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Makena
Makena

Makena

star-5
961 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
Excellent kayak/turtle tour
John, Sep 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Scuba Steve made it fun and very enjoyable he’s an excellent guide we saw plenty of turtles at the cleaning site
star-5
Amazing Experience
Bernard_O, Aug 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
John Hess, our instructor/guide was simply awesome! He took the time to clearly explain the importance of paying attention to his safety instructions and to respect the ocean. This allowed us to have a much more enjoyable and relaxed experience kayaking and snorkeling amongst the turtles, fishes, and abundant sea life. My wife and I now want to continue with this type of activity when we return home to San Diego CA. Thank you John for this amazing experience.
star-5
Turtles, kayaking and snorting oh my!
Patrick_C, Sep 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Jake is fun and his knowledge and experience was perfect! We kayaked out from Makena Landing and snorkeled with turtles. We felt safe and completely enjoyed our excursion.
star-5
Kayak with Dolphins
Amanda_T, Sep 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Had the most amazing trip with my husband and 2 other couples. Our tour guide John was AMAZING! We got to kayak with dolphins, snorkel with a turtle. John told us so many great stories and taught us so much. Loved everything about the experience.
star-5
Fun!
Windi_S, Aug 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Jake was a great tour guide. Good local facts and very personable. He was professional And knowledgeable. Felt safe.
star-5
Swimming with turtles
dhara, Sep 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Great experience. Saw 3 turtles, fishes and coral reef. Jack made the trip really fun, with good stories, jokes and snacks on the way back. Would certainly do it again! Mahalo
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
Perfect morning adventure
Phil_M, Sep 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Jon was an amazing guide. Had such a blast kayaking then exploring the reef. Gotta see some incredible animals - octopus, shark and turtles!!
star-5
Fantastic tour
Reid, Sep 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
John was a terrific guide! Very personable and informative as well as fun. Great tour, location, and length. Highly recommend this tour.
star-5
Amazing experience
Alynna20, Sep 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
This was such a good experience, John made it so much fun and kept us laughing and learning. Beautiful views and met some cool people! Definitely going to do this kayak/snorkeling again when we’re back in Maui and ask for John!!
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
Kayak with the turtles
Dawn_C, Sep 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Was a memorable trip, tour guide was unbeatable, and made the trip fun. Really enjoyed the trip and the experience

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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