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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
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
star-4.5
$91.40 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Guide was terrefic.
First interacting with John. second, Seeing the whales. Great experience. Anna was also great. Seeing whales and dolphins were memorable.
Paul_N, Dec 2021

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
Exceptional tour, worth every penny!
Sarah_U, Nov 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Our kayak and snorkel trip in Maui with this company was one of the highlights of our trip. Our guide, Jake, was especially knowledgeable about the history of the islands, the ocean, and everything in it. We saw many animals and a large amount of beautiful reef during our trip. The fish were amazing and all the turtles were beautiful. I highly recommend this tour - it was worth every penny!
star-5
Beautiful experience for...
Debra_O, Oct 2021
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Beautiful experience for our 50th anniversary trip to Maui. Jake was wonderful, informative, kind, and helpful ensuring a wonderful experience.
star-5
Guide was terrefic.
Paul_N, Dec 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
First interacting with John. second, Seeing the whales. Great experience. Anna was also great. Seeing whales and dolphins were memorable.
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-4
Fun Mini Kayak Tour ~ Great for kids and beginners!
Emily_H, Nov 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Jake (our guide) was friendly and fun! He is excellent with kids and I recommend this particular tour for younger kids and beginner kayakers. Our kids are a bit older (9 & 13) and probably could have handled a longer further distanced tour. I also suggest bringing your own camera/phone and a wet bag for the kayak (rather than pay for photos). We saw a whale, had glorious views, and had a brief but fun snorkel session with turtles.
star-5
We had a great time!
Julie_S, Nov 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Kayaking and snorkeling was amazing! Our guide took pictures for us and it was well worth it! Made memories to last a lifetime!
star-4
New snorkeler. Scuba...
Jim_L, Nov 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
New snorkeler. Scuba Steve very enthusiastic That’s all I w we want to Say….………………..:,;:::::, this’s minimum woods making me very crabby
star-5
Turtles everywhere!
Michelle_S, Oct 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
Scuba Steve was an amazing guide!! He went above and beyond. It was so beautiful. Turtles everywhere!
star-5
Couple kayak adventure
Trisha_N, Oct 2021
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena
The price was right and for sure the best part was our guide John! Dang if I can remember his last name, sorry John. He was very knowledgeable and was genuinely happy to be there teaching and guiding us tourist. He was fantastic! If your a couple or even just single, book a tour, you won’t regret it.
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.

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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