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Makena
Makena

Makena

star-5
663 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
Two thumbs, way the F up!
Ericka_M, Jun 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Jake was awesome!! He was cool and gave us some facts about the island. He took us to a spot where we got to see a bunch of turtles. At one point, my daughter and I had about 5 turtles around us. It was an awesome experience!
star-4
Fun
Dennis_T, Jun 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Our instructor had a few issues with equipment but overall it was a blast, Branden was a great guide and very engaging with the group! A+
star-5
Great tour!
Hilda_J, May 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Kyle was a great tour guide. We had lots of fun kayaking & snorkeling. Saw lots of turtles. Highly recommended.
star-5
A must!!!
Craig_S, Jun 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Such an amazing experience! Kalem (sorry for the spelling) He was fun and chill! Loved first experience with kayak in the ocean and we definitely nailed it! I'm not a bit swimmer usually agree out in the snorkeling area. Not this time!
star-5
Great time!
Heather_D, May 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Our guide was very knowledgeable and made our day so fun! We saw quite a few turtles and other sea creatures and even learned some history!
star-5
Kayak and snorkel to Turtletown Maui
MikeC, Feb 2020
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Guide Matt was very safety conscious, knowledgable, humorous and friendly. We Snorkeled with several large turtles
star-5
Beautiful, informative, exciting
Samantha_E, May 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Kyle was awesome! He gave us some great historical Info of the area and took us to a reef where we saw all sorts of underwater animals !! We had a great time
star-5
Excellent!!
Tawnya, May 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Excellent experience!! Definitely a must do when you’re on the island!! The guide was great and knew so much local lore!! Apparently I got sea sick and vomited in front of Billy Idols home!!
star-5
So many turtles!
Shannon_M, May 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
So many turtles! Kayaking was a delight and Jake was the best guide - so full of local anecdotes and tips. Would highly recommend.
star-5
Makena
Gary_W, May 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Everything went smoothly although the sun could have cooperated a bit more. Brandon did a great job and was full of new information. It was clear that he wanted everyone to have the best experience possible.
star-5
Best kayak and Snorkel
Norma_A, Jun 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Our instructor was amazing, down to earth, knew so much information about Hawaii and had many stories to tell us along the way!! The trip was perfect even with a few hiccups we had a long the way. My son got to scared to snorkel so I had to stay in the kayak with him and the group left to see an amazing coral reef. I was saddened by it , but the instructor was great and accommodating. The whole group made my son feel welcomed and he even got see a urchin even though he didn’t snorkel and that was the highlight of the trip! Would love to go again maybe this time just me and the hubs
star-5
Great guide, fun time
Meri_Rose, May 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Jakeb was a great guide and very funny. Everyone in our group had seemed to have a great time. All in all there were 4 groups of 2 people. They were easy to find at the launch site with South Pacific Kayaks advertised on the side of their trailer. We saw a lot of different fish, an eel and a turtle.

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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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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