Maui is the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. With 120 miles worth of coastline coupled with a tropical climate nourished by the volcanic terrain, one of the main draws of the island is discovering the best beaches. Here are 6 of the most beautiful hidden beaches on Maui.
Located on the west coast, Wailea Beach is a sandy haven with wonderful swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing conditions. It is one of the best beaches in Maui for catching sight of sea turtles and whales (November through May). The Wailea Beach Path is a stunning hiking trail where you can stretch your legs and savor vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
Mākena Beach State Park
Mākena Beach State Park is situated at the southwest corner of Maui. It is made up of the dormant volcanic cinder cone, Puʻu Olai, and two separate beaches: Makena Beach (also known as Oneloa Beach and Big Beach) and Puʻu Olai Beach (Little Beach). This pristine stretch of fine golden sand with its emerald waters is fringed by greenery and black lava cliffs.
Waiʻānapanapa State Park
In complete contrast to the western beaches, the shoreline of the rugged Waiʻānapanapa State Park is composed of volcanic black sand. The beach is bordered by lush vegetation and characterized by its jet-black rock formations and caves. The park and its sequence of beaches are a highlight of the Hana Highway.
Hamoa Beach is a small cove south of Hana that packs a lot of punch. Thunderous waves are popular with pro surfers while the backdrop of Hala trees adds a layer of secrecy to the beach. This is not the best beach for swimming but the scenery is extraordinary and it feels far off the beaten track.
Setting out to prove the diversity of the Maui landscape, Kaihalulu Beach consists of red-hued sand. The color comes from the beach’s setting at the base of a lava cinder cone. Access to this beach requires an arduous hike but the result is one of the best beaches on the island.
Kapalua Bay Beach
Occupying a sheltered spot in the north of Maui and protected by two reefs, Kapalua Bay Beach is one of the best beaches for swimming and snorkeling. A rich diversity of marine life including sea turtles, butterfly fish, and Moray eels is often encountered here.
Safety advice for visiting the beaches of Maui
Maui, along with its neighboring islands, is prone to powerful waves and strong currents. Due to its geographical location, Maui is also known for its afternoon trade winds. These start in the morning and are at their strongest in the afternoon. It’s important to follow the advice of the lifeguards, pay attention to the flags, and avoid the water when these occur.
Never turn your back on the ocean while in Maui and take additional precautions when vacationing with children and non-swimmers.
Where to stay on Maui
Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, comes highly recommended for where to stay on Maui. The beachfront resort was designed to mimic a turtle when viewed from above and is positioned in such a way that it is in line with the winter and summer solstice. This luxury hotel has the benefit of a cultural program that includes tours, workshops, and lūʻaus and helps guests connect with Hawaiian customs and traditions.
Contact me when you are ready to book your trip to Maui.
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