Honolua Bay is a beautiful hidden bay, beach, forest, park, and snorkel area in the northwest corner of the west side of Maui. It’s on Honoapiilani Highway (Highway 30), a couple miles north of Kapalua, immediately north of Slaughterhouse Beach, and immediately south of Lipoa Point. It’s between Mile Markers 32 and 33.
Honolua Bay has a beach that is composed of smooth large stones (not much sand). Maui snorkeling cruises often park in the bay so their riders can enjoy the excellent snorkeling there. One of the things that makes snorkeling so good here, is that the bay is a Marine Life Conservation District with no fishing allowed, so there are plenty of fish to see here. There are also high cliffs on both sides of the bay, creating sheltered water that is usually calm. The water is often murky close to shore, so you may have to swim a ways out to get to clear water for snorkeling.
The waves are rougher farther from shore on the north side of the bay, so surfers enjoy that area. You can watch those surfers from a high cliff at Lipoa Point.
Until recent years, people who wanted to enjoy Honolua Bay and beach and snorkeling without paying a boat to take them there, had to climb and walk through rough vegetation to work their way down from the road to the bay. But now Honolua Forest has opened up easy access to the bay and Honolua Park, by providing a couple small parking lots on the highway, and a smooth walking path through the forest, all the way to the bay.
On the walk through Honolua Forest (walking from the highway to the ocean), you will see beautiful natural trees and a wide variety of native Hawaiian plants, including banyan trees and taro, plus a few wild chickens. This dense tropical forest is a great place to stroll in the shade and get out of the sun for a little while on a hot Maui day. It’s so beautiful here that some couples have their wedding ceremony in the forest.
There are port-a-potty bathrooms in the small parking lot on the highway. There are no lifeguards, no showers, and no stores near the bay. Sometimes a food truck is parked across the highway from the parking lot.
You can get a fabulous view looking down onto Honolua Bay from Kalaepiha Point, the cliff on the south side of the bay. Honolua means “two bays” which probably refers to what we now call Honolua Bay, plus the bay just south of it which is now called Mokuleia Bay (which includes Slaughterhouse Beach).
See photos and videos below.
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Honolua Bay Maui Photos, including bay, forest and park
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