Lani Kai – Coral Gardens Snorkel
$44.00 BOOK NOW
Coral Gardens is one of the best snorkeling spots on Maui. Hidden from view by the cliffs on the Pali, Coral Gardens is as inaccessible as it is pristine. There is no way to descend down to the water’s edge which makes the only access by boat. Colorful reef formations line the Pali walls under the water with brilliant colors that shade a rainbow. Stretching away from the cliffs the coral gardens are vibrant and teeming with marine life. There are no turtles at Coral Gardens, but there are thousands of colorful fish ranging from small aquarium size to larger than footballs. The water is calm, clear and warm.
Maui snorkeling tours to Coral Gardens are afternoon snorkel trips. They are 3 hours in length as it only takes a few minutes to reach the gardens from Maalaea Harbor. Once there, the fun begins. Lani Kai has been snorkeling Coral Gardens since its maiden voyage. It’s a perfect location to snorkel in the afternoon. You don’t have to rise at the crack of dawn to check in for a snorkel trip and it’s not crowded like Molokini. A few other noteworthy things to mention is that the water is warmer in the afternoon because the outside temperature is warmer. There is a slight breeze at Coral Gardens which is welcome as it cools down the heat of a tropical sun, unlike Molokini which is breezy all day and windblown in the afternoon.
Most Maui charter boats that frequent Coral Gardens do so in the afternoon after they return from their morning snorkel trip to Molokini. The Lani Kai like all other snorkel boats who offer an afternoon snorkel charter would prefer to motor out to Molokini Crater. They know it would be a rough voyage with the tradewinds barreling through the isthmus of Central Maui. Both the West Maui Mountains and Haleakala rise so quickly above the sea that the winds are funneled through the isthmus gathering strength as they go. That is the reason you see a constant line of whitecaps all the way out to Molokini. If you look closely you will see that the waters in front of the Pali sea cliffs are calm. Yet out a little further, the white caps begin.
If afternoon charter boats took their guests out to Molokini, everyone would experience some kind of motion sickness discomfort. That is why Maui snorkel charters go to Coral Gardens instead of Molokini in the afternoon. What’s puzzling though, is why don’t they snorkel Coral Gardens in the morning?
Because Coral Gardens is a shorter snorkel trip than the morning Molokini snorkel charters, the rate per ticket is also less expensive and it is a better snorkel site. Families that come to Maui with children often opt for the afternoon snorkel trips because of length of time, price and the shorter boat ride. Time also plays a significant role in selecting an afternoon Maui snorkel charter.
Is a 53-foot power catamaran. There are 3 access points into the water. Two are in the back of the boat descending from the twin hulls, one on each side. The third one is a set of stairs that lower down in the front. The Lani Kai is equipped with a fresh water shower and 2 restrooms. A large shaded main cabin is available to take a break from the sun. Lani Kai also features a water slide. Oh Yeah!
Tip of the Day:
Bring a towel & sunscreen
All gear provided.
Boogie boards & noodles available
Deli Style Lunch:
Variety of lunch meat and cheese
Fresh Maui vegetable tray
Bread and taro rolls
Delicious pasta salad
Fresh baked macadamia nut chocolate chip cookies for desert
Juice, soda and water
Beer, Wine & Mai Tais
Select your choice
- E-Ticket Delivery
- Free Cancellation
- No Booking or Credit Card Fees
Meet Location: Maalaea Harbor, slip 47
GPS: 101 Maalaea Boat Harbor Road Wailuku Hi. 96793
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day
48 Hour Cancellation Policy
Check-in 1:00pm. Departs at 1:30pm
Return is about 4:30pm.
Check-in 30 minutes prior to activity start time.
Total Duration: 3 hours.
We had an excellent day at the Molokini reef and "turtle town" on the Lani Kai. The captain and crew were great. Seeing the humpback whales breaching was the highlight of the 5-Hour tour. The captain knew where to find them and we stayed a hundred yards away as per the law. The deli lunch was good and we loved the open bar. I highly recommend this boat tour, although I imagine there are other good ones as well.
The staff was amazing. Our family of 5 had the best time. Our boys did snuba and the others did snorkeling - first time for everyone! We felt cared for and safe even in some crazy winds that morning! Can’t wait to return to Maui!
Great Snorkeling trip. Really nice and relaxed crew. Saw many fish, whales, and turtles also enjoyed some Mai Tais after the swim. Clean, comfortable wetsuits available onboard ($10 rental).
We were on this boat this morning, October 5th 2018. Great staff, fantastic trip, scuba instructions and Captain Mark was super! We saw 3 pods of different species of dolphins. Beautiful day! Thank you Captain Mark and First Mate Emily, we had a great time!
Awesome experience, crew was great, food was good, overall just well worth it! Smaller boat makes all the difference!