La Perouse Bay

Phone (808) 984-8100
4.5 stars from 9 reviews
Address End of Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753
Neat place to see black lava up close. Not much of a beach. Snorkeling here can be excellent.

• Type: Protected From Open Ocean • Sand Type: Regular
• Parking: Good / Plenty • Good For: Snorkeling

Full Description
La Perouse Bay is about as far as your rental car will be going in south Maui so simply take Makena Road south. Enjoy the bumpy road as it turns into a skinny one lane road and keep going until the road ends and you're forced to the right and you are here.

This isn't really much of a beach so don't expect a lot of sand here, though there are some tiny pockets of it. Most people see white in the distance (south) and think it's sand but it's all coral down there.

Still, take a walk because it's a neat and very simple and short hike. Keep in mind that it can get really hot out here so bring water as you walk along the lava fields.

That's right, lava, in it's black rock form (not the flowing kind). You passed a lot of it on the way here but this is one of the best places to get out and see it up close and take some pictures.

Along the way you'll see some areas where you can enter the water and you'll probably see people snorkeling around here in the various little coves and around the rocks and in the bay itself.

This can be a great place to snorkel when things are calm but make sure you know what you're doing as there are no lifeguards here. On that note, other than a couple of porta-potties there are no facilities out here.

For those looking for a hike, the Hoapili Trail starts here. Make sure you're well prepared and go early because it gets very hot out here. Ready up on the Hoapili Trail before you go if you plan to hike.

Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
It's a tough place to rate with one score. For a beach it's a 2 because there isn't much sand, water entry isn't easy, etc. For a hike it's a 3 because of the scenery but if you really hike out it's hot and uncovered so not great. For snorkeling, if conditions are good that can be a 5. So I give it an overall 4 stars.
Lisa F
Joined: Jan 2017
Reviews: 48
Likes Received: 13
LOVE! This is a fantastic place to trek along and to access the King's Trail. There is not much of a beach here but the hiking and exploring is excellent. Little orange butterflies all over and you can even spot some goats meandering along the trails. Bring water! There are no facilities and it can get hot. Quite open to the elements, little parking, and quite rocky in places. In the morning you can spot some dolphin if you visit early enough. Also, if you are going to hike along the trails there, you need close toed shoes. We love being able to see the lava rocks from Maui's last flow about two hundred years ago. Well worth the visit for if just the exploration and views alone.
Kim S
Joined: Oct 2016
Reviews: 10
Likes Received: 0
Off the tourist radar; very cool! La Perouse Bay is part of protected state land. If, like me, you want to really see Hawaii, it's worth the drive! Follow the road to Wailea and Makena Beach but keep going, and going. Road narrows and you'll enter the lava fields, which are stunning! Jet black against the blues and greens of the mountains and sky, it's surreal.

Keep going until road ends and the bay BEGINS. Many stop, take a few pics, and go but there is a trail that winds through rough landscapes, blowholes and beaches, you may even encounter a wild pig or other odd wildlife. Not a bad walk, about 1.5 miles in. Very rocky but I had no trouble, even after having a knee replacement 2 months prior. Do recommend real shoes, not flip flops. Saw quite a few spinner dolphins playing at the far end of the bay, at the end of the trail. Definitely worth the time!
brandy s
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 47
Likes Received: 0
Where the road ends... Gorgeous landscape of lava beds meeting the ocean. However there really is no beach. Very rugged and beautiful. Worth the drive out, explore the tide pools for a while but not really much else to linger for. Many locals fish here but not great for much else.
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 67
Likes Received: 2
This actually wasn't really on my Maui bucket list, but when we went down to Big beach for a beach day it was raining (On the south side... where I was told it NEVER rains... honestly). So instead of sitting in the car we took the advice of locals "wait 5 minutes or drive 5 minutes" so we drove down the road. I'm glad we did end up down at la perouse. It is quite the pretty place.
Dawn G
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 26
Likes Received: 0
As the previous poster mentioned, this is not a beach. But it's a great place to go and walk around. It doesn't look like any of the other bays on Maui. We had two teenage boys and they enjoyed the visit. We ended up spending longer here than we intended to. There's an easy hiking trail through the lava field right along the edge of the ocean. There are cool rock formations where the waves crash up and through the rocks.

And if you hike far enough, there are a bunch of wild goats that roam along the trail. This was actually my guys favorite part. The goats are used to people and just go about their business. Your kids need to be old enough to walk through some uneven trail (although not challenging as it's flat) for about 10 - 15 minutes to reach this point. There is a lot of parking, but the lot was pretty full and we had to walk a ways to get to the bay and trail head. I hear the snorkeling in the area is good, but we didn't try that. If we ever get back to Maui, it's a place we'd definitely visit again.
Joined: Feb 2016
Reviews: 5
Likes Received: 1
What an amazing place La Perouse Bay is. Our family had an opportunity to take the drive down, which is sort of fun by itself and spend a couple of hours snorkeling out here. The ocean was perfectly calm and the water was incredibly clear with fish everywhere. What a great time and fun place to snorkel.
Joined: Aug 2015
Reviews: 14
Likes Received: 0
Amazing snorkeling here and just an all around beautiful place to be. Pretty empty the entire time I was snorkeling, mostly just people coming to take pictures and leave and not realizing how great it is under the water.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
The sunsets overlooking La Perouse Bay are spectacular. There are views looking out to Lanai and Molokini island. The lava fields are such a sharp contrast to the lush tropical environment you'd see on the opposite side of the island. The reddish lava rich with iron is like the surface of another planet.

The La Perouse Bay area is a preserve, so there are only limited areas where you can walk, but that’s not really an issue since it's nearly impossible to stroll on the jagged lava rock without suffering serious damage to yourself.
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