Honolua Bay

5 stars from 5 reviews
Address Between the 32 and 33 mile marker, Lahaina, HI 96761
Great for snorkeling in the calm and clear water but there is no sand here so don't expect a great beach.

• Type: Shady • Parking: Poor / Few
• Parking: Street only • Good For: Snorkeling

Full Description
Honolua Bay is a conservation area and with it's clear and calm waters, it's a great and very popular place to go snorkeling. In fact, many tour boats will come here to let their guests snorkel but you can drive here and do it for free! You'll find the bay along the northwest part of Maui, just a bit north of D.T. Fleming Beach Park and Slaughterhouse Beach (Mokuleia Bay).

Because it is a conservation area you cannot use any sunscreens on your body when swimming here as that can kill the creatures that live in the water. So this is one of those times you shouldn't put on sunscreen which means you should really limit your sun exposure and especially avoid going midday when the sun is the strongest.

Or, make sure to use a "reef safe sunscreen" to Protect Yourself From Sunburn & Skin Cancer. Another option is to wear a long sleeve rash guard or other t-shirt for sun protection.

Once parked you have a short and easy five minute hike ahead of you. The hike is pretty neat and you'll likely spot some wild chickens along the way. It's actually a good and very short hike that little kids might enjoy. There is a sign warning you of falling branches and coconuts and it's not a joke as I watched a large branch fall about 10 feet off the path.

At the water line it's all rocks and no sand so getting into the water might be a little tricky and slippery. As always, keep in mind that the snorkeling will only be good when the ocean is calm and water is clear (you'll even see a sign reminding you of that along the way). If the ocean is angry, stay out.

To get here, follow the map above to our pinpoint and then see our picture that shows where you need to park (which is right off the Honoapiilani Highway). There are actually two parking areas, the second one you come to (as heading north) is larger. Of course, neither area is actually very large so you'll find many people making their own spots on the sides of the road all along this area if it is busy.

Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
This is a tough place to rate. It's not really a beach since there is no sand so for that it ranks low. On the other hand, if you want great snorkeling then this is a great place to go, often one of the best on Maui. There aren't any facilities or amenities though so keep that in mind. It really is all about the snorkeling here.
Norman C
Joined: Aug 2017
Reviews: 8
Likes Received: 0
Wow and wow! This is a great place to snorkel and I thought it would be busier than it was. At first we were the only ones snorkeling but by the time we left only 5 or 6 others were snorkeling here with us. Great visibility and so much to see under the sea.
Holly B
Joined: Feb 2016
Reviews: 13
Likes Received: 0
Beautiful calm beach, small hike down from parking, would visit again.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
Honolua Bay is one of the reasons why I love Maui so much. It's about as pretty a place as you'll ever see. Take your photos from the ridges on either side of the bay. I've never had trouble finding parking at the entrance, but on a crowded day, it may be difficult.

There is a wonderful tropical trail with banyan trees, and hanging vines that takes you to the beach. Lush vegetation with the occasional chicken clucking near you. the hike is about a quarter mile to the rocky shore break. There isn't a sandy beach here. You'll be sitting on rocks, rather than laying out. I usually take backpack and hang it on a tree branch visible from the water.

You'll have to carefully walk on the small rocky boulders to enter the water for snorkeling or swimming. The water is typically pristine an gorgeous. The reef near the left and right side of bay are particularly abundant with fish.

If you are a swimmer, this is a wonderful spot to put on your goggles and get your workout swimming back and forth, from side to side. If you have a GoPro camera, bring it. Worth the trip. Recommended.
Laura B
Joined: Oct 2014
Reviews: 1
Likes Received: 0
Great snorkeling here and a very peaceful area overall. Not great as a beach as it's not a sandy beach.
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