Little Beach Maui

Beach sunset

The Little Beach, Maui is one of two beaches on Maui considered clothing optional. The other is the Red Sand Beach near Hana. While nudist beaches are not legal in Hawaii, the law is not strictly enforced on the Little Beach. While it's small, it is one of the more popular attractions on Maui.

Description and Location

Little Beach, also known as Pu'u Ola'i, is part of the Makena State Park, located south of Wailea. Its alter ego is the larger Big Beach, known also as Makena Beach. Little Beach is approximately 1/8th of a mile long. It is thought to be one of the most beautiful Hawaiian beaches, with white sand and turquoise water.

Pu'u Ola'i is also home of an unusual weather occurrence. During most afternoons a cloud forms over the beach due to a rare weather pattern. Called the "Makena Cloud," this event can bring relief to an otherwise warm area.

To reach Little Beach, Maui, park at the Makena State Park. Take the first entrance and walk to the Big Beach and take a right to go to the north end. You'll hike upwards for about five minutes over an outcropping of lava rock to reach your destination. The entrance is narrow, which makes it a secluded spot for clothing optional enthusiasts.


The Little Beach is home to unique activities for travelers to enjoy.


Body surfing and surfing in general are popular activities on Little Beach. It is nude sunbathing that is the main attraction, both for the bathers and the tourists who come to look. You'll recognize the tourists as the ones wearing clothes. The ambiance of the beach is laid-back and friendly.


Sunday evening is the time that Little Beach changes its mood from easy going to intense. Crowds gather to celebrate the sunset late in the afternoon. Participants dance, cheer and play in the surf to a steady drum cadence until dark. When darkness falls, the fire dance begins.

Participants dance in a circle with fire, each trying to outdo the previous dancer. Fire twirlers sometimes attend, with flaming costumes and juggling balls of fire. You'll see an equal number of dressed and nude dancers. A true Hawaiian spectacle, the fire dance is not to be missed.

Etiquette for Visitors

Little Beach has its own rules of etiquette. Visitors should not take pictures of others without permission and respect the privacy of others. Overt sexual activity is not allowed. Loud music is discouraged, as is littering.

Tips for Visiting the Little Beach Maui

  • Wear shoes for the hike there; the rocks can be hard on tender soles.
  • If attending the Sunday night fire dance, plan to arrive early, as it can become crowded. Take a flashlight to help navigate back to the car.
  • There are no facilities at Little Beach. There are some food vendors on the road. Take refreshments with you, but don't overburden yourself with too much to carry.
  • Portable restrooms are located at the Big Beach.
  • Drinking alcohol in Hawaiian state parks is not allowed. While police may tolerate the nudity, they will enforce the alcohol prohibition.
  • Never leave valuables in your car, as car burglaries can happen.
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