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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
$102.15 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Best way to snorkel in Maui
One of our favorite days in Maui. Tyler was so knowledgeable and really made the kayak trip a blast. Wanted to swim with turtles and we successful. It was magical.
Regina_S, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Maui

star-5
Professional and yet casually cool
Erin_K, Jul 2022
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
I found out instructor John a seasoned, experienced, and passionate, and professional kayak instructor. He took his time instructing, making the remainder of the trip very well managed. John took us away from the crowd that you typically would find at the Makena landing. The place he took us snorkeling was awesome, good and sheltered location with good visibility, and plenty of things to see. All in all a very good kayak experience.
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
🤩
Maria_V, Aug 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Niko was very patient with my group. He was nice and guided us through our first kayaking and snorkeling experience.
star-5
Wonderful
SCOTT_S, Jul 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Cody was great. Nice and easy kayaking. Great snorkeling with turtles. Would recommend for families.
star-5
Great morning with the turtles!
Jennifer_E, Jul 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Tyler was so patient and thorough in explaining everything to make our outing relaxing. He was so nice and knowledgeable on all things Maui. We swam with many turtles and beautiful fish.
star-5
Great morning of Kayaking and Snorkeling!
Arlene_N, Jul 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Cody was an amazing tour guide! Knowledgeable and funny! Great morning of kayak and snorkeling. Due to a Tropical storm we had to reschedule our experience and dealing with this company was super easy. They were responsive and flexible. Would highly recommend!
star-4
OK but...
Bob_P, Jul 2022
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
I did enjoy the the kayaking and the one snorkel stop. The problem that there were six kayaks and a couple people got sea sick. We had no choice but to return to the take out location. No compensation for the shorter trip.
star-5
Fun!
Loren_L, Jul 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Jake was super friendly and walked us through the instructions step-by-step. He was super informative about the water and the islands. Gave us great local food recommendations too!
star-5
Steve was very organized...
Kata_M, Jul 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Steve was very organized and we knowledgeable. We would definitely book with him again. Kata and Jeff
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
Amazing!
Maree_S, Jul 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Scuba Steve was an amazing guide! We saw sea turtles, eel and so many fish. Steve was passionate about teaching us about sea life and we learned so much. It was a nice workout too. I think this might be our best excursion on Maui yet. Thanks Steve!
star-5
We had lost of fun, we...
Yesenia_D, Jun 2022
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
We had lost of fun, we for sure would do it again. 👏 Thank you Liz, Jordan and Gavin you guys were awesome!
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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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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?