If you’re up for a snorkeling adventure off the beaten path, head to La Perouse Bay. Located almost at Maui’s southernmost tip, reaching La Perouse Bay requires driving down a one lane road, the end of which is unpaved and strewn with lava rocks. While not an easy drive, the scene is otherworldly as it meanders through lava rocks thought to have originated from Haleakala’s last eruption around 1790.
What to See at the Bay
La Perouse Bay has a rugged beauty about it. Small coves are tucked throughout the bay, most of which lack sand in favor of tidal pools and coral rubble along the shoreline, although some small pockets of sand can be found. The lava rocks are surprisingly sharp, so keep your car tires far from them and be sure to bring a pair of water shoes.
This area is popular with local fishermen as well as snorkelers. Be sure to check the latest updates before making the drive, because the Department of Land and Natural Resources has been known to close the area to give the ecosystem a respite from overuse. If you are able to snorkel at La Perouse Bay, you’ll first need to cross over some sharp lava rocks to get to the water’s edge. Once in the water, there are plenty of coves to explore and tropical fish to observe. Caution should be taken, as there is no lifeguard near this area.
Planning Your Excursion
La Perouse Bay is located on Maui’s south shore in the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve. Situated at the end of Makena Road, it is approximately 30 minutes south of downtown Kihei.
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