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Makena
Makena

Makena

star-5
822 Reviews

The Basics

Although Makena is only a 10-minute drive from the mega-resorts of nearby Wailea, it retains a rural charm. Big Beach, located within Makena Beach State Park, is one of the few undeveloped stretches of Maui coastline, while nearby Little Beach serves as the island’s clothing-optional hangout.

Head to the waters of Keone’o’io off the coast of Makena for excellent snorkeling and the chance to spot spinner dolphins, or join a kayaking tour on Makena Bay where you’ll see green sea turtles swimming through a protected volcanic cove beneath the shadow of the West Maui Mountains. Most kayaking excursions include time for snorkeling as well.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Maui

star-5
This rocks!
Angie_A, Jul 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Tour was worth every penny!!! There are no guarantees, but we saw tons of turtles. Our Ohana leader was John, and he was FABULOUS!!!
star-5
Fantastic experience
Kevin_G, Jul 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Jake was a terrific guide - helpful, informative, and fun. He also gave great information regarding Hawaiian history & culture and tips regarding great local food. Beyond expectations.
star-5
Great Tour!
Mary_Hall, Jul 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Fun kayaking tour! We also stopped to snorkel and saw 5-8 turtles! The turtles come right up to you and it’s so much fun! Highly recommend.
star-5
Great Tour
Heather_C, Jul 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Scuba Steve was a great guide! He has a lot of great knowledge to share and made the trip really fun!! Saw some great turtles and fish! Highly recommend!
star-5
Perfect Excursion
Nicole_M, Jul 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Arjuna (not sure if I spelled that correctly) was amazing! He was super informative, made us feel safe, and we had an excellent time kayaking and snorkeling! Would 100% recommend and definitely do it again!
star-5
Great experience
Jacques, Jul 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Our guide John had 20+ years experience as a kayak guide in Hawaii and was professional, funny, and knowledgeable about the islands, marine life, and Hawaiian culture. Overall, great experience for anyone that wants to get out on the water and see some fish. We even got 50 yards from some dolphins!
star-5
Turtle cove
Jessica_J, Jul 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
John and Maddy were knowledgeable and fun! We had a great experience.. we were able to see a manta ray, a turtle, and dolphins from a far.
star-5
Great kayak and snorkel time!
Peter_M, Jul 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Jake was our guide and he did an awesome job covering all the kayaking basics. Took us to a great spot to snorkel making adjustments to our area when the tides became too strong where we planned to be. Only improvement would be to have an extended time to this. Our family loved it!
star-4
Super fun and exciting
Hannah_M, Jul 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Super fun ad exciting. It was awesome that you got to kayak and snorkel all at once and the turtles we great.
star-5
Kayaking and turtles
Ali_G, Jul 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Was so much fun! Saw lots of turtles and a second reef with good variety of fish. Our guide Kyle was very good and made the trip enjoyable and easy.
star-5
Exemplary
GloryjeanAllen, Jul 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Awesome time and an exemplary guide John who genuinely showed what “Aloha” spirit is all about. Definitely well worth the trip/adventure. Highly recommend this company.
star-5
Awesome!!!!!!!
Meghan_M, Jun 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Turtles,coral,fish everything!!! Number one was the tour guide, John! We heard other tour guides out there, he was by far the best!!!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Makena makes an excellent base for adventure travelers and those who prefer a more rural setting.

  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and a change of clothes on snorkeling and kayaking tours.

  • Consider bringing a waterproof camera to document your Makena adventures.

  • Nudity is prohibited within the state park, even though Little Beach is frequently used for this purpose.

  • Be careful when swimming at Big Beach, as the current can be deceptively strong.

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How to Get There

Makena is located off the Piilani Highway, south of Lahaina. The easiest way to get there is to drive; there’s almost always plenty of free parking.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

There isn’t really a bad time to visit Makena, as the weather tends to be sunny throughout the year. Head out early if you plan to snorkel in popular spots like Turtle Town, and spend the hotter afternoon hours cooling off at an area beach.

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Maui’s Only Black Sand Beach

Though Big Beach gets the lion’s share of attention in Makena, the area is also home to Maui’s only black sand beach, Oneuli Beach. An offshore reef and lava rocks create an ideal habitat for fish, sea turtles, eels, and even the occasional shark, so don’t forget to bring snorkeling gear.

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