Overview of Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach

Hawaiian Islands


Wailea Beach is a great site for scuba. Full facilities, and a great beach for all ages.

Directions: At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. In .5 miles, turn right into the public access.


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06/19/2018 Chris Larkby (Avg: 4.25 Review) - Snorkeled Wailea Beach June 19, 2018 from 1:15-3 pm at high tide. 5 mph wind, 2.2 ft. high waves. Parking was free, safe, and plentiful at Public Beach Parking, Wailea Beach Path, Kihei, HI 96753. We followed the path to the beach, headed south to the obvious rock peninsula that sticks out directly in front of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, and left our belongings in a small cave right by the water. As usual, the waves churned up the sand near the shore so we walked into the water fifty feet or so before putting our faces in the water. As we swam along the peninsula it became obvious to me that I was looking at the skeleton of what must have once been a stupendous, world-class snorkeling reef. It sorta looked a little bit silted over. And it's in a location where for half a century probably everyone slathered on the sunscreen before getting in the water. There were areas where it sorta looked like something may have been snapped off -- fan coral? Staghorn coral? It's not in great shape but for something in Maui you can access from shore it's pretty fantastic. There were still plenty of brain coral and the rocks still had lots of urchin-like creatures affixed to them in every nook and cranny. The red ones with the blunt spines were abundant and their color really livened up the place. The rocks had some green algae growing on them that attracted the star of the show -- the green sea turtle(s). Here's what we saw: Too numerous to count: Black Durgeon, sea urchin, green sea urchin, pencil sea urchin (red color, highly striking), Fewer than five spotted: green sea turtles, Moorish Idol (has long, string-like top fin), needlefish, yellowstripe goat fish, parrot fish (beautiful rainbow of colors, though mostly blue), yellow tang (striking!), Trumpetfish (very unusual shape). I saw one stunning fish I am unable to identify: half a foot long with navy blue lips. What we did not see: schools of fish, sharks, seals, sea cucumbers, rays, flounder, starfish, clams, oysters, crabs. Didn't even see crabs on the rocks at the waterline. This was the best snorkel spot of the trip so far. I would go back.

05/07/2013 Fernando Esguerra (Avg: 3.69 Review) - The place has great parking, facilities, and easy entry. It's a bit if a walk to get to the entry point but not bad. There was quite a bit of surge and some current because it had rained all night and was still raining when we dove. If I do the site again, I would snorkel out past the point to the left and head out to the buoys then drop. Long swim out and very shallow. To the buoys. Saw turtles, eel, and fish

10/13/2011 Steve Saarinen (Avg: 4.36 Review) - Swim out to the best part of the reef is somewhat challenging. Two mooring buoys mark the deeper part of the reef. Zig zag patterns coming from the deepest part of the reef and moving inland provide some great diving with good reef relief, a few swim throughs, and abundant reef life. Large surgeon fish, turtles, tangs, and triggers were abundant. Make sure to leave enough air time to swim back in to the beach submerged as the long surface swim and strong surge can be an issue.

06/08/2010 Sophie Morris-Suzuki (Avg: 4.54 Review) - Really good and calm.

10/08/2005 Kendall Roberg (Avg: 4.72 Review) - This is a long surface swim, but well worth it. I snorkeled the site first with my girlfriend and the visibility was okay. Lots of triggers, tangs and smaller spotted puffers. The surf was up, so after 20 minutes we headed back in. I then put on my scuba gear. There was a dive boat parked maybe 500 yards off shore, so I kicked out about 100 yards then navigated the rest of the way under water. I found the divers from that boat and they picked a wonderful spot. This part of the reef had great visibility and huge schools of fish. I even saw a few of my favorite fish, the black tang. I got down to 41 feet. If you are willing to go that far out, this is an awesome site!

10/18/2004 Dan and Kelley Holtman (Avg: 3.61 Review) - Oct. 10,2004 32'FSW/81*F/40'vis. South swell has stirred things up and Makena Landing with breaking surf in bay. This beach entry is easy and coral is beautiful even in low vis conditions. Anchored dive flag in 20' FSW and headed due west. There was a fair amount of surge even as we got further from the point and didn't see too much. Two scrambled egg nudibranchs were cool as well as several Potter's Angelfish. After an hour, we called it quits. Still, an average day of diving beats going to work! Out and back navigation was easy.

10/26/2003 Kelley & Dan Holtman (Avg: 4.44 Review) - 10/19/03-0830-Long walk (300 yards) down to beach. Had to dodge the morning joggers. Sandy beach entry. Snorkeled out approximately 100 yards to anchor required dive flag in the sand. Treated to a Devil Scorpion Fish on the move so the brightly colored fins easy to see. Followed coast south with little fish life but amazing corals. Wouldn't suggest going south unless you want to stay real shallow. Reached sandbar and turned back north. Found large Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle sleeping and a large White-Mouthed Moray right next to him. Small octopus played hide & seek with us. Back near buoy, turned west and fish & coral improved greatly. Found juv. Rockmover (Dragon Wrasse) bouncing along the sand along with many tiny peacock flounders. Not many landmarks so navigation is necessary.

03/30/2002 Bill Stohler (Avg: 3.63 Review) - This Beach is right off the walkway that fronts several of Wailea's nicest resorts. The swim out is a couple of hundred yards. This is the place to go if you want to see the otherwise rare lagoon triggerfish (the more colorful version of the humuhumunukunukuapuaa). I've seen one magnificent snake eel here, lots of frogfish, manta rays and other cool critters. Not nearly as popular for scuba or snorkeling as the adjacent Ulua Beach, but I think it's way better!


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1501


Entrance at Wailea Beach 

The turn-off is well marked.


 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1502


Parking at Wailea Beach 

Parking is ample, and close to the beach there is a drop-off point for equipment.


 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1503


Entry at Wailea Beach 

Hike out to the left end of the beach to make your entry.




Aerial at Wailea Beach 
(click photo for details)

Take your time exploring the point. Watch for currents, of course.

Last Verification: September, 2000  


Diver Averages for  Wailea Beach  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.63
Bottom Conditions:  4.13
Reef Conditions:  4.50
Animal Life:  4.13
Plant Life:  3.25
Facilities:  4.88
Solitude 3.25
Roads:  4.75
*Site Average:  4.15

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  4.63
Beginner Scuba:  3.88
Intermediate Scuba:  4.25
Advanced Scuba:  4.00
Night diving Scuba:  3.75

Number of reviews for this site: 8


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