La Perouse Beach (Bay) in Maui!

La Perouse Bay Maui Hawaii
La Perouse Bay in southwestern Maui, Hawaii

La Perouse Bay is located on Maui’s south shore in the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve. There are a lot of unique and fun things to do at La Perouse Bay. There are rocky shores with amazing tide pools, blowholes, epic hikes, and even secluded beaches.

Technically there isn’t really a La Perouse Beach, but there are beaches in La Perouse Bay, so some people will refer to those beaches as La Perouse Beach though they officially have their own names.

The road basically ends at this bay, which means that the entire is much less likely to attract a crowd. Given how popular Maui is, it is shocking that you can find parts of the island where you likely won’t see any other people.

It is a little bit of a trek to get here, and even more if you want to get to a sandy beach rather than a rocky shore, but if you are looking for a unique Maui experience you’ll love it!

La Perouse Bay Quick Tips

  • Water color: Turquoise blue and choppy
  • Sand quality: Hardly any sand, manly lava rocks crumbled on the beach (hike to a few different secluded beaches)
  • Swimming conditions: can be rough, a couple protected coves that are great for snorkeling
  • Other names: La Perouse Bay, La Perouse Beach, Hoapili Trail, King’s Highway Trail
  • Best for: Hiking and snorkeling by boat tour and hiking the King’s Trail
  • Known for: Isolated, untamed feel. Lava rocks and rich cultural history in the area. An epic hike to secluded beaches
  • Facilities: 2 portable toilets in the parking lot
  • Lifeguard: none
  • Cost: Free
  • Parking: Dirt Lot
  • What to bring: Hiking boots (these are my favorite), water, hat
  • Other: Do it in shoes, very sharp lava rocks. No cell service.

What you can Expect at La Perouse Beach

When you arrive you can expect to feel like you are in the middle of a lava rock field. You will be staring at a gorgeous coastline of choppy waters meeting that lava rock.

Warning, the sun is strong in this area and there are very few places where you can rest in the shade. Read on to see the two different beaches you will encounter if you begin to hike the trail that starts here.

Best La Perouse Bay Activities

In the area you can swim or snorkel if the water isn’t too choppy, but the best thing to do is begin hiking so you can see amazing tide pools, blowholes, and make it to a secluded sandy beach.

La Perouse Bay Snorkeling

If you catch the conditions right there is supposed to be some of the best snorkeling in Maui, but it is a lot easier to access via a boat snorkel tour.

I highly recommend the Molokini Crater and South Maui Coast tour. They will take you to La Perouse Bay, which is also a great place to see dolphins and whales!

Check out this page for more details.

Swimming Conditions

The swimming conditions vary depending on the weather. Make sure to check before you go if you plan on swimming and snorkeling. In general though, most of the shoreline here is dangerous to swim at because the waves crash directly into the jagged lava rock shoreline.

There are a few protected coves you will see once you begin the Hoapili Trail hike.

La Perouse Bay Hike

This hike is known as the Hoapili Trail or the King’s Highway trail. This trail is NOT what you would expect when hiking in Hawaii. The stereotypical Hawaiian hike involves you trekking through a lush rainforest to a mountain waterfall. The Hoapili Trail leads you through fields of craggy lava rocks along the Maui shoreline. 

The ocean waves crashing into the lava rock fields create some really impressive geographic features. You will see amazing tide pools, blow holes, and miniature beaches along the way.

  • Distance: 6 miles out and back, BUT still enjoyable if you only go out ½ mile out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy, the elevation Gain is less than 100 ft

Read the full blog post with photos on the Hoapili Trail here.

Hoapili trail through a lava field
Hoapili trail through a lava field

Beaches in La Perouse Bay

There are La Perouse Beaches that you will encounter when hiking the Hoapili Trail. They aren’t huge, but are each quite nice.

Keawanaku Beach

Remote beach located in La Preouse Bay only reachable by lava field trail.

Keawanaku Beach
The Volcanic Shoreline of Keawanaku Beach and The beautiful blue water of La Perouse Bay.

Kanaio Beach

Kanaio beach is located at the end of Hoapili Trail in Maui, Hawaii. This small beach is an awesome escape after trekking through the bright bright sun.

The beach is decently nice, but the real perk of it is that you can expect to have very few people with you there.

I have worn my Columbia waterproof hiking boots for over a year now and I love them. They are comfortable, affordable, and cute! They sell out often but I recommend checking Nordstrom & DSW to try and find your size in stock.

Kanaio Beach
Kanaio Beach

Where is La Perouse Bay Located?

La Perouse Bay is located on the southwestern tip of Maui, right past Makena Beach (Big Beach/Little Beach). It is also just beyond Makena Cove.

La Perouse Bay Map

How to get to La Perouse Bay

If you are driving here from the main airport it will take you about 50 minutes, but less if you are in one of the resort areas on the west side of the island. It is as far south as you can get in Maui while driving on roads.

You will know you are getting close when you start to see the trees and vegetation fade away to be replaced by fields of lava rock. The jagged rocks make for a super cool and unique drive.


To park you will have to drive down a road that feels like it is barely paved. It goes back and forth from paved to dirt so make sure to take it slow if you are in a rental car. At the very end of the road there is a dirt parking lot.

You literally can’t miss it because the parking lot marks the end of the road. The parking lot at also marks the beginning of the Hoapili Trail (Kings Trail).

Tip: When parking at La Perouse Bay, lock your vehicle and hide all valuables (or any place in Maui unfortunately).

La Perouse Bay parking
La Perouse Bay parking

2 porta potties located at the parking lot.

La Perouse Bay facilities
La Perouse Bay bathrooms
La perouse bay in south maui hawaii
La perouse bay in south maui hawaii
Underwater fish La Perouse Bay snorkeling
An underwater photo of a school of fish feeding off of a rock and coral reef in Maui, Hawaii.

The sun is relentless out here so be sure to protect yourself, and the reef, by using only reef safe sunscreen!

I also recommend wearing a long sleeve swimsuit or top like these ones from Skims. (I have 3 of them and wear them all the time! It is so nice to have that extra sun protection without having to constantly worry about reapplying sunscreen.)

Free people also has some amazing rash guards that are great for snorkeling.

Other Top Thing To Do In Maui:

Road to Hana Private Jungle Tour Sooo many awesome stops included in this one. Check out this page for more details.

Private Intro SCUBA Adventure – Perfect if you are interested in learning how to Scuba dive. I personally am not too interested, but I know so many people are so I wanted to include it! The reviews are spectacular. Read the reviews here.

Road to Hana Private Jungle Tour with Lahaina Side pick up – Another amazing jungle tour that includes a stop at La Perouse Bay.

Where to stay in Maui

Before booking a hotel on Maui there are a few things you need to know.

  1. The hotels in Maui are ALL very expensive. You will have a difficult time finding a hotel for under $200 a night.
  2. You have to book in advance. Like, far in advance. The hotels and rental cars book up super fast so make sure to plan ahead.

Best Option* Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa – We love this hotel! The location is perfect and only a 2 minute walk to the beach. There are 2 amazing pools at the property and so many amenities. The only downside is it is super expensive.

Best budget option* (if there is such a thing in Maui) – Hakuna Matata Maui Hostel

Four Seasons Resort in Wailea – This is one of the more expensive resorts on Maui, but it’s also one of the most fantastic. If you can swing it financially, highly recommend giving this place a shot. The hotel overlooks Wailea Beach and has 3 swimming pools and 3 restaurants on-site. If you are looking for the ultimate service, food, and pampering, then you should stay here. Check current pricing here.

Hotel Wailea – This hotel is fairly small, with under a hundred guest rooms. This, and the fact that it is far away from the road and any other noise pollution, makes it the perfect place to stay in peace and quiet.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa – Another amazing hotel and resort you are guaranteed to love.

Conclusion: Is La Perouse Bay worth visiting?

Yes! This area of Maui is so unique and not crowded at all! I highly recommend making a visit.

What to pack

Wear a hatreef-friendly sunscreen. Closed toe shoes are a must if you plan to walk around. 

But if you’re plans include the Hoapili trail, wear hiking boots! Bring extra drinking water because it’s hot and super dry here!

Things to do near La Perouse Bay

  1. Big Beach (Makena Beach)
  2. Little Beach (nude beach)
  3. Makena Cove
  4. Hoapili Trail
  5. Kanaio Beach

What to Pack for Maui

Planning a trip to Maui? Here are our best MAUI BLOG POSTS:

My husband and I have been to Maui a couple times and have written up more blog posts to help you plan your trip. These are my most popular blog posts and Hawaii travel guides to help you plan your trip. I hope it helps!

Maui general trip planning

Maui Beaches

Maui Hikes & Lookouts

Maui Waterfalls

Everything else

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Hey there! I'm Claire, the founder of & While spending 4 years completely bedridden and miserable from an unexpected illness I decided to begin writing about my past travel adventures and now the rest is history. Thank you so much for visiting the website. I hope you enjoy it!


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