Kapalua Bay

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
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Entry Map
directions
Directions
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Photos
Difficulty
beginner
Viz (last reported 2160h ago)
Max Depth
40ft (unconfirmed)

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay is a sheltered white sand beach on the north west side of Maui. The bay is protected by two reefs that extend out on both ends forming a C-shaped cove making it ideal for snorkeling. The bay’s calm water makes it one of those perfect places for beginner snorkeling and is an ideal spot to take the kids. Getting into the water couldn’t be easier. The ocean will literally be a few feet from your beach towel. The Kapalua Bay Hotel overlooks the beach’s soft sand and tranquil blue water.
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Zentacle
Zentacle
Sep 21, 2021, 1:05 AM
scuba
The beach entry is very simple. The parking is very limited, so if you are planning to spend the day here, get your space early! Access to the beach is through a tunnel at the far end of the parking lot. In terms of hiking with a lot of equipment on your back, the point on your left is easiest access!
Mary Lash
Mary Lash
Jul 21, 2021, 11:21 PM
snorkel
This beach is excellent for families with young children, as well as beginner snorkelers, because the rock outcroppings on either side provide natural protection from wind and high surf. Snorkeling off the right (north) side of the beach is good, once you swim out beyond the silty water near the shore. You are almost certain to spot at least one sea turtle feeding on the reef, plus dozens of colorful fish. The beach has restrooms and a hose to rinse off sand. The downside of this beach is that it can be crowded with obnoxious tourists from adjacent resorts who play loud music, drink, and harass the sea turtles. Parking is also tough, if you are driving.
Carmen Flowers
Carmen Flowers
Jul 21, 2021, 11:20 PM
snorkel
After a week of trying to find a beach where wind and waves weren't beating us up, we finally found Kapalua! The surf is extremely calm and there are coral and fish everywhere. Excellent beach for snorkelers including kiddos just getting started with snorkeling. We tried for days to get a parking spot for this beach with no luck. Finally got there by 9 a.m. and we're able to find parking. Get there early!
Hiram Lee
Hiram Lee
Jul 21, 2021, 11:20 PM
snorkel
Maui is overrun with tourists right now and this beach was no exception. We arrived by 9 am and were LUCKY to find a parking spot although we had to pay $10. People were parking up to 1/2 mile away and hoofing it to this beach. This beach is on a cove so it's a little more protected than others like Ka'anapali Beach. Even though we arrived in the morning, the beach was already packed. Yet, when we left around 12, the beach at tripled in capacity. it was TOO crowded. The beach area is also going through restoration so it's not quite as attractive as it could be. Snorkeling wasn't very good the day we were there as there was a lot of turbidity. Also, it was just too crowded to be snorkeling close to all those people and the sharp coral.
William Terrill
William Terrill
May 14, 2012, 12:00 AM
scuba
As good as it was for me in 2008. Fairly clear conditions, swam with 2 Blacktip reef sharks and a Greater Barracuda on the north side of Bay.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Joseph Meyer
Joseph Meyer
Sep 10, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
Lovely, lovely spot, but it was much nicer before the demolition of the Kapalua Bay Hotel and construction of the Ritz Carlton Club. They washed the construction dirt off the trucks into the storm drain, and right into the bay, where it has essentially killed the reef. All of Kapalua's green-washing cannot eradicate that stain. I'll go to Kapalua for the beach, but I'll head over to Honolua for snorkeling.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
DB
DB
Aug 18, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
The wife and I spent two weeks in Maui this July. We rented shore diving gear from Pacific Dive Company in Lahaina. The rentals were inexpensive and the shop hooked us up with some local shore dive info. Since Kapalua Bay had been rated 1 of the top 10 beaches overall by Sunset magazine, we knew we had to dive it. Parking was great if you get there early enough, showers and a bathroom within a few feet of it. The beach is just a short walk down a paved path, a small hike. Once at the beach, we entered on the left for our first dive and the right for our second. The right side put us on the best area to dive. Average depth was 20-35', vis- 25-50', temp- 73-74. We surface swam about 200 feet before descending. Lots of snorkelers overhead, turtles, coral and Hawaiian fish were everywhere. We came back and dove this site two more times. Beach gets a little crowded in the afternoon, so it is best to get there before 9am.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
S. Williams
S. Williams
May 8, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is a great place for a diver who has limited experience entering from the shore. There are large grass areas where you can suit up without getting sand in all of your gear. There are showers right next to the beach to rinse off when done diving. I saw the largest sea turtle yet at this location. Morays, turtles, and fish galore!!! Excellent dive spot for beginners and a nice relaxing dive for the experienced. I highly recommend it!!!
Originally posted on shorediving.com
William Terrill
William Terrill
Oct 13, 2008, 12:00 AM
scuba
Great snorkeling site with easy shore entry. Lots of sea life over coral and rocks throughout the bay. For larger and more varied sealife, work out along deeper reef in the center and on the long fingers of reef extending from the points. I saw my first eagle ray of the trip in the center of the bay.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
B Kuhn
B Kuhn
May 16, 2008, 12:00 AM
scuba
Kapalua Bay 31 ft . Easy beach dive with washroom and showers. This site is a popular beach and dive site for local dive classes and can be dove throughout the day since the bay is very sheltered. Parking is limited so arrive before 9am or you'll have to park on the main road and walk to the bay. If you decide to dive this site later in the day, you can drop off your dive gear and park the car farther away. The best entry points for divers are as you enter the bay area on the left side or in the middle of the beach area on the bay. The better part of the reef is on the right dive of the bay. Five stars.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Dean Ledgerwood
Dean Ledgerwood
Nov 26, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
This was my first Maui Dive. What a great way to get accustomed to the warm water and great sea life. My wife was able to snorkel above me while I dove. Go towards the end of the point to the left for depths around 40 feet. Saw sea turtles, sea snakes, and a ton of great tropical fish. Very curious little swimmers! Recommended for anyone staying on West Maui. Be sure to get out in the morning since an afternoon northern swell tends to move in.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Travis
Travis
Apr 30, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
Kapulua Bay is an excellent beach. I saw it written that it has been voted "World's Nicest Beach" by Sunset Magazine. I can see why. The sand is beautiful and the bay is protected by two reefs/points. Keeps the waves down. Allows easy snorkeling. I took a virgin snorkeler and she had no trouble. I recommend this beach for everyone. It has a hut to rent out cabanas and any gear you might desire, full facilities, and a sandy bottom near shore. Kids can play in the surf and adventurers can check out the reef.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Brad Nelson
Brad Nelson
Mar 6, 2006, 12:00 AM
scuba
Can't ask for a easier place to shore dive. Great facilities and a beautiful beach. It even has a grass area to suit up on which is way better than sand. Average viz and fish life. Saw a huge turtle sleeping with its head under a reef. This is a great dive as a warm up because of its ease and interesting things to see. Make sure you go out far enough and to the left to get to the bigger reefs.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Kendall Roberg
Kendall Roberg
Oct 11, 2005, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is a wonderful beach (if you have non-divers with you, they can chill why you dive). Underwater, the coral formations and landscapes are close. It stays shallow for a while so you need to swim out a ways. Visibility is good and I saw lots of neat and unique fish. This is a great, and an easy dive.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Bill Benton
Bill Benton
Jun 6, 2005, 12:00 AM
scuba
Very nice place. Well lit walkways & beach for night dives, also. Saw two huge male turtles.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Gary Harmon
Gary Harmon
Mar 26, 2005, 12:00 AM
scuba
This my idea of a perfect snorkel. Have a great breakfast across from our timeshare at Kahana Falls overlooking the ocean. Drive 4 minutes from our condo to this beautiful bay. Snorkel among the eels, and many colorful fish. This bay is also great for people watching. Walk up the hill and have a burger and tall cool one at the outside Kapalua Bay Hotel bar, while enjoying the best view in Maui. A view overlooking the pool, large grass lawn, and blue ocean to the not so distant islands in the background. Then walk 2 minutes back down and snorkel some more. Oh yeh, drive 4 minutes back to the condo. Hard day! Love2Snorkel
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Robert Brown
Robert Brown
Dec 6, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is a great place for ease of entry. Great for beginners and intermediate. I dived here about four days and really had a great time.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Sean 'Stody' Stodelle
Sean 'Stody' Stodelle
Jun 25, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
Was here the other day and visibility started good. We headed here because the other beaches were getting hit pretty hard by swells. Perfect for my wife and daughter. I free dove which is my diving choice/preference. Reef fish are abundant and stay fairly shallow <15 feet. Once you get outside the cove, where the deeper 40 foot water is, there really isn't much more to see. Great facilities, great location. Easy entry/exit but there can be crowds.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Mar 16, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
This site is wonderful for the beginner to the advanced diver/snorkeler. The entry is easy and the reef is shallow. The first 50 feet in are a bit murky, but once out of the river runoff, it is fantastic snorkeling. Leave your car unlocked - the locals like to look through your stuff and if you lock your doors they will break in.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Rory
Rory
Feb 29, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
Easy site to get to. Fairly shallow dive, some snorkelers to deal with. Turtles in abundance.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Rob
Rob
May 27, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
Just dove this site a few days ago. Get there early to get a good parking spot! Easy entry and exit, there was a bit of a swell from the north so the vis was not that great until we got out around the corner... nice place with nice showers.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Chris Walker
Chris Walker
Dec 5, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
A good all around spot for both snorkeling and diving. For divers, it is best to kick out about 300 yards and then drop. Go to the right, (opposite of what the photo says) and you will see mountains and valleys of rock and coral. You can also see turtles, eels, and numerous reef fish.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Al Mialkovsky
Al Mialkovsky
May 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
We feel the walk to the far side (Right) is worth the effort. HUGE eels, many octopus and normal creatures are found along the reef. On this trip (May) the algae was worse than we've seen it before but at about 30 feet it isn't a problem. They are building lots of condos there now but the beach is wonderful, restrooms and showers to rinse off next to the parking lot.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
J. Sullivan
J. Sullivan
May 15, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Excellent views
Originally posted on shorediving.com