While I sit in my room sipping my daily dose of caffeine ( my eternal Nescafe Coffee) ,watching snowfall in my backyard and editing these pictures from Maui , I realize that I am still not over my vacation . It has been a month since I have been back to the mainland but memories are afresh as yesterday. I hope I gave you all plenty of reasons for planning your next trip to Maui in my previous blog post . I thought of taking it a step further and actually giving you all that you would need beyond a mere reason to enjoy Maui. So shall we start.
How To Reach Maui :
By Air : Well since Maui is in middle of pacific ocean , so unless you have a lot of time to reach there by water, I am sure you will prefer flight. Almost all major airline carriers have flight to Kahului from mainland.You may also fly into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu and take 30 minute flight to Maui .
Tip : Each and every baggage item undergoes agricultural scan so it is best not to bring fruit or other plants with you.
By Sea: There are many cruise services that operate between islands of Hawaii that you can pre-book and enjoy your journey via waterways. It surely is very time consuming but then some people like it that way.
When to visit Maui :
Weather wise, the tropical climate of Maui remains fairly consistent throughout the year : mid-80’s to mid-70’s during the summer and winter respectively. That being said you will definitely want to avoid the hurricane season in Maui which is September. The off season, when the best rates are available and Maui is less crowded, is spring (mid-Apr to mid-June) and early December. Since most visitors don’t come to Maui when the weather’s best on the island; rather, when it’s at its worst everywhere else , you will have hard time in finding reasonable deals in the month of mid-December through March.
Peak Season (Prices are up ): Mid December – March End ( Specially Xmas and New Year )
Off Season (Best Rates and less crowded): Mid April – Mid- June and Late October – Mid December
Where to stay in Maui :
Maui as a whole , offers a large range of accommodations, from budget hotels to condominiums – 5-star hotels to bed and breakfasts. But before you could decide on where to stay I think its important to consider what do you want to do during your vacation. If you just want to relax on the beach and get tanned, then Kanappali is your go to area but for everything else like sight seeing, surfing etc different areas have different specialty and trust me you would want to be more than a beach bumm. I have compiled a list of pros and cons for each of the areas and that will greatly help you in choosing the place as per your interest.
Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua (southwest coast) :
-Variety of stores , shops ,restaurants.
-Great selection of beaches.
-Very touristy and crowded
-Far from Haleakala and Hana Highway
Kihei and Wailea (South coast) :
-Great weather year round
-Variety of accommodation from budget deals to resorts
-Away from all the attractions
-Very wet in winter season.
-Not much to do
Kahului and Paia (Central Maui)
-Close to Hana highway.
-Great proximity to Haleakala.
-Decent variety of shops.
-Limited selection of beaches
Things to see :
While every nook and corner of Maui is pituresque , Maui certainly offers more than just beaches. It is land of geographical variety where you will find yourself in micro-climates. So when somebody tells me “Bikini is all that you need to enjoy Maui “, I know they have never been to the real Maui. So here are few things that you definitely do not want to miss. I say “a few” because I know when you will explore this wonder island you will add things of your own to this list.
a) Top of Haleakala : The top of Haleakala is the highest point in Maui and views from the top of mountain are stunning. You can drive to the summit and most of the people visit this place to see sunrise. Truly majestical. There are few trails that take you near to the craters of dead volcano and its totally worth doing it. Since this peak is 10,000 ft high, it gets chilly so do not forget to pack a warm jacket.
b) Road to Hana : Well hop on to a car , carry a dramamine, pack your swim suit and wolla you are all set for this 64 mile long drive that takes you through 620 curves and 59 bridges. This coastal road winds through a rainforest and will take you through beautiful beaches, lava cliffs and waterfalls. My next blog post is all about Road to Hana , all the things to see there and all pit stops to make. It takes an entire day to enjoy this drive.
c) A day tour to Molokini : A day tour to Molokini is 2 expeditions in 1.This crescent shaped small island is a bird and marine sanctuary and a great snorkeling spot. A lot of companies offer day tours to Molokini and it is better to go there in morning as water is much smoother. The reason i said its 2 in 1 is because if you are lucky on boat ride back you might end up having an unofficial whale watching cruise.
d) Sunset in Kihei : Kihei beaches offer some of the most amazing sunset views with mountain in the backdrop and cruise ships lights tingling in air. If you happen to catch a sunset there do enjoy a Mai Tai, you will not regret it.
e) Iao Valley State Park : This park is famous for its beautiful velvet green needle that stands 2250 feet tall. I missed seeing this place because of time crunch but then I guess I had to leave something for my next trip 😉
f) A tour of western Maui : The untouched pristine Maui that you see on the postcards is best seen by helicopter or a cruise and is on the western side. Jagged peaks, green velvet valleys, a wilderness full of native species — the majestic West Maui Mountains are the epitome of earthly paradise.
g) A day in Lahaina, the cultural Centre : Lahaina is not just famous for exotic resorts, good restaurants , malls and shops but also being cultural center. It has some of the best art galleries showcasing best of local artists and photographers. It has the famous banyan tree where you need to get obligatory photo clicked.
Of-course, there is much more to Maui than above listed activities. Maui is surfers paradise and there is no limit to the variety of water sports that you could enjoy at this island. I was in Maui for 6 days and trust me it did not even occur to me that I should be taking day tours to nearby islands.I hope this blog post provides you with a starting point in planning a trip to Maui. If you have any questions or need more inputs for planning your next trip feel free to leave a comment and I will definitely try to help you. I will love to know all that you were able to see, your favorites and the things you missed seeing when you visited Maui. Next I will take you to “Road to Hana”. Thanks for stopping by.
PhotoCredits : PhotoStains