Rising up out of the deep, the once fiery volcanic crater of Molokini is now a small crescent-shaped island and marine reserve, dominated by coral and home to thousands of different species of marine life. Today, it is known as Maui’s top snorkel destination and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Growing up on Maui, I’ve always been passionate about the ocean, and I’ve been lucky to visit Molokini a handful of times. Sitting two and a half miles off of South Maui in crystal clear waters, Molokini is an undeniably special place.
Quick and Inexpensive Molokini Tours
So, when presented the opportunity for a jaunt to Molokini with Humble Tours, I couldn’t say no. However, no two snorkel tours are created equal, and I like to know exactly what I’m getting myself into. After doing a bit of research on Maui’s newest snorkel tour company, I was overjoyed to learn that Humble Tours is just that: humble. Molokini is one of Maui’s most popular attractions, and rather than simply profiting off of this natural wonder, Humble Tours is committed to giving back. One percent of their yearly sales go to benefit a local environmental nonprofit, and they even provide reef-safe sunscreen for all of their tour guests! On top of that, their crew has 75+ years of combined experience on the water, and they are all extremely knowledgable and passionate about the ocean.
Humble Tours offers two daily tours to Molokini. From their home base at Kihei Boat Ramp, Molokini is just a 15-minute ride away. Tours run two hours, giving you about an hour and a half of snorkel time once you reach the crater, and leaving plenty of time for adventures once you’re back on land!
I opted for the early bird tour at 7:00 am so I could catch the sunrise, but for late risers, Humble Tours also offers a 9:30 am tour. I arrived at 6:30 for check-in, and despite the early hour the crew was cheery and it was clear they were doing what they loved and excited to share the magic of Molokini with their guests. Soon, we were Molokini bound, zipping through the Pacific as the sun began to peek out from behind Haleakala. The tour was fully booked, but carrying a total of just 14 guests, it didn’t feel too crowded, and we were able to sit at the very front of the small boat, making for an exciting ride.
Arriving at Molokini Crater
As soon as we arrived at the crater we set off exploring. The water was still a bit chilly in the morning hours, but as clear as ever. The early hour meant we pretty much had the place to ourselves too! While we were free to explore, we stuck by our captain who joined us as we snorkeled (can you say dream job?!). He was extremely knowledgable, identifying different types of fish and corals, and even pointed out an octopus that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. The personal education really brought the experience to the next level, and despite having lived on Maui all my life, I came away having learned something new.
As some of the bigger tour boats started filtering in and the crater started filling up with people, we made our way back to the boat. We had had more than our fill of Molokini, and we still had 15 minutes left to sunbathe on the boat.
Once we were all on board, we took the scenic route home, skirting the Wailea-Makena coast. Since it was February, the heart of whale season, I wasn’t surprised when a mama and a calf popped up just a few hundred yards from us. Since no one was in a rush to get back, we were able to stay and watch them play for a little while, as our captain gave us a little bit of background on humpback whales.
Kihei Boat Ramp
Arriving back onshore just after 9:00, it felt silly to think that most people were just waking up- I had experienced a world of magic before I even had breakfast! Spending an entire day on the water can be a little much, so this tour is the perfect choice for those who are trying to pack a lot of adventures into a little bit of time. Humble Tours is also unique in offering their promise of “Molokini or your money back”. Weather conditions can be unpredictable, and unfavorable conditions can sometimes deter tour companies from visiting Molokini. They’ll usually visit another site instead, but if you have your heart set on Molokini, it’s best not to take any chances.
If you’re worried about trying to fit Molokini into your tight schedule, concerned about your tour’s impact, or if you only want to visit Molokini, look no further than Humble Tours. They are here to make sure nothing gets in the way of your Molokini adventure, and to share the magic along the way!