By Colleen – (Alaska)
We went snorkeling at 5 Caves/5 Graves in Maui in September, 2010. Entry was easy with very little surge and the bottom is sandy if you enter near the showers and washrooms area. You head out and around to the right, going around the rocky point.
We saw two large eagle rays at the very beginning of our trip then had a turtle swim up to greet us from his resting spot on the bottom. There were tons of fish and we even saw a small White Tip Reef Shark (they’re more afraid of you than you should be of them). You may happen upon some scuba divers below, possibly with little scooters even, it’s that good of a place. The scuba divers look under the rock ledges to see sharks or other sea life hanging out in the ‘caves’.
We kept going around the point where we noticed a bunch of snorkel charter boats who charge to bring you to this shore-accessible location. There was a long rock ledge where more turtles were hanging out. We were able to follow that ledge out to the deeper water and then follow it back into shore. We headed to shore keeping to the left of the ridge and this lead us to the place where we came out of the water (at a different location than we put in, the route we chose was just the perfect length for a one-way trip but may be too long to turn around and go back to where you put in).
The best place to come out seemed to be behind and to the left of a house where there’s a small graveyard (thus the 5 Graves name). It’s a quick walk (about 5-10 minutes) back to your starting point with a shower to greet you to wash off the salty water. If you’re wearing fins while snorkeling this is a nice way to do it, there’s no backtracking at all. Liked it so much we went two other times during the same trip!
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Galen & Nicole – Jan 6, 2011 – Makena Landing?
Colleen, that sounds great. We also had a good experience recently at Five Caves, although we did not get to see any rays.
It sounds like you entered the water at Makena Landing Beach Park, where the restrooms and showers are, swam around and exited at Five Caves/Graves, and then walked the road back to Makena Landing. We actually did the same thing, but kept on swimming and exited at Chang’s Beach and walked the road back.
All three of these locations are described including driving directions in our Maui Snorkeling Guide eBook.
Julie and Fred – Sep 7, 2011
This was an awesome place to snorkel. We saw a group of seven or eight rays and three turtles.
Anne – Feb 28, 2016 – Sharks
Also Makena Landing is known for amazing Tiger Sharks. So, please don’t swim when there are murky waters and rain, or at dusk or dawn.
Lizz – Jan 17, 2017 – Giant Jellyfish
Snorkeled 5 Caves December 22, 2016 saw two giant jellyfish approximately five feet long, as big as me, not sure if that is common.