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Which Beach in Maui Has the Most Shark Attacks?
Tripsupport on Oct 17 , 2021 · 7 min read
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If you are heading to Hawaii, you might be wondering which beach in Maui has the most shark attacks. While it’s true the Hawaiian island of Maui is the place with the most shark casualties in the state they aren’t that common.

Hawaii sees a few shark attacks annually and rarely are they fatal. When you consider the millions of people swimming in the blue waters each year, the chance of a shark encounter is very low. Shark attacks in Maui and other islands in Hawaii are so rare that it usually hits the news both locally and internationally when one does happen. 

The Kaanapali area in West Maui is famous for its pristine beaches on Maui and is a buzzing tourist area with lots of resorts and shops. So when a person was attacked and killed by a shark near Honokowai Point, it was all over the news.

shark near Honokowai Point

Makena Point has the highest number of sharks sightings, followed by Kalama, according to local scientists who have been tracking and documenting shark movement and behavior for decades. Next, is Palauea followed by Olowalu. But really, there isn’t too much reason to worry about it. Statistics show more people are killed by dogs in America than sharks. Being killed by a coconut falling off a tree is also more common than you might imagine and happens way more often than shark fatalities.

When it comes to shark attacks, swimmers, snorkelers and surfers are usually bitten by the sea creatures that bring to mind the famous Jaws movie. Can’t you still hear the theme music in your head? Divers are not bothered by sharks much in comparison. Many say the bubbles make the diver look so foreign, so the sharks are repelled, while the surface activity by the other group of people attracts them.

If you do see a shark in Hawaiian waters, it will most likely be a Tiger shark. They come close to shore to find food, and scientists believe they often mistake people for ocean creatures when they strike. Other sharks like Great White sharks, Hammerhead sharks, Bull sharks, and Mako sharks are less likely to be spotted in shallow waters where swimming and snorkelers are usually frolicking. If Tiger sharks bite a human, they will usually leave when they realize it’s not a familiar food such as fish. White sharks are more likely to continue the attack.

While it is easy to paint sharks as the villains of the ocean, we should remember how important, beautiful and amazing they are. The sharks swimming around the beaches in Maui and beyond have been around for longer than dinosaurs. An important link in the ecosystem and cycle of life they are vital to the overall health of the oceans. Sadly, much of the shark population has been decreasing over decades due to ocean pollution, shark fishing, and illegal hunting.

Best Beaches In Maui

With over 30 miles of beach, there are plenty of sandy spots to choose from. Here are some of our favorites beaches in Maui.

Makena Beach State Park

Makena Beach State Park in the south has Big Beach and Little Beach, and both are equally beautiful. One of the most photographed beaches in Hawaii, this stunning ocean park is popular with everyone from honeymooners to families to solo travelers. Makena Beach State Park has a lifeguard on duty for most of the day, and there are restrooms and showers.

Ka’anapali Beach

We’ve already mentioned Ka’anapali Beach, and it indeed is one of the most popular ones on Maui because of the gorgeous surroundings, easy access, water sports, fun activities and facilities. This West Maui beach is not a bad place to splash around for the day.

Makena Beach State Park

Kapalua Bay

You’ve probably read about Kapalua Bay on a luxury travel blog or magazine. Surrounded by resorts and condos, this beach is sheltered and safe. It has won numerous awards and titles for best beach in the world, so many say it is one of the best beaches in Maui. If you are into beach hopping, this one should be included on your must-see beaches.

Baldwin Beach Park

Baldwin Beach Park makes our list of best beaches in Maui. This North Maui gem of a beach looks just like what you see in the travel magazines when you are planning your trip to Hawaii. With excellent swimming conditions and lots of space to enjoy the beach while social distancing, you will have a great time in the sun.

Baldwin Beach Park

Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay is not far from the charming historic town of Lahaina, so you could combine a trip to both places in a single day. Famous for surfing and snorkeling, it is one of the most photogenic and popular beaches for tourists and locals in Maui. Note there isn’t a lifeguard stationed at this beach.

Hamoa Beach

Say aloha to Hamoa Beach in East Maui. This beach is a favorite spot for many locals and tourists who return year after year. You could spend many blissful afternoons enjoying the sun, surf and exotic views at beautiful Hamoa Beach. This beach is near Hana Town, so we recommend stopping by there before or after you hit the beach. There is no lifeguard on duty.

Hamoa Beach

Palauea Beach

If you crave a peaceful beach scene, Palauea Beach, sometimes called White Rock, is not very busy most of the time. You can find this pristine paradise in Wailea near Kea Lani Beach Hotel. In case you are wondering, Palauea translates to lazy, which you are totally encouraged to be during a vacation to Hawaii. There are no lifeguards or bathroom facilities which is the price you can expect to pay for an almost-deserted stretch of white sand.

Olowalu Beach

For tropical vibes that could quickly end up on your Instagram feed, visit Olowalu Beach near Lahaina Town. Camping is allowed on this beach, so if you have a tent and camping gear, you could give up your luxury hotel for a night and have a beach camping adventure.

Olowalu Beach

Ho’okipa State Beach Park

You might see Hawaiian green sea turtles at Ho’okipa State Beach Park. Also, you’ll likely witness some pro water sports athletes training in the water. There are also picnic areas, bathrooms and showers, and a lifeguard on duty. So you have a lot of attractions, facilities, and that iconic beach scene to enjoy when you spend a day in the sun at Ho’okipa State Beach Park. It’s one of our favorite Maui best beaches.

There are many more nice beaches in Maui. With so many shorelines, it would be impossible to list them all, and if you are an adventurous traveler, you surely will discover some gems, not on our list. You can expect lots of sunny days, friendly locals, warm water but don’t expect to see a shark. It really isn’t likely. You have more chance of a celebrity sighting or of winning the lottery.

Just to reassure your mind a little more as you pack your suitcases for sunny Hawaii, here are some final words of advice for avoiding those majestic yet sometimes dangerous sharks.

Hints To Safeguard Yourself Against Shark Attacks

Even though sharks are more scared of people than we are from them, we get that they are scary. For some extra reassurance when you visit the beaches in Maui, there are some more precautions to take.

  • Don’t swim at dusk or nighttime when sharks usually feed
  • Don’t swim near fishing boats or other fishing areas
  • Stay calm if you see a shark and don’t splash around
  • Avoid swimming if you have a cut or open wound
  • Don’t swim when you are menstruating
  • Don’t pee in the ocean as it can attract sharks
  • Never wear jewelry as it can be shiny like fish scales
  • Swim in areas patrolled by lifeguards there are many Maui beaches with lifeguards on duty
  • Always swim with another person to stay safe

We are sure you probably won’t get near a shark in Maui, let alone attacked by one. Divers are always hoping to see one and even they consider a sighting a lucky event. So pack your swimsuit, sunblock and other beach bum accessories and get ready to explore the gorgeous beaches in Maui. It will be all sun, surf and sunsets for you with a few cocktails we expect!


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