Top Reasons to Visit Maui
Rated the “Best Island in the World” by Conde Nest for 17 years, Maui lives up to this name with its good mix of natural landscapes, historical sites, and festive atmosphere. An island that is shrouded with folklore and ceremonies, you will be entranced by the symbols of its culture. Take a boat ride to the snorkeling spots that surround the island and you will find a wonderland underwater. Take a road trip through the winding Road to Hana and you will be taking a lot of stops to soak in the sights that Maui has to offer.
Getting up close and personal with whales.
Whale Watching On Maui may be one of the best experiences in your life. From December through April, around 10,000 to 12,000 North Pacific humpback whales make their way from Alaska to the warmer waters of Maui, where they would mingle, mate, and give birth just off Maui’s Leeward Coast at the western side of Oahu. Although you will be able to view whales from the shore, seeing them up close on a boat with tour guides who can answer all your questions about whales will make the experience a hundred times more memorable. Head out in the morning and enjoy the calmness of the ocean as you listen to the mesmerizing sound of whales.
Meet some underwater friends.
The underwater garden of Molokini Crater, which has a drop of more than 300 feet, is teeming with multi-colored coral and fish. Amidst this underwater wonderland, there is a big chance you will find yourself swimming with a few sea turtles, dolphins, and maybe even a shark or two. With tickets starting at USD135, your sightseeing begins with a boat cruise that will show you the beauty of Maui from a different perspective.
Watching the sunset from the summit of the world’s largest dormant volcano.
A popular spot that is visited by 1,000,000 tourists each year, the Haleakala National Park is home to the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakala. With a summit that rises 10,000 feet above sea level, a beautiful horizon immersed in the colors of the sunrise awaits you on the top. From the peak, follow the trails down into the volcano’s huge crater and be awed by the desert-like landscape that will surround you. If you feel like doing something out of the ordinary, then book a tour with Maui bike companies and slide down the volcano on a bike after a blissful sunrise experience.
Attending a Luau.
A Luau is something that you should not miss in Hawaii. When you combine a spectacular hula and fire dancing performance accompanied by authentic Hawaiian music and epic feast with great drinks, you end up with a magical evening worth repeating during your stay on the island. The most traditional and most recommended of these Luaus is the Old Lahaina Luau, where you will be greeted with the traditional flower lei, tropical drink, and a souvenir before you are taken to your seats as you await viewing the unearthing of the Kalua pig from its traditional Hawaiian underground oven. With the setting sun in the background, you will be treated to a Hula show like no other while enjoying the buffet and premium open bar.
Taking a dip in the 7 Sacred Pools.
Also found in the Haleakala National Park, Ohe’o (which means 7 sacred pools) are stunning layers of cascades and plunge pools that were naturally formed by the rainforest stream that passes through the valley and empties into the Hawaiian ocean along the Kipahulu coastline. An exquisite location that is popular to locals and tourists for swimming and cliff-jumping, prepare to share the scenery with a crowd, so it is best to head to the park early. Take note that the park entrance of USD15 for three nights include the climb to the summit of the Haleakala Volcano so make sure to keep your ticket to make the most of the park’s attractions.
Going on a road trip to Hana.
Possibly one of the best highlights of a Maui vacation, a day trip through the road to the historical village of Hana gives you glimpses of jaw-dropping panoramas of the Pacific Ocean, historical structures, and natural attractions.
Walking on a black sand beach.
With a name that is hard to pronounce, Waianapanapa, which means glistening waters in Hawaiian, the jet black shoreline of this unique beach makes it one of the popular stops along the road to Hana. Made of volcanic sediment, the dark shore makes a startling contrast with the green hues of the verdant jungle and the bright blue waves of the sea. Not far from the beach is a trail that leads to Wainapanapa’s freshwater caves.
Exploring the historic sites of Pi’ianihale Heiau and Kahanu Garden.
On the road to Hana, the less visited 294-acre ethnobotanical garden contains the largest temple in all of Polynesia, Pi’ilanihale Heiau. Located just 2.5 kilometres down Ula’ino Road from the Hana Highway, the quintessential significance of the garden and temple symbols gives you a very good understanding of Maui’s history as well as the relationship of its ancient inhabitants with the environment. Aim to join the guided tour around noon from Monday through Friday.
Taking a walk into a lava tube.
A wee bit after mile marker 23 on Maui’s road to Hana is 140-meter subterranean cave formed by molten lava 960 years ago. The largest in Maui and the 18th largest in the world, only a portion of this lava tube has been discovered. As you take a walk through the tunnel, you will be seeing more than lava lines and stalagmites as there is a bit of Maui history buried in this long tunnel. Join one of the 40-minute guided tours which are held here from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm and cost around USD11.95 per person.
Jumping into a pond from a historical bridge.
Not far from mile marker 16.8 on Maui’s road to Hana is Ching’s Pond, a popular swimming hole among the locals and an even more popular cliff diving point for adventurous tourists. From one of the historical bridges hanging over the pond, you will be plunging into a 25-foot drop towards the waters of Ching’s Pond.
Admiring a triple waterfall.
Upper Waikani Falls, also known as Three Bears Falls, is a popular stop among tourists taking on the road trip to Hana. With the three glistening cascades falling over the dark rocks and into the blue-green plunge pool at the bottom, you will be treated to a picturesque sight. Although most people tend to stop, take a picture and leave due to the limited parking space near the falls, you can stay a bit longer by marking just a tenth of a mile past the falls.
Learning to Hula from a Kumu Hula.
Get an authentic Hula lesson from a real Kumu Hula (a traditional Hula dance teacher) while on the island of Maui. The Hawaii Hula Company offers Hula and Tahitian lessons complete with the dress up where you will learn how to make flower rosettes for your hair and put on the traditional Hula costume. Not only will it be an amazing photo opportunity, you will also be taking home some Hula dancing skills.
Getting pampered the Polynesian way.
Maui is filled with spas and wellness retreats that will spoil you with its plethora of healing practitioners and massage options. The holistic massage and meditation techniques applied during a traditional Lomi Lomi massage will heal your mind, body, and soul. Couple it with the Pohaku or hot stone treatment and you will leave the spa feeling like your brand new self.
Pay a visit to Turtle Town.
One of the most exclusive areas in Maui, book a snorkeling tour of Turtle Town to swim with the sea turtles.
Surfing on Hookipa Beach.
At the Mile 9 mark of the Road to Hana, you can watch the action in the rough and frothy waters of Hookipa Beach. This is where experienced surfers and windsurfers strut their stuff. If you wander to this area in the afternoon, you might even catch sight of some sunbathing sea turtles.
Snacking on Spam Musubi.
A popular Hawaiian snack, Spam Musubi is a slice of canned ham wrapped in seaweed that is served at groceries, delis, and even gas stations.
Trying the Kalua Pig.
A Hawaiian specialty that involves roasting a pig in an underground oven, the tender, tasty and savory meat of the Kalua pig is hard to resist.
Eating a Poke.
One of the best ways to enjoy seafood while in Hawaii is to have it in a Poke. Usually prepared with yellow find tuna diced into cubes served on a bed of rice that has been seasoned with soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil and accompanied by fresh avocado or chopped chilis, there is a wide variety of poke bowls on the island. You can now have them with spicy salmon, salted ahi or even spicy octopus. At Tamura’s Express Market, you can even create your own Poke bowl.