La Perouse Bay
La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay

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Wailea, Maui, Hawaii, 96753

The basics

The site of some of Maui’s most recent volcanic activity, La Perouse Bay is popular for hiking, water sports, and dolphin sightings rather than beach lounging. Visitors should pack their snorkeling gear—or consider booking a diving or snorkeling tour—as the bay’s protected waters, coves, and tidal pools teem with aquatic life. Other options include hiking the King’s Highway, a scenic 5.5-mile (9-kilometer) round-trip trail through volcanic moonscapes, or taking a tour focusing on Maui’s volcanic sites.

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Things to know before you go

  • There are no public facilities or amenities at La Perouse Bay, so bring your own supplies, including food, water, and sunscreen.

  • Wailea and Kihei are the nearest towns, each about 20-30 minutes from the bay by car.

  • Hiking trails are often lined with jagged lava rocks—wear sturdy shoes to protect your feet.

  • Lava hasn't flowed on Maui since 1790; while the Haleakalā Volcano is considered inactive, it may erupt in the future.

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How to get there

To reach La Perouse Bay, take Makena Alanui Road south from Wailea or Kihei—it's a 20–30-minute drive. The road is narrow and becomes unpaved as you approach the bay, so drive cautiously. Parking is available at the end of the road in a small parking lot near the La Perouse Memorial, a short distance from the coast and lava fields.

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When to get there

Maui is pleasant year-round, but it's best to visit during the spring and fall—especially in south Maui, which grows packed with tourists in the summer. The whale-watching season runs from November to May, typically peaking between January and March. Island-wide festivals such as the Maui Film Festival and the Maui Steel Guitar Festival tend to run in the summer and fall.

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Hiking the King's Highway" (Hoapili Trail)

The King's Highway, also called the Hoapili, is a rugged hiking trail said to have served as a walking path for Hawaiian royalty. Visitors should prepare to traverse barren paths with little shade—and some of Maui's most recent volcanic formations. The official trailhead lies less than 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) south of the La Perouse Bay parking lot along an unmarked coastal trail. From the trailhead, it's 5.5-miles (9 kilometers) round-trip.

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