Maluaka Beach, Maui: The Turtle Town of Maui (2024)

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Maluaka Beach is a hidden gem at the southern tip of Wailea in South Maui. If you love turquoise waters, gold sand, and pristine views, this beach is for you.The famous Turtle Town, Makena Landing, is located nearby!

This beach is so good that it not only makes our list of the best beaches on Maui, but also in all of Hawaii!

Maluaka Beach Overview

Palm trees offer shade just above the sand beach, particularly on the south end of the beach. More sun protection can be found under the Koa trees on the grassy knoll just beyond the beach, scattered among the picnic tables.

Maluaka Beach Amenities
RestroomsYes
ShowersYes
ParkingFree Parking, 2 Lots
LifeguardsNo
BBQ GrillsNo
Picnic TablesYes
PlaygroundNo

Who is Maluaka Beach Best For?

This beach is a bit tucked away, which makes it quieter and calmer. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to snorkel or swim in a tranquil setting. Our neighbors and avid beachgoers on Maui did not know of this beach!

Maluaka Beach is also one of our favorite beaches as our favorite snorkel tour to Molokini Crater leaves from here! Beat the crowds to Molokini Crater on a luxury catamaran owned by a local Hawaiian family. Learn more about their Molokini Snorkel Tours here or their Adventure Sunset Sail.

Maluaka Beach, Maui: The Turtle Town of Maui (1)

Is Maluaka Beach Good for Swimming?

Yes! It’s a fantastic place to swim with typically calm waters.

Is Maluaka Beach Good for Snorkeling?

Yes! Either end of the beach provides wonderful snorkeling opportunities, where you’re bound to see marine wildlife like colorful fish, including wrasse and parrotfish, as well as more unique sea creatures like eels, octopi, and the ever-popular sea turtles.

Maluaka Beach, Maui: The Turtle Town of Maui (2)

How To Get to Maluaka Beach

Head south of Wailea into Makena, and you’ll find this beach about 3 miles from the Wailea resort area. It will take about an hour to arrive if you’re from West Maui.

Maluaka Beach Parking

The parking lot is tucked away and essentially hidden from the main road, so keep a lookout as you approach the turn on Makena Road. There are two parking lots. If the northern one (click for directions) is full, head south to the larger lot (click for directions).

Pay attention to posted signs. Public beach parking is right next to the Keawala’i Church parking lot, which is reserved for church visitors.

Note: There are plenty of handicapped parking and paved walkways, but about 15 stairs lead to the beach. We cover wheelchair-friendly beaches in our Hawaii handicap accessibility article.

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Things to Do at Maluaka Beach

Swimming, snorkeling, and sea turtle spotting are the name of the game here! But if you are interested in taking in some history, the Historic Keawala’i Congregational Church (founded in 1832) can be found next to the parking lot on the north end of the beach.

Maluaka Beach Safety

No lifeguards are on duty here, so while this is a typically calm spot, no beach is inherently safe. Always check conditions before entering the water, and never turn your back on the ocean.

Maluaka Beach, Maui: The Turtle Town of Maui (4)

Know Before You Go Snorkel Safety

Swimming and snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean should not be taken lightly. To keep you safe, please know your health limits, swim with a buddy, never turn your back on the ocean, and read and obey posted signs. Check HIOceanSafety.com for ocean conditions at lifeguard beaches.

Places to Eat Near Maluaka Beach

There isn’t much aside from beaches this far down Maui’s coastline, so if you know you’ll get hungry, pack a picnic! You may find a stray food truck or two further down the road in front of Makena Beach, but we think you should put your money on some of the best Maui food trucks or head back up to Wailea if you’re looking for a sit-down meal.

Visit Maluaka Beach and More

While you won’t find much culinary fare down here, there are a few great activities in the immediate area:

  • Molokini Crater Snorkeling: While most boat tours leave from Ma’alaea Harbor, our favorite Molokini Crater snorkel tour with Kai Kanani leaves directly from this beach!
  • Whale Watching (Dec-Mar): The same company we love for Molokini has a whale watching tour that also leaves from here during whale season!
  • If you’re looking for an incredible place for a beach photoshoot, head just a few miles south to Makena Cove (click here for directions). Makena Beach (north of the cove) is another beautiful beach, though it’s not as well known for snorkeling.
  • Once you venture back up to the livelier areas of South Maui, check out our favorite things to do in Wailea and the best activities in Kihei. (Or watch the video below!)

Maluaka Beach, Maui: The Turtle Town of Maui (2024)

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