Whenever I speak to anyone who goes to Hawaii, they describe the place as magical, a dream, absolutely incredible…. and I always wondered if it would live up to the hype. And now that I actually got to Maui I can say-“it doesn’t just live up to the hype, it exceeds it!”. It has everything- beaches, mountains, lush greenery, volcanoes. One week in Maui isn’t enough- now I know why people take a sabbatical and move there!
I cannot have a post on Hawaii without a picture of an amazing sunset (photo credit- Aishwarya 🙂 )
There are stunning beaches all around Maui- the soft sand, blue dreamy water and the soft breeze- perfection!
There is something amazing about the juxtaposition of the ocean and greenery- driving around in Maui you will be struck by the ocean, mountain, greenery- next to each other complimenting the overall magic!
My favorite discovery was the secret beach- tucked between two houses, there are lava rock walls on both sides, and it looks like a door way. But when you enter, you see the gorgeous beach, like a tiny piece of heaven.
One of the most incredible sights is the sight of the Haleakala Crater- atop a long and twisty ride, you reach the awe-inspiring volcanic peak. People try to get there for sunrise or sunset, but we didn’t want to risk bad visibility while driving up so we chose to go midday. It is incredibly cold, but totally worth it!
The Haleakala Silversword (āhinahina in Hawaiian) has been a threatened species since 1992- I was so glad I found one!
Hana Highway drive is one of the landmarks in Maui- it has multiple stops along the way that just take your breath away! Hooki’pa lookout is one of my favorites- there were endless waves rushing to the shore. The lookout is a surfer’s paradise- so even if you aren’t a surfer, it still takes your breath away!
The drive to Hana has gorgeous waterfalls like Twin falls, Wailea falls, etc.
One of the most celebrated spots on Hana highway is Ohe’o Gulch or seven sacred pools. It is after 3 hours of the long and arduous drive- and while it was beautiful, I felt it was a bit overrated- there are many other beautiful waterfalls along the way.
Walking around the trails in Maui you see such amazing greenery- The Avatar movie was shot in Hawaii- the greenery everywhere reminds you of the movie!
Here are some travel tips for Maui:
- Plan your trip! There are many things to do around Maui.
- The island is pretty huge so you need a car- my personal tip: get a convertible so you can really enjoy Hawaii!
- Try and split your stay in the north and south side- this way you can explore the area without driving for an hour each time.
- Go to a luau! For the vegetarians out there, go to Feast at Lele!
- Get the Hawaiian wardrobe- flip flops, leis, Hawaiian shirts and dresses!
- The road to Hana is slightly overrated- don’t get me wrong, the views are incredible driving along side the water around the mountains. But the sharp turns and hair pin bends are tough even for the most seasoned drivers. The best sights are at towards the first half of the highway so you don’t have to go all the way to experience it!
- Stops like Ohe’o Gulch are over 3 hours without a break, so if you want to do it in 1 day, you have to leave really early. While the Gulch was pretty, it was a bit underwhelming- there are many stunning waterfalls along the way.
- If you would like to go through all the stops on Hana, you should stay a night on the route- there are some stops along the way.
- Some of the stops like Twin falls aren’t exactly paved for hiking- so only experienced hikers should try!
- Haleakala crater is a tough drive- sunset might be stunning, but you might end up having to drive in the dark- which I wouldn’t recommend.
- Keep some time for the beach- some of the best beaches are in Maui.
- It does rain in Hawaii- so keep a day or to as buffer so you can hit all the stops on your list!
In the meanwhile, Mahalo Maui- can’t wait to come back!