Sometimes it is hard to find decent waves in Wailea and Makena and today was no exception. I did take the boogie board out at Big Beach. The lifeguards warned us that there was a sharp pitch to the beach and there was. However, once in a while you could catch a wave for a short, but tumultuous ride. Several people failed to heed the advice of the lifeguards and turned their back on the incoming waves and paid the price by getting knocked down.
Equipment: I stop by Costco and buy a boogie board for $26 whenever I visit Hawaii.
Cliff diving seems to be a popular past time for the young men here in Maui. We've seen cliff divers at the beach in Ka'anapali.
It was nice to see these very taleted young men do all sorts of summersaults before diving into the crystal clear waters.
I enjoy being out in the water swiming, snorkeling and real soon diving. Snorkeling is a fantastic way to get to see some of the creatures inhabiting the waters below.
I always travel with my own snorkel gear and whether or not I take a quided snorkel trip to some wonderful location like Molokini or just off the beach, I've always been lucky to see some amazing fish, rays, turtles, seals and other marine life.
Equipment: Snorkel gear, fins and mask. If you are out on a tour, these will be provided to you if you don't have your own.
Kayaking is a great activity that you can enjoy here in Maui. Most of the resorts that have an activity center will offer it for a fee. We enjoy doing a little bit of kayaking around the waters of Wailea which are crystal clear.
It's really peaceful getting out just the two of us and looking back the the shoreline.
You can't come to a tropical island like Maui and not want to enjoy the water activities...
The resorts and hotels all have pools and are usually not far from a beach so getting out and enjoying a swim is a good way to cool off during a hot day.
There are all sorts of cruises that you can take. Ferni and I decided on a sunset cruise which included dinner.
Being able to get on a boat and cruise around an island getting a bird's eye view of the beautiful coast is a very nice way to spend a few hours.
Sunset cruises are very popular in any of the Hawaiian islands as it is said that Hawaii has one of the most beautiful sunset you will ever see.
I've seen plenty of sunsets in many parts of the world, and Maui has one of the most beautiful. I was able to see the "flash" as the sun dips down over the horizon. Quite spectacular.
Equipment: Make sure to have a good camera to photograph the beautiful coastline as well as the amazing sunset.
One of the great thing about Maui is that it is so easy to slip on a mask and snorkle, head out over the reef and enjoy the Aquarium Grande below you. I didn't even bother with fins this last trip. I didn't feel I needed them at all. The water is very comfortable, and the salt content in the water keeps you very bouyant (sp?). Off of Makena you can head out several hundred feet from the shore and still be over reef. Or, as I found, barely 10 feet offshore near a small rock formation were three green sea turtles.
Surfing is big on Maui. For big surf you go to the North side of the Island, Paia is a good area, where the winter swells bring in long, well developed waves. For beginning surfers you head to the South side of the Island by Lahaina, where the swells are trapped by the reef, and you get little waves, but at least you can surf.
If you visit Maui, you should really take a snorkeling trip. The most popular area for snorkeling is Molokini, a small crater-like island off the southwest coast of Maui. While you'll see fish at Molokini, the area is really crowded with people and boats.
If you're looking for a more relaxed snorkeling environment, try a trip out to Lanai, a beautiful island just to the west of Maui. I highly recommend the Pacific Whale Foundation's boats, because they do not pack them full of people (like many tours do) and they bring along naturalists who can help you identify and fish or dolphins you see. There are several different places on the coast of Lanai that offers good snorkeling. It will just depend on the weather and currents on the day that you sail as to where you end up. Have fun!
Equipment: Most snorkeling tours include fins and masks in the price of your admission, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
You will need to bring your own towel... and don't forget to apply LOTS of sunscreen.
And it would be a good idea to take some Dramamine before the trip. I've seen lots of people get sick when seas get rocky.
There are lots of biking tours available in Maui. And, most of them cost about $100 per person. That can be an expensive activity for most families. We found one that has an express tour for $55 per person and we found it to be worth while. They skip the crater tour for the express tour. So, if you don't mind that, it's still about a 1/2 day activity.
Take your mp3 player or ipod for the ride down. Sunglasses and sunscreen a must! The bike company provides transportation up the mountain, the bikes, helmets, protective clothing, back packs and gloves. You must wear the helmets but not required to use the other items that are available.
Meet at the Haiku Market shopping center.
We were going to go to Maui for one reason - SNORKELING! My boyfriend says the snorkeling there is better than Kauai or Oahu (I loved the north shore of Oahu). So, my expectations are huge. Here are some snorkeling spots to check out on Maui - all to the west coast of the island starting with the most southern end (Beg-Beginner, Int-Intermediate, Adv-Advanced):
La Perouse-Excellent place to snorkel if it isn't too windy. There is a pod of dolphins that frequents the area - usually in the early morning hours. If you are lucky they will swim with you! Located past Ahihi Reserve, this is end of the road unless you have 4-wheel drive & a lot of clearance. Beach is rocky to none. Int to Adv
Ahihi Keanau Reserve-We snorkeled in this spot. There's isn't much of a sandy beach at all so walking on the rocks is challenging when you are bare footed. But getting in and out of the water isn't too hard. The current is mild (on this particular day) and lots of fish in the area, The water wasn't too clear but I imagine there are better days here in this bay. Located south of Wailea & all of the hotels, after the road narrows & follows the coast closely, you will begin to see Ahihi Keanau Reserve signs. Beach is rocky. Beg to Adv
Five Caves-Is a snorkel or scuba spot. Abundant marine life including many turtles. Not for beginners due to the swimming distance. Many caves and "swim-thrus" for advanced scuba divers. Visibility is sometimes poor after rain or south swells. Located south of Wailea on Wailea Alanui, turn toward the ocean on Makena Rd, just south of the Makena Surf Condos. In about 1/4 mile, you will see some dirt parking on both sides of the road & a small graveyard between the parking and the ocean. Follow the trail to the sea and look for an inlet for entry. No Beach. Int to Adv
Polo Beach-by the Kea Lani Hotel. This is a pretty sand beach with the best snorkeling area to the right. Nice coral formations and plenty of fish. Located between Wailea and Makena in front of the Kea Lani Hotel. Take Kaukahi (the road on the south side of the hotel) toward the ocean and turn right at the bottom of the hill, following the beach access signs. Showers, change rooms, restrooms. Nice sandy beach. Beg to Int
Mokapu and Ulua-two beaches separated by a nice little snorkel point. This is a nice place for the family, especially if you are staying in the Wailea area. Parking lot may be full if you are not there early or later in the afternoon. Located in Wailea between the Renaissance & Outrigger hotels. See the sign on Wailea Alanui and turn toward the water. Showers, change rooms, restrooms. Nice, sandy beach on either side of snorkel area. Beg to Int
Kamaole Beaches-1, 2, & 3 are stretches of sandy beaches along South Kihei Road. Each beach is bordered by rocky points. These points are the best snorkeling. Great family beaches with plenty of stores and restaurants close by. Located on South Kihei Road in Kihei. Showers, change rooms, restrooms, lifeguards, phones, park facilities. Nice, sandy beach. Beg to Int
Coral Gardens-lots of coral and tropical fish. Good spot to see turtles. Unless you are on a boat, this is only recommended for advanced snorkelers due to the long swim & sometimes difficult access. Located on Hwy. 30, about 1/2 mile north of the tunnel. The first parking area north of the Pali (cliffs). Enter by parking area and swim south in front of the cliffs. Showers, change rooms, restrooms. No Beach. Adv (Beg to Int from a boat)
Olowalu-Acres of coral reef. You could spend the whole day here and not see it all. If it's a little murky at first don't get discouraged-just go further out. This area stays shallow for a long way out. Follow the sand channels until you are deep enough not to scrape your belly on the coral. This location is also a good choice in the afternoon as it more protected from the trades. Located on Hwy. 30 at mile marker 14, about 10 miles south of Lahaina. See mile marker post on the mountain side of the road. Be careful not to park in soft sand! Narrow sandy beach. Beg to Adv
Wahikuli Park-Located just north of Lahaina on Highway 30. Across the street from the Post Office & Lahaina Civic Center. Showers, change rooms, restrooms. Sandy beach. Beg to Int
Black Rock-wall dive for snorkelers. A lava outcropping with coral attached. Swim from the South end up to the north & back again. If there is no ocean swell, this can be a very clear snorkel. One usually sees turtles along the way and an occasional tako (octopus). A common spot for night dives. Located on Hwy. 30 in Ka'anapali turn toward the ocean on Ka'anapali Parkway. Look for the free beach access parking. If it's full, you'll have to park at Whaler's Village parking. If you decide to eat or buy something at this mall or have lunch, you can have your ticket validated. Lots of parking (some free some not - see above), showers, change rooms, restrooms, pay phones, shops and restaurants. Beautiful sandy beach. Beg to Int
Kapalua Bay-prettiest beach on Maui & a good snorkeling spot. Best snorkeling is on the north side of the bay unless you are very experienced, you should stay within the bay due to the potential for strong currents outside. Located on Hwy. 30, at the Napili Plaza, turn toward the ocean on Napilihau Street. When Napilihau Street "T's" at Lower Honoapi'ilani Road, turn right. Drive almost a mile to Napili Kai Beach Club and turn toward the ocean at the Shoreline Access sign. Park in the lot and walk through the tunnel to the beach. The best snorkel access is on the north side of the bay. Showers, change rooms, restrooms. Sandy beach. Beg to Int
Makulei'a Bay-known as "Slaughter House" to surfers, is a good place to snorkel. The snorkeling isn't quite as good as Honolu'a, but if there are some in your group that want to just hang out on the beach, this would be a good compromise. If you are an experienced swimmer, you could snorkel around the northern point to Honolu'a. There are coral formations on each side of the bay and lots of colorful fish. The chance of spotting a few turtles here is good. This is a marine reserve so you are not allowed to take anything. Located north of Napili on Hwy. 30, at mile marker 32, you will see a chain link fence at the top of the cliff. Park where you can and walk down the concrete stairway to the beach. Be sure to park off the road. If you are not completely outside of the white fog line, you may get ticketed. Sandy beach. Beg to Adv
Honolu'a-The website below indicates this is the best Maui snorkeling spot on a good day. We enjoyed this place a lot. The beach is very nice, not too crowded. The snorkeling to the east side or right side of the bay is better. I did see one turtle thought the water was sorta murky, I did get a photo. A good day here is when there have been no recent North swells or rain. During North swells, this is a world class surfing spot & not for good snorkeling. If there has been a recent rain in the area, the run-off enters at the mouth of the bay and ruins the otherwise great visibility. Most of the time this is a great place to snorkel or dive. There are coral formations on each side of the bay & lots of colorful fish. The chance of spotting a few turtles here is excellent. This is a marine reserve so you are not allowed to take anything. Located north of Napili on Hwy. 30, about 1/2 mile past mile marker 32, you will see a metal gate (teal colored fence) down in a wash. Park where you can & walk around the gate, through a canopy of trees and to the water. Be sure to park off the road. If you are not completely outside of the white fog line, you may get ticketed. Large beach, smooth rock. Beg to Adv
Info obtained at the website listed below:
Equipment: Snorkel Tube and Goggles
Flippers (I don't like to use these)
Reef Shoes for rocky lava areas
Bathing suit (I don't think swimming naked is allowed)
To prevent goggles from fogging up - wipe inside of goggles with your own spit (sounds gross but it really works)
Parasailing opportunities are only from May 16th through December 14th because of the migration of the Humpback Whales. You can parasail on the Big Island all year long. A lot of travel sites will offer up the opportunity to parasail. Here are a few actual parasail companies:
Equipment: Age restriction at least 5 years old. Minimum weight to fly alone is 130 pounds and not exceeding 350 pounds tandem (restrictions may change due to weather conditions).
So, here is another water sport activity you can do in Maui. The idea of kayaking through caves is appealing but this is not possible on Maui. However, there are some great snorkeling spots that are not accessible from the beach or difficult to get to. To snorkel at Coral Gardens or Olowalu would be amazing as there are acres of coral reef and tropical fish. Coral Gardens is not accessible from the beach so kayaking to it would makes sense! Kelli's Kayak tours offers two excursions to this area. One for 2 1/2 hours at $64 or one for 4 1/2 hours at $89 snacks, beverages are provided - lunch is provided on 4 1/2 hour tour.
Kayak tours offer kayaking experiences at other beaches as well.
Equipment: Bathing suit
Kayak tour to provide the rest of the equipment
I don't golf (yet). I've wacked some balls at the driving range but that's not the same as playing a round of golf. The boyfriend and I are interested in taking lessons this year. Maybe when we get back from Maui. I just love to see the beautiful golf courses and how pristine the grass looks and the soft, rolling mounds and various trees planted. With the ocean as a back drop, who wouldn't want to play golf in Maui?
Here are some golf courses for your consideration:
http://www.kaanapali-golf.com/kaanapali.asp?id=131&page=2330 2 Courses (North and South)
http://www.kapalua.com/hawaii-golf/ 3 Courses (Bay, Plantation and Village)
http://www.makenagolf.com/ 2 Courses (North and South)
http://www.waileagolf.com/ 3 Courses (Gold, Emerald and Blue)
Equipment: Golf Clubs
This looks like a blast! A combination of parasailing and hang gliding it looks like great fun. Price ranges from $75 - $175 depending on how high you go.
Must be between 7 and 70 years of age. Physically able to run and weigh less than 230 pounds.
We have stayed at Napili Point Condos six times and are returning again this February for a month....more
What a lovely little facility this is. Maui Oceanfront in Kihei has been recently taken over by Best...more
1533 Uakea Rd, Hana, Hawaii, 96713, United States
Good for: Solo