Best Places to Kayak on Maui, Hawaii

Canoes and Kayaks

The island of Maui is the second largest of Hawaii’s islands and is known for its incredible beaches, resorts, and golf courses. But the island has a lot to offer kayaking enthusiasts as well. If you’re looking for a great place to go kayaking, Maui should be at the top of your list. 

With its diverse coastline and array of waterways, the island offers something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to kayak on Maui.

Kayak on Maui - Makena Landing

At Makena Landing, kayaking is one of the most popular activities. Makena Landing is a popular launch spot for local kayak fishers, Hobie cat sailors, and kayak enthusiasts. It’s also the beginning point for many South Maui kayak snorkeling and whale-watching expeditions. Makena Landing offers simple entry and access to the many reefs that make up Maui’s famous “Turtle Town.”

makena landing kayaking maui rentals
makena landing kayak on maui

Makena Landing gives way to a vast bay after you’re off the beach. The bay is usually tranquil, especially in the mornings, and it’s a great place to paddle. This is a great area to practice before venturing out further if you’re new to kayaking. Most kayak journeys will take you along the rocky shoreline to the right, ending at Nahuna Point.

For all the best kayak rentals Maui has to offer you can visit South Pacific Kayaks or book a kayak online via their website.  Single kayaks are $50 for 4hours and $70 for a double.  They also have a number of different tours available.

Kayaking Lahaina

Lahaina in Maui is on the north western section of the island about 45 minutes from the airport.  It has a sunny environment and a great coastal location ideal for various activities and entertainment. In Lahaina’s fine restaurants, you may get a fresh taste of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Pehaps grab a ticket to Maui’s famous oceanfront luau, where you could dine, drink and see Polynesian traditional dances.

There are some great and relaxing things to do in Lahaina. Visiting the Banyan Tree, where you can soak up the Hawaiian sun while relaxing. Various open art exhibitions are often held there on weekends. Lahaina Front Street, where you could stroll around and shop for souvenirs. Surfing is another water sport you could enjoy in Lahaina as it offers group lessons for beginners.

kayak rental maui
Image via Maui Kayaks

Lahaina is one of the most beautiful spots for kayaking in Maui. The clear water and gentle waves make it a perfect place to paddle around and explore the coastline. There are also plenty of coral reefs to see, and kayaking is a great way to get up close to the fish and other marine life.  

You can see Hawaiian sea turtles and occasionally come across the monk seal (super hard to spot), eagle rays, and spinner dolphins. Kayaking at Lahaina is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Maui Kayaks offer single and tandem kayaks and SUPs for rental from two hours up to one week from $49 – $235.

Olowalu Beach

Olowalu Beach, also known as Turtle Reef, is a beautiful coastal area on the west side of the island of Maui. It is located south of Lahaina, near the Honoapiilani Highway. Olowalu Reef has Hawaii’s most original oceanic reef systems, an excellent place for kayaking activities in Maui.

Take a kayak out to beautiful Olowalu Beach and enjoy fabulous views of the West Maui Mountains. Take a Maui Kayaking Tour and snorkel with giant sea turtles and thousands of colorful tropical fish. Kayak rentals in Maui are affordable and flexible, making them an excellent choice for a Maui beach day.

olowalu beach kayak maui

Maui Kayaks offer guided kayak tours for locals and tourists with pocket–friendly plans on a daily and weekly basis.

Honolua Bay

When you take a kayak tour along the northwest side of Maui, starting at Kapalua and cruising to the Honolua Bay Marine Reserve, you’ll see one of the island’s most pristine coral reef systems.

The Honolua Bay kayaking and snorkelling is a one-of-a-kind experience. You can enjoy excellent visibility while snorkeling, seeing brightly colored corals and many tropical marine life species. You will also find Hawaiian green sea turtles and occasionally see a pod of wild spinner dolphins living in the area.

honolua bay kayaking maui

The best snorkeling spots in Honolua are farther from the beach. The west side of the island is best for snorkeling. Follow the rocky shoreline out and around Kalaepohaku Point. The deeper east side is best for diving and contains many exciting coral structures. During the winter months, storms often bring excellent surf to Honolua – one of the best surf breaks on Maui.

Naturally, surfers flock to this place in large numbers when waves break in the surf. There is a scenic overlook on the east cliff to watch the action. However, if the surf is too rough for swimming, don’t go snorkeling or diving.

Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater is a favorite spot for Maui residents and visitors who want to enjoy excellent snorkeling conditions and plenty of protected ocean and birdlife. Come dive, snorkel, and whale watching during the season at Molokini Crater! It is an ideal place for scuba diving as the crater is protected from the natural elements and the vast underwater life you’re likely to see.

molokini crater kayak on maui

Molokini is reached by the majority of visitors by boat. However, if you’re an experienced paddler you could try your hand at the 5.2 mile round trip. This is not a trip for inexperienced paddlers, especially in a sit-on-top kayak. We would advise paddling close to the shore for part of the day and jumping on a snorkelling tour to reach Molokini Crater.

When you snorkel or scuba dive in Molokini, you’ll notice that marine species are much less afraid of humans than in most other snorkelling sites. 

Kayak on Maui - Wrap Up

Maui is a beautiful place with lots to enjoy, especially from a kayak. It has many places you can visit and experiences to offer that you will remember for a lifetime. Maui has national parks, volcanic peaks, waterfalls and pools, scenic beaches, wildlife, history, and culture that will leave an impression on you.

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