As the population center for South Maui's original inhabitants, Makena is heavily steeped in ancient history and culture.  And although much of modern Makena has been developed with waterfront resorts and homes, this history is still evident at places such as Keawala’i Church—a Congregational church established in 1832—where sermons are still held in the Hawaiian language. Similarly, at the end of the paved road in Keone’o’io Bay (La Perouse Bay), the trailhead begins for the ancient King’s Highway, a rocky path that once wrapped around the entire island.

Makena is home to some of Maui's best beaches, including Big Beach—one of the only stretches of Maui's shoreline that has been entirely protected from development—and nearby Little Beach, which is known as the island's clothing-optional outpost and hosts drum circles led by sun worshippers. Snorkeling is also especially popular in Makena, and pods of spinner dolphins have been known to frequent the waters of Keone’o’io.

Although Makena is only a 10-minute drive from the mega-resorts of nearby Wailea, it manages to retain a rural charm that draws everyone from hikers to hippies and surfers to sightseers. It’s a dry, volcanic stretch of rocky shore where travelers can still catch glimpses of the island’s past along the southern coast.

Practical Info

Tours & Tickets

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Paddle, Snorkel and Learn to Surf - All in a Day on Maui, Maui, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Paddle, Snorkel and Learn to Surf - All in a Day on Maui

4.5 star rating: Recommended 60 Reviews

Maui's ultimate full-day ocean adventure takes you on a Maui kayaking adventure through Makena Bay, snorkeling over colorful reefs, and surfing Maui's ocean ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $140.00
South Maui Kayak and Snorkel Tour with Turtles, Maui, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

South Maui Kayak and Snorkel Tour with Turtles

4 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

This tour is a Maui snorkel and kayak tour with turtles, dolphins, and reef fish. A fun family activity on Maui in the heart of turtle town.

Location: Kihei, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $85.00
Kayak and Snorkel - Waterfall Hike and Paddle Tour, Maui, Snorkeling
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Kayak and Snorkel - Waterfall Hike and Paddle Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 48 Reviews

Experience the best of both worlds with a combined Maui kayaking, snorkeling and hiking tour! You'll kayak and snorkel along the beautiful Makena coastline, ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $175.00
Kayak and Snorkel - South Shore Turtle, Maui, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Kayak and Snorkel - South Shore Turtle

4.5 star rating: Recommended 36 Reviews

Take a leisurely paddle on the southern shore of the island in Makena Bay, past Little Beach and Big Beach out towards LaPerouse. You will have ample ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 2.5 - 4.5 hours

From USD $75.00
Maui South Shore Kayak and Snorkel Tour, Maui, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Maui South Shore Kayak and Snorkel Tour

The Maui South Shore Kayak and Snorkel Tour combines an enjoyable lengthy paddle along the beautiful Makena coastline with a snorkeling adventure of a ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $106.45
Deluxe Makena Kayak Turtle Snorkel Tour, Maui, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Deluxe Makena Kayak Turtle Snorkel Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Kayak and snorkel with turtles and fish on Maui! Fabulous kayaking and snorkeling in turtle town on the south side of Maui near Wailea. More snorkeling and ...  Read more

Location: Kihei, Hawaii
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $110.00
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour, Maui, Snorkeling
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Turtle Reef Kayak Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 270 Reviews

This fun and educational Maui kayaking tour starts at Makena Landing and paddles around the bay area. The calm, clear ocean is perfect for various water ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $79.57
Club Alii Nui, Maui, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Club Alii Nui

Alii Nui transforms into "Club Alii Nui" every Friday night; dance to music provided by one of Maui’s premier DJ’s, enjoy a premium open bar ...  Read more

Location: Maalaea, Hawaii
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $99.00

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