Ulua and Mokapu beaches
Ulua and Mokapu Beaches are located south of Kihei in the Wailea area. These beaches use the same parking lot (can fill up in the afternoon). Follow the trail and turn left past the rest rooms for Ulua and right for Mokapu. Both offer sandy bottom beaches and are great for swimming. There isn't much shade so get here early if that is a concern. For snorkelers the best spot is Ulua to the right side (next to the reef). Follow the reef all away around to Mokapu Beach and take the trail back. There is a lot of fish, turtles and live coral close to shore, making it a good choice for kids and beginners.
Mokapu Beach is located just north of Ulua Beach separated by a coral reef. It is a sandy beach that slopes down gently making it great for swimming when the ocean is calm. The snorkeling is best in the morning hours and around the lava outcropping between Mokapu Beach and neighboring Ulua Beach.
The word mokapu is short for moku kapu, meaning "sacred island" in the Hawaiian language. It takes its name from a small rock island that used to be visible offshore before it was bombed out during World War II as a practice target. Since an ulua replaces a man, ulua also means “man, sweetheart,” especially in love songs.
You can also hike down the Wailea Beach Trail that that leads all the down to Polo Beach south and up to Mokapu Beach north. This is a nice well manicured path.
- Directions (from Kihei)
Head south on Piilani Hwy. Turn Right onto Wailea Ike Rd. (Piilani Hwy Dead ends here). Turn right at Wailea Alanui. In about .35 mile look for Ulua/Mokapu Beach sign on left.
There is one medium sized parking lot that fills up fast. Get here before 10 am for a spot.
Restrooms and showers with running water.
- Best For
Excellent snorkeling and swimming. Get here early if you want shade.