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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
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
star-4.5
$91.40 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great time
We had a great time on this adventure. Turtles, list of fish and beautiful coral. John was an amazing guide! Will definitely book with him next time we come back!
AmyA, Jun 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
John is the best!
Todd_T, Jun 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
We were hesitant to book a guided tour, but John made it an incredible experience right from the start. We hadn't snorkeled before and he was very patient, great with the kids and helped guide us to the best snorkeling spots. Highly recommend!
star-5
John is a superstar!
Andy_C, Jun 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
John was a great guide. He took the time to explain where we were going and why. John is also very knowledgeable about the geography, history, and culture. He made sure the entire group felt comfortable and had a great experience at Turtle Reef. 10/10 stars; would recommend to everyone; we will return to John next time we visit Maui.
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!
star-5
Great experience!
Kendra_M, Jun 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Scuba Steve was an awesome guide. He has a great attitude and goes above and beyond to make sure you experience everything while out on the kayak/snorkeling tour. We got to see sea turtles, all kinds of tropical fish, eels and a peak of an octopus. Couldn’t ask for more.
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
Great time!
Wendy_B, Jun 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
We had a great time and saw lots of turtles. Scuba Steve was great. He was very knowledgeable about the fish and coral.
star-5
Sea turtles
StephB, Jun 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
By far the best snorkel experience ive had. Our tour guide, Maddie, brought us urchins allowed us to touch them and educated us about them. The highlight of the trip was seeing sea turtles. Not just one or two but a dozen.
star-5
I enjoyed the kayaking...
Jennifer_M, May 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
I enjoyed the kayaking aspect as much as the snorkeling. Great guide who gave great instructions. Made all of us inexperienced folks into competent kayakers.
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
Scooba Steve made the...
KarlaA, May 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Scooba Steve made the experience super fun and got to see plenty of turtles and sea creatures! Very professional and helpful!
star-5
Amazing sea life!
Beverly_D, May 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
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.
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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?