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Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui

star-4.5198 reviews
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Kihei, United States
Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon3 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Leave your cares and worries behind when you join this Maui kayaking tour, which casually paddles the turquoise waters above Turtle Reef in Maui. Launching out of Makena Landing just 10 minutes south of Wailea, this Maui kayaking tour hugs the shoreline of a historic volcanic cove. In addition to teeming with schools of fish, this area is home to everyone’s favorite—the endangered Hawaiian Green sea turtle.
  • Kayak tour off the south side of Maui
  • Snorkeling adventure in the tropical underwater world
  • Close encounter with marine life including endangered green sea turtles
  • Stunning views of Haleakala
  • Optional swimming or snorkeling adventure
Saved to wishlist!
Beach Instructions and Safety Talk
Guide Assisted Launch and Landings
Quality Snorkel Equipment, PFD, and dry bag if needed
Light refreshments
Quality Touring Kayaks - Singles and Doubles Available
CPR and First Aid Certified Guides with Many Years Ocean Experience
Local taxes
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop off
5230 Makena Alanui , 5230 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753, USA

<<<<< PLAN YOUR DRIVE TO ARRIVE ON TIME >>>>>> *** Google / Apple Map "Makena Landing" **** From Makena Landing parking lot, walk 100 yards over the little hill with ocean on right - you'll see kayaks / us there. Please google map "Makena Landing beach Park" or "Maluaka Beach Parking Lot" option B

This activity will end right where it started.
This 2.5 mile (4km) Maui kayaking tour is a short and leisurely paddle, designed as a family friendly activity for paddlers 5 and up. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned pro or it’s your very first time in a kayak, as everyone who experiences this kayaking in Maui can appreciate the tropical beauty.

Hear the history of Makena Bay and get views of Haleakala volcano, with the main highlight being snorkeling with sea turtles as they casually float above the reef. Makena is one of the best spots for a family to go kayaking in Maui, where the warm, clear, protected waters are just waiting to be explored.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Paddling distance is approx 2.0 to 2.5 miles
  • The 10:30am tour is only available to guests who are 16 years and over.
  • The 7:15am departure offers ideal weather conditions, more active reef life, better visibility, etc. Best Experience!
  • 715 tour time ages 5+ / 1030 tour time ages 16+
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY South Pacific Kayaks & Outfitters
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitisation during Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui?
A:The policies on sanitisation are:

  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
See all safety measures taken by Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Turtle Reef Kayak Tour of Makena, Maui.

Traveller Photos

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Traveller Tips


  • "Loved first experience with kayak in the ocean and we definitely nailed it!" See review
  • "If you listen closely while snorkeling you can hear the whales song." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
198 reviews

Reviews by Viator travellers

Showing 1-10 of 198 reviews
star-4
Fun & different with the right group
Kandace_C
, May 2022
We were visiting Hawaii for a wedding and wanted to experience some of the ocean life we don’t get to see in Missouri. The weather was nice and Madison was funny, down to earth, and helpful. I didn’t give it 5 stars only because we were with a much older group of people that we didn’t know which is fine by all means we love people but in this group there was lots of complaining between them and it wasn’t as fun or exciting as it could have been with a more positive up beat group. Madison did great still trying to keep them positive and having a good time.
star-5
Amazing sea life!
Beverly_D
, May 2022
Our guide was great. Other than the turtles that were all over the seabed, Steve pointed out things we would have missed on are own like the eels and puffer fish.
star-5
Swimming with turtles, what more could you ask fo
Scott_S
, May 2022
Maddie was exceptional. Great personality Very knowledgeable of the surroundings and the history of the area. And her being from my home town in Oregon was a plus. The snorkeling was awesome. Seeing marine life in their natural habitat was amazing. Turtles would swim right up to you. That was cool. I definitely would do this again.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Great........So glad you enjoyed and thrilled you got Madison. Shes a newer guide but has a big impact. Mahalo for taking the time to review us
star-5
John is da bees knees
Kevin_J
, May 2022
John was a great guide. It was our first time kayaking and my wife’s first time snorkeling, and he explained things so well that it felt like we had done this before and just needed a refresher. He was also amazing at teaching us about the culture, land, and sea life of Hawai’i.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Mahalo for the review. John is an amazing guide.....very thorough and knows his stuff....... Glad this was a good experience for you. Join us again on your next trip.
star-5
Great way to experience sea life!
Paul_J
, May 2022
Had to end my own trip early because of unexpected seasickness, but everything was top notch! Our guide was so kind and helpful. He even waited an extra 15 min past launch time to make sure no one was left behind. The water was clear and there were tons of fish and turtles to see. The kayaks and equipment made everything easy for us.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Great to hear you enjoyed your outing. Please see us again on your next Maui trip and share with your friends. Mahalo!
star-5
excellent
Mary_C
, May 2022
Jake was an awesome guide. He was very knowledgeable and took us to a great snorkeling spot. He also had some excellent local restaurant tips!
star-5
Fun with turtles
Diane_M
, Apr. 2022
We were able to see plenty of turtles and different fish. Our guide Madison was so knowledgeable and fun. We had a great time.
icon Response from Host , Apr. 2022
We love Madison - a newer guide with all the fun, energy and knowledge to make your outing special.
star-5
Great expierence
Jonathan_M
, Apr. 2022
John was a great guide. He did everyrhing in his power to make it an enjoyable experience for me and my wife. He is down to earth and non robotic which i also could appreciate as it makes you feel like your part of a family. He is very opened minded and has sense of humor that my wife and I have. I appreciated the fact that he actually helped those who were on their first time snorkeling feel comfortable. Truly great experience would definitely use him as my guide for my kids first time snorkeling.
icon Response from Host , Apr. 2022
We love John. He is a true guide. Happy he was able to provide all the aloha!
star-5
Excellent turtle watching kayaking trip
Sergey_P
, Apr. 2022
Turtles turtles and more turtles! Jarred did an excellent job giving us history of islands and few local hacks in a Addison to taking us snorkeling at the reefs with turtles and cool fishes. Great experience! Would do it again in a heart beat! P.S. Bring a rash guard if you get cold easily
icon Response from Host , Apr. 2022
Aloha and mahalo for your review. Jarred, while new, is an excellent people person and loves Maui. Glad you enjoyed your outing with us.
star-5
Adventure in the water, whales and turtles make the day.
Annette_R
, Mar. 2022
What a fabulous day led by Scuba Steve!! Whale watching was more than we could have hoped for and snorkeling with the turtles closed out the morning. Would definitely recommend.
icon Response from Host , Mar. 2022
Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo We that k you for the kind review
star-5
Maddie was a fantastic...
Tracy_W
, Mar. 2022
Maddie was a fantastic guide!! We got to see whales as they showed up close to us and then went on to snorkel. She made for a great morning!!!
icon Response from Host , Mar. 2022
We love Maddie.... very sweet and enthusiastic. Thanks for taking the time to share.
star-5
Great whale watching kayak tour
Michael_C
, Mar. 2022
Jake of South Pacific kayak was our guide. Great time kayaking and then hanging out with whales the whole time. Jake knows a lot of local history and stuff to do in the area.
star-5
Fun kayak and we got to...
Derek_W
, Mar. 2022
Fun kayak and we got to see whales up close and snorkel and see a couple turtles as well. Guide was great.
icon Response from Host , Mar. 2022
Mahalo for sharing...glad the whales visited..... Join us again!
star-5
Great Adventure
Truman_M
, Mar. 2022
This was my first experience on an ocean kayak and it was thrilling to be on the water in the small kayak with nothing but a paddle! It was exciting to see a large turtle on the surface only a few feet away. The only drawback is that the Makena Landing is not a beach, it is a rock strewn cove.
icon Response from Host , Mar. 2022
Aloha and thanks for taking the time to review. Kayaks are the best way to get out on the water for some fun and is very good for the environment and sea life. Glad the turtles participated Makena landing is one of those beaches that goes from rocky to sandy and vice versa with mother nature controlling. Large surf brings / removes rocks and changes the shoreline frequently. Overall a great beach for what we do.
star-5
Trip was awesome Andreus...
Marc_T
, Feb. 2022
Trip was awesome Andreus was great. Even saw I was having issues getting used to the scuba equipment and helped me out to relax. It's opposite breathing to a CPAP machine! He found us the turtles the fish AND the whale family. It was a great experience for me and my son.
star-5
Great tour for newbies
Nikki_B
, Feb. 2022
Great intro to kayaking and snorkeling. Fun, knowledgeable guide (Scuba Steve). Fortunate to see so many whales on the day we went and enjoyed our time at Turtle Reef. Well worth it!
1 traveller found this review helpful
star-1
Get a better guide
cindy_b
, Feb. 2022
Our guide Matt was all over the place. Paddle here, paddle there, paddle back again, sitting in the ocean in our kayaks - it was a s$$$ show as far as we’re concerned. If you haven’t been a guide in 8 years, it was his job to find out where we should’ve been. No turtles and a 20 min snorkel and the 3 hr tour ended 45 mins early. He was nice enough, just didn’t have it together. Hard pass for what we were charged.
icon Response from Host , Feb. 2022
Aloha - Apologies you did not enjoy your outing. Matt has been a tour guide for eight years for both kayak and SUP adventures. Kayaks move slowly (slower than whales) and our efforts to see some whales close up require a little paddling here, and a little there as they are moving as well. Our tours are three hours total including beach instruction, launching and landing which over the decades has proven to be a good time span for the average person. We do offer a longer four hour outing as well which may have been a better time span for you.
star-5
Steve was an amazing...
Douglas_H
, Jan. 2022
Steve was an amazing guide, he had so much knowledge about the fish, turtles, whales, etc. and having Kim with us was great! Being a marine biologist she taught us so much! We saw a mama whale & her calf and then snorkeled in a wonderful area with sea turtles and lots of native fish. Thanks for a great day, we will be back!!
icon Response from Host , Feb. 2022
Thanks for the great feedback. We love Steve - you're right, he's an excellent guide and a great human being. Glad you got to see all that Maui has to offer!
star-5
Epic Experience with Whales
Michael_G
, Jan. 2022
What an amazing experience on the sea with whales! Our trip was actually canceled due to the winds and we had no problem rebooking for another day. In fact, South Pacific Kayaks reached out to us to make sure we had options to rebook or get a full refund. They were excellent. Very professional and what you expect when you book a tour. This is the customer experience we should have everywhere in life. Real quick before I get into our experience. You will get wet. Whatever you are wearing will get wet. Footwear: I left my water shoes at the hotel by accident and only had flip flops. I left my flip-flops on the shore and had no problem barefoot. If you're more comfortable in water shoes then bring them. I was able to manage barefoot just fine on the rocky part of the shore. They do provide a dry bag to place keys, wallet, phone, etc. I would suggest bringing a GoPro. I'm a strong swimmer and even I had a little anxiety about jumping in a kayak on the ocean (if you're nervous then it only seems natural). Once we were in the kayak I was so comfortable and had no worries. When you book ask for John Hess to be your guide. John has nearly 30 years of experience on the water and is extremely knowledgeable about our planet. This is what you want in your guide! I knew from the beginning it was going to be an amazing experience when John shared his background with our group at the beginning of the day. You should also know John is going to give you thorough directions for respecting nature, the whales, the environment, and how to get in/out of the kayak, paddle, work as a team, etc. All the other groups were on the water and we were still going through the tactics of how to paddle and behave in the kayak. I wasn't worried about this even if John seemed concerned our group wanted to just be on the water. The truth is, he was right when he said going through this quick tutorial/training saves us tons of time on the water. Our group had no trouble in the kayak all day and we paddled out far!! The first whale we encountered was a male singing directly underneath us. John was aware of this male being in the area and knew a little about his behavior which helped position us directly above him as he sang. John also knew of a mother and few week old baby whale that all the other groups seemed to go bother right at the beginning of the day; meanwhile we stayed away from the mama and baby so as not to annoy them. This turned out in our favor later in the morning. The singing male whale eventually shied away from us so on to another area where we saw a whale breach maybe 100 yards from us and take a big breath. We hung out with that whale for a bit, and then as we were going to head to snorkel John saw a little spout. Turns out it was the baby whale from earlier in the morning, but now all the other groups were gone and had left baby and mama alone for a while. John takes us over to the baby and mama; meanwhile we're respecting the distance of these gentle giants. Keep in mind we were not trying to be right up on them unless they came to us. The best part was John knew which way to position us to see the mama and baby whale. We got to watch them as the baby played and kept poking it's head out of the water. What happened next will always be remembered. John was timing the breaths and knew when it was about time for the baby to come back up for air. A few minutes ticked by and then we see the baby pop up. Then, the baby whale starts breaching and checking us out about 40 feet off the front of our kayak. The next thing I know there is a giant mama whale maybe 30 feet under our kayak. Her entire whale body swam directly underneath us from head to tail! My heart was racing as she started to come closer to the surface. John told us a whale has never overturned someone in a kayak, but this felt like it came close to the first time! As she swims past us, with baby just underneath her, she rolls the baby up and takes a breath just to the other side of us - and clearly far enough away not to flip our kayak. We said goodbye to them after such an incredible experience and went off to snorkel real quick. Perhaps we are a little more "outdoorsy" type people. Everyone in our group had been in a kayak before this adventure. Not that we are extremely talented kayakers by any means. It had been at least 2 years since our last time in a kayak. Remember you're out there to have fun. I can imagine some couples/groups get cranky because they aren't working as a team and that could put a damper on your experience. Keep it light and just enjoy being on the water in Maui. The experience will come to you. This is one trip that we will never forget. We can't wait to book another kayak trip with John. Thanks to John, everyone in our Ohana, and the amazing whales for making this an epic adventure!!
1 traveller found this review helpful
star-5
Whale watching kayak
Cathy_M
, Jan. 2022
Jake was awesome. He was very informative. It was fun listening to his personal stories with the whales. He shared the local language. We we’re surrounded by whales. We listened to a whale singing. That was awesome and The most fun Thank you
icon Response from Host , Jan. 2022
Mahalo for sharing - the whales truly are amazing. Jake is a fun easy going guide and a guest favorite for sure.

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