Maui is one of the most beautiful islands of Hawaii. What are the must-sees? In this article, I’ll share 5 things to do during your first time in Maui.
Road to Hana
The road to Hana is one of the things everyone who visits the island has to see, especially when it’s your first time in Maui. You can book a tour that will show you the highlights of the road in one day. But I would highly recommend taking a little more time and stay one or two nights in Hana. There is so much to see along this winding road! There are many beautiful waterfalls, a bamboo forest en a couple of great trails. Also, there are some gorgeous beaches, like a black sand beach in Waiʻānapanapa State Park.
Wailea is located on the southern shore of Maui and this is also the place where most of the large resort hotels can be found. Evey if you don’t stay in a hotel in Wailea, it’s a great place to explore. There are many beautiful (hidden) beaches, with a great reef for snorkeling. So take your snorkeling gear! You can also find hidden gems like the small church in this picture and there are some great parks to enjoy a picnic. You will also see multiple food trucks, where you can get delicious Hawaiian food for cheap.
Discover the unexplored beaches on the nortwestern shore
The northwestern shore of Maui is not as crowded as the southern part of the island and therefore, the beaches are really quiet. My favorites are Slaughterhouse Beach and D.T. Fleming Park, both great for snorkeling. I saw a lot of sea turtles!
The historical town of Lahaina is also one of the best places to visit in Maui. A long time ago, in 1820, this was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii. In Oldtown Lahaina, you can find many old wooden buildings, and many restaurants, and cute shops. If you would like to experience a real Hawaiian Lūʻau (a party with delicious food, dancing, and flower necklaces, Lahaina is the place to be.
Haleakala National Park
Haleakalā National Park might be the most beautiful place in Maui. You can drive all the way to the top of the mountain (3055 meters) and from here, you’ll see one of the weirdest landscapes in the world. On a clear day, you can see the volcanoes of Big Island and the other surrounding islands very well. It’s also recommended to go for a walk in the crater because up close, the landscape is even more surreal.
One of the most special things to experience in Haleakalā National Park is the sunrise. This is very spectacular and feels like something mysterious. Make sure to get a permit before you drive up (parking is limited). You can apply for one on the official website. If you are short on time, visiting Haleakalā National Park should definitely be on top of your list when you visit Maui for the first time.
Practical tips for your first time in Maui
Are you convinced that you have to visit Maui after seeing all these highlights? I have some practical tips to share.
How to get to Maui?
You can only get to Maui by plane. From the US west coast, there are multiple carriers offering flights to Maui. Of course, you can also fly to Maui from one of the other Hawaiian Islands. Check Skyscanner to find the cheapest tickets.
Transportation on Maui
If you prefer public transport, you can take several buses on Maui. This is pretty cheap, a one-day ticket costs only $4. Unfortunately, you can’t visit all the beautiful places on the island by bus and they don’t go too often. But if you have plenty of time to explore the island, this is the cheapest way to do it. You can find information about all the connections on this website.
However, it’s very convenient to rent a car when you’re on Maui. I usually rent a car through, direct on their Dutch website or by using an
intermediary like AutoEurope. In both cases, all the insurances you need are included in the price (which is very convenient for European travelers).
Where to stay in Maui?
Although there are many places to stay on Maui, it’s hard to find affordable accommodations. Also, at some places there is not a lot to choose from, so make sure to make reservations as early as possible.
It’s really easy to book hotels on Maui through Booking.com. Make sure to only book rooms with the possibility to cancel, so when you find a better or cheaper hotel room, you can easily switch.
Do you prefer staying in an apartment or a house? Airbnb is your answer! Have you never booked anything through Airbnb before? When you book a place using this link, you’ll get a great discount on your first booking.
Do you want to visit Maui and don’t spend too much money on accommodation? Camping is a great option if you want to do Hawaii on a budget! Unfortunately, there are not that many campgrounds on the island, so make sure to book ahead.
These are all my tips and must-sees for your very first visit to Maui! Do you have any questions? Let me know by dropping a comment below.
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Would you like to read more about Hawaii?
Check out one of these articles:
– Perfect itinerary for Hawaii: exploring Oahu, Maui & Big Island
– Big Island Hawaii: 7 awesome things to do
– How much does a trip to Hawaii cost?