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Makena
Makena

Makena

star-5
500 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
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
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
Fantastic
Ally_Moisse, May 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Kyle, the guide. He was super cool down to earth and very informative. Highly recommended this company! Went on may 6th 2021. Swam with a turtle and held a sea urchin My name is ally, have any other questions text me 3035231493
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.
star-4
Fun family outing
Michael_C, Apr 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Roger made sure we had a good experience. Weather looked rough for the later tour (for which we were booked) so he texted me and let us take advantage of the earlier one. Snorkeling equipment was top notch...fit well, no leaking or fogging. The guys were chatty and kept us engaged while we kayaked. The actual snorkeling was just ho-hum. Nothing to write home about. But the overall experience was great. Even my two teenagers who had to get up at 6 AM were happy that they did!
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
Worth the trip!
Xin_Y, Apr 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Great experience! Got to see the turtle! The guide is also very nice and experienced, we have a good time
star-5
Rad, awesome, sweet, cool, totally tubular
Chris_T, Apr 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
We had a great time. Our guides Jake and Brandon were full of great knowledge and were incredibly kind. We saw a whale and tons of turtles. The snorkeling was incredible as well. The kayaking was super fun as wel.
star-5
HIGHLY RECOMMEND! SO FUN!
Julie_G, Apr 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Jake was our tour guide and did an AMAZING job! he was very helpful for our first time kayaking and gave us some great tips. He shared some great stories and we even got to see a mother and baby whale. the snorkeling was great & clear, and there were lots of places to free drive as well. i HIGHLY recommend doing this tour!
star-5
A good morning workout!
Richard_H, Mar 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
The guide Jake was excellent and very helpful for new to kayaking participants. The kayaking was great. The snorkeling was beautiful.
star-4
Good guides great area - need to cancel the later tours
Jennifer_S, Mar 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Guides were great and this location was wonderful to start from. We kayaked the area and snorkeled. Would mention that they should not have a later tour and they mentioned it’s always too windy & wavy so to charge people for a shorter lives tour seems like a bad idea.
star-5
Great experiemce
Omari_S, Mar 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
The instructor Kyler was excellent. We all had safe fun!! We Canoed with the whales!! Great experience, I would recommend it, especially during whale season....

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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