Maui’s Five Best Hidden Dive Spots
Five Top Maui Dives Off of Maui’s Beaten Path
We spend a lot of time talking about different dive sites around Maui here on the blog, and when we do, the same places often come up: The Lanai Cathedrals, Turtle Town, Molokini Crater. These dive sites are all extremely popular, and for good reason, they often showcase some of Maui’s renowned and inspiring beauty.
Yet, for every one of the well-known dive sites, there are scores of less celebrated spots that only divers in the know typically enjoy. Word of a good diving spot used to be spread by word of mouth, from diver to diver, around the island, creating an ephemeral list of “best spots” that was ever changing.
Luckily for you, below you will find Dive Maui’s own version of those organic lists from long ago, our own guide to some of the island’s lesser-known dive sites. We’ve tried to put something in here for everyone but be sure to chime in with suggestions of your own. Without further ado, here is Dive Maui’s Top Five Hidden Dive Spots.
Location: Located off of Wailea Alanui Dr. in Wailea. Public parking available in the lot off of Ulua Beach Road can fill up early.
Who is it good for? A great spot for snorkeling or shore dives for beginners.
What makes this site special? As a well-groomed, family-friendly beach, Ulua Beach won’t wow visitors with a plethora of exotic, can’t miss, aquatic wildlife, but its coral reefs do offer a fair variety of eels, trumpet fish, turtles, and parrotfish with minimal effort. The accompanying facilities are well maintained and if this spot is too crowded the nearby Keawakapu Beach (to the north) is also a good spot for snorkelers.
Tips from divers: “The outer reef is great for beginner divers to explore.” “Get here early before other divers kick up sand.”
Wailea Beach Park
Location: Located just south of Ulua Beach (detailed above) off of Wailea Alanui Drive. Plentiful free public parking is available in the nearby lot.
Who is it good for? Snorkelers, an easy shore dive makes this a great site for SCUBA divers of all levels. Wailea is also a good beach for families that fronts many of the area’s nicest resorts.
What makes this site special? The chance to see fish as varied as Potter’s Angelfish, Yellow Tang, Trumpetfish, Yellowstripe Goatfish, and more! You might get lucky and see rare wildlife such as an octopus.
Tips from divers: “Two mooring buoys mark the deeper part of the reef; the swim out there can be a challenge.” “A long surface swim, but well worth it.” “This part of the reef had great visibility and huge schools of fish… If you are willing to go that far out, this is an awesome site!”
Five Caves (Also known as Five Graves and Nahuna Point)
Location: Located in South Maui, off of Makena Rd. just south of Chang’s Beach, the nearest facilities will be found in Makena Landing. Be respectful of the ancient graves that are a part of this dive site.
Who is it good for? Snorkelers and SCUBA divers of all levels. This site is an opportunity to do some fairly straightforward cave diving, so be sure to come prepared and listen to all instructions your guide may give you.
What makes this site special? This dive is better known as being an entry point for the nearby Turtle Town, which sits just offshore and is an alternative to Makena Landing. In some ways, it is a superior dive site, as the lack of sandy bottom and the cove’s protection from trade winds often help to improve visibility. Besides the eponymous caves, three of which will be found on the left-hand side, fantastic outcroppings and rock formations make this site a “must-dive” for visitors to Maui.
Tips from divers: “Lots of nice turtles. Every time you turned your head you saw one.” “Fair variety of reef fish along the shore.” “Keep your eyes peeled for a little Whitetip Reef Shark in the caves.”
Location: Often lumped together with Five Caves, this site is accessible by Makena Road off of Wailea Alanui. Parking is normally available in the lot nearby.
Who is it good for? Snorkelers and divers of all levels.
What makes this site special? A very easy shore dive coupled with a chance to see a many different aquatic creatures make this site great for beginners and experienced divers alike. Just be sure to get here early if you’re looking for solitude, as the beach can get crowded with locals and tourists as the day drags on. For history buffs, there are even some old WWII-era armored vehicles submerged nearby.
Tips from divers: “Great for divers who want to see a bunch of small stuff to large stuff; from nudibranchs to whitetip sharks and turtles, all in one area.” “Every turn is an amazing view of coral, light and fish.”
Location: Located on the coast of Maui’s Ahihi-Kiana’u Reserve, just south of Makena Beach, off of Makena Road is Ahihi Cove. Parking is sparse and this site can quickly start to feel crowded with even only a few divers.
Who is it good for? Snorkelers and beginner to intermediate divers. More advanced divers may find it worthwhile to venture further out of the cove and into the Ahihi Bay proper.
What makes this site special?
Tips from divers: “The best underwater photos of fish that I have come from Ahihi Cove.” “The only place you should enter the cove is on the concrete slab to the north.” “Ahihi Bay and Cove is overall my favorite Maui dive site…I’ve dived here more than 100 times, go south for diversity and deeper water.”
Lahaina Pier (Mala Ramp)
Location: You’ll find Mala Historic Wharf located in Lahaina just north of a tiny Puunoa Point beach affectionately referred to as “Baby Beach”.
Who is it good for? Snorkelers, All-levels of SCUBA
What makes this site special? The location is more developed than other sites on this list, making it accessible and unique. The setting, amongst an intriguing collapsed pier, also turns a relatively simple excursion into one that affords divers the ability to observe many different types of fish, rays, crabs (and maybe even a local shark) all dispersed amongst its ruins. An interesting spot for a night dive as well.
Tips from divers: “Be sure to wear your diving booties, there are lots of fishhooks and urchins about the area.” “Boat traffic can be heavy, so use of a dive flag is required.”
We’re Always Here to Help!
And there you have it, five of Maui’s lesser-known dive spots that we think are worth checking out. Think we missed your favorite dive site? Want to know more about what you can expect to see on a Maui Dive? Feel free to reach out to us at Dive Maui with whatever you may need. We pride ourselves on being the friendliest dive shop on Maui, with certified guides who have all the expertise you could possibly need to ensure a fun and safe dive.