🏝Makena Cove Guide: How to Find “Maui Secret Beach”

Makena Cove Maui Secret Beach blog cover photo.  Text overlaying an image of Sophie Marland in a bikini walking into the turquoise water at Makena Cove Maui Secret Beach on a bright, sunny day.

Makena Cove (also known as “Paako Cove“) is home to the small but impressive Maui Secret Beach (also called “Secret Cove Beach”). Personally, I think it is the prettiest beach on Maui to photograph!

While you may hear people argue over which is the official name, no one will dispute that it is the best secret beach on Maui.

Even on the busiest days, this golden-sand beach remains relatively quiet while providing breathtaking views that are worthy of a Hawaiian postcard. The shoreline is decorated with volcanic lava rock, which is beautiful to see but dangerous to climb.

In this guide, I will explain in great detail how to find and get to Makena Cove Beach. You will find complete directions with photos to show nearby landmarks, photography inspiration, tips, and everything you need to know to visit responsibly.

🧭 How to Get to Maui Secret Beach in Makena Cove

Satellite view of Makena Cove & Maui Secret Beach.
Satellite view of Makena Cove.

The easiest way to find Maui Secret Beach is to set your navigation to the address 6925 Makena Road.

Park anywhere you can on the roadside and look for a break in the rock wall directly across the street from this house and marked by a crosswalk; this is the entrance to Secret Cove Beach and the Makena Cove.

If you do not have navigation, rest assured the beach is still easy to find.

Makena Cove is located just 0.25 miles south of Big Beach Third Entrance.

Coming from Wailea or Kihei: Drive south past Big Beach. Once you have driven by the “Big Beach Third Entrance”, look for a rock wall on your right (in the direction of the ocean, pictured above).

As soon as you have found it, you have found the Secret Cove Beach!

There is a break in the wall allowing instant access to the shoreline with no walk required.

The break in the wall is the entrance to Maui Secret Beach and lies directly in line with the crosswalk seen here.
The break in the wall is the entrance to Secret Beach and lies directly in line with the crosswalk seen here.

🌅 When to Visit Makena Cove

Sunset photography at Maui Secret Beach in Makena Cove

Any time and any day is good for visiting Maui Secret Beach. Due to its relative ambiguity, the Makena Cove is never as crowded as most other beaches in nearby Wailea or Kihei.

Sunny days are especially enjoyable as the water color is truly incredible when illuminated by sunlight.

If you are able to stay for sunset, all the better! Secret Cove Beach is the best place for sunset in all of Maui.

🌅 See our complete list of the Top 10 Maui Sunsets Destinations

⛱ What to Bring to Makena Cove

Crystal clear water at Maui Secret Beach in Makena Cove.
Bring a snorkel to enjoy the crystal-clear waters of Makena Cove.

If your plan is to lounge in the sunshine, all you will need to bring to Makena Cove is some reef-safe sunscreen, a beach chair or sand-resistant towel, and whatever else helps you relax.

You may also wish to bring a mask and snorkel. While nearby Turtle Town is considered the best place in the area for snorkeling and seeing wildlife, the water at Secret Cove Beach is very clear and is an enjoyable place for swimming and exploring underwater. Just beware of the choppy waves and avoid the sharp lava rock.

Last, you may wish to bring a pair of grippy waterproof shoes. There are a couple of other secret beaches you can quickly access in Makena Cove, but all require some scrambling over the hazardous lava rock.

PRINTABLE HAWAII PACKING LIST + 25 useful items to consider

🐠 Maui Secret Beach & Makena Cove FAQs

Our view from the beach at Makena Cove.

Where is the secret beach on Maui?

There are a few secret beaches on Maui, but the one most commonly referred to as “Maui Secret Beach” or “Secret Cove Beach” is located in the Makena Cove, just south of Big Beach Third Entrance.

How do you get to Maui Secret Beach?

To get to Secret Beach, hike or drive south along Makena Road a quarter-mile past the Big Beach Third Entrance. Look for a break in the wall to your right, directly across the street from the house at 6925 Makena Rd. Secret Beach is accessed through this entry point.

Where is Paako Cove?

Paako Cove is another name for Makena Cove, which is also synonymous with Secret Cove Beach and Maui Secret Beach. This beach of many names is found adjacent to the house at 6925 Makena Rd in the Makena-Wailea region of South Maui.

Are there bathrooms at Makena Cove?

There are no bathrooms or facilities of any kind at Maui Secret Beach. The closest restroom is a quarter-mile north at the Big Beach Third Entrance.

Is Secret Cove Beach open to the public?

Yes, Secret Beach and, in fact, EVERY Maui beach is open to the public by law! No business or private property can prevent access to any beach on the Hawaiian islands.

🏝 Maui Secret Beach Photo Gallery

Sunset photography from Paako Cove aka Maui Secret Beach aka Makena Cove

Find inspiration for taking pictures of Makena Cove in the photo gallery above.

These images showcase what you can expect from a trip to Secret Cove Beach and why it is worth finding.

As you can see, it is a spectacular place to watch and photograph the sunset, but equally beautiful on any sunny day.

🌺 More Maui Travel Guides

Photographer Adam Marland walks the red sand beach of Maui on a sunny day.
Do not miss any hidden gems like Red Sand Beach! Check out our complete Maui Itinerary for more information.

The two of us work very hard to create these free travel guides to help you plan your dream vacation. If you think we’ve done a good job and would like to say thanks, please consider clicking the donate button below 🙂

Secret Beach is just one of countless incredible beaches and scenic places to visit on Maui. If you are still planning your visit to “the Valley Isle”, you may find some of these other regional guides useful!

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Written by
Adam Marland is a professional travel blogger and landscape photographer from Oregon. After over a decade of experience as a freelance travel photographer, Adam found national acclaim when he became the National Park Foundation's “Chief Exploration Officer” in 2021.

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