5-7 Night Maui
Maui - The Valley Isle
Maui is known as the Valley Island which offers a variety of independent activities from several great beaches, tropical rainforest, outdoor hiking, amazing golf courses and one of the tallest extinct volcanoes that you can drive to the top to view sunrise or sunsets from 10,000+ feet above the ocean level. To fully enjoy this island, we recommend a 5- or 7-night stay. Here is our suggested itinerary for the island of Maui on a room & car package or on a prearranged itinerary with activities.
Arrive from the West Coast or Honolulu midday and pick up your rental car on arrival. Self-drive to your resort destination of choice on Maui – Kaanapali, Kapalua or Wailea. If you are flying from Honolulu, you do have an option of flying directly into the West Maui airport on a single engine commuter airline.
Each resort destination offers 4- & 5-star accommodations, condo hotels are in Kihei and Lahaina
Your best beach time on Maui is generally in the morning when the ocean is calm. The afternoon is windy because Haleakala crater creates an inversion wind affect as the island heats up, it pulls in the warmer air from the surface of the ocean onto the island. It’s best to sightsee late mornings or afternoon.
Halekala is one of the famous place to go to in Maui. Haleakala is referred to as the home of the sun. If you are staying in West Maui (Kaanapali or Kapalua) or South Maui in Wailea or Kihei you will need to leave two hours prior to sunrise to be at the top
Maui is known as the "Valley Isle" and it is the second largest Hawaiian Island
Maui Marriot Resort
Most domestic flights from the USA or Canada arrives in the afternoon. You do have a choice of two airports to fly into on Maui. The main airport at Kahului with direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Los Angeles or West Maui airport in the Kaanapali / Napili area if you are connecting through Honolulu. West Maui airport will put you within minutes of the hotels in this area vs. an hour plus from the Kahului airport.
Maui offers three distinct resort areas to choose from for your stay. Kaanapali resorts located in West Maui are the best known for great hotels on Kaanapali Beach or Kapalua Bay area. You can find affordable hotels and condo hotels in Lahaina and Napili.
Wailea Resort area offers 4 and 5 resorts from the Grand Wailea, Four Seasons and Maui Marriott. Kihei Maui offers many condo / hotel accommodations that are great for families or anyone looking for affordable rooms. Many residents choose to stay in Kahului or Wailuku area outside of the main resort area but there are no beaches fronting any of these hotels.
We recommend depending on your time of arrival to relax and take an evening stroll on the beach or if you arrive before 2 pm, pre book an evening luau.
Maui Interesting Places
If you choose a hotel / resort on the beach we recommend that you start your day with an early morning swim or beach time. Start your day exploring the valley island late morning by driving to the Iao Valley state monument just beyond the town of Wailuku. In the valley you will find a Iao Needle rising 2250 feet. It is a beautiful valley with a stream running from the center of the West Maui Mountain crater. On leaving the valley if you look carefully, you will see a natural rock formation that outlines the face of J F Kennedy which was discovered after his assignation in 1963.
Other points of interest to visit would be the town of Wailuku, Wailea if you are staying in Kaanapali or vice versa. Maalaea harbor where you can find the Maui Ocean aquarium, and this is also the departure point for people wanting to take a morning snorkeling trip out to Molokini Island for some of the best snorkeling. Please note that this is deep water snorkeling in 30 + feet of water depth. The best time to snorkel is in the morning, because the afternoon is known for higher trade winds and rougher ocean waves.
The old whaling town of Lahaina and its stores are great for exploring and the original hotel on Front street is still running next to the pier. In Lahaina you will find the Old Lahaina Courthouse that is free museum or art collections and the old banyan tree, one of the largest in Hawaii.
There are many beaches that you can explore on the South side of Maui for swimming and snorkeling. Most beaches will have a local water safety station that you can check for the best areas to swim at. Beyond beach time, there are many championship resort golf courses to choose from if you are a golf fanatic. Let us help you arrange a round of golf for you. West Maui offers a zipline if you want an activity that will take you across ravens and across the tops of the rainforest.
Haleakala/ Hana Road
Let us take a road trip today. Suggest that you travel to the top of Haleakala crater this morning to see a magnificent sunrise. Haleakala is referred to as the home of the sun. If you are staying in West Maui (Kaanapali or Kapalua) or South Maui in Wailea or Kihei you will need to leave two hours prior to sunrise to be at the top. Most of Maui main roads do not have streetlights and are two lanes. Expect to run into fog as you pass between 5 – 7,000 feet of elevation on your way to the top. Entering the park before 7 am requires a reservation that can be purchased for a $1 online. Early morning reservation must be made 7 days in advance of your travel date. Normal entrance cost into the national park is $20.00 for each car after 7 am. At the summit you can expect it to be windy and cold before sunrise whether it is summer or winter. Cold is 5 Celsius or 40 to 50 degrees and colder in winter where you could get possibly even snow at the top, bring something warm to drink and dress warm. On your way down, we suggest that you stop for breakfast at either Kula Lodge or Kula Sandalwood Café & Lodge. Both offers great views of West Maui. After breakfast spend a little time exploring upcountry Maui by visiting the Kula Botanical Garden or the Kula Lavender farm. Also available is horseback riding on one of the ranches on the sloop of Haleakala in the Kula area.
If you do not enjoy driving in the dark, we can amend your itinerary to spend the night in Kula.
Alternatively, from the main resort area let us travel to the tropical old town of Hana where you will drive on a two-lane road that is scenic and at the same time challenging. The drive is 44 miles and slow with 54 bridges on this route. You will find with every bridge a small waterfall trickling out of the Haleakala rainforest. Take your time driving and pulling over when you can to take advantage of picture taking of these waterfalls.
A few notable stars have private homes and ranches in this area, such as Opry Winfred, George Benson, and George Harrison(deceased). One of the earliest visitors to have made Hana his home after retirement was Charles Lindberg (the first person to have flown the Atlantic from New York to Paris).
(If you have limited time and want more beach time or golf time, return to your resort.)
Overnight in Hana
After spending a night in Hana make sure you have a hearty breakfast before you take the day to explore the tropical rainforest and waterfalls of Northeast Maui.
Pipiwai trail hike (Free)
This is a 4-mile hike into the rainforest that will take 3 hours depending on your fitness. This hike starts with a climb through guava and mango routed old trees before reaching an exceptionally large banyan tree. On the other side of the banyan tree, you will find a narrow board walk that leads you through a giant bamboo forest where on the other side you will find Waimoku Falls, a 400-foot (120 m) waterfall tumbling down the side of Haleakala crater. Swimming is not allowed at the base of the waterfall due to falling rocks. To get to the falls, you will need to cross a creek or stream. We suggest that you bring mosquito repellent. There is parking at Kipahulu and a small visitor center for directions.
Kuloa Point Loop (Free)
Starts from the Kipahulu parking area and is a half mile loop trail that takes about 30 minutes to walk. This trail leads you to the 7 seven sacred pools, a series of natural pools that water is feed up stream by the Waimoku Falls. Swimming again is not allowed due to possible flash flooding from rainfall high above in the rainforest bring rivers of water down to the ocean.
If you are looking for a little beach time in Hana, there are two beaches you should consider.
Pa’iloa Black Sand beach
This beach is in the Wainapanapa State park in Hana. A great place to have a beach picnic and within the park you will find a few lava tubes that you can safely explore.
Hamoa Beach is the favorite white sand beach in Hana with the locals. The water is clear, and the sand is dark and creamy in color, but the difficulty is finding parking.
Leisure day/Last night
If you have allocated 5 nights in Maui, have a leisurely morning before heading back to a resort on the South Side of Maui.
If you have a comfortable budget, we suggest a 1-hour flight over Haleakala crater or a flight over the western volcano mountains. A helicopter flight will let you see areas that you can not observed from driving around the island.
If you did not have a chance to fit in a Hawaiian luau on arrival, include this activity on your last night.
Maui Extra Nights
If you can allow for a seven-night Maui vacation your additional nights would be allocated to your resort nights with a little more resort time for swimming, golf, massages or a possible day tour to the Island of Lanai or Molokai.