Hawaii Snorkeling Packages

A multitude of Hawaii snorkeling packages tempt the vacation planner with a variety of amenities. Even someone who isn't that fond of water sports should plan on spending a few hours exploring the living coral reefs off the Hawaiian island shores for an unforgettable vacation experience. Equipment rental fees are usually included in the price of Maui snorkeling tours so the potential snorkeler needs only a swimsuit, beach towel, and sunscreen. At some point, either on the beach or on the boat, each customer will be fitted with a mask, breathing tube, fins, and a flotation device. Basic instructions on breathing through the tube and clearing one's mask will be given by a qualified instructor. A tour boat, such as a catamaran, most likely will take customers off the shore for their snorkeling experience. But there are maps on the internet that show places where easy beach access allows snorkeling without going out to sea on a boat. Though this is a great option for experienced snorkelers, the novice will benefit from the expertise of trained tour guides.

Several Hawaii snorkeling packages offer amenities such as complimentary transportation from major hotels, which is especially beneficial to vacationers who don't want the expense of a rental car. The snorkeling cruises may take several hours and often include meals or a snack buffet depending on the time of day. Other amenities may include a festive evening luau once the boat returns to shore or the opportunity to purchase a personalized video of one's snorkeling experiences. Marine specialists are often on board to give education information on the sights one can expect to see beneath the water and guidance on the proper etiquette for preserving the fragile coral reef.

The coral reefs that snorkelers see while on their Maui snorkeling tours are usually small fringing reefs located close to shore. From a geological standpoint, the coral reefs of the Hawaiian island chain are young. A coral is a marine organism that secretes a hard calcium carbonate and depends on sunlight. The reefs develop over long spans of time from these and other marine organisms, microscopic skeletons, and sediments. As the sea level rises and land sinks, the coral reef grows away from the shore and develops into a barrier reef. The barrier reefs act as a buffer between strong ocean waves and the shoreline. The only true barrier reefs are found on Kaneohe Bay on O'ahu and along the north coast of Kauai. Swimmers, snorkelers, and divers are urged to avoid harming the fragile reefs. They should never be touched and certainly no one should stand or walk on them. Doing so can harm and even kill the entire colony.

The state of Hawaii is actually an enormous Pacific Ocean mountain range and the eight islands that comprise the state are peaks arising out of the warm tropical waters. The largest, Hawaii, is often referred to as the Big Island. The second largest, lying just north of Hawaii, is Maui, which is known by two nicknames, Valley Isle and the Magic Island. With 729 square miles, it boasts 120 linear miles of shoreline and is a popular tourist destination. The dormant Haleakala Volcano, called "House of the Sun," rises over 10,000 feet above sea level. Its caldera, or depression, is twenty-one miles across and 4,000 feet deep -- about the size of Manhattan.

Though just about any of the Maui snorkeling tours offer an enjoyable experience, a popular spot is the crescent-shaped, Molokini Crater Ocean Preserve. This caldera forms a cove that is protected from wind and strong currents by the towering Haleakala Volcano. It's a perfect place for beginners to get the hang of snorkeling. But advanced snorkelers love this protected marine sanctuary, too, because the water is so clear that visibility is often at a hundred to even a hundred and fifty feet. The underwater seascape is breathtaking with sea caves and lava arches, green sea turtles, colorful fish, and, at times, even dolphins and a few shark species. "For I know that the Lord is great," wrote the Psalmist, "and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places" (Psalm 135:5-6). The simple activity of floating through water with a mask and fins enables the venturous vacationer to see God's underwater creation. Wow!

There are so many things to do on the Big Island and its neighbors. That's why some Hawaii snorkeling packages include other adventures, such as helicopter rides, sailing ventures, or scuba diving. Other popular snorkeling sites are the Pawai Bay Marine Preserve and Kalaeloa, also known as Turtle Town because of the numerous green sea turtles that come here to nest. The most common turtle is the green sea turtle which is the largest of the hard shell species. These giants reach full maturity when they are about twenty years old, but may live to be eighty. Full grown green sea turtles can weigh over 350 pounds.

Vacation planners can find Hawaii snorkeling packages that include a variety of desired amenities and options. While swimming in the clear, warm waters of this tropical paradise, be on the lookout for exotic and colorful marine life and the playful dolphin. Newcomers especially will want to plan Maui snorkeling tours that cater to their skill level and that feature a marine specialist or naturalist as a guide.

Maui Snorkeling Trips

Generally, Maui snorkeling trips can be as tame or adventuresome as a person cares to attempt. Well planned adventures make it possible to swim over coral reefs teeming with colorful reef fish. People with less time or inclination to travel more than they already have need only to walk to the beach from their hotel and snorkel with sea turtles. Hawaii is a tropical paradise. The ocean waters are a nature lovers dream. Maui snorkeling trips wouldn't be complete without viewing whales, Manta rays, and Hawaiian Monk seals. As most Christians know full well from reading the Bible, even paradise is loaded with hidden dangers and evil. Not recognizing the danger can be harmful. Beautiful and benign appearing marine life and plants can be quite dangerous. Danger also lurks on land. Hawaii is a favorite tourist destination. Therefore, unsavory characters portraying themselves as honest business people or friendly locals prey on unsuspecting vacationers.

The point is that nothing in paradise, including Maui snorkeling trips, is ever as harmless as it might appear. Keep vigilant on both land and water. Danger lurked in the greatest paradise man has ever known. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3: 1-5) People tend to enjoy a false sense of security and relax in certain settings. They don't recognize danger even when it's right in front of them. So, unless a person is a skilled snorkeler familiar with Hawaiian waters, they should not arrange their own adventures. A prudent person will always get beach instructions and a safety talk from people who are familiar with the local waters.

An online search indicates that many companies offer snorkeling tours and provide all equipment needed. The tours can include multiple locations that are several days or excursions lasting only an hour. Most dive shops rent equipment for nominal fees. Special masks and wets suits can also be rented. Floatation boards with equipped with viewers can also be used during longer trips or by people who are not strong swimmers. In fact, operators of many Maui snorkeling trips suggest floatation boards be used. People needing instruction on the finer points of snorkeling will have no problem finding what they require based on need and their skill level. Upper end snorkeling tours will not only provide basic equipment, they also offer well-equipped ships along with breakfast, snacks, lunch, beer, wine, soda, and champagne. Keep in mind, some Maui snorkeling trips are geared more toward smaller experienced groups.

The South Pacific is a dream destination. Warm water and tropical weather creates a habitat for some of God's most marvelous sea creatures. So, there is practically no limit to the number of incredible destinations available for Maui snorkeling trips. A brief online search indicates that Molokai Crater, which is a fish sanctuary off the southern coast of the island, is a favorite snorkeling destination of tour guides. But, there are many more sites to choose from. Maui beaches are famous for warm sand and surf. But, they are also great for short snorkeling excursions. Consult a map or travel guide before choosing a vacation destination. But, some of the beaches recommended for snorkeling by online websites are Ahihi Keauau Reserve, Honolua, the Kamaole Beaches, La Perouse Bay, and Polo Beach. Depending on where a person is staying, these beaches can be only minutes from their hotel or condo. Safety is always a concern when considering Maui snorkeling trips.

Safe snorkeling practices will go a long way in preventing trips to the emergency room. First, know the area that will be snorkeled. If a person is unfamiliar with an area, they should talk to people who live, work, and swim there. One online site lists 10 rules that should be followed to keep both swimmers and marine life safe. Many of the rules governing Maui snorkeling trips are self-explanatory. First, and perhaps most importantly, always swim with a partner. If something goes wrong, the other person can get help. Also, leave the sea life alone. Some sea creatures are protected by law. Furthermore, some creatures are dangerous or even deadly. Just because something looks safe doesn't mean it is harmless. Sea turtles are common, and the temptation to hitch a ride one's back might be strong, but resist the urge to take a free ride. Sea turtles are protected by law and coming in contact with them is illegal and could potentially harm them. When snorkeling around a coral reef, stay away from areas with wave action. Waves can push a swimmer up onto the coral causing severe injury. Also, improperly fitting equipment can ruin a trip or be dangerous, so rent equipment that fits. Some people also recommend that food not be consumed within 45 minutes of entering the water. On the other hand, drink plenty of water. Swimming is strenuous and dehydration is a real possibility. But, don't drink alcoholic beverages and swim. Alcohol can actually dehydrate a person and cause cramping. Don't swim in murky conditions. Obviously, danger lurks in areas that can't be seen, and it's easy to get lost. Finally, pay attention to all posted information signs and warnings.

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