The commercial snorkeling boats don’t stop at Turtle Reef located 300-400 yards off Kalama Park in Kihei. Perhaps the water is too shallow or there is too much going on in the vicinity – like surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. Maybe it’s too “urban.” (We’re talking south/central Kihei here, not pristine Makena landing.) For whatever reason the big boats don’t go, don’t let it stop you from visiting Turtle Reef.
There are several great ways to get there. (Unless you are a VERY strong swimmer, swimming from shore isn’t one of them.) We’ve been there by stand-up paddle board and kayak. Others use a surf board. You can rent any of these from Maui Wave Riders (across the street from the south end of Kalama Park) or other nearby outfits.
The reef is large and there are turtles everywhere – especially in the morning when the turtles like to feed and the water is calm. As you can see from the map, Turtle Reef is close to our condo at Maui Vista. We launched our kayak at Charley Young Beach and paddled over.
If at first you don’t see turtles, keep looking. When you get in the right spot you’ll see them everywhere. I’ve counted as many at 12 turtle heads out of the water near my stand-up paddle board at a time. They get so close they may bump into you.
Despite the temptation, please don’t touch the turtles – bad karma. If you like, bring snorkel gear to get an even better view!
While Turtle Reef is terrific, Turtle Town is great as well. click here to see our post on Turtle Town.