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The Kamaole Beaches

Go to the beach and bring your snorkeling gear: the Kamaole Beaches are all framed by lava outcroppings, and there is colorful reef below. Each has its particular flavor: on some days, Kamaole III seems like Turtle Happy Hour as they munch the algae off the rocks. Kamaole I and II are on and off, but always great to explore.

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Keawakapu Beach

This go-to destination almost always delights, with a moving parade of incredible creatures of all manner cruising a large and well-populated reef. In addition to the expected array of stunning fish, we’ve seen eel, lots of turtles, and the occasional Manta Ray. In 15 years of relatively consistent snorkeling this great spot, we’ve seen exactly one shark – a white-tipped reef shark, which lived up to the breed’s reputation for calm, unobtrusive curiosity. Several entrances, but the most convenient is the gravel parking lot located next door (south, toward Wailea) from the 5 Palms Restaurant entrance. More parking on S. Kihei Rd. and Kilohana Dr.

Ulua Beach

Right off the Wailea Beach path, Ulua Beach and its neighboring Mokapu Beach (separated by a finger of lava rock) feature excellent, clear-water snorkeling that’s well suited to all levels of experience. Calm days often reveal a seemingly endless reel of beautiful aquarium-level fish, against a brilliant blue backdrop. Parking makes it super convenient when it’s available – there’s a small sign on Wailea Alanui Rd.

Ahihi Bay (Advanced)

Some say it’s not what it once was before frenzied Wailea/Makena development and runoff to the reef, but Ahihi Bay still brings the magic that only a designated Marine Preserve can offer: relaxed, accessible marine life, much of which has grown to full scale without the looming presence of human predators. You’ll see some species that have vanished at unregulated reef (and not so coincidentally appeared in record numbers in captivity -- thanks to the aquarium fish trade). Bring foot protection for the walk in from the parking lot above the site. Access by the wall, on the road. Moving over the rocks to get submerged can be awkward, but the payoff is worth it.
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