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Makena
Makena

Makena

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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Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
star-4.5
$91.40 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Amazing sea life!
Our guide was great. Other than the turtles that were all over the seabed, Steve pointed out things we would have missed on are own like the eels and puffer fish.
Beverly_D, May 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Maui

star-5
Unforgettable experience!
Christina_C, Apr 2022
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
This was an amazing tour. Our guide Scuba Steve was thorough with all safety information and took the time to tell us about the kinds of fish we would see. While you cannot control wildlife, he knew all of the right spots to see the green sea turtles. He took time to get good underwater photos of us and wildlife. Being on the ocean in the kayak was incredible and snorkeling with the turtles is an unforgettable experience.
star-5
Swimming with turtles, what more could you ask fo
Scott_S, May 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Maddie was exceptional. Great personality Very knowledgeable of the surroundings and the history of the area. And her being from my home town in Oregon was a plus. The snorkeling was awesome. Seeing marine life in their natural habitat was amazing. Turtles would swim right up to you. That was cool. I definitely would do this again.
star-5
John is da bees knees
Kevin_J, May 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
John was a great guide. It was our first time kayaking and my wife’s first time snorkeling, and he explained things so well that it felt like we had done this before and just needed a refresher. He was also amazing at teaching us about the culture, land, and sea life of Hawai’i.
star-5
Great Adventure
Truman_M, Mar 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
This was my first experience on an ocean kayak and it was thrilling to be on the water in the small kayak with nothing but a paddle! It was exciting to see a large turtle on the surface only a few feet away. The only drawback is that the Makena Landing is not a beach, it is a rock strewn cove.
star-5
The absolute highlight of our trip to Maui!
Andrea_U, Feb 2022
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Our guide, John Hess, was amazing. He really shared his love of the wildlife with our group. We definitely got lucky with some, once in a lifetime, whale encounter, but John would have made the day super memorable no matter what! He really went the extra mile for our group and made me feel really comfortable with snorkeling. This was the highlight of our whole week in Maui!
star-5
Great way to experience sea life!
Paul_J, May 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Had to end my own trip early because of unexpected seasickness, but everything was top notch! Our guide was so kind and helpful. He even waited an extra 15 min past launch time to make sure no one was left behind. The water was clear and there were tons of fish and turtles to see. The kayaks and equipment made everything easy for us.
star-5
excellent
Mary_C, May 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Jake was an awesome guide. He was very knowledgeable and took us to a great snorkeling spot. He also had some excellent local restaurant tips!
star-5
Fun with turtles
Diane_M, Apr 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
We were able to see plenty of turtles and different fish. Our guide Madison was so knowledgeable and fun. We had a great time.
star-5
Great Experience
Brenda_C, Feb 2022
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
It was a great “unscripted” experience. We made group decisions about what we wanted the experience to be and ended up experiencing whales up close and snorkeling in two beautiful spots. Scuba Steve was a very knowledgeable guide and added a lot to the trip.
star-5
Excellent turtle watching kayaking trip
Sergey_P, Apr 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Turtles turtles and more turtles! Jarred did an excellent job giving us history of islands and few local hacks in a Addison to taking us snorkeling at the reefs with turtles and cool fishes. Great experience! Would do it again in a heart beat! P.S. Bring a rash guard if you get cold easily
star-5
Adventure in the water, whales and turtles make the day.
Annette_R, Mar 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
What a fabulous day led by Scuba Steve!! Whale watching was more than we could have hoped for and snorkeling with the turtles closed out the morning. Would definitely recommend.
star-5
Maddie was a fantastic...
Tracy_W, Mar 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Maddie was a fantastic guide!! We got to see whales as they showed up close to us and then went on to snorkel. She made for a great morning!!!

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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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Makena?
A:
Attractions near Makena:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Maui?
A: