I’ve discovered a Hidden Gem, [the Secret, No Snorkel] Turtle Town Maui

Have you ever witnessed wild sea turtles so close you could touch them? Well, at the secret spot I have discovered you can do just that. I like to call it Turtle Town Maui.

I’ve discovered the hidden gem, that is Turtle Town Maui

Turtle Town Maui

One of my favorite things in the world is turtles. Years ago when my husband proposed to me, we were on the island of Kona and every day at the hotel two turtles would come onshore and hang out with the beachgoers. I immediately fell in love with these adorable creatures. And since I hadn’t been to Hawaii much at the time, I just thought, oh this is something that happens when going to Hawaii. Since then

I have been lucky enough to travel to Hawaii, mainly Maui almost every year for the past 15 years since my husband’s parents lived on Maui. On almost every visit I would make him take me on a snorkel cruise to “turtle town” on a search for sea turtles. The snorkeling was always good but usually we saw no turtles, sometimes we might see one, but for the most part, it was a rare occurrence and probably not worth the money.

My husband had an ongoing joke, “Let’s go visit Turtle Town, population 1” Luckily for me, my turtle prayers have been answered and turtle town Maui came to me, but not just one or two turtles, many many turtles. The best part is, no snorkeling, no scuba diving, heck not even swimming is necessary and you can capture amazing videos like I did just by walking in the water. By the way, I had no idea there was going to be turtles so I just took the chance that my iPhone was waterproof and through it in the water because I was so excited to see the turtles.

How did I find Turtle Town Maui

So, How did I find this place? Well, let me tell you something. I do search out turtles. In Oahu, for several years over Thanksgiving, we visit Lanikai Beach, which is known for having sea turtles visit. After racing across some traffic, you sometimes get a glimpse of turtles on the sand or in the water.

Unfortunately, in the last three years, I have had no luck. Like I said in Maui, the turtles seem to have found me. See, my father in law has lived in Kihei for over 20 years now and while we have always seen some whales from his balcony, the beach was pretty much a seaweed covered mess that we never went to.

King Kamehameha Fish Pond

However, over the past few years, the Maui fishpond association decided to restore the ancient fish pond in front of his property, the prized property of King Kamehameha III. In addition, the association cleaned up the seaweed to provide a safe and clean beach for little kids to play.

Turtle Town Maui

So, On our last day of vacation we stopped by my father in law’s condo and while I was doing some laundry my husband said he was going to find some crabs in the rocks of the fish pond with the boys.

A few minutes later, I start getting texts that I need to come down right away because I wouldn’t believe it. Sure as can be, there were at least five turtles swimming around this little cove created by the fish pond. The sea turtles were the most incredibly sweet creatures as they would swim right up to you (by the way, you can not touch the sea turtles in Hawaii, it is a very large fine) The water is warm and at the most waist high water but most of the time it was knee deep.

It was simply incredible. We watched the turtles swim for probably 90 minutes, one of them even stopped and took a nap on the rocks. After our adventure, I asked my father in law if he knew that turtles came there, he replied “oh yeah, they are here all the time” Thanks for letting us know, dad.

How to get to Turtle Town Maui + Some tips

Turtle Town Maui is located in Kihei at Kalepolepo Beach Park. It is pretty simple to get there. About 15 minutes from the airport and about 20 minutes away from Lahaina. It is located on South Kihei Rd. on the North Side of Kihei. The address is 726 S Kihei Rd. Kihei, Hi, 96753.

Tip #1 – This is a great beach for little kids. There are no waves (or very tiny ones) because of the fish pond and there is a nice grass area before the beach if you would like to have a picnic

Tip #2 – Go during sunset – Sunsets are beautiful on this side of the island, especially from April – January as the sunsets directly over the ocean. The night I did my time lapse was actually one of the worst sunsets we saw from there and you will still see how gorgeous it is.

Hawaiian Sunset on Maui from Globalmunchkins on Vimeo.

Tip #3 – Check out the Kite Surfers – Just north of the beach is a place where you will see many kite surfers practicing their skills. It is pretty entertaining to watch as some of the kite surfers get some serious air.

Tip #4 – Delicious Dining is nearby – There are some pretty good places to grab a bite to eat in Kihei, so before or after you check out the turtles here are some places to dine.

  • Breakfast – Three’s Bar & Grill  – Simply put, their Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes are amazing. You don’t need to get anything else in my opinion, although my husband swears by the Tropical French Toast. They do serve lunch and dinner as well, but I have not has the fortune to try it out yet.
  • Lunch – Coconut’s Fish Cafe – This place has probably the most delicious fish tacos I have had in my entire life. They are large and a bit messy. My sons love the coconut shrimp.

Coconut's Fish Cafe

  • Dinner -Monsoon Indian – Indian Food in Hawaii? Actually, yes! Incredible Indian food (love their Chicken Tikka Masala) and the view from the restaurant is beautiful. This restaurant is literally steps from turtle town Maui so it is definitely worth checking out.
 

Monsoon Indian Maui

What is your favorite thing to do in Maui?

Looking for a great Luau? My favorite luau is located on Maui – Check out my review of the Old Lahaina Luau

Looking for a great place to stay on Maui? Check out my article on why our family loves the Grand Wailea

Pin for later-

Have you ever witnessed wild sea turtles so close you could touch them? Well, at the secret spot I have discovered you can do just that. I like to call it Turtle Town Maui. #maui #turtle #seaturtle #traveldestination

Secret spot to see sea turtles- Turtle Town Maui

 

7 Comments

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! I love sea turtles and am headed back to Maui this winter so I’ll have to check out this special place. Btw I’m not sure if they’re still there but I used to see turtles near the black rock in Ka’anapali.

  • Yvonne D. says:

    This was so helpful. We went to this beach and saw huge turtles!! Thank you!
    -May 2019 🙂

  • Michael says:

    Great post and story!

  • We saw the turtles!!We are staying on Maui and were disappointed to have not seen any turtles so when we fell upon this article we were quite excited. We went today and indeed we saw plenty of sea turtles!! Our kids were very happy. Thanks so much for this article.Also, we went to the Coconut Fish Taco restaurant and it was indeed delicious!
    • Mama Munchkin says:

      That is Awesome! I am so glad you were able to see the turtles. It’s one of my favorite things to do on Maui.

  • Alison says:
    So cool!!!We found them! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve met several mommas at our resort who paid for tours and saw nothing. This beach was easy to find and we saw so many turtles up close!

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