South Maui’s best snorkel beaches: Maluaka Beach
Maluaka Beach is one of our favorite beaches to snorkel and just hang out for the day. There is lots of sun and shade, as well as a grass park area for picnics. (No BBQs).
Maluaka Beach is in front of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort, (the old Maui Prince Hotel) which has been completely 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 beautiful here, with views of Pu’u O lai cinder cone, Molokini crater and the Islands of Kaho’olawe and Lana’i in the distance.
Maluaka Beach is 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 trees. You can either bring a picnic and cooler or have lunch at the Hotels Pool restaurant, and last i saw they even had an outdoor BBQ on the lawn, separate from the Kitchen. There is a path that goes from the Parking (valet now) along the side of the hotel to the Pool and beach.
There is a separate free parking lot for Maluaka Beach about a mile past the Hotel, on the right side. I put a red X to mark the parking lot. Google suggests parking at the North end of the beach at that parking lot, however the best snorkeling is on the south end of Maluaka Beach, (and around the point to the left) so i recommend parking on the south side.
Depending on how much time you have, I like to snorkel first at Ahihi Bay, and then backtrack to Maluaka Beach to hang out for the rest of the morning if not the whole day. Ahihi has very little sand