Hamoa Beach at the far eastern tip of Maui is a stunningly beautiful and popular destination for Valley Isle visitors. It is a way of life for Maui surfers and fishing enthusiasts. It’s south of the storied Road to Hana, which means that getting there is an adventure itself. There are more than 600 hairpin turns on that fabled two-lane highway, for starters, and too many waterfalls to count. This beach is a once-in-a-lifetime destination for most Maui visitors. Make a day of it.
There are important practical matters for visitors to know about Hamoa Beach. There are also ancient Native Hawaiian legends about the area that make it magical and a playground for the imagination. With good conditions, it is a snorkeler’s paradise teeming with a dizzying variety of brilliantly colored tropical reef species and fish that thrive on them.
Hamoa Beach – getting there, being there
There are no lifeguards at Hamoa Beach. Currents and conditions can change quickly from blissfully calm and serene to outright dangerous due to its windward, open-ocean exposure, and it’s on beachgoers there to mind their own personal safety. “Never turn your back on the ocean” and “When in doubt, don’t go out” are two common maxims that are wisely heeded.
Public street parking is available, but it is limited and often quite busy. Unauthorized parking is not just plainly rude and obvious. It can also gum up the traffic works of an otherwise quiet rural town. Don’t be that vehicle. There is also a fairly steep path down to the beach. Be advised. There are also public restrooms and freshwater showers at Hamoa Beach.
The history and lore of Hamoa Beach and Hana’s surroundings are rich in Native Hawaiian legend and lore. It is said to be the birthplace of the demigod Maui, the essential “Hawaiian Superman”. There are also legends that speak of Maui single-handedly fishing the Hawaiian Islands from the depths of the sea as a rebuke to his brothers for their taunting him as a lousy fisherman. It is a fool’s errand to try to reconcile the logical contradiction between the two legends. It’s not the point.
What makes Hamoa Beach such an ideal destination for snorkelers is the bewildering variety and colors of sea life found in its waters. It is an ancient fishing resource, said to be blessed by sacred stones in the area. Those stones can be seen in the rocky outcroppings around the crescent-shaped beach, which some legends say are the bones of a giant eel, or puhi, that preyed on fishponds built by the ancients and was vanquished by a powerful chief. They are mythological big game trophies.
Once the voracious puhi was defeated, the fish and crabs and octopi (he’e) returned to the waters and the fishing community thrived. Hamoa Beach is still thriving. Visitors are now among the curious creatures wiggling in the water there.
Hamoa Beach is about 3.5 miles south of Hana, where there is a variety of restaurants, shops, galleries, and natural spaces to enjoy. For anyone who is staying in Hana, the beach is a “must-see”. For those just passing through along the Road to Hana, it’s a great place to stretch your legs and take in the view. Let our experts at Hawaii Aloha Travel help get you there. To book your Hawaiian trip give us a call or use our Trip Planner.