Molokini Crater is known for its exceptional visibility, often exceeding 180 feet and 200+ feet on the lesser visited back wall. Crystal clear waters and protection from wind and waves inside the crater make for excellent snorkeling and scuba diving, not to mention the vast underwater life you’re likely to see.
Popular marine species at Molokini include Bluefin Trevally (‘Omilu), Tang, Moorish Idol (Kihikihi), Black Triggerfish (Humuhumu’ele’ele), Parrotfish (Uhu), Butterflyfish, Reef Triggerfish (Humuhumunukunukuapua’a), Peacock Grouper (Roi), Trumpetfish (Nunu), White Spotted Pufferfish (‘O’opu-hue), Moray Eels (Puhi Paka) and Octopus (He’e Mauli). Larger visitors such as Manta Rays (Hahalua), Spotted Eagle Rays (Hihimanu), Reef Sharks and Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins (Nai’a) are also sometimes seen on the inside and back wall of the crater. Fishing, feeding or harming of any of the marine life in the area is forbidden.
During Maui’s whale season, which lasts from December 15 to April 15, you may also see humpback whales on your ride to and from Molokini Crater. Keep an eye out for the mist rising from their blowholes!
On the crater itself, two primary species of nesting birds exist as part of the Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary, including the Wedge-Tailed Shearwater and Bulwers Petrels. Under the Sanctuary classification, people are no longer allowed on the crater itself unless invited as part of a specific research study.