Many consider this aquarium on the pricier side, with the 10% discount online adult price being $24 compared to the $12 regular adult price for the Waikiki Aquarium on the island of Oahu. Also, the Waikiki Aquarium’s price includes an audio tour, where as the Maui Aquarium doesn’t. Don’t forget though, Maui is one of the most expensive islands in Hawaii so that should be taken into account while planning your trip there.
However, there is somewhat a reason why it’s that price. There are many exhibits to check out such as the jellyfish exhibit and stingray exhibit, and a good portion of them are interactive. Exhibits are both indoor and outdoors, but the indoors seem to have a lot more sea life than the outdoors. Their website claims that they have the largest living reef exhibit in the world, and that’s a pretty fantastic reason why the Maui Aquarium should be on your to-do list. After all, coral reefs are one of the most desired things to see when visiting the tropical Hawaiian islands.
The coolest thing about the aquarium in my opinion is the shark exhibit. It’s a 750,000 gallon tank with a multitude of different sharks,
alongside a plethora of these fascinating creatures is a dream (some may say it would be a nightmare, but they aren’t dangerous like you would think). It’s such a high concentration of sharks, which makes it different than other shark dives. The dive lasts 30-40 minutes, and you must bring all your own scuba gear (wetsuit, mask, BCD, fins, regulator) except the air tank and weight belts which they will provide. Feel free to bring your underwater camera, too! like the hammerhead, tiger sharks, and much more. They offer a scuba shark dive which cost $199 per person. I haven’t done the shark dive yet, but that is definitely on my list! So swimming
In case your wondering, to get your scuba certification, PADI is by far the most well-known scuba organization so I would suggest to go with them. Plus, there are constantly tons of PADI certification deals on sites such as Groupon. The deals are usually around $199, which includes all the equipment (except fins, snorkel, and mask-). You can advance from an open water diver to even more professional, which will cost more money but it will also allow you to eventually teach diving and do more intense dives, like dive in the Arctic or explore wrecks on the bottom of the ocean.
Some more pluses are you can also get a good sized shave ice for $4 at the stand by the turtles, there’s free parking, and the aquarium is great for kids. In the morning, there’s a demonstration where kids can look at fossils under a microscope and touch the skeletons of sea stars. Also, there’s a touch tank where you can touch turtles. I think what’s especially great about this aquarium is that they circulate their animals, so it’s not one of those places (like Seaworld and zoos) where they steal the wild creatures’ young at birth then raise them up in a cage where they can never go back in the wild because they wouldn’t be able to survive in it. They always have new animals, which does unfortunately mean that it’s not always guaranteed they’ll have a specific kind like the hammerhead shark, but they do a good job of maintaining their huge variety. The Maui Aquarium also helps a lot with sea turtles (Hawaii takes these creatures very seriously), and they have a hatch and release program which lets you see cute baby turtles. They also do coral rehabilitation, so the aquarium seems to legitimately care about sea life and allowing animals to live their life in the wild where they belong.
All in all, while the Maui Aquarium may be a bit more expensive than other aquariums, it has many things to do for anyone interested in learning about sea life which gives justification to the cost.
If you can’t find your own place to stay, you can see from this list.