With its beautiful nature and the most beautiful beaches, Maui offers a good variety between action and tranquility.
According to 800zipcodes, Maui is Hawaii’s second largest island after Big Island. Because the island consists of two volcanoes and a valley, Maui is also called “The Valley Island”. This beautiful island is definitely worth a visit during your Hawaii fly drive or Hawaii tour. Visit the world famous beaches and look for great views.
11 activities on Maui
Relax on the beach, climb Haleakala Volcano or spot whales on a boat tour. This is the place to be, especially for natural beauty. Waterfalls, rocks, sandy beaches and volcanoes: Maui has it all!
1. Ka’anapali Beach
Ka’anapali Beach is by far the most famous beach on Maui. With its azure blue sea, snow-white beach and rustling palm trees, you get the holiday feeling that belongs to a holiday in Hawaii. It’s bursting with hotels and resorts here, so it’s always lively and fun here! A diver ceremony is regularly held near Pu’u Kekaa: at sunset a diver jumps from the meter-high cliff. You can also snorkel well at this rock. Enough of the beach and the sea? Learn more about whaling at the Whalers Village Museum. Or tee off at one of the two golf courses near Ka’anapali Beach.
A cozy fishing village on the west coast: Lahaina. This village was especially important to Hawaii during the whaling era; so important in fact that the town was the capital for a while. A National Historic Landmark designation in the 1960s led to the restoration of many wooden buildings, including The Old Prison. The main street is Front Street, where you will find shops, restaurants and bars.
An absolute must-do while on Maui: the town of Hana, on the east coast. This mainly has to do with the way there: Hana Highway. This coastal road is sometimes referred to as the “most beautiful in the world”. It is a long journey of at least half a day, through the hairpin bends and narrow bridges, but the wonderful view pays off. Once in the town it seems as if time has stood still, with all its plantations and farms. Furthermore, the beautiful surroundings are ideal for walks on the black sand beach.
It’s like a picture: Kipahulu, aka Polish or Oheo. These are several waterfalls that all flow into each other and therefore take on a kind of terrace-like shape. You can view them in Haleakala National Park. Follow Kuloa Point Trail from the Visitor Center (just under a mile). Once you arrive at the falls, you can enjoy the refreshing water by taking a dip. Be careful, the weather can change just like that: sometimes this can become dangerous. For a nice view of the sea, walk further down Kahakai Trail (a distance of about 1 kilometer).
5. Haleakala National Park
A visit to Haleakala National Park cannot be missed during a Maui vacation. The crowd puller of this park is the eponymous Haleakala volcano with a height of no less than 3,000 meters. When you are in the park, be sure to drive up a bit to enjoy the surroundings and the view. The fact that Haleakala means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian can be seen during the breathtaking sunrise from the crater. You can set up your tent at one of the campsites for a maximum of three nights. Please note, you do need a permit for this.
6. Summit Area
Unlike the rest of Haleakala National Park, the Summit Area is more like a lunar landscape. Colorful stripes indicate former lava flows and the ground seems almost grooved. The crater itself is more than 800 meters deep and has an area of 11 kilometers by 3 kilometers. You can descend into the crater via the popular Sliding Sands Trail. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the way back up will take twice as long. Even if you are not very good at heights, consider whether you can handle the walk: you are at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters. The top can therefore be reached by car via a paved road. This takes about an hour and a half.
7. Makena Beach State Park
Looking for a beach where you can sunbathe and swim fairly quietly? Then it is best to go to Makena Beach State Park. These beaches, on the southwest side of the island, are not as crowded as Ka’anapali Beach and Lahaina Beach. Big Beach and Little Beach are separated by the Pu’u Olai hill and are about a five minute walk from each other. Big Beach lives up to its name with a width of 90 meters. With a calm sea you can enjoy snorkeling and diving here. Little Beach is especially popular among naturists, although this is not entirely legal.
Halfway up the Haleakala volcano is the village of Makawao. This plantation village is best known for its cowboys. However, these are not Wild West cowboys, but traditional Paniolo cowboys. The Makawao Rodeo is held every year on Independence Day. This is always a whole ‘happening’ that the whole village comes out for. Makawao is also an artistic village: it is full of glassblowers, woodcarvers and painters.
The best place for diving and snorkeling on Maui is Molokini Crater. This is a rocky island in the shape of a crescent, three miles off the southwest coast of Maui. More than 250 different fish species swim in the coral here. Regular boats depart from Lahaina and Ma’alea Harbor to the island. It is best to leave early in the morning, because that is when most fish can be seen and the water is still nice and clear.
10. Keawakapu Beach & Maʻalaea
Keawakapu Beach is a bit further from the main road, which means that it is always a bit quieter here. You can enjoy swimming and sunbathing here. In the morning the water is perfect for snorkelling or a nice walk on the beach. While in the area, be sure to visit Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. In this free center you can learn about the humpback whales and what the organization is doing to protect this animal. Do you want to see more whales? From Ma’alaea, a little further north, you can go on a whale watching tour. Preferably go in the morning; the sea is then the calmest.
11. ‘Iao Valley State Park
After you leave Kahalui, it won’t be long before you drive into the rainforest. This is Iao Valley, or the green heart of Maui. The highlight of Iao Valley State Park is Iao Needle, a rock over 360 meters high. From the visitor center you can get to a viewpoint via a hiking trail, but you can also choose to take a 10-kilometer walk through the valley. Along the way you will encounter all kinds of tropical birds and exotic flowers. Please note, sometimes Iao Needle is shrouded in clouds: then it is more difficult to see.