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Maui’s Secret Beaches: Lesser-Known Spots

  • Post category:Hawaii

Craving a slice of Maui magic away from the crowds? Look beyond the popular stretches of coastline and discover the island’s best beaches and hidden gems. From the fiery shores of Kaihalulu Beach to the secluded coves of Mākena and Pāʻia, this guide unveils a treasure trove of secret beaches, each offering a unique blend of beauty, tranquility, and adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • Maui’s secret beaches offer stunning views and peaceful spots away from the crowds.
  • Makena Cove is a hidden gem known for its picturesque scenery and tranquility.
  • Kaihalulu Beach features unique red sand and offers a one-of-a-kind beach experience.
  • Honokalani Beach, with its black sand, is perfect for photography and wildlife encounters.
  • Paia Secret Beach is a hidden paradise ideal for surfing and enjoying breathtaking sunsets.

Makena Cove: The Hidden Gem

brown mountain near body of water during daytime

Makena Cove, also known as Secret Cove Beach, is a hidden treasure in the heart of Kihei. Celebrated for its unspoiled, crystal-clear waters and tranquil atmosphere, it provides an ideal haven for those in search of a serene getaway enveloped by the allure of nature. Experience the enchantment of this secluded beach as part of your indelible journey through Maui.

Kaihalulu Beach: The Red Sand Marvel

Embark on your Maui journey at Kaihalulu Beach, also known as the Red Sand Beach, tucked away in the charming town of Hana. This beach stands out as one of the few red-sand beaches worldwide, offering travelers an experience that’s both unique and extraordinary. Witness the stunning contrast of the vibrant red sand against the deep blue sea, a sight that will surely captivate your senses and leave you in awe.

Honokalani Beach: The Black Sand Beauty

a black sky with a lot of stars

Honokalani Beach is a stunning volcanic marvel located along the Road to Hana within Waiʻānapanapa State Park. This beach is renowned for its striking black sand, which creates a breathtaking contrast against the crystal-clear blue waters and vibrant greenery. Photographers will find this spot particularly enchanting, especially during sunrise when the natural colors are most vivid. The beach is also a great place to explore secret spots in Samoa like Lalomanu Beach, Saleaula Lava Fields, To Sua Ocean Trench, Papapapaitai Falls, Togitogiga Waterfall, Piula Cave Pool, and Falealupo Canopy Walkway. Discover hidden gems away from the crowds.

VOR Beach: The Secluded Escape

VOR Beach, nestled near Kahului Airport on Maui’s North Shore, is a beautiful and relatively unknown slice of paradise in Spreckelsville. Its proximity to the airport doesn’t deter from its secluded feel, and it’s rare to come across non-Hawaiian residents here. It’s a place where you might find yourself sharing the beach with only the honu (Hawaiian for sea turtle), making it an exclusive sanctuary for those seeking a unique beach experience.

Kaulahao Beach: A Quiet Retreat

water drop on bucket photo

Despite being the only beach on Maui’s list of best-kept secrets that is signposted, Kaulahao Beach often remains undiscovered, providing a serene respite from the bustling tourist areas. The peaceful ambiance of this beach, coupled with its ease of access, makes it a sought-after location for those yearning for a tranquil retreat. However, it’s the dedicated area for the resident sea turtles, rather than the typical tropical allure, that truly sets this beach apart.

Paia Secret Beach: The Hidden Paradise

birds eye photography of sea

Surfing Spots

Paia Secret Beach is a haven for surfers looking to escape the crowded waves of more popular beaches. The surf here is consistent, making it a favorite among locals. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner, you’ll find the perfect wave to ride. Just remember to respect the local surfers and their space.

Best Sunset Views

One of the most magical experiences at Paia Secret Beach is watching the sunset. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors. It’s a sight you won’t want to miss. Bring a blanket, sit back, and enjoy the serene beauty of this hidden paradise.

Local Eateries

After a day of surfing and sunbathing, head over to Paia Bay Coffee Shop. This charming spot is off the beaten path and offers a canopied patio where you can relax and enjoy some delicious local treats. From dirty chai’s to bacon, avocado, and brie croissants, there’s something for everyone. It’s the perfect way to end your day at Paia Secret Beach.

The best things about Secret Beach are that it’s quiet, off the beaten path and serene, and the water here is calm. You can always catch a tan here, but around 1 pm, there will be some dark shade above you. What’s not to like about a secret beach cove in Maui?

Oneuli Beach: The Secret Black Sand Beach

Snorkeling Adventures

Oneuli Beach is a hidden gem for snorkeling enthusiasts. The coral reefs just offshore are teeming with colorful fish and other marine life, making it a vibrant underwater paradise. Snorkelers can expect to see a variety of species in the clear blue waters, providing an unforgettable experience.

Marine Life

The beach’s unique black sand is composed of eroded volcanic cinder from the nearby Pu’u Ola’i cinder cone. This creates a stunning contrast with the clear blue waters and lush green mountains. While the rocky shore may not be ideal for swimming, it offers excellent opportunities to observe marine life up close.

Best Time for Solitude

For those seeking solitude, the best time to visit Oneuli Beach is in the morning before 10 a.m. This not only avoids crowds but also provides calmer waters for snorkeling. Alternatively, visiting after 2 p.m. offers direct sunlight for sunbathing. The beach’s secluded nature ensures a peaceful and serene experience at any time of day.

Oneuli Beach lives up to its nickname, “Secret Beach,” as it’s not as easily accessible as other beaches on the island. Reaching Oneuli Beach requires a short drive followed by a dirt road and a path through a lava field. However, the reward for this mini-adventure is a secluded and beautiful beach experience.

Discover the hidden gem of Oneuli Beach, a secret black sand paradise waiting for you. Dive into the unique beauty and tranquility that this secluded spot offers. Ready to explore more breathtaking destinations? Visit our website for exclusive travel packages and start planning your next adventure today!


Exploring Maui’s secret beaches offers a unique opportunity to experience the island’s natural beauty away from the bustling tourist spots. These hidden gems, from the serene Makena Cove to the vibrant Kaihalulu Beach, provide a perfect blend of tranquility and adventure. Remember to respect the environment and local guidelines to preserve these pristine locations for future visitors. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Maui’s lesser-known beaches promise unforgettable memories and a deeper connection to the island’s enchanting landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to know how to swim to enjoy water activities at Maui’s secret beaches?

Yes, knowing how to swim is essential for enjoying water activities at Maui’s secret beaches. Guests should be comfortable in the water and able to cope with occasional currents.

Are there any specific recommendations for attire when visiting these beaches?

Guests are recommended to wear comfortable and appropriate attire, including walking, water, or hiking shoes as needed. Sun protection such as cream, a hat, and a rash guard, as well as insect repellent, sunglasses, and a bottle of water, are also advised.

Is it safe to touch the coral reef or underwater animals?

No, for safety and environmental reasons, guests are cautioned not to touch or step on the coral reef or touch any underwater animals.

What wildlife can I expect to see at these beaches?

Wildlife sightings are likely but never guaranteed. Each beach offers unique opportunities for encountering local marine life and birds.

Can I book activities and excursions in advance?

Yes, many activities and excursions can be booked in advance. Some select activities and ferries may not indicate prices and cannot be booked online, but they can be arranged after booking a cruise, hotel stay, or flight.

What should I bring for a day at Maui’s secret beaches?

Guests should bring comfortable and appropriate attire, sun protection, insect repellent, sunglasses, and a bottle of water. Reef shoes are also recommended to avoid any wounds or discomfort.