Maui is beloved because it successfully offers a little bit of everything. From five-star, oceanside luxury resorts to backcountry cabins atop a 10,000-foot volcano, Maui can offer you both extremes and everything in the middle.
Its range is even more impressive when you consider the island is home to less than 200,000 people. The second-largest landmass in the chain, much of Maui’s appeal comes from its natural landscape and biodiversity, including its two massive volcanoes, protected marine sanctuaries, whale breeding grounds, and remote, wild jungles.
According to tourism statistics, the typical length of stay on Maui is about eight days (pre-covid), the most of any Hawaiian Island. While you can certainly explore the island faster than that, a week would set a proper pace. Our itinerary is not meant to be viewed as complete or exhaustive – please, pursue your own specific interests as you wish – but we hope our sample can be useful as a template and introduction to the main areas and attractions on Maui, should you wish to dive in and take a bite of each.
Table of contents
Table of Contents
- Day 1: Arrival
- Day 2: Explore Your Home Base
- Day 3: Pāʻia, Hoʻokipa, the Road to Hana, Kīpahulu
- Day 4: Day on the Water
- Day 5: Wailea and La Perouse Bay
- Day 6: Haleakalā and Upcountry Maui
- Day 7: ʻĪao Valley and a Lūʻau
- Day 8: Last Adventures and Departure
We wish you a good time on Maui, and ask that you help protect the island by respecting all of its ecological, cultural, and historical offerings. Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.
Day 1: Arrival
In most cases, you’ll arrive in Maui in the afternoon or evening, ready for some rest after a long travel day.
Grab your rental car at the Kahului Airport. There are shuttles from the airports to the hotels (such as Robert’s Hawaii), so if you prefer, you could go that route the first day and then rent a car later, on the days you intend to use it (many hotels have car rental locations nearby). Either way, Maui is spread out, so if you plan to adventure, you’ll need wheels to explore.
Upon landing, make your way to your respective hotel. The major hubs of the island are Lāhainā, Kīhei, Kaʻanapali, Wailea, Kapalua, and Pāʻia, among others (if you’re having trouble deciding where to stay, see our Introduction to Maui).
Take a moment to breathe, and take in your surroundings. You’ve just arrived on the “Valley Island,” named for the flat saddle that connects the two giant volcanoes, Haleakalā and the West Maui Mountains. If you arrive before dark, go for a walk on the beach, and if your arrival corresponds with the sunset, even better. Settle in for your first meal in Hawaiʻi – we suggest either fresh seafood or a classic Hawaiian dish, like Kalua pork. Use this evening to refresh and unwind after the long day of travel.
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