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Maui

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Travel Guide North America USA Western United States Hawaii Maui

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Introduction

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

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Maui is the second-largest Hawaiian island, but offers more miles of great beaches than any of the other islands. From those who lived on Maui and from those who have ever been there, you will hear Maui no ka ‘oi. Maui is the best. But don’t believe their words, come and see for yourself!

The island has lots to offer, from sunrise from the peak of Haleakala, sunbathing on the beaches in Kaanapali and Kihei, driving the Road to Hana through blossoming rainforest, and watching whales and dolphins at their natural inhabitant.

Besides wonderful and colorful nature, Maui is also a home to a rich culture and amazing ethnic diversity. In small towns like Paia and Hana you can see remnants of the past mingling with modern-day life. Aged coral and brick missionary homes now house broadcasting networks. The antique smokestacks of sugar mills tower above communities where the children merge English, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Filipino, into one multihued language. There is probably no other place so diverse and exciting as Hawaii. The more you look here, the more you will find.

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Geography

Maui's diverse landscapes are the result of a unique combination of geology, topography, and climate. Each volcanic cone in the chain of the Hawaiian Islands is built of dark, iron-rich/quartz-poor rocks, which poured out of thousands of vents as highly fluid lava, over a period of millions of years. Several of the volcanoes were close enough to each other that lava flows on their flanks overlapped one another, merging into a single island. Maui is such a "volcanic doublet," formed from two shield volcanoes that overlapped one another to form an isthmus between them. The older, western volcano has been eroded considerably and is cut by numerous drainages, forming the peaks of the West Maui Mountains (in Hawaiian, Mauna Kahalawai). Puʻu Kukui is the highest of the peaks at 1,764 metres. The larger, younger volcano to the east, Haleakalā, rises to more than 3,000 metres above sea level, and measures 8,000 metres from seafloor to summit, making it one of the world's highest mountains. The eastern flanks of both volcanoes are cut by deeply incised valleys and steep-sided ravines that run downslope to the rocky, windswept shoreline. The valley-like Isthmus of Maui that separates the two volcanic masses was formed by sandy erosional deposits. Maui is part of a much larger unit, Maui Nui, that includes the islands of Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Molokaʻi, and the now submerged Penguin Bank. During periods of reduced sea level, including as recently as 20,000 years ago, they are joined together as a single island due to the shallowness of the channels between them.

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Sights and Activities

  • Without a doubt, doing a snorkel trip from Maui is great! Only 3 boats travel around Lanai for snorkel excursions, so you have an opportunity to see places and snorkel in spots that few tourists ever see. The snorkeling is great and you can see endangered seals, spinner dolphins and lots of fish. And for sure you’ll never forget the visit to Blue Water Rafting. The snorkeling is great - the caves are spectacular - there are some huge fish around Molokini. Do not miss this trip!
  • You’ll be impressed after visiting the Hike Maui. This is a great hike! The views are spectacular and you feel like you’re entering another world as you hike down into the crater.
  • Haleakala National Park is a true wilderness area featuring the dormant Haleakalā (East Maui) Volcano.
  • Maui is one of the world's most popular sites for destination weddings and for good reason. But because it is far from where the engaged couple and their families usually live, it's wise to engage a local expert to arrange things for you in advance. One of the best-established wedding planners is Marry Me Maui. They can do everything from arrange accommodations for diverse guests to delivering beautiful wedding books. They handle traditional weddings, renewals of vows and same-sex weddings with equal aplomb. One of the partners in it is the famous photographer Joe D'Alessandro, so you know the photos and videos will be breathtaking.

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Weather

Maui is a popular destination among people looking for great weather. There are however differences throughout the year and even between parts of the island. The southwestern parts are generally much drier compared to the northeastern parts of the island. Most of the rain falls between November and March.
It is quite unusual for tropical islands to have the wettest time of year coincide with the slightly cooler months. Oddly enough, the possibility of a tropical storm or even a hurricane is higher from May to November, opposite to the wetter months. Still, such storms are less frequent compared to for example the Caribbean or west Pacific.
Temperatures are highest between July and October, around 28 °C during the day and around 24 °C at night. The other months are still nice and warm, between 24 °C and 27 °C during the day and around 20 °C at night.

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Getting There

By Plane

Kahului Airport (airport code OGG) handles all flights to and from Maui. Destinations are mainly to other Hawaiian islands like Oahu, Hawaii Island (Big Island), Molokai and Lanai. Other ones include Vancouver in Canada and several mainland US cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Anchorage, Portland, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver and San Francisco.

By Boat

Hawaii Superferry provides services between Oahu and Maui. Expeditions has ferries between Maui and Lanai. Finally, Molokai Ferry travels once a day between Maui and Molokai.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Bus

Check the Busroute map to get an idea of your possibilities.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Banana Bungalow Maui Hostel310 N. Market St. Wailuku, MauiHostel77
Lahaina Bungalow440 Wainee Street Lahaina, HawaiiGuesthouse76
Lahaina's Last Resort252 Lahainaluna Rd. Lahaina, HI 96761GUESTHOUSE73
The Northshore Hostel Maui2080 Vineyard St. Wailuku, MauiHostel80
Happy Valley Hale Hostel332 No. Market St Wailuku, MauiHOSTEL-
Moped City Maui bed1398 Lower Main St Wailuku, HIHOSTEL-
Hostel City Maui197 North Market StreetHOSTEL-
The Tiki Hale545 f Front St. LahainaHOSTEL-

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 20.80308
  • Longitude: -156.338104

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This is version 32. Last edited at 18:53 on Aug 22, 13 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

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