There are a string of five beaches along a mile and a half stretch of shoreline known by various names. They are most commonly referred to as Polo Beach, Palauea Beach, Po'olenalena Beach, Chang's Beach and Maluaka Beach (from north to south). The beaches are wonderful, quiet, sanctuaries, well worth exploring.
We came down from the northwest, Ka'anapali Beach, to go snorkeling for the day. The snorkeling was fantastic; and moreover, the beaches were beautiful, pristine, and empty. We saw through the crystal clear water twelve Green Sea Turtles, two White Spotted Eagle Rays, hundreds of colorful tropical fish, and numerous varieties of brilliant coral all in one snorkeling trip from the southern tip of Po'olenalena Beach to a place just north of Maluaka Beach called Five Caves and back. It took us nearly two hours to complete. It was the BEST single snorkel outing of my life. I snorkeled and scuba drove all over the world. The only other places that came close for snorkeling were a few shallow reefs off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea. If you have a waterproof camera, bring it with you. You will take some amazing photos. This area is called "turtle town" by the tour boat companies, because of the abundance of sea turtles.
Don't pay a tour boat company to take you snorkeling. You can do it all from shore at a cost of ZERO! In between snorkel expeditions the stunning beaches are terrific places to work on your suntan. Since you are on a immaculate sandy beach, it is easy to get and in out of the water with your snorkel gear. These locations are ideal for beginners and advanced snorkelers alike. Be mindful of the water conditions. Early Morning is definitely the optimal time to go snorkeling. The water can get a little choppy in the afternoon. My two teenaged daughters loved to play in late morning surf just offshore. The sand is perfect for wading into the waves.
I highly recommend "Maui Revealed - The Ultimate Guidebook" by Andrew Doughty. Mr. Doughty does a superb job providing the reader detailed reviews of all the natural wonders on and around the island, and more importantly, how to get to them. The sections on snorkeling and beaches are spot on. It is by far the best tour guide and activity book for Maui that I have come across. A must read for any would be Maui vacationers.
If you are looking for a gorgeous and tranquil set of beaches with unsurpassed snorkeling, than this is the spot for you.
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