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

Makena Cove Maui Secret Beach blog cover photo.  Text overlaying an image of a girl 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”).

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. If you plan on doing some exploring, be sure to bring waterproof shoes with some grip. The Makena Cove has a few other small beaches nearby which require a small amount of scrambling over the black lava rock.

Discover how to get to Secret Cove Beach in this complete guide to Makena Cove aka Paako Cove. Below, you will find complete directions, photo inspiration, tips, and everything you need to know for visiting responsibly.

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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.

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 will 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 the Maui towns of Wailea or Kihei, you will only need to drive south past Big Beach and once you have driven by the 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 are 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 (we love this Hawaii-themed one by Nomadix), your choice of camera, 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.

Find more packing inspiration:
PRINTABLE HAWAII PACKING LIST + 25 useful items to consider

Maui Secret Beach & Makena Cove FAQs

A 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.

Other Maui Guides

A swimmer walking the shore of Red Sand Beach, Maui.
Do not miss any hidden gems like Red Sand Beach! Check out our complete Maui Itinerary for more information.

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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