Overview of Five Caves

Five Caves

Maui
Hawaiian Islands

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Five Caves is know by several names including Five Graves and Nahuna Point. This is a must-do dive for Maui, as the entry is easy and formations and sea creatures are impressive. If it is your first time to the area, a guide is recommended to ensure you find the caves on your first dive. The nearest facilities are at Makena Landing, just a short drive up the road.

Directions: At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. After 2.2 miles, turn right onto Makena Road. In a couple of hundred yards, you'll see the parking area.


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01/03/2017 Hector Hernandez Aviles (Avg: 4.25 Review) - I dove here for the first time after getting certified. I reach as deed as 38'. I saw a lot of fishes and several turtles. I did it three time in two different days. I saw three five foot white tip sharks and there are a few caves of the five caves that a beginner scuba diver enjoyed and I was thrilled to dive it.

10/03/2014 Jonathan Olcott (Avg: 3.22 Review) - This is a great site. Difficult to find on the road. Very hard entry but if I did it 5 more times I would get the hang of it. The caves were off to the left and easy to find. Very shallow dive, close to shore so we felt safe. No need for a float. Lots of turtles. Every time you turn your head you saw one. We dove this after 7 days of boat diving during which we did not see a turtle.

04/26/2014 Mark Strong (Avg: 3.32 Review) - Easy entry via sand boat ramp. Surface swim about 150-200 yards around point to the right of the boat ramp (facing water) to second house. Dropped down and followed shoreline looking for caves The first cave was further around the point than we expected and was the first wide open area with rubble and rock bottom where shore goes back in an alcove. Cave had one small white tip. Good sized cavern. Next cavern (bubble cave) had large air dome and several turtles. Fair variety of reef fish along shoreline; butterfly fish, tangs, puffers, Moorish idols, trunk fish, and more turtles. Found a couple other caverns with turtles also schools of fish. Also a nice set of swim through. Very nice dive.

03/14/2013 Nolcol (Avg: 3.44 Review) - As others have said this is a good dive location. A second dive stop for a lot of boats on the way back in from Molokini, so early is better. Lots of kooks with sea scooters is the only drawback, fun dive site with good variety.

11/12/2012 Kathy Becklin (Avg: 3.82 Review) - I've dove this several times and think it is one of the best shore dives on Maui. The easiest entry is if you take the path over to right (North) side of the cove. It looks impossibly steep but is much easier than entering on the very slippery rocks which were busy with grazing turtles! The path is like a steep staircase, but then you can sit on the edge, adjust all your gear and gently slide into about 3' of water.

06/13/2011 ReefDiver (Avg: 4.03 Review) - Not much parking. Lots of nice turtles. Nice easy entry. Fairly decent walk in to the entry point. Overall a very good dive.

03/02/2011 Dan from Rogue River (Avg: 3.43 Review) - Dove here Feb 10, 2011. Ran into a local who informed us that the five caves are little hard to find. The viz was only 20 ft. the day we were there. Normally I was told, it was 50 ft. viz. Found 2 caves, no sharks, but about 5 turtles and blow fish. I would dive here again when I get back to Maui. 20 viz at 24 feet, about 50 minute dive.

10/15/2010 Shad (Avg: 4.57 Review) - My wife and I dove this a little late in the day, but would be better earlier in the am. Nonetheless an amazing dive, a must do. Saw a couple of white tips in one of the caves, turtles, and some eels. The only thing is every road on the way down is Makena rd. Its the second Makena rd. on the right. Overall an amazing site.

06/24/2010 Chris Groll (Avg: 3.71 Review) - Wow what an amazing site. I chose to dive this after diving around the corner the previous day at Makenna landing. The rocks were very uneven and slippery on the entry and exit, but not manageable. We went out the cove and hung a left following the lava shelf. Found one of the caves pretty quick. At the end of the reef as it heads out to sea we made a right turn and went over the top of another reef then headed WSW(left). This is where we found another cave with a HUGE Honu (Green sea turtle) and a white tip sleeping. While I was laying on the bottom taking video of the White tip, the big turtle decided to make friends with us and swam only inches over the top of my head and landed right in front of us. Much better Visibility and life from 5 Graves than Makenna landing

05/30/2009 Jerry Burawski (Avg: 4.71 Review) - Must do dive. We didn't enter at the Graves. Were talking to some locals and they told us windows have been broken there. Enter at the beach (by the canoe rentals) on the south side. There's bathrooms, shower and plenty of parking. Enter at the sand beach, follow the shore line to the right. Several caves, one of which had a single white tip reef on the first day and 5 on the second day. One cave has an air pocket in the middle, large enough to pop up in and talk. Will do this one again.

05/16/2008 B Kuhn (Avg: 3.60 Review) - Nahuna Point (Five Graves) 35 ft. This is very small lava entry area, but an excellent dive with a nice shallow reef. Lots of turtles and sea life can be found at this site. There are no facilities here. Best to dive early in the morning before the waves pick up. Visibility of 30-75 ft. Four stars.

01/04/2007 EnjoysWater (Avg: 3.58 Review) - I preferred this over Makena Landing. Less people (well, actually no people) and better vis the days I dove 5 caves/graves. Entry could be tricky for some. Boots are handy. Sometimes there was a bit of surge, but it was not difficult or threatening. After exiting the sheltered entry point, we veered to the left. There were multiple caves along the way. Fun little walls and reef structure. Farther south, after you pass the rock which has a cave and protrudes pointy-like outward, there is also a buoy line/rope thing and some fun little reef structures. Found the biggest turtle all week chilling out there. Keep your eyes peeled for a little white tip reef shark in the caves. This is a site I would recommend in the Kihei/Wailea area.

08/23/2006 Jerry GoDiveMaui.Com (Avg: 4.09 Review) - Five Graves (Five caves is a newer name used by prominent dive shops) This dive site is also an alternative entry to see some of the features we see from Makena landing, such as the lava caves and white tip sharks. The entry is to the north side of a tiny cove at the end of the trail starting at an old Maui grave yard with five grave sites (some are double graves). The cove blocks most trade wind swells. The coral growth follows the contours of lava flows running West and Southwest. You can expect to see turtles, eels, octopus, and a variety reef fish including butterfly fish, puffers, trigger fish, Moorish Idols, (Humuhumunukunukuapua'a) and the occasional frog fish. Facilities (showers and toilets) are over the hill at Makena Landing.

10/13/2005 Kendall Roberg (Avg: 4.32 Review) - This is a must do Scuba site. It is fun to explore the caves and look for sharks (didn't see any) or turtles (saw tons). Visibility was great once we got out far enough. We dove for 1 hour and 30 minutes and I still didn't get bored. We went down to 42 feet where there was a school of maybe 50 butterfly fish that have been trained to be hand feed by divers. You simply rub your fingers together and they swarm around you. This was fun until one bit my ear, then it was time to move on. Fun dive, lots to see, and the most beautiful rockscapes I have seen on the island.

01/07/2005 John Strang (Avg: 3.90 Review) - I dove Makena several times last year, and this year got in at Five Caves/Graves. It's great to avoid the surface swim from Makena, to see the caves, and the visibility is better from the beginning due to no sand bottom. If you wait for good surf days, the entry is only slightly difficult. When the waves are coming in, go around the corner to Makena Landing. Loved the topography and turtles. The caves (actually caverns) are easy to view from the entrance, but bring a light to spot turtles and sharks catching a siesta. We dove this site several times over Christmas. Lots of eels and several juvenile wrasse sightings that were fun. It's worth the short walk and sometimes interesting entry.

05/13/2004 Bryan Heit (Avg: 3.63 Review) - Best shore dive I have done in Maui. Entry can be a little sketchy as there is a lot of large rocks in the shallows. Caves are very interesting, with many supporting a lot of life. Sea turtles abound here, and the odd white-tip shark can be found. Don't dive this site if there are large waves, as entry becomes dangerous and vis quickly becomes bad.

05/07/2004 George Duncan (Avg: 3.45 Review) - Fantastic dive...best on mainland Maui....second to Molokini of course...great vis, too bad only had 2 dives at this site. Would love to dive it several times more as we did not find all the caves. A lot of turtles, didn't see any reef sharks..sigh. Definitely a great dive. Entry not bad, watch the rocks though.

06/12/2003 Al Mialkovsky (Avg: 3.69 Review) - I am logging this dive twice and things have changed since I last dove here two years ago. Plus I felt that someone showing up in the near future might appreciate it. When we dove here in the beginning of May it was nearly undivable as a huge swell came in and the entry alone would have been too dangerous not to mention the horrible visibility. But.....The last few days have been fantastic here. The summer swell will make things worse before long but it's super right now. The bubble cave has a pregnant mommy (overdue I think) and a huge pappa in it right now. So we didn't enter it all the way. There are plenty of other caves to play in. Go with a local or even hire a diver to show you how to find them. It looked like the turtle population has gone insane. There are so many we couldn't keep count. In fact there were 6 turtles laying close together in one small area. The snorkel boats were moored right by them. 4 boats this morning at once.

03/25/2002 Brian Wiederspan (Avg: 2.86 Review) - Great site for beginner, intermediate, and advanced divers, depending on what you choose to do. The toughest part of the dive is the entry at 5 Graves. It's a rocky entry which will present a challenge if there is surf. If surf is bad, I would enter at Makena Landing just up the road, much easier. If your air consumption is good try starting at 5 Graves and exit at Makena Landing. Allow yourself at least 45 minutes, it took us 75 minutes, but we were moving very leisurely. We saw 5 turtles, 3 white-tip sharks (including an 8-10' pregnant female), and a turtle cleaning station. Lot's of caves and swim-throughs, you could do this dive 10 times and not see it all. The locals dive shops have maps of the site. Go early in the morning though, this place gets PACKED after 9 or 10am. Vis is great until the crowds come. Many boats do their last dive here after Molikini, but it's an easy shore dive, just take your time entering.

01/25/2002 John Bruels (Avg: 3.27 Review) - I am very familiar with this site as a free diver as well as scuba. Overall I rate this site as an advanced dive. The entry is fairly technical, especially if there is any surf. The topography is complex, especially if you attempt to enter any caves (use extreme caution whenever entering any overhead environment). Finally, planned as an entry at 5 Graves and exit at Makena Landing watch your air consumption, it's a lot of swimming and you are bound to be a hover if there is any surge or current. Animal life is amazing here. I recommend this as an early morning dive, surf comes up (and vis goes down) as the afternoon approaches.

10/06/2001 Bill Stohler (Avg: 2.86 Review) - Probably the most dove site by tourists from both boats and shore (after Molokini Crater). There are two entries (Makena Landing at the south side and 5 Graves at the north side). The site lies in between the two, and I usually start at the graves and end up at the landing (walking back). There are more than 7 shallow caves that are home to green sea turtles, white tip reef sharks, and hairy Hawaiian lobsters. Use caution if you enter the caves. Occasional spotted eagle rays and manta rays cruise over the bouldery bottom in 40 to 50 feet near the outer boat moorings. Visibility varies radically depending on conditions, so if the surf it big, don't even try to dive here. The DLNR often warns or cites divers here who dive without a flag.

06/02/2001 Mike Roberts (Avg: 3.03 Review) - 5 Caves, 5 Graves, or Turtle town. Whatever you call it, it's a great site. They are ruining this place with construction and dive/snorkel boats though, so you better hurry. Due to the construction, you now have to park across the street, then follow the path along the rock wall to the entry inlet. Entry is pretty easy if there is no big South Swell. Best in Winter and Spring. Lots of variety is the best thing here. Always see turtles and usually white-tips. Great snorkeling if you have some experience. Not good for night diving unless you are with someone that knows the area well or you are an extremely good navigator. Do it early!! Boats start arriving at 9:30 and this place becomes a zoo! From the entry, follow the wall on your left out to the point (I usually don't drop down until I'm about halfway there). After you get around the point, you can go toward shore or out to sea for a deeper dive. Make some sort of a circle and return to the point to find your way back. Great test for your nav skills! Good site for turtles, sharks, spotted eagles, frogfish, and morays.

05/19/2001 Al Mialkovsky (Avg: 3.38 Review) - Entry isn't bad unless the surf is up, as it was went we went there, rocks can be slippery but just go slow, once you enter water it's an easy kick out to the deeper water. Wonderful caves to explore with both turtles and reef sharks all over the place. Although we had some surge the bottom had good visability and we were able to dive in a cave with white tip reef sharks and another cave was filled with turtles. Many eels are in the area and since boat dives go exactly to this spot, save yourself 75 bucks and do a shore dive!!


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Site Photos

Maps
(what is GPS?)
Photo
(click photo for a larger version)
Comments
Parking

 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1801
N2039.3631'
W15626.5238'

 

Parking at Five Caves 

Parking can be found on either side of the road.

Trail Head

 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1802
N2039.3619'
W15626.5443'

 

Trail Head at Five Caves 

Gear up at your car and take the short hike to the entry.

Overview

 

 

Overview at Five Caves 

You can see this a popular site for boat divers.

Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1804
N2039.3653'
W15626.5733'

 

Entry at Five Caves 

The small cove offers a well-protected entry.

Aerial

 

 

Aerial at Five Caves 
(click photo for details)

Kick out to sea, following the lava shelf, and circle around to the left. The shallower water around the point makes for a good return to the entry point.

Last Verification: September, 2000  

 

Diver Averages for  Five Caves  (1=worst, 5=best)


Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.30
Bottom Conditions:  3.96
Reef Conditions:  4.09
Animal Life:  4.22
Plant Life:  3.13
Facilities:  2.43
Solitude 3.04
Roads:  4.13
*Site Average:  3.66
   

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.70
Beginner Scuba:  3.22
Intermediate Scuba:  4.26
Advanced Scuba:  4.17
Night diving Scuba:  3.39

Number of reviews for this site: 23

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