience PADI diver, wanting to get certified or just looking to try something new, there is a tour available depending on your wants and needs.
With over 680 species of tropical fish in the Hawaiian Islands, Maui is best experienced below the water.
Jet Ski Maui
Feel the cool ocean spray on your face and add some excitement to your day with a jet ski Maui rental. Located off the coast of Ka’anapali Beach experiencing a few hours cruising around on the water is one of the best things to do in Ka’anapali.
The calm, warm waters off the beautiful white sand beaches of Kaanapali are the playground for the Maui Jet Ski rental operation. This is perfect for those looking for speed and excitement. Jet Ski Maui only operates during the summer months.
Fly High by Parasailing Maui
Parasailing is like floating on air as the vessel pulls you along the Lahaina and Kaanapali coastline. Take in the views of Maui and neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai from above as you live out your Jurassic Park fantasies minus the dinosaurs of course.
Parasailing in Maui also only operates during the summer months.