Maluaka Beach

This is part of Maui’s so-called “Turtle Town,” a prime spot for sighting the inquisitive Hawaiian green turtles that are very common here.

Maluaka Beach has some of the calmest and warmest waters of Maui’s shoreline and is sheltered from trade winds. This makes it prime snorkeling territory, especially in the morning. If you want to see Hawaiian green turtles, add Maluaka to your itinerary; this is the place to see the large marine reptiles up-close! “Turtle Town” runs from Nahuna Point to Black Sand Beach. Maluaka Beach Park is the area’s best spot for turtle-viewing, but is often overlooked by many because of its slightly hidden entrance. This is a bonus, because it makes Maluaka one of Maui’s more relaxed stretches of coastline. The dunes with kiawe trees gave Maluaka its local nickname “Pu'u One” (Sand Hills).Head straight to the rockier south end to see the sea turtles. A coral reef starts here, offering good feeding grounds for the green turtles. You may have to be patient, but visitors usually spot a few of these large reptiles. Green turtles are not easily disturbed and will often get close.Grab a mask and snorkel and jump in to see the turtles swim along the ocean floor too. Note that green turtles actually have brownish shells and are often mistaken for rocks. You can also see schools of tropical fish, octopi and crustaceans. Sometimes you can spot whales in the distance.The nicely groomed grassy area with picnic tables is a good place to have lunch. If you don’t mind changing out of your swimming costume first, you can also dine in the hotel that overlooks the beach.Maluaka Beach’s silky sands are great for beach activities. For sunbathing, visit the quieter northern end of the beach. Golfers can hit a ball while enjoying great ocean views at the resort. At sunset, join a cruise over the bay to end the day in style.Maluaka Beach is in Makena Bay on the southwest coast of Maui at the end of Makena Road. It has a parking lot, showers and toilets. The hotel has a beach-facing snack bar that sells refreshments.