While there aren’t many true hidden gems on Maui thanks to the internet, there are a handful of places to visit that aren’t heavily toured. Overall, Maui is much better in terms of crowds when compared to Oahu.
One word of advice for many of these secret spots…do not attempt to visit in bad weather. Some of these gems experience flash flooding, high waves and overall unsafe conditions. So make sure you check the weather before you plan a trip out!
Hidden gems on Maui #1 – Olivine pools
The Olivine Pools are a beautiful set of tide pools in the northern region of Maui. They are located near Kahakuloa and though they are worth a stop, they can be treacherous. We highly recommend watching the water from the top (before you hike down) for several minutes to see if there are any waves at all. If there are, do NOT go down. Several deaths have occurred here so please use common sense and caution.
However, if you happen to stop on a calm day, then make your way down carefully and enjoy the pretty waters. But regardless, stay alert and hike back up immediately if the waters get rough.
Hidden gems on Maui #2 – Waioka Pond aka Venus Pools
Possibly our favorite Maui hidden gem, Waioka Pond, also known as the Venus Pools, is a gorgeous retreat of water and views. A lot of people go cliff jumping here though if you’re scared of heights, you can easily scale the rocks down to take a refreshing swim.
Getting to Waioka Pond is tricky. Driving back in the direction of Paia, the pull-off for the pool will be on your right hand side. You’ll notice a fence of sorts and a “parking area” which is basically a small area to park a few cars. As of 2019, there was a small fruit stand with sign marking the spot where you’d enter.
Behind the fruit stand, you’ll see some grasses and a few feet away, a metal grate used for keeping cattle out. Climb over the grate and walk down the dirt path for a few minutes. You’ll soon come to the end where you can either jump DOWN into the water or carefully climb down.
One thing to note – the Waioka Pond is on private property. As of 2019, the owner posted a sign warning of the dangers of visiting the Venus Pools. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK; you are responsible and liable for anything you do after that. Knowing that, please respect the property. Do NOT leave trash, walk off the path or exercise unruly behavior and ruin it for future visitors. The owners can make entering illegal at any point in time.
Hidden gems on Maui #3 – Leleiwi lookout
Most people overlook this Haleakala overlook, literally. They choose to visit the summit, the most popular place to view the sunrise. What most people don’t realize is that Leleiwi is the best out of the overlooks in Haleakala.
There are two reasons why Leleiwi should be visited: you can see fantastic views over Maui from it (you are almost 10,000 feet up) and hardly anyone else knows about this spot so you can enjoy the beauty almost entirely to yourself.
Hidden gems on Maui #4 – Black Sand (small)
While everyone has heard of the Black Sand Beach in Waianapanapa State Park, not many people venture beyond it. Getting to it is a little tricky. Walk towards the main beach. Once you reach it, keep walking up on the path that takes you to the blowhole. You’ll pass the blowhole on your right and continue, following the small path further through lava rock and vegetation. In a few minutes, you’ll come across another black sand beach below.
You’ll definitely have to scale some rocks to make your way down so proceed with caution and at your own risk! Either way, this beach makes for some amazing photos and is much quieter than the first.
Hidden gems on Maui #5 – Makena Cove
Possibly the most well known of these secret spots in Maui, Makena Cove is arguably the most beautiful beach in Maui. Parking can be confusing; you’ll want to park your vehicle in one of the lots near the address provided above and then walk over to the entrance of the beach.
The cove is located between a walkway flanked with stones. A few steps in and the most beautiful hidden beach is revealed. We would not recommend swimming too far out here as the waves can be a little rough and there are rocks everywhere.
Hidden gems on Maui #6 – Molokai by helicopter
Maybe it’s not fair to include Molokai by helicopter since it’s not technically Maui nor is it something accessible by foot, but we think Molokai deserves to be included in this hidden gems of Maui guide. Molokai is truly beautiful and rugged and if you don’t have time to fly there (currently the only way to the island), then we highly recommend a helicopter ride that takes you to it. The views are unparalleled and exhilarating.