It is easy to find sea turtles in Maui. While worldwide green turtle populations are shrinking, in Hawaii, the overall green sea turtle population has increased 53% over the last 25 years! Thanks to Hawaii conservation programs. Are you wondering where to find turtles in Maui? Here is a list of locations where you will definitely find them, and some other interesting facts about them!

In Hawaiian, turtles are called “Honu”, and spotting one is a sign of good luck! There are 5 different species living in the Hawaiian Islands, the most common one being the Green Sea Turtle.

Before giving you the best locations to find sea turtles, here are some facts you need to know.

Help protect them

1-Keep at least a 10 feet distance from the turtles.

We want these beautiful creatures to keep coming back to our beaches to rest and give birth. But if they are constantly bothered by humans they will go somewhere else. So please respect their private space and make sure you do “Social Distancing” just like with any other human at the moment!


2-Pick up your trash

Entanglement in debris like fishing line or ingestion of plastic pieces can severely injure or kill turtles. The best way to help sea turtles is by reducing your consumption of single-use plastics like straws, cutlery, and takeout containers. If you find trash on the beach, do your part and pick it up 🙂

3-Do not harm the reef

This is where turtles find most of their food, when snorkeling make sure you use reef-safe sunscreen and be cautious not to step on coral.

Now you know a little bit more about how to respect and help preserve this pretty and peaceful creature that has been around long enough to see dinosaurs evolve and go extinct.

Here is a list of the best locations where you can see turtles in Maui.

1- Kapalua and Napili Bay.

Both of these bays offer calm and clear water ideal for snorkeling. The amount of turtles in this locations is not as high as the upcoming ones. But if you want to snorkel safely and enjoy the beach with your family this is a great place! You can usually find turtles near the rocks on the shore on the left side of the beach.


2- Honokeana Cove.

This location does not offer a white sand beach to relax. But the amount of turtles in this bay is insane! Jump in the water from the rocks and you will find dozens of turtles swimming around. You can’t miss them here.


In Ho’okipa there are always many turtles resting on the right hand side of the beach. Local people have built a small rock wall to make sure their peace is not disturbed. So please enjoy sighting this creature from a distance. This beach is also a surfer’s and windsurfer favorite and there is usually impressive watersport action to watch!

Turtles are pretty much all around the Island. Get yourself some polarized sunglasses and you will easily spot them from the beach. Or simply jump in and go for a swim. Most of the time they are right near rocky shores eating some seaweed!

Now you know where to find turtles in Maui. If your trip to Hawaii is coming to an end and you have not seen any turtles yet, try these locations and you won’t be disappointed.

If you would like to learn more about the sea turtles of Maui, check out this link. There many interesting facts about Sea turtles and their history.

And remember, we are located in Lahaina, on the west side of Maui, close to Honokeana, Kapalua, Napili and other nice spots to swim with turtles. After enjoying swimming with those little dinosaurs, come refuel at our Cafe!

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Every coffee shop tends to have their own “specials” on the menu. Coffee lovers can be two different types of people. Either they know their drink, and stick to it every single day… or they like to be adventurous and test out the different drinks that a cafe has to offer. I tend to be in the middle- sometimes knowing what I want and other times searching for something new. There are plenty of delicious specialty coffee drinks at Belle Surf cafe, and I definitely recommend giving them a chance!

What type of Coffee do we use?

organic coffee beans

The coffee beans used at Belle Surf Cafe are an organic South American African blend and is custom made for us. The specific countries rotate based on seasonal availability. It is a medium roast espresso with notes of chocolate and caramel. Hand pulled on a La Marzocco Linea FB-80 custom espresso machine. Making for the most delicious coffee Maui has to offer! (You will have to see for yourselves)

Our menu has 6 special drinks featured. We have our special way to make the drinks and how we think they taste best. Almost any drink can be served either hot, iced or blended.  We love to treat ourselves to a refreshing iced coffee during those hot summer days.
Here is a little inside scoop to our special drinks and their ingredients!

Specialty Drinks:

Spiced Lavender Mocha

Spiced Lavender Mocha

What is all the rave about?! Our customers adore this drink and keep coming back for more. Our house made lavender syrup mixed with our very own curated spice mix makes for a special combination. It smells like sweet lavender, and tastes like coffee. If you love lavender, this ones for you. Best served hot or iced!

Nutella Latte


I am a sucker for the sweet Nutella latte. In this drink, you have a combination of melted Nutella, mixed with espresso and your favorite milk. Either hot or iced! I recommend it iced because it tastes really delicious cold.

Orange Cardamom

orange cardamom

This drink is very refreshing and quite popular! Our loyal customers come back every morning for more!
A delicate and refreshing orange peel meets subtle spice and topped with a beautiful pillow of fluffy cold textured milk. This is served best iced.

Sandy Beach

Blended coffee drink

Where are all my tropical beach lovers at?! Need an afternoon pick me up?! Do you like sweet and blended drinks?! Well then you should totally order the ice blended double espresso Sandy Beach! Inside this deliciousness is our house made mouth watering caramel sauce, sea salt and cream. Topped with whipped cream, crushed almonds, and a caramel drizzle. It looks exactly how it sounds. Yum!

Island dream

If you love coconut, look no further! This special drink is also blended with a double espresso shot, cream, splash of coconut flavor and topped with a big dolap of whipped cream! It will put you into a daze with its tasty island vibes.

Tree Sap

If you are really craving an extra boost, this tree sap will do it! With cold brew AND a double espresso shot, this drink will have you wired! Mixed with a little bit of honey and drizzled with macadamia milk to balance the flavors. This is another very popular drink, served best iced.

Now that I have told you more about our specialty coffee drinks at Belle Surf, it is up to you whether you are going to be ordering your regular cuppa, or adventuring to the other side! We also carry the more common specialty drinks such as matcha lattes, golden lattes, and bulletproof coffee.

Curious whether or not you should be ordering online? Belle Surf Cafe has an incredibly efficient online ordering system, so if you would like to beat the line, and get some food and drinks to go we highly recommend this! It is great for someone who would like to enjoy their order on the go in the outdoors, or if you are looking for a quick breakfast to make it to your whale watching boat in time! Which specialty drink is your favorite?! Comment below, or tag us on instagram to be featured.

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There is a special dish on the Belle Surf Cafe menu called the Ahi Coco. Customers are constantly asking where the dish originates from, what are the ingredients, what type of fish is Ahi, and is it cooked? The Ahi coco dish is actually a name we titled it to add a little Hawaiian twist. Most may recognize this dish as Poisson Cru which means raw fish in French. Poisson Cru is a Tahitian dish that consists of raw tuna, lime juice, various vegetables, and coconut milk. There are other names for Poisson cru such as ia Ota or e’ie Ota meaning raw fish. Let me tell you more about how we prepare the Belle Surf Cafe’s Ahi Coco.

Ahi Tuna Fish

How is the Poisson Cru Prepared?

To prepare, first you start by marinating the tuna in lime juice briefly.  Second, add coconut milk to balance the acidity. The authentic way of preparing this is by wrapping coconut meat in cloth and then squeezing the milky juice over the fish and vegetables. Poisson Cru is a sweet, exotic and refreshing dish. You can find it pretty much anywhere in Tahiti.

Well… you are in Maui or Hawaii which is fairly close to Tahiti. The local fisherman catch fresh fish on the daily! And boy do we have tasty fish. Belle Surf Cafe, Maui has a delicious and well prepared poisson cru style dish, but you will find this on the menu as Ahi Coco.

This tasty tropical meal will make your mouth water. In Hawaiian, the word Ahi means tuna fish. The fishermen deliver fresh caught tuna in the morning. We prepare the Ahi Coco right away. This way, the fish is as fresh as it gets!  On our menu, the Ahi Coco is served over a bed of warm white rice. The contrast between the cold fish and the hot rice will make your taste buds tingle! It will leave you coming back for more!

Ahi Tuna Fish

Belle Surf Cafe Ahi Coco dish

The Ahi coco here in Belle Surf Cafe, Lahaina contains fresh Ahi marinated in lime juice, coconut milk, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, Himalayan salt, cracked black pepper served over a bed of rice with a side of mixed greens.

Think of it similar to a poke bowl!

How do I prepare a Poisson Cru style dish at home?

If you are missing Hawaii and craving a delicious dish that reminds you of your dreamy vacation, you can definitely make this at home! We recommend heading to your local fish market or grocery store and getting fresh fish. Typically, the main ingredient is tuna. However, crab, lobster, mussels, octopus / squid, prawns and plenty of other fish will work well as a substitute. To see a step by step recipe, click here.

Fishing in Maui

Ahi Tuna Fish

Many visitors and locals alike, love to fish! It is a very common activity, sport, job, and way of feeding your family here in Hawaii. There are plenty of different charter fishing boats to choose anywhere from bottom fishing to extreme deep sea fishing. Belle Surf Cafe is located in Lahaina right across the street from Lahaina Harbor (640 Front Street). This is where you may be catching a fishing boat. Come stop by and try the Ahi Coco! We are open everyday from 8-2. Good luck and we hope that you catch something to bring back to your rental to prepare dinner!

Now you know more about Belle Surf Cafe’s Ahi Coco or Poisson Cru, bring some friends and family along to taste it.  Here at Belle Surf, we are always striving to provide the freshest and tastiest ingredients leaving our customers coming back for the duration of their stay!

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 What is Molokini?

Molokini Crater, is a marine sanctuary located just a few miles off of Maui’s coast. Believed to have formed around 150 thousand years ago, Molokini rises from 300 feet below the oceans surface, and just under half a mile wide…peaking at roughly 160 feet above sea level! Pretty much half of the crater is hidden under the surface of the ocean. This is a world renowned spot for divers and people alike to get the chance to experience the incredible underwater and marine life world this natural wonder has to offer. Snorkeling at the Molokini Crater, Maui is an incredibly unique experience.

How do you get to Molokini from Maui?

The only way that you can reach Molokini is by boat. Please don’t try swimming, paddling or kayaking there! We have a very strong channel in-between Maui and the neighboring islands, many times referred to as the most dangerous channel in the world. With strong winds and currents as well as plenty of wildlife, I recommend thinking twice before adventuring beyond the nearby shores of the island. There are many quality snorkeling and scuba boat trips traveling there every day, and all you need to do is book the one that suits your needs and interests best! As Molokini is a very popular destination, you may want to stick this on your Maui bucket list.

This magical crater is located 2.5 miles off the shore of Maui, or a one hour boat ride each way. Each boat is different, some stop at Molokini and then other snorkeling destinations, diving, while others just come right back after enjoying a long morning of snorkeling the crater! It really depends which tour you book, but I would say the trip would be roughly 5 hours long.

Can you Walk on Molokini?

Unauthorized landing is prohibited because Molokini is a federally owned state seabird sanctuary. In order to set foot on this piece of land, permission from both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife needs to be granted. However, there are no problems with this… as all the magic is really happening underwater!

What type of Marine Life will I see while Snorkeling at Molokini?

There are over 250 types of marine life species in and around the crater! These species include parrotfish, butterflyfish, tang, surgeonfish, wrasse, perch, squirrelfish, snapper, yellow trumpet fish, different varieties of the triggerfish, pufferfish, and much more!

If you’re lucky, you may spot an ornate octopus, manta rays, or moray eels! Spotting sea turtles isn’t very common at Molokini! It is far from the coastline and your best odds at swimming with turtles will be closer to shore. However, if swimming with these beautiful creatures is on your bucket list, make sure to book a Molokini tour trip that also stops in Turtle Town!

Are There Sharks at Molokini?

Most of us are terribly afraid of coming into contact with these sharp toothed predators known as sharks. To answer one of the most commonly asked question…yes, there are sharks at Molokini! After all, these creatures do live in the ocean. No matter where you end up going snorkeling, you may get the rare opportunity to actually spot a shark.

If you are wondering how likely it really is that you will see a shark while snorkeling at Molokini Maui… the truth is that it is extremely rare. Sharks are afraid of humans, and there are many other people and boats snorkeling in the same area as you. The most common species sighted at Molokini is the white tip reef shark which go hunting at night, and spend most of the day inside caves. There have been a couple of times where Whale sharks were be spotted near Molokini island. This is very rare as they typically tend to stick north of Kauai.

I hope this puts you at ease, and you can go enjoy those clear deep blue waters!

Snorkel Trip Maui Recommendations:

-The best time of day to snorkel is early morning. The winds pick up in the afternoon creating strong currents and less visibility.

– Know how to swim for yourself, and others safety.

-What to bring: swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, and a change of clothes.
The rest of the gear should be provided by your snorkel boat.

If you happen to be visiting Maui during the winter months then you may be lucky enough to spot some whales during your boat trip to and from Molokini. If you are even luckier, you will hear the music of the whales while swimming underwater. This is something you will want to experience in your lifetime! Check out our blog post on humpback whales to learn more about the best time of year to see them.

I hope this was helpful and got you excited for your upcoming trip to Maui! The beautiful and diverse ecosystem of Hawaii awaits you.

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You are dying to come to Maui but on a tight budget? Or maybe you just love exploring around and sleeping overnight in different locations? So… you may wonder if Maui is a good place for Van Life! Well, stay with us and we will give you all the pros and cons of living in a van on the Island of Maui.

First what does Van Life mean? It means living full or part time in a modified vehicle with basic amenities such as a bed, sink, electricity, storage space, etc.

Here are 7 reasons why you should definitely come and explore Maui with a Van:

1-Save a ton of money!

To enjoy and explore the island of Maui, you will need a car AND a place to stay. Hotels and resorts can be very expensive here. By choosing to rent an equipped Van you will save A LOT! No need to rent a vehicle anymore! With all of the money you save you can enjoy more eating out and doing activities.

2-Get out of your comfort zone

If for you holidays means comfort, luxury and napping by the pool, then Van Life is probably not for you. Or, it actually might be! By living in a tiny space on wheels, comfort is limited. You will not be tempted to stay by the pool or inside you room with A/C all day.

Van Life means living outside, enjoying all day from sunrise to sunset. During one week of Van Life you will do and see probably about 3 times more than you would during a more “normal” holiday.

3-Wake up in a different location every morning


Do you ever go on a day trip, find an amazing location and wish you could stay for the night? But then you need to go back to your expensive hotel you paid for.. Not anymore! Enjoy all the sides of the island, wake up on the beach, mountains, cliff or jungle! You decide 🙂

4-Maui’s Climate is Perfect for Van Life

Van Life sounds like a dream until the cold weather arrives. Like I said you basically live outside, so if it’s freezing, you will freeze! And lock yourself in a tiny space all day. In Maui you don’t have to worry about being cold (unless you go high up). You will most probably enjoy dining outside after a hot day or dipping in the ocean as soon as you wake up.

5-No dangerous animals

Unlike California or other places where you have to worry about Bears, Mountain Lions, Wolves, Spiders etc. In Maui there are NO DANGEROUS SPECIES at all! The most dangerous animals that we have on island are probably centipedes. No death threat here. To avoid mosquitoes the best option is to stay by the beach or dry / windy areas.

6-Lots of good camping spots

There are a lot of beautiful places where you can park for the night. The entire coastline around Olowalu is definitely the best choice. The road goes right along the beach for miles! All you have to do is pull-over and enjoy the sunset! To find out more about where to spend the night here is a useful link.

7-Large Van choices

Simply google Maui Van Rental and you will find plenty of choices with “maui camper van rental“, “Campervan Hawaii” or “Maui Camper Escape“. You can even see what Turo has to offer if you are looking for cheaper options.

So is Maui a good place for Van Life? Is it all rainbows and Butterflies? In total honesty there are some negative sides.

Here are a few down sides of living in a Camper Van on Maui.

1-Some places are Not Safe

Be careful when leaving your vehicle alone or choosing a place to spend the night. Like everywhere, there can be individuals with bad intentions. You can usually feel the vibe and tell if it seems “sketchy”. The safest option is to stay on the beaten path and not isolate yourself too much.

If you go on a long hike, keep your valuables with you just in case. If you decide to do some “wild” camping ask people around if it’s a safe place. There are many campgrounds where you will probably feel safer and sleep better.

2-It gets HOT

Yes I know.. I said that the climate is perfect, I guess I don’t mind a little sweat! To fight against the hot afternoons here is what you can do: park under a tree, gain some altitude, get a van with good A/C, or simply park near the ocean and jump-in!

3-Narrow Roads

If you are planning to do some deep explorations like going to Hana, keep in mind that these roads get very narrow. It is doable if you are confident with your driving. You can also find smaller vans, and sacrifice some comfort for adventure!

So what do you think? Is Maui a good place for Van Life? After writing this blog I found 7 pros and only 3 Cons, so I would 100% recommend this experience, mainly if you are on a budget or thirsty for adventure!

Living in a van can be tiring and if you want to go back home well rested we suggest booking a room for your last 2 days.

To make this Van Trip in Maui a bit more enjoyable we definitely recommend you stay on the West Side and come enjoy your morning Coffee at Belle Surf Cafe, Open 7 days a week!

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Ruling the courthouse square in downtown Lahaina is one of the most remarkable trees to ever lay eyes on. One quarter of a mile in circumference, its snake like limbs stretch outward, spreading a vast network of branches, leaves and aerial roots towards the streets and buildings surrounding it. An extraordinary tree that seems like something out of a movie leaving many people wondering if it is all truly one tree, or even real? How did this giant Banyan tree come to lay its roots in this tiny port of Lahaina town? Keep reading, and I will share the history of Lahaina’s famous banyan tree with you.

History of the Lahaina Banyan Tree

Dating back to April 24, 1873, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina, which was started at the request of Queen Keōpūolani, the sacred wife and widow of King Kamehameha the Great, Sheriff William Owen Smith planted the exotic Indian Banyan.
At the time, it stood only 8 feet tall.

How it Grew

Once the tree was rooted in, it slowly sent branches outward from its trunk. From the branches came many different types of roots, some descending from above ground down towards the earth. Certain roots actually hit the ground and dug in, growing larger and larger until eventually forming trunks of their own!
Lahaina residents adorned this banyan tree and encouraged the symmetrical growth of the tree by hanging large glass jars filled with water on the roots that the wanted to eventually grow trunks.

The tree that was once just a tiny sapling, has now turned into a monument.

Today, the Lahaina Banyan tree is the largest banyan in the United States, standing over 60 feet tall with 46 major trunks and shades. This tree shades about two-thirds of an acre, wow! The Maui County Arborist Committee carefully maintains this tree watching its health and shape closely. In its honor, the courthouse park has been renamed “Banyan Tree Park”. The Lahaina Restoration Foundation cares for the parks grounds.

Banyan Tree Park

You may be wondering, well, what is there to do in Lahaina at this banyan tree? This is a very nice place to sit back and relax beneath the large canopy. Lahaina can be very hot most days, and this tree provides tons of shade with benches beneath it! You will find the banyan tree at the end of Front Street. After a long day of shopping and eating, this is a nice place to end up for some fun photos! The long beautiful roots make for very cool backgrounds. On the weekends, you will find local artists and crafters that set up their tables to display and sell their work from 9-5pm. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to hear music or see a hula dance on the stage in the park!

Now that you are familiar with the history of Lahaina’s famous banyan tree, you will probably be eager to see it while you are visiting Maui. Belle Surf Cafe is located right across the street from this tree! If you are craving a coffee, food or refreshment, come check us out! 640 Front Street.

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Visiting or living in Hawaii will most definitely entail of long hours at the beach and in the sun. If you are wondering how to care for hair and skin after sun exposure, I have got you covered!
As an avid surfer, I am consistently in the sun for long periods of time. The sun and salt water can be quite harsh on your hair and skin. If you do not take the proper precautions and after care, this can lead to sun damage.

There are many different types of products out there that you can test out. After all, everyone has different hair and skin, some more sensitive than others. I tend to be on the sensitive side, so I love using the most natural products that I can get my hands on!

Before Sun Exposure

Prior to leaving your hotel or home, I always recommend applying sunscreen! In fact, pack it in your bag because you will definitely want to re-apply. Throw a hat and sunglasses in your beach bag too (you can thank me later)! Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Wearing sunscreen everyday, will help prevent long term sun damage such as wrinkles and sun spots, as well as skin cancer. Reapply every 40-60 minutes along with wearing your hat and sunglasses, and your skin will be very happy.
Check out our reef safe sunscreen list to help you choose what’s best for you, and the environment!

Now, after focusing on the skin, we must not forget about the hair! Without protecting your hair, it will go from shiny and luscious to dull, brittle and dry. The sun can also change your hair color (most of the time creating some beautiful sun kissed looking highlights). Saltwater can be damaging because it dehydrates your hair and scalp. Using a UV protection spray can really help, before getting in the sun and ocean.

During Your Day in the Sun

Re apply, re apply, re apply!! I cannot say it enough! This will be the determining factor of whether or not you get a beautiful bronzed sun tan, versus a red lobster burn! If you have spent the day in the water surfing, swimming, snorkeling, or all of the above… this will call for a reapplication. For surfing, a non-nano zinc sunscreen is best, so that you are able to get a nice thick coat covering your skin for a longer lasting time in the water. I even wear a surf hat if I know that I will be surfing during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest. A simple rash guard or surf top with UV protection in it can make your day easier.

After Care

Now, after you have spent a wonderful day exploring the island and getting that beautiful sun tan, (or burn-which I hope is not the case after reading this!) it is time to take care of your hair and skin. A nice cool shower should do the trick, with a shampoo and conditioner.
Applying a hair mask once a week will help protect your hair. For everyday application, Coconut Oil or Moroccan Argan Oil after showering works great. Just put a few drops in your hand and slide through the ends of the hair. I like to avoid putting oil in my roots because my hair will dry looking oily.
For the skin, a nice soothing lotion is great. Aloe Vera helps repair and soothe a bad sunburn, or just feels great on skin after roasting in the sun all day!
The brand Sun Bum has a great line of hair and skin care, most with SPF protection from the sun, as well as lotions that feel and smell amazing for soothing the skin. This brand has also been working for quite some time on being more eco friendly, reef safe and cruelty free!

Now that you know how to care for hair and skin after sun exposure, you are ready for the island! Let’s be honest, we all forget to apply sunscreen from time to time. Although it might be tempting to shy away from these simple suggestions, it will only help you keep that beautiful glow while protecting yourself from the damaging sides of the sun. Wear sunscreen, find some shade, take care after long exposure, and most importantly… enjoy your vacation!!

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A Hawaiian lei is a traditional flower strung garland representing love, friendship, honor and greetings.  When new comers or returning residents arrive to Hawaii, it is common to gift them by placing a Hawaiian Lei around their neck with a kiss on the cheek. The plumeria flower is one of the most popular flowers to string a lei with, and the aroma of this flower is delightful.
Making a lei is much easier than you would think! Below I will list step by step instructions on how to make a Hawaiian lei.

What you will need:

  1. Needle (Lei making needle or regular needle)
  2. String (fishing wire is recommended- durable and easy to glide through the flowers)
  3. Flowers


A lei can be made of any type of fresh flowers. Plumerias, orchids, roses, and daisies are all very common flowers to use. You can even add leaves or ferns into your lei to make it unique!
Flowers that are sturdy are much easier to use. If they are too delicate, you will find them falling off once strung. To give you an idea, to make a 40 inch lei, you will need about 50 flowers. Picking the flower by the stem will help with stringing them later.


Normally, I eyeball my measurement. Depending on whether I feel like making a full lei that will rest around ones neck, or a flower crown.

Hold a long piece of fishing wire, and measure around your neck, all the way down to below the breast. This will assure that the lei will fit around your neck, leaving room to rest on your shoulders. You can always leave extra room on your string, and cut later.

For specific measurements, cut 100” of string in length. Doubled over, this allows for a 40’’ lei with 5″ on each end for tying together when finished!


Take a large needle and slide the string through the loop until the string is doubled over and even. At the end, you will tie a knot.
*Make sure to leave 5 inches of space on the end for tying.

Take your first flower, and string from the front of the flower back through the stem. You may also string the opposite direction depending on the type of flower you are using.
Gently push the flower all the way to the end of the string where the knot is.
Make sure to be careful while stringing the flowers as they are very fragile.
Continue stringing each flower one by one onto the lei. You may face the flowers all in the same direction, or opposite directions to create a different look!
Once the lei is about 40 inches in length, hold it up to your neck and measure on yourself to see if you are happy with the outcome.

Finishing the Lei


Adjust the placement of the flowers so they are even and settled perfectly together. Tie the ends of the string together in a square knot.
Leaving the ends of the string helps hold the lei so you do not disrupt the flowers on it. Clip the strings right before gifting the lei to its recipient.

Storing the Lei

To store your lei, mist with water and then place in a plastic bag. Keep the bag in the refrigerator. This will keep the flowers fresh. Your lei may definitely be worn more than once!

Now that you know how to make a Hawaiian lei, you must give it a try! It is a fun activity to do with friends, or a gift to give for a birthday, greeting, or holiday. Lei’s also make fun props for photoshoots! Whatever the occasion, it is always nice to have some flowers to brighten up the day.

We would love to see your lei! Tag us on instagram @bellesurfcafe to share your lei making experience with us!

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You just had the time of your life learning how to surf in Hawaii, and now you want to keep feeling the wind in your hair while you glide on water! However, you do not know how to choose your first Surfboard?

Do not panic, we’ve got you!

It is really hard to choose a shape and size for your surfboard. Here is a simple guide of the surfboards with recommendations for beginners and intermediates.

Before getting started, make sure to always surf in conditions adapted to your level and accompanied with other surfers.

1-Choosing the size


Everyone will tell you which length to get, 7″ or 8″ or 9″.
Not only is it about the length, what really matters is the wideness and thickness of your surfboard.
A thick and wide surfboard will give you the volume and floatation you need to paddle easily and be stable.

Our size recommendation is a board 21″ wide or more, 2 3/4 inch thick or more.
The length from 7ft to 9ft can do depending how heavy and skilled you are.

If you cannot really choose a board, our suggestion is getting something around 8feet 22 inches wide and 3 inches thick- this is a good start for most adults.

For a younger kid- around 7 feet 21 inches and 2 1/2 is a great choice.

Remember to not make the mistake of getting a board too thin. You will end up frustrated struggling to catch waves and find your balance. Unless you are a born surfer!

A thinner / shorter board is easier to turn, but way more difficult to paddle and balance.
When starting to improve you can go shorter and thinner for more maneuverability.

2-What about the style?

You definitely do not have to try and surf like Kelly Slater with a tiny board! There are many other surfing styles!
You can dance by doing cross steps on a 10 foot surfboard. Or maybe you prefer to go fast and do smooth carves on a twin fin?

If you already know what type of surfer you want to become this will really help you choose!

If you are into walking to the nose, and hanging your toes than you need a nose rider! You can nose ride anything, but a bigger board around 9ft with a wide round shape on the nose will definitely make this task easier!

You are looking to surf bigger / steeper waves, and surf like pro? For this you are going to need a nose more pointy to avoid “nosediving”. 3 or 4 fins will help you get a good grip on the wave and stable turns. Remember, make sure not to buy a surfboard too small. That will frustrate you.

Maybe you are more into cruising and taking it easy? Get a “fish” or “Hybrid”, a wide board with plenty of volume for easy paddling and stability, but short enough (7ft or less) to turn fast! A “twin fin” setup (two fins) make the surfboard go faster and turn easier, but sometimes can be a bit slippery!

After all, it is up to you! If you are extremely passionate then you will want to try  them all! Experimenting with new shapes and sizes is so much fun and will keep this sport entertaining forever!

3- Materials

soft board on the beach

To choose your first surfboard you will need to decide if you want a soft board or hard board

Softboards are extremely fun, even pro surfers are using them regularly.
They are much safer than a hardboard, we all end up hitting our board sometime, the softer the less painful!
Way stronger, not as easy to ding than a regular surfboard. No need to worry about making and fixing dings all the time.

Hardboards are obviously for high performance, faster and easier to turn. The downside is that they can be very fragile and constantly get dinged and need repairs.
If you are committed and are planning to surf a lot and improve, a hardboard is the way to go. You will need to learn how to take care of it, and eventually fix dings.
For a stronger and more durable board ask for a strong thick glass or epoxy resin surfboard.

4-Fins, leash and tail shape

There are endless combinations of fins, and shapes of tails. They change how fast, how much grip there is and how loose the board will be.
There is no bad choice, and once you start improving you can test out different surfboards and feel the difference.

We would recommend to avoid pointy tails like “swallow tails” simply because they very fragile. Square or round tails cause less problems!

As far as the leash goes, well that is very easy. You want it to be about the same length as your board 🙂

5-Where? And How Much?

A surf shop is the best place to get your first surfboard. The staff will help you make the right decision. You can expect to pay between 600USD to 1000USD .
If you are on a budget, Craiglist has many good deals waiting for you under 400USD.
Very tight budget? Don’t worry! For 180 USD you can get a 8 ft WaveStorm at CostCo that will do a great job!

Now it’s up to you! Choose your style and how much you want to sacrifice comfort / safety for performance!

We really hope this little article helps you choose your first surfboard! Don’t forget to  get some organic surf wax at our shop

The post Choose Your First Surfboard appeared first on Belle Surf Cafe.


Have you been wondering ‘how clean are the beaches of Maui’? Sometimes people have had bad experiences in another tropical destinations.

Have you ever discovered a beautiful beach, but as soon as you step on it, all you can see is plastic? Straws, lighters, bottles, micro-plastic and more trash washed on the shore.

It ruins the whole experience of appreciating the beauty of nature. Reminding you how bad ocean pollution actually is. You certainly will not be able to enjoy laying down or swimming around.

Even if the population of the place you visit is educated and respectful of Mother Nature, ocean currents can bring trash from elsewhere.

In Maui, the community is careful and does not litter. There are some amazing people extremely dedicated to keeping our beaches clean.

On todays blog to answer to “How Clean are the beaches of Maui”, we will speak about
Water Quality, Trash On the beach, and Beach Clean-Ups.

1-Water Quality

Clean ocean water is vital for healthy coral reefs. It is also important to visitors and residents who enjoy swimming, snorkeling, diving and surfing!

In Maui our water is overall very clean. Small population means less debris flowing into the ocean.

The clarity and cleanliness of water varies.

Some beaches appear crystal clear and others are less clear or murky from time to time.

Many factors influence the clarity of the water, like distance from river mouths, rain, and quality of sand.

Some beaches look less clear or clean but it can simply by due to a red / black sand and dirt that gives the water this aspect.

In general, the best advice is to avoid swimming near river mouths and after heavy rains.

You will find the clearest water in places with small surf and white sand like Napili Bay, Kaanapali, Wailea Beach, Makena Beach and more!

If you would like to learn more about ocean water quality around Maui, the Marine Resource Council website offers all of the information you need to know.

They frequently monitor the ocean water quality in over 33 locations of the island.

dream beach clear water maui

2-Trash On the Beach.

Local people are extremely respectful of their land and do not trash it.

Most of the garbage that washes up on our beaches comes from elsewhere.

Ocean currents, and winds bring trash from all around the world.

China, Indonesia and the Philippines are the greatest ocean polluters. Hawaiians have to make-up for the lack of education and respect of other countries by doing regular beach clean-ups.

Overall, beaches of Maui are extremely clean thanks to the hard work of the local community.

3-Beach Clean-ups

Plenty of beach clean-ups are organized on the Maui to keep our paradise, paradise. Everyone is welcome to join.

Keeping the beaches clean is constant work. From cleaning the trash that some local people dump over the cliffs, to cleaning ghost nets, and other garbages carried by the ocean.

Associations like Sustainable Coastline Hawaii do a lot to keep our beaches clean. From organizing clean-ups, to bringing all the trash to dumpsters and educating the local population.

Have a look at their website to learn more about their actions. You will find a schedule with all the beach clean-ups planned and also a link if you would like to donate.

In Conclusion

Our beaches are extremely clean thanks to our community’s hard work. Avoiding river mouths after rainy days will ensure that clear water!

Remember that keeping our beaches and water clean not only helps tourists have a good time and relax the way they deserve… but also protects our ocean flora and fauna.
Sea Mammals, sea birds, Turtles, reef and other fishes gets extremely effected by plastic pollution.

So please pick-up your ʻōpala (trash in Hawaiian), and other’s ʻōpala too. Do not forget to use reef safe sunscreen.

If everyone simply picks up trash they find while walking on the beach or surfing this will be of a HUGE help for keeping our Beaches clean, and I am sure that the turtles would be grateful too 🙂

The post How Clean are the Beaches of Maui? appeared first on Belle Surf Cafe.

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