beautiful beach with lava rock and palm tree and soft sand

6 Hidden Gems on Maui That You Should Keep a Secret

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!

You may also want to read our article on Mistakes to Avoid in Hawaii if you’re planning a trip as it includes things to be aware of before you go!

hidden gems on Maui: beach with lava rock and palm trees in maui
Hidden Gems on Maui

Hidden Maui Gems Map

We’ve mapped out each hidden gem for you to make finding them a little easier. The most difficult one to find is Waioka Pond but you should have no trouble finding it if you follow the map and directions we’ve provided below. The remaining spots are easily identified on Google maps.

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.

Natural tide pools in Maui
Olivine Pools, Maui

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.

How to get to Waioka Pond / Venus Pools

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.

entrance to Venus Pools
fruit stand at the entrance to Venus Pools
Hidden Gems on Maui, Venus Pools are a beautiful natural pool of water with ocean in the background
Waioka Pond aka Venus Pools, Maui

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.

sunrise at the top of Haleakala mountain peak
Leleiwi Lookout, Haleakala

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.

dirt path between lava rock
black sand beach in Maui
black sand beach, Maui

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: Makena Cove is a beautiful beach with lava rock and palm tree and soft sand
Makena Cove, Maui

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.

We would recommend booking a tour with Pacific Helicopter Adventure Tours.

Hidden Gems on Maui: Molokai island view from a helicopter
Molokai, Maui
Hidden Gems on Maui: valley with waterfalls in hawaii - helicopter view
Molokai, Maui

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Places to eat on Oahu
Mistakes to Avoid in Hawaii


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