La Perouse Bay or Keoneʻoʻio Bay is a spectacular snorkeling location for experienced divers and snorkelers. You will need strength (or a good tour boat guide) to make it past the choppy waves and silty shoreline to its well-stocked reefs. La Perouse Bay can be windy and prone to big surf in the summer.
South of Wailea, past some spectacular lava fields, at the end of Makena Alanui Road, you will find a parking lot and access to the Bay. The best time to go snorkeling is in the early morning, before the trade winds pick up.
If snorkeling is not your thing, La Perouse Bay offers a great opportunity to hikers. Start early, bring lots of water, and keep in mind there is no shade. A good hat, SPF sunscreen and other sun protection is a must. You may see pods of Spinner Dolphins, and in season, Humpback Whales. Haleakala's last eruption in the late 1700’s created the nearby lava fields. The lava fields nearby are filled with a’a or lava rocks, but keep in mind some of the area is sacred and/or part of a reserve. Please obey all posted signs, and do not remove any rocks, shellfish, sea shells, or coral from the area. If you do decide to hike, bring some good footgear as the a’a rocks are sharp, and do not hike across the lava fields. There is a list of restricted areas/items on this TripAdvisor page.
Why “La Perouse Bay”?
In 1778, English explorer Captain James Cook visited the Hawaiian Islands, but he did not land on Maui. French naval officer and explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup Comte de Laperouse came to Maui seven years later, and the Bay was re-named in his honor.