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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.
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.
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.
This website gives a fantastic summary with climate charts and maps of the 4 main islands, which show the differences on each Island, ranging from pretty dry on the main popular coastal areas, to extremely wet on the other side of the islands and even more so on some of the mountain ranges.
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.
Major highways include:
Be aware that most locals refer to the roads not by number but by name, and will likely not understand if you ask for a road by number. For example you would never hear someone refer to Piilani highway as "route 31" or "highway 31."
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.
Check the Busroute map to get an idea of your possibilities.
Fresh produce is widely available at farmer's markets and road side stands. Banana bread, coconut candy, smoothies and seasonal fruit are all highlights of a drive around Maui.
|Banana Bungalow Maui Hostel||310 N. Market St. Wailuku, Maui||Hostel||84|
|Lahaina Bungalow||440 Wainee Street Lahaina, Hawaii||Guesthouse||72|
|Lahaina's Last Resort||252 Lahainaluna Rd. Lahaina, HI 96761||GUESTHOUSE||81|
|The Northshore Hostel Maui||2080 Vineyard St. Wailuku, Maui||Hostel||83|
|Happy Valley Hale Hostel||332 No. Market St Wailuku, Maui||HOSTEL||-|
|Moped City Maui bed||1398 Lower Main St Wailuku, HI||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostel City Maui||197 North Market Street||HOSTEL||-|
|The Tiki Hale||545 f Front St. Lahaina||HOSTEL||-|
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Maui searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Maui and areas nearby.
Ask Odinnthor a question about Maui
I lived in Lahaina on Maui for a number of years. I know pretty much everything you could think of about my Maui. At the moment I am writing a book about my times in Lahaina, which were during the magical decade of the 70s. Although I left Maui after some years, I have frequently been back, and have a lot of local contacts. How about a some nuggets about paniolo (cowboy) country? Paniolos are Hawaiian cowboys, mostly of Portuguese origins. Today you can visit a couple of full blown cattle ranches, and rent some horses for a day. Maui is no ka oi (is the best).
Aloha nui loa..........d:o)
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