On average the South side beaches are less crowded, and there are a lot of large (for Maui) sandy beaches all along the whole south side of Maui. From Waikapu Beach (Sugar Beach) and down to 1 of Maui’s largest beaches: Oneloa Beach; Makena State Park (know locally as “Big Beach”)

South Side of Maui {Kihei-Wailea-Makena} 

From the Turtle reef in front of the Sugar Beach to Ahihi Bay and La Perouse…..

Mauis best snorkel beaches is Sugar Beach
Waikapu Beach (known locally as Sugar Beach)

 Sugar Beach Resort has 1 of Maui’s best kept secrets right out front, in front of our Pool and “Mill Building” there are lots of Turtles, resident Mata Rays, as well as ‘mounds’ of Corals and tropical Fish. Snorkeling is anywhere from 3-20ft deep until you hit “reefs end” where the deep blue water starts.

You can be snorkeling in 3 ft., and then a deep ravine between the coral will be about 10-20 ft., then 5 ft. over this coral head etc. The conditions are best in the morning, from the moment the sun rises over Haleakala Volcano, to around 9:30 AM. There is something about Maalaea Bay, that the ocean water starts getting “murky” early on. *safety says only snorkel in clear water with no waves.

 You can rent snorkel gear and beach chairs from the Maui Snorkel Stoer, and snorkel right out front of our Resort, (free and easy parking by the beach) then have lunch and a Maitai at Dina’s Sandwitch, also lacated here at the Sugar Beach Resort. Click Here for more info, photos, map and directions.

mauis best snorkel beaches, Keawekapu; ManaKai beach
Keawekapu Beach and the Mana Kai Resort

 Keawekapu Beach : In front of the Mana Kai; and also in the middle of this long beach. Again, look for the dark patches of water and the Rocks. Most of the grass in between Hotels is State (or county) land, you are welcome to bring a Beach Chair and coolers and hang out for the day. Bring a picnic or pop up to the 5 Plams Beach Grill for lunch. 5 Palms is also very popular for Happy Hour :-). 

There is a free parking lot between the Mana Kai (5 Palms Restaurant) and the Maui Ocean Front Inn (Sarentos Restaurant). As with all snorkel beaches on Maui, there are a lot of Hawaiian Sea Turtles here, as well as a plthora of tropical Fish!  Keawekapu Beach runs right into Mokapu Beach, you wont even notice its a seperate beach during low tide. Keawekapu beach is one of the best beaches on Maui for families. Free Parking, Tide Pools, Restaurant, Bathrooms and shower and a nice beach!  Click Here for more info, photos, map and directions.

Ulua Beach - Mokapu Beach
Ulua Beach – Mokapu Beach; between the Wailea Marriott and Hyatt’s Andaz

 Ulua Beach : Ulua Beach is located next to the Wailea Marriott and the new Hotel Andaz, in the resort comunity of Wailea, where all the big fancy hotels are on htis side of the Island. The Beaches are all beautiful. There is free parking, however it fills up early as this is one of the most popular Snorkeling and Scuba Diving beaches on the south side. (Kihei-Wailea-Makena). 

There is usually a nice sandy beach, great snorkeling along the right side; between hotels. There is a nice grass area to hang out on, with shade if you like. (not always an easy thing to find). There are public Bathrooms and showers. This is a good spot to hang out for most of the day. There is a “boardwalk” that goes from Wailea Ekahi and Mokapu Beach Park to the Fairmont Kealani and Polo Beach. stop up at any of the Hotels for Lunch and possibly shopping and more sightseeing.  Click Here for more info, photos, map and directions

maui's best snorkel beaches, Maluaka beach park
Puu Olai cinder Cone and Maluaka Beach; Makena Beach and Golf Resort

 Maluaka Beach: is in front of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort, (the old Maui Prince Hotel) which has been completley renovated btw. Looking at the Ocean, the best snorkeling is on the left side about 50 yards out. Out and to the left. It is so beacutiful here, with views of Pu’u O lai cinder cone, Molokini crater and the Island of Kaho’olawe in the distance. Maluaka Beach is also usually a somewhat quiet beach in comparison to the busy Wailea Beaches. A lot of people consider this to be the real “turtle town”.  At about mid-morning sometime, several ‘Molokini and Turtles’ snorkel cruise boats will pull up and let their guests snorkel with the Hawaiian Sea Turtles (Honu) that are in abundance here.  There is free public parking (limited), bathrooms and showers, a grassy area and shade.

Maui btop 10 snorkel beaches, ahihi bay
Ahihi Bay, La Perouse Area

 Ahihi-Kinau Marine Reserve; Waiala Cove: (known Ahihi bay)  is out past Makena, and all the fancy hotels. Ahihi is one of the most beautiful spots and bays on Maui. There is only a smal patch of beach If it is low tide. (our tides don’t go far here in Hawaii). for the most part you will have to climb over the few large rocks along the shoreline,it’s not hard for most people. There is even a small tide pool area good for small children on a calm day. (and it it’s not calm…you should not be snorkeling here anyway)

Ahii’i Bay Marine Preserve is one of the best snorkeling bays in Hawaii. The Hawaiian tropical fish seem to know it is a Marine preserve, as there are a lot of Fish and they get pretty big. The Local boys are not allowed to fish or lei net in this whole area anymore. There is limited parking on the side of the road (you can see everyone snorkeling), however there is a lot of free parking at “Dumps” about a “block” farther down the road on the right side….. a road that is going to go over the Lava Fields, from the last volcanic eruption, and ends 2 miles down at La Perouse Bay.

There are a couple of Molokini snorkel excursions/ tours that will come down the coastline here and over to La Persouse Bay.  One of our favorites is Maui Magic. There are a lot of bays and coves to explore eitehr on your own or with a snorkel boat tour.

South Maui snorkel Beaches map
South Maui snorkel Beaches

This site is provided by Maui Snorkel Store; the information and links provided on this site are offered solely for your information and convenience. Maui Snorkel Store is offering suggestions only for Maui’s best snorkel beaches.  Maui Snorkel is not responsible for you in the Ocean and strongly suggest always check for current safety conditions . Before you participate in any, water sports, activities  consult with a qualified physician regarding  any and all health concerns .