Maui Itinerary: 8 Days of Adventure, Beauty, and Relaxation

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Maui

With its pristine beaches, green jungles, and volcanoes that rise 10,000 feet above the ground, Maui is an excellent destination for a tropical getaway. But deciding how to spend your valuable time in this heavenly paradise could be difficult with so many outdoor activities, such as hiking, snorkeling, and even softly tracking whales.

Here is Maui schedule for eight days on the island, plus recommendations if you have less time! to cram in as much action as you can, even though you won’t be able to see much of the island in a single trip.

Wildfires are now destroying Lahaina and other parts of Maui. Please be even more polite, courteous, and patient with the land and the residents than usual, and double-verify whether sites are open and accessible.

How to Get Around Maui

In most cases, the answer to the question “Do I need a rental car in Maui to get around?” would be “yes,” unless you plan to stay at your resort the entire time, which I highly advise against. Public transportation on the island exists, but it’s limited. Since Maui is large and spread out, you’ll spend much time waiting for and figuring out the bus system. On the other hand, you’ll have complete freedom and flexibility with a rental automobile. Fortunately, Kahului Airport, the island’s primary international airport, has many rental cars. This is somewhat of a crazy suggestion, but make sure you test the horn before you drive from the rental vehicle lot.

When to Visit Maui

Since Maui’s year-round average temperature spans from the middle 70s to the mid-80s, there is always a good time to visit. I don’t trust these periods much, even though this area’s “rainy” season lasts from November through April, and the dry one is from May through September. 

Consider whether you want to schedule your vacation to coincide with the humpback whale migration to the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands from November to May so they may mate and rear their young.

Day 1 Kahului Airport to Hana

Maui

One of the finest things to do in Maui is drive the Road to Hana, which we did on our first day there. This route winds through the jungle, bamboo woods, beaches, gardens, and waterfalls. There are many spots to stop, climb, swim, take in the scenery, or buy locally prepared snacks at snack kiosks.

However, staying in Hana for at least one night (preferably two, as we did in our itinerary) is worthwhile. Most travelers to Maui do the Road to Hana in a tiring 12-hour day. You can explore the region and escape the crowds by visiting the busiest locations close to Hana first thing in the morning. We initially made a pit stop in Paia to load up on food at Mana Foods. We saw the rainbow eucalyptus trees, had a little stroll around the Ke’anae Arboretum, enjoyed some banana bread on the Ke’anae Peninsula. And then arrived at Upper Waikani Falls. The apartment offered a great view of the calm black sand beach and ocean in front of the hotel and was cozy and well-equipped. It was beautiful to awaken to the sunrise over the water. I heartily endorse it.

Day 2 Beach Day Explore Your Home Base

Maui

You’ll likely wake up early on day two due to jet lag. Do not struggle. In the morning, the beach is a beautiful and peaceful spot. It’s perfect for leisurely walking with a cup of coffee before breakfast. It’s even better if you manage to awaken before sunrise. Just as stunning are the colors of the sky in the morning as they are at dusk.

The focus of today is becoming acquainted with your hub and acclimating to Maui’s slower pace. You may visit world-class beaches at Kaanapali, Lahaina, Kihei, Pia, or Wailea, just a few minutes from your hotel or vacation rental.

You may peruse nearby eateries and stores, go snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddling, or spend the day lounging on the beach and taking it easy.You may also utilize this day to engage in specialized passions, like golf, horseback riding, or other outdoor activities. We advise beginning the excursion with dinner at a nearby seafood restaurant. Try the neighborhood mainstays Pia Fish Co. or Mama’s Fish House, or ask around. The day will be longer and busier tomorrow.

Day 3 PĀʻIA, HOʻOKIPA, The Road To Hana, KĪPAHULU

Maui

Prepare your daypack after breakfast by including lots of water, sunscreen, closed-toed shoes, and snacks. Consider spending most of the day outside. The fabled Road to Hana is a daylong stop-and-go beautiful route that circles Maui’s north and east coasts. Along the journey, you may stop off at Pia. A surf village with a hippy vibe, Hookipa, a surf destination with high sea cliffs, and Kpahulu, a different area of Haleakala National Park. We advise making this travel early in your trip so you may postpone it if the weather isn’t cooperative. It is advisable to tackle it over many days because the eastern (windward) part of Maui experiences a lot of rain.

Day 4 Upcountry

upcountry

To be near Haleakala National Park for the dawn at the crater was our primary motivation for spending the night in Upcountry.

People often do this from the other side of the island, but it requires getting up early in the morning. After that, we tried to go down the Sliding Sands (Keonehe’ehe’e) Trail, which offers spectacular vistas as you enter the crater, but the strong wind forced us to turn around. Although I’m sure it would have been more fun on a calmer day. The next time, I’d go in the late afternoon to take a trek before dusk. You don’t need to make reservations or wake up early, and if you go in the mornin. The colors of the crater will be brighter as you face the sun.

We loved our pancakes and french toast and the restaurant’s lovely views. There should be a nice sunset here. It was the biggest market in Hawaii, with many fresh foods, sweets, and prepared food stalls with enticing vegetarian options, including Thai curry and vegan miso ramen.

Day 5 Makawao to Kahana

Kahana

Since we could only check in the afternoon, the island’s west side.

At the Sacred Garden of Maliko, we made our first stop. This peaceful location is great for wasting time because it is not extremely popular or busy, and admission is free.

A sizable nursery has many plants and places to sit, relax, read, or play chess. You may stroll in a labyrinth outside for some quiet reflection.

After that, we traveled via Paia to the Ho’okipa Lookout, where we could see surfers and windsurfers surfing the enormous waves. We observed a large number of turtles on the beach below.

We ate delicious pizza and salad at Flatbread in the charming hippie village of Paia. Then, we went to Ululani Shave Ice for dessert, known for having the best-shaved ice on Maui.

We stopped at Papawai Point (also known as Whale Lookout Point) on the way to the west coast.

Even though we had to wait a while to park in the little lot. We could see a couple of whales immediately. Given how far away they were, binoculars would have been preferable. We finally arrived at Kahana. Just north of the well-known beach resort, Kaanapali, is this tranquil neighborhood of condos, along with a few stores and eateries.

For the beach part of your trip, any location along the West or South Maui coast would be a fantastic base. Between the two areas, it takes around an hour to drive.

Kahana Reef Condos

Reef condos

We stayed in Kahana Reef, an affordable condo complex on Maui with ocean views.

We also witnessed whales breaching; every property had a patio with ocean views. The sunsets are magnificent. 

In front of the sea are a small pool and a sizable grassy area with sun loungers.

To the right is a tiny beach, although it’s a bit too muddy for swimming and relatively narrow. However, we did glimpse a green Hawaiian sea turtle. In each direction, great beaches are accessible in five minutes.

Look for resorts on Kaanapali Beach or farther north on the more sedate Airport Beach. If you wish to be directly on the beach. 

With five swimming pools, a water slide, four restaurants, and various activities. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa is a well-liked choice on Kaanapali Beach. 

On our preferred stretch of Airport Beach, the Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas offers both hotel rooms and flats with kitchens. Two pools, a gym, and a spa are available. 

Another great place to stay is farther north, close to the stunning beaches at Napili Bay and Kapalua Bay.

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