Hanakao'o Beach Park

turtle town

Turtle Beach Maui + SaltWaterVibes

Maui already has some of the coolest experiences in the world from Nakalele Blowhole to Road to Hana, but swimming at this beach may just take the cake! What if you could be surrounded by 10+ Sea Turtles and fish galore? Well at Hanakoa'o Beach it is alll possible! 

Turtle Beach Maui + SaltWaterVibes

I nicknamed the beach 'Turtle Town' because that's really what it felt like swimming through here. It was as if all the turtles were friends hanging out grabbing a bit to eat! Every where I turned I saw a new turtle, and amazing coral. 

Turtle Beach Maui + SaltWaterVibes

Beaches like Electric Beach on Oahu are so refreshing because there is still some vibrant coral left. BUT, nothing on Oahu can even compare to the coral I saw here! It is so vibrant and alive, plus I saw about 100 of these red sea urchins. It truly is one of the most stunning sights you will ever see. 

Turtle Beach Maui + SaltWaterVibes

Every place my eyes fell was breathtaking. The turtles, or Honu here in Hawaii, were all different sizes. I'm not kidding some were as big as me!! Then there were little tiny ones the size of my arm, it was so cool! 

No matter how amazing it is to be so close to them, please never ever touch the turtles. It is actually illegal and you can pay a pretty hefty fine! But other than that, it's also just inhumane. You wouldn't want someone to randomly poke and pet you ;) Use your GoPro Poles or arms to capture the moment but please please keep all hands to yourself. 

Turtle Beach Maui + SaltWaterVibes

How deep is the water?

The water here is pretty shallow, I would say 3 ft near shore and about 6 feet right around the main coral. I usually just head in with my googles and fins but feel free to bring any snorkel gear you need! 

Turtle Town Maui + SaltWaterVibes

Do i have to swim to see them?

If you aren't a water baby but still dream of seeing all the sea turtles, don't worry because...they breath! They are constantly popping up for a breath so you will know where they are right away. 

Where should I park?

Hanakao'o Beach Park has it's own public parking lot. This beach is about half a mile up the road from the Lahaina Civic Center. 

You can see them right as you walk along the Maui Beach Walk! I will have a full post on that soon so stayed tuned! :)

how to get here


As you drive north towards Lahaina you will see multiple beach parks along the coast. This one is one up the road from Wahikuli Beach Park which is across the Lahaina Civic Center. There is plenty of parking in the designated lot. Walk down to the rocks to see all the turtles and sit on the sand. 


Always be cautious of the tide and current of the water. If it does not look safe to get in, don't. Do NOT touch the turtles because it is a state law and you can pay a pretty hefty fine for it, plus its just inhumane. Watch the coral and wear water shoes or fins if needed.

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