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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
$106.46 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Highlight to swim with turtles
Tyler was such a great guide. Easy going and knowledgeable. He made our family feel so comfortable we all had the best day. We kayaked, learned a little about the island. Snorkeled, saw beautiful turtles and fish. We saw an amazing rainbow. The 3 of us were all at different comfort levels with kayaking and snorkeling and Tyler made it such an enjoyable experience for each of us. I’d recommend this tour to all levels, we wore life jackets making snorkeling easy.
Penny_W, Jan 2023

Recent reviews from experiences in Maui

star-5
Great experience !!!
rohit_k, Nov 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Kyle took us on the Kayak trip. He was very helpful and had a good attitude. Also he got us snorkeling equipment and stopped at a couple of spots for snorkeling. That made the trip very value added.
star-5
Sea Turtles and Kayaking Fun
schwartzyc, Nov 2022
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Jake is an outstanding guide. His directions and assistance made the kayak handling easy and enjoyable. The snorkeling in Turtle Town was awesome. I was eyeball to eyeball with sea turtles!
star-5
Excellent company
Jennifer_D, Nov 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
This was my favorite part of our trip. Our guide was fun and informative. He made sure we had the best experience ever even though the wind was not working in our favor. I would highly recommend using this company.
star-5
Amazing Kayak/Snorkeling
Matthew_Y, Nov 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
John was our tour guide, and he was absolutely amazing! He was super knowledgeable, professional, and fun to be with for the few hours of the tour. We were able to see a ton of marine life, including turtles, fish, eels, and so much more! John knew the best locations to make the tour super active! He was also very accommodating to everybody’s skill levels on the tour. Would highly recommend and will be back during whale season to do this again!!
star-5
Great family adventure
Corrie_B, Nov 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Great family experience. Saw some turtles and other marine life while snorkelling! Jake was a great host
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
Fantastic trip!
Pam_B, Oct 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Madison was very knowledgeable and an awesome guide. We had a really good time and will be back on our next trip to Maui
star-5
Madison is the best!!!!
Michael_C, Oct 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Our experience was beyond epic and exceeded our expectations. Madi was the perfect guide! We appreciated her knowledge and expertise making us feel safe while enjoying a memorable family experience. We highly recommend this tour with Madi since she was the ideal guide. We received an education as well as better understanding of the ocean life and how to navigate the water respectfully and mindfully. It was the ultimate island experience.
star-5
Great morning
Missy_K, Oct 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
John our guide was amazing! Added humor along with education. There was a first timer in our group and he was so patient and encouraging. It took her a bit but she finally let go of the boat and enjoyed her time in the water without any pressure. We got lucky and saw 2 turtles. I liked that we were away from the crowds. Just our small group of 5. Go at 7:15 it’s worth it.
star-5
Kayaking and snorkeling perfection
Simon_F, Oct 2022
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui
Tyler was knowledgeable, friendly and professional. We went out with only one other couple and it was a great personal experience, kayaking out to the reef and being able to snorkel surrounded by sealife and turtles was amazing. 100% recommend this experience, much better than the boat tours for snorkeling that look impersonal, crowded and not relaxing at all.
star-5
Kayak and snorkel to Turtletown Maui
mike_c, Feb 2020
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Guide Matt was very safety conscious, knowledgable, humorous and friendly. We Snorkeled with several large turtles
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.
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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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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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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?