Maui Sunsets: 10 Best Photo Spots + Epic Sunset Adventures

Maui sunsets blog post cover.  Text overlaying an image of palms trees silhouetted at sunset in Maui.

In this guide, you will discover the best locations for Maui sunsets, as well as once-in-a-lifetime sunset activities to consider booking to make your Hawaiian vacation a little extra special.

Watching the sunset in Maui is the kind of experience that reminds you how amazing this world is.

It is easy to get caught up in the fancy drinks and luxury resorts on any Hawaiian vacation, but watching day turn to night from a golden-sand beach or the deck of a ship as the sky catches fire is a moment and photograph you will remember forever!

Palm Trees sway in the trade wind breeze during one of many beautiful sunsets in Maui.
Palm trees sway in the trade wind breeze during one of many beautiful sunsets in Maui.

Disclosure: In order to keep providing you with free content, this post likely contains affiliate links. If you make a booking or purchase through one of these links we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. So a HUGE thank you to you if you click one of these links 🙂

Maui Sunsets Overview

It goes without saying that anywhere you stand along the west coast will have a clear view of sunset. The Hawaiian island of Maui has a lengthy western shoreline, meaning the options are basically unlimited for where you choose to go.

What makes these Maui sunset photo spots the best of the best is the scenery from which you take it in. These spots all promise beautiful foregrounds and/or romantic, aloha vibes complete with all the tropical feels.

The best photo spots for Maui sunsets are:

  1. Makena Cove / Secret Beach (Wailea)
  2. Kamaole Beach Parks (Kihei)
  3. Mama’s Fish House Beach (Paia)
  4. Mokapu Beach (Wailea)
  5. Papalua Beach Park (West Maui)
  6. Polo Beach (Wailea)
  7. Lahaina (West Maui)
  8. Lipoa Street Beach (Kihei)
  9. Makawao (Maui Upcountry)
  10. Honolua Bay (West Maui)

In addition, those celebrating special occasions or desiring something more unique may be delighted by the opportunity to experience a Maui sunset on the deck of a sailboat or at a traditional Hawaiian Luau.

Best Maui Sunset Activities

You will have plenty of opportunities to watch day become night from the comfort of a tropical beach. If you want to celebrate a special occasion or just want to add something a little extra special to your Maui itinerary, consider pre-arranging one of the following Maui sunset activities.

Maui Sunset Cruise

Not sure where to go or just want to do something special? Leave it to your local guide while being pampered on a Maui sunset cruise! There are a few vendors available, but we chose Sail Trilogy for ours and highly recommend it.

The great thing about doing a sunset cruise is that the captain will do their best to find the clearest skies available for sunset. While much of West Maui was cloudy on the evening of our cruise, our captain found a sheltered cove clear of overhead clouds, allowing us to capture some beautiful photos and better memories. We even managed to see some whales on our way home!

The best part is that most sunset cruises provide drinks and food. If you want to do something special one night during your Maui vacation, consider a sunset sail.

Maui Sunset Luau

A handful of resorts offer traditional Hawaiian luaus which tell the story of the islands through dance and show. What better way to enjoy the sunset than with a feast on the beach as the native people reveal their rich history below a fiery sky?

On our visit, we enjoyed Andaz Resort’s sunset luau called “The Feast at Mokapu.” Everything from the scenery to the show to the cuisine was exquisite and come highly recommended.

If you are staying on a different part of the island or just wish to explore other options, you can browse here for the highest-recommended Maui luaus for all budgets and locations.

Top 10 Best Maui Sunsets Photo Spots

1. Makena Cove / Maui Secret Beach (Wailea-Makena)

This photo shows the best place for sunsets in Maui with a spectacular scene from Secret Cove Beach in Wailea-Makena.

The best place for sunset in Maui is a hidden treasure known as Secret Cove Beach, located in the Makena Cove. This incredible slice of paradise is indisputably the best of all of the Secret Beaches on Maui.

From this spot, you will have an unbeatable view of the sun setting in the west with a foreground filled with lava rock, golden sand, and incredible turquoise water.

Beyond the incredible landscape, the views to the west are completely unobstructed and therefore perfect for watching sunset. Better still, the secluded nature of the beach means you are likely sharing the moment with only a small collection of others.

Find more information on this beautiful Maui sunset photo spot in our
Complete Guide to Makena Cove and Secret Beach

2. Kamaole Beach Parks (Kihei)

A whale tail waves goodbye to the sun off the shores of Kam 3 Beach in Maui.
A whale tail waves goodbye to the sun off the shores of Kam 3 Beach in Maui.

Any of the Kihei beaches are spectacular places for watching sunsets in Maui as all provide clear westerly views and golden sand. Of the many to choose from, the Kamaole Beaches (also known as Kam 1, Kam 2, and Kam 3) are the best options for ending your day.

If you happen to be visiting during the whale migration season which typically runs from November until April, you have a good chance of seeing some whale activity right from the shore!

The Kamaole Beaches are some of the best beaches in Kihei, all providing restroom facilities and lifeguards, making them a particularly appealing option for families.

Find more information on Kihei’s best beaches in our
Complete Guide to Kamaole Beach Park

3. Mama’s Fish House Beach

There is a small but beautiful gold sand beach facing west toward the West Maui Mountains located just in front of Mama’s Fish House that is worthy of every Maui sunsets bucket list.

You will find this hidden gem on the North Shore of Maui; an often-overlooked destination unto itself near one of Maui’s best historic towns, Paia.

A particularly handsome palm tree clutches tightly to the ground while leaning and bending over Mama’s Fish House Beach, providing the perfect subject for any composition.

Mama’s is near the starting point for the Road to Hana scenic drive, but may actually be a better place to end the day with a bite and view.

If your time and budget allow for an upscale meal, Mama’s is known for having the best seafood on Maui. Delight your eyes and stomach with a sunset dinner at this incredible photo spot! Don’t worry if you do not have the ability to eat there; the beach is public access!

Find more information on this Maui sunsets destination in our
Complete Guide to Mama’s Fish House Beach

4. Mokapu Beach / Ulua Beach (wailea-Makena)

Wailea-Makena, much like Kihei, is a long stretch of golden sand on the west coast of Maui. There are a plethora of beautiful beaches with clear views for sunset to choose from, but among our favorites are Ulua & Mokapu Beach.

Both beaches are located side-by-side, separated by lush greenery and swaying palm trees. It is precisely this diversity of varied landscapes and views that earn these Wailea beaches a spot on the best sunsets of Maui list.

Additionally, this is the beach where “The Feast of Mokapu” sunset luau takes place for those who want to enjoy sunset with a show.

Find more information on this Maui sunsets destination in our
Complete Guide to Mokapu Beach

5. Papalaua Beach Park aka Thousand Peaks (West Maui)

All along the Honoapiilani Highway between Maalaea and Olowalu spans a golden-sand coastline with beautiful sunset views. Among them, Papalaua Beach Park (also known as Thousand Peaks) is the more photogenic and inviting.

From here, viewers will look west directly along the sandy shore toward the distant island of Lanai. Most of the year, the sun will set directly in line with this stunning view.

As an added bonus, Papalaua Beach Park is one of the few places you can camp! Go to bed on the beach with the sun and wake up to the sound of the Pacific Ocean breathing in and out with the tides.

Find more information on this destination in our
Complete Guide to Papalaua Beach Park & Thousand Peaks

6. Polo Beach Park (Wailea-Makena)

At first glance, Polo Beach is like many others in Wailea. What sets it apart as one of the best Maui sunset photo spots is the adorning lava rock and frequent whale encounters that occur just off the shore here.

This is one of those silky-sand beaches where the aloha spirit just seems to hang in the air. Grab a beverage of choice and just get lost in the magical moment.

Find more information on this destination in our
Complete Guide to Polo Beach

7. Lahaina (West Maui)

The historic Maui town of Lahaina in West Maui is a beautiful place for sunset in Maui. It is surrounded by the majestic Pu’u Kukui Mountain range, also known as The West Maui Mountains.

This towering range creates its own microclimate. Even when the rest of the island is covered in cloud, Lahaina tends to be clear to the west.

A thriving port means your ocean view toward sunset will be dotted with sailboats and sea vessels as the sun sinks behind the nearby island of Lanai. Spin around and you will discover the mountains and perpetual clouds bathing in warm light.

8. Lipoa Street Beach (Kihei)

What makes Lipoa Street Beach a great option for watching sunset over some more popular destinations in Kihei is how quiet and secluded it tends to feel.

While families and all manner of tourists flock to the beach parks further south, you will have no trouble picking out your own plot of sand to watch the sunset, hearing only the rustling of palm trees behind.

Additionally, it is a common beach for honus, the Hawaiian name for green sea turtles, to come ashore and rest at the end of a long day. They are much quieter and cuter company than you will find on the busy beaches!

Find more information on this destination in our
Complete Guide to Lipoa Street Beach

9. Makawao (Maui Upcountry)

For an unusual view of sunset, consider heading to the Maui Upcountry. This term refers to the areas of higher elevation up the Haleakala Mountain range. From Makawao or any roadside pull-off up high, you can look back toward the distant West Maui Mountains.

Weather permitting, which is far from a given, you may be lucky enough to see the sun descend into the Pacific Ocean.

While the upcountry does not provide the same postcard-feels of many other Maui photo spots listed in this Top 10, it is a unique and adventurous view to consider.

10. Honolua Bay Overlook (West Maui)

The final photo spot on our list of the best Maui sunsets destinations is the viewpoint overlooking Honolua Bay at the northern tip of West Maui.

Honolua Bay is better known as one of the best places for snorkeling in Maui, but it is also a beautiful place to end your day with a golden sunset view.

Find more information on this destination in our
Complete Guide to Honolua Bay

Map of the Best Maui Sunsets Photo Spots

Find all the best places for sunset in Maui on the map below. Click here or on the image below to open the interactive Google Map in a new tab.

CAMERA GEAR FOR PHOTOGRAPHING SUNSET IN Maui

While it is possible to capture some great photos nowadays with smartphones, for the best possible photos you may want to consider a few key pieces of photography gear when packing for Hawaii. This is particularly important during sunset when you require a camera that can capture a high dynamic range.

You can also find out everything we have in our camera bags in this camera gear guide.

  • Camera: We use the Sony a7riii love it. However, beginners should consider an entry level DSLR. This will allow you to start getting to grips with manual settings and decide whether photography is something you enjoy enough to invest in.
  • Lens: The lens we use most frequently is the Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS as the zoom lens allows for the most diversity.
  • Tripod: A tripod is essential if you are shooting in low light, at night or for any other long exposure photography. When traveling, we use the Manfrotto Be Free as it’s lightweight and easy to carry on longer hikes. For times when we require something more stable, we use the Artcise Carbon Fiber Tripod.
  • Filters: A Circular Polarizing (CPL) filter (CPL) or Neutral Density (ND) filter are very useful for allowing slower shutter speeds and for cutting glare on reflective surfaces, helping to bring out the colors. The best CPL and ND filters we have found are the Quartzline from Polar Pro.

Maui Sunsets FAQs

A colorful twilight sky in Hawaii with palm trees swaying in the breeze.

Below are the most frequently asked questions for experiencing sunset in Maui.

What are the best places in Maui for sunset?

The best beach on Maui for sunset is the Maui Secret Beach in Makena Cove. Anything along the western coastline is a good option as well, including Kihei, Wailea, and West Maui.

For the best Maui sunset photos, try Makena Cove, Papalua Bay, Mokapu Beach, Honolua Bay, or Kamaole Beach Park. Sunset cruises & luaus are also popular options for a more memorable experience.

Is a Maui sunset cruise worth it?

Maui sunsets cruise photography of the Trilogy boat.

While the views of sunset are not significantly more special from a boat than from a beach, a sunset cruise is a fun way to celebrate a special occasion and do something different on a Hawaiian vacation. Many provide dinner and drinks which can create a social environment for those seeking one, or a romantic moment for happy couples on holiday.

What time is sunset in Maui?

A moody Maui sunset photo.

Regardless of when you are visiting, you can typically expect sunsets in Maui to occur between 6-7pm. The earliest sunset of the year is at 5:42pm during the winter solstice, or as late as 7:10pm at the summer solstice.

Other Maui Guides

An image of a man walking along Red Sand Beach in Maui with green palm trees, red sand and aqua water.
Be sure to browse our Perfect 5-7 Day Maui Itinerary to ensure you don’t miss any hidden gems on your visit!

If you have found this guide to Maui sunsets useful, you may also find some of our other guides to “the Valley Isle” helpful for planning the rest of your vacation. Browse the resources below and make sure you do not miss a thing on your once in a lifetime trip!

Enjoyed this guide to Maui Sunsets? Pin it! 🙂

Leave a Comment