Best Beaches in Maui...Fantastic Snorkeling at White Rock

Discover the little known Palauea Beach in south Maui

(known as White Rock by locals)

Aloha Maui travelers!  E Komo Mai (welcome!) to LETSGOTRAVELMAUI!  

Welcome back to our  2023 BEST BEACHES IN MAUI series.

Many travelers know that Maui ranks highest with some of the best beaches in the world.    A high ranking beach would  include  a warm tropical setting, swaying palm trees, golden sands, pristine clear water and exciting beach activities. LETSGOTRAVELMAUI also believes that a  flourishing , healthy underwater ecosystem where all the sea life,  including the coral,  thrive and prosper is an important ingredient to rank high when it come to the best beaches in Maui. Be sure to do your part (use reef safe sunscreens, do not touch the coral or the sea creatures, and pack out EVERYTHING you brought to the beach, including trash)

We think those crucial ingredients can be found at Palauea Beach in south Maui.  This beach has some of the most fantastic snorkeling in all of Maui.  This beach is also know by locals as White Rock.   If you haven't checked out the intro video, take just 1 minute to watch it (Be sure to Like and Subscribe so you stay connected to Maui!) 

How do I get to White Rock?

White Rock is located in south Maui and is on the border between the communities of Wailea and Makena.  

It's just a couple minutes from awesome shopping and restaurants found at The Shops of Wailea.  

The beach is on Makena Road, nestled between multi-million dollar homes and hidden behind a dense set of trees, making it hard to see.  

Maybe that's why it's a favorite for the locals.

See the maps below to guide you.  Shhhh!!...don't tell anyone about this special beach because tourists don't really know about it.

Where do I park?

After you turn onto Makena Road start looking for the large stand of trees on the right after you pass about 6 multi-million dollar beach homes.  

You will see the County of Maui beach sign for Palauea Beach.  There is a porta-potty there  along with trash and recycle cans.  

You can park along Makena Road or drive down another 200-300 feet and park on either side of the road and use the less traveled entry to the beach.  

Pedestrian access to the beach

Once you park just walk toward the beach.  

There are a couple, somewhat hidden,  small trails/paths that will lead to the beach.  

LETSGOTRAVELMAUI recommends parking on the south end of the beach.  It's a shorter walk.  

(HINT:  the snorkeling is best on the south end of the beach)

What to bring to the beach 

beach chair umbrella

Beach chairs and umbrella

beach toys

Beach toys

camera and video

Camera, GoPro, iPhone


Sunglass and hat

Snorkel gear

flip flops

Flip-flops or shoes to access the beach

Beach Activities

White Rock beach is a great beach for families.  The beach has plenty of sand and has a gentle beach entry that makes it perfect for swimming.  

The kids will love this beach.  

Don't be surprised if you see a turtle chilling on the beach.  Pictures are okay but please maintain a safe distance from the Honu (Green sea turtle in Hawaiian).  

The beach is great for a short romantic stroll with your significant other.  Come a little later in the day and stay for an awesome sunset.

There is not a lot of shade on the beach but there is plenty of smooth sand for sporting beach chairs, towels and pitching the umbrella.  

The waves are usually gentle because the slight crescent shape gives it some protection.  This is  a great beach for the beginner learning to boogie board or skim board. 

Beach Safety and Responsibility

  • No Lifeguard on Duty
  • "When in doubt, don't go out!"
  • Snorkel with a buddy
  • Reef friendly sunscreens...titanium or zinc are best for the coral and ecosystem
  • Dispose of all good stewards of the island!

Best Spots to snorkel with turtles!

green turtle maui

LETSGOTRAVELMAUI has snorkeled both the north and south ends of the beach.  

Our recommendation is to try both for yourself and see what you think.  That's the cool thing about the underwater sea's constantly changing.  

We have experience some of the best snorkeling on the south end...especially if you like snorkeling with turtles.  

Be sure to look at the map in the picture above.  We have outlined the area where the best snorkeling is located.  

Be sure to check out our YouTube channel.  We have lots of  videos that complement the 2023 Best Beaches in Maui series along with other blogs all about Maui.  Just click on the YouTube button.  Be sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to stay in the MAUI loop!  Mahalo!

Turtle sunning at White Rock beach

Turtle swimming at White Rock...great visibility!

Snorkeling Tips

  • Vary your snorkeling path. Snorkel inward along the coastline  on your way out...Snorkel outward on your way in
  • Don't be in a hurry...take your time and stop...some of the best snorkeling can be seen just hanging out next to a reef.  The eels like to hide in the nooks and crannies. 
  • Don't stay tunnel visioned...Be sure to sweep your head left and right (and behind too) as you may miss an occasional Eagle Ray or Turtle cruising.

If you found this article to be entertaining and informative and/or inspiring,  be sure to subscribe  and stay informed about how to make your travels to Maui Nō Ka 'Oi (the BEST) !  You can always send us an email at: [email protected] if you have questions or want to book some of our favorite  and unique island activities.

Be sure to read our other inspiring blog posts about Maui...just click on EXPLORE MAUI in the header of this page or any of our related articles below.

Mahalo nui loa (Thank you!) from your ohana at LETSGOTRAVELMAUI

Healthy reccomendation...Finish your snorkeling adventure with a 16oz elixir from 808elixirsmaui...your body will thank you...mention letsgotravelmaui


If you found this article  entertaining and informative and/or inspiring,  be sure to subscribe  and stay informed about how to make your travels to Maui Nō Ka 'Oi (the BEST) !  

Check us out on YouTube!!!  We have awesome cinematic and entertaining videos all about MAUI!



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