Makua Beach (Tunnels Beach) Tours
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In the shadow of verdant mountains, and shaded by palm and ironwood trees, Makua Beach has golden sand and baby blue waters. The post-card-perfect setting was featured in the 1958 movie South Pacific, but it’s the labyrinthine underwater reef, snaked with caves, that lends the beach its nickname and draws visitors today: Tunnels Beach is one of Kauai’s best snorkeling spots. Best of all, it’s frequently uncrowded.
Protected within a small cupped North Shore bay, two layers of reef offer different experiences. The smaller inshore reef boasts calmer waters and frequent sea turtle sightings, while the expansive offshore reef is a well-utilized scuba dive site with more varied terrain—some sections drop to 70 feet. The ocean-facing edge of the outer reef is popular with expert surfers. Both reefs are home to colorful wrasse, moray eels, butterfly fish and Hawaii’s state fish, the hard-to-pronounce Humuhumunukunukuapua`a. If you’re lucky, you may even see an endangered Hawaiian monk seal hauled out on the shore.
Makua (Tunnels) Beach is 5.5 miles west of Hanalei on a narrow section Highway 560. Several private Kauai tours take visitors to Makua, but it is not a common stop on package tours. If you’re driving yourself, parking is easiest in Ha’ena State Park, which has restrooms, showers, lifeguards and occasionally food trucks. It occupies the western shores of the same bay, a little over a half-mile away.
Tunnels is one of the few beaches where snorkeling may be possible during choppy winter months, but check conditions with Ha’ena lifeguards that day.
Address: Highway 560, Kauai, USA
3 Tours and Activities to Experience Makua Beach (Tunnels Beach)
Discover Kauai’s highlights and hidden gems on a full-day private tour that offer a personal glimpse of the island’s local culture and history. Navigate the Garden Isle in a private minivan, and feel the mist from a pair of beautiful waterfalls. Look out to sea from the Kilauea Lighthouse and Hanalei Bay, and watch for whales and endangered geese at a wildlife refuge. Visit Kauai hidden beaches and ancient sites and learn about Kauai's history and local culture along the way.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
Explore Kauai at your own pace with this audio tour app that uses GPS to guide you to and around some of the island's top attractions. Skip paying for a bus tour and make the most of your vacation time with the freedom to stop and go as you please. Along the way, the app provides narration, stories, and fun facts. The tours can be downloaded and used offline so you don't have to worry about service around the island.
Explore Kauai's scenic north shore with Shaka Guide and visit the beautiful beaches, gorgeous hiking trails and even a hidden waterfall. You will love the gripping stories we tell of this unique island. Skip the tour bus and explore Kauai at your own pace for a fraction of the cost. Shaka Guide's North Shore Kauai Tour uses GPS to give you turn-by-turn directions to the best spots! Shaka Guide is the #1-rated app for Kauai with over 2K reviews on the App Store and Google Play Store! WHY SHAKA GUIDE: ✅ Tours never expire. ✅ Tour work offline. No data needed. ✅ Reliable GPS directions. ✅ A guided tour for a fraction of the price. ✅ Save time planning! We’ve done the work for you. ✅ Your vacation, your terms — freedom to stop and go as you please. ✅ The #1-rated travel app for Maui. ✅ Listen to interesting stories and Hawaiian music!
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Makua Beach (Tunnels Beach)?
The best ways to experience Makua Beach (Tunnels Beach) are:
- Private Kauai North Shore Tour
- Kauai Tour Bundle: Get 4 Kauai Audio Tours
- North Shore Kauai Audio Driving Tour