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Maui Sample Itineraries / Travel Guide

green arrow3 day itineraries are the minimum amount of time needed to complete the given activities. We highly recommend extending these itineraries even up to 2 weeks (or mix & match itineraries) to fully enjoy your time in Hawaii. Yet, we realize not everyone has all the time they need so we wanted to present the minimum amount of time to complete an itinerary, given a full day schedule every day. For example, instead of staying 1 night in a given place, you could spend 3 and have more time to explore, relax, and enjoy the area.

green arrowA $ is placed beside activities that require some sort of fee or charge.

#1 Maui See-All Itinerary: designed for a 1st time visit to the island. This is an aggressive schedule but allows the most comprehensive tour of the island since you are strategically moving around the island and staying in a different location every night.

#2 Maui Off-the-Beaten Track Authentic Itinerary: designed for the traveler that wants to get away from the main tourist crowds; good for a 2nd or 3rd visit.

#3 Maui Party & Tourist Highlights Itinerary: designed where you can stay in one place all 3 days and take day trips to explore. This is more of a relaxed itinerary, with particular emphasis on tourist sites and night life.

#1 Maui See-All Itinerary (click map for larger view)
Day 1:
blue arrowStart driving east along #36, the Hana Hwy.
blue arrowEnjoy the scenery by picking and choosing stops such as at the town of Paia, Hookipa Beach (famous for windsurfing), the plethora of waterfalls & hikesfrom the road, Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach, Red Sand Beach, Hamoa Beach, and the famous Oheo Gulch aka 7 Sacred Pools.
blue arrowOne of the best hikes in Maui can be reached from across the road from the 7 Sacred Pools (2.5-4 hours round trip) $ for parking.
Stay: Vacation rental, B&B/Inn in Hana.
Alternative: Camping at Waianapanapa or Oheo Gulch.
Day 2:
blue arrowContinue driving around the east coast of Maui, enjoying the beautiful views, rainforests, and quiet beaches.
blue arrowA good stop before going up to Haleakala $ is the free wine tasting at Tedeschi Winery.
Stay: Camp on Haleakala or get a vacation rental in Makawao or Pukalani with the intention of seeing the sunrise on Haleakala OR
Alternative: Drive up for the Haleakala view during the day $ then continue driving to stay in a vacation rental in Kihei.
Day 3:
blue arrowCheck out the beaches of Kihei, particular Big & Little Beach in Makena. Makena also has some snorkeling and views of lava fields.
blue arrowHead up Hwy 31 through Maalaea to Lahaina. Time permitting, check out the resort-surrounded Kaanapali Beach and snorkeling on Black Rock.
blue arrowLahaina offers night life, shopping, and one of the best luaus in Hawaii, the Old Lahaina Luau $ (worth a splurge, reserve in advance or go there hoping for a cancellation). As an alternative, Kihei & Wailuku also offer some nightlife and a lot of dining choices.

Stay: Hostel in Wailuku or condo in Kihei.


#2 Maui Off-the-Beaten Track Authentic Itinerary (click map for larger view)
Click to see larger image.
Day 1:
blue arrowDrive NW along #340 (small, windy road) to explore the Olivine Pools, Blowholes, and secluded beaches.
blue arrowPass through Lahaina and spend some time lounging/whale watching in the shady beaches along Hwy 30 before Maalaea.
blue arrowFind a nice spot along the coast to watch the Maui sunset and possibly grill dinner.
Stay: Hostel in Wailuku.
Alternative:Camp in Olowalu or Kanaha Beach Park.
Day 2:
blue arrowCheck out Iao Valley then drive past Kahului and enter Hwy 36, with a stop in Paia.
blue arrowGo up #390 to Makawao and then follow the small roads to get onto #377. Make a turn up Waipoli road and enjoy the views.
blue arrowHere you can paraglide $ off the side of the volcano (arrange in advance) or even camp at the end of the road (only for the very adventurous as it takes a lot of time to get there on this road and can sometimes require a 4x4).
blue arrowThere are also hikes and other activities $ from Haleakala Crater Road.
Stay: Vacation rental in Makawao, Pukalani, or Haiku or condo in Kihei.
Alternative: Camp at Polipoli State Park or other camping on Haleakala Crater Road.
Day 3:
blue arrowGet onto the Hana Hwy #36/360 and drive clockwise.
blue arrowHave fun exploring more out-of-the way waterfalls, hikes, beaches, and freshwater swimming (ideas for this can be found in guidebooks). The Red Sand Beach in Hana is particularly nice.
blue arrowDepending on your flight time, you may or may not want to stay in Hana (since driving time Hana-Kahului is 130 min/no traffic). If you do not stay in Hana, continue driving around the east coast of Maui through Kaupo, Kula, and back to where you started the day.
Stay: Vacation rental in Hana.
Alternative: Camping in Hana area (2 possibilities).

#3 Maui Party & Tourist Highlights Itinerary (click map for larger view)
Click to see larger image.
Day 1:
blue arrowDrive through Kahului to Hwy 32 in Wailuku. A little past Wailuku is Iao Valley and the Iao Needle. There is a short scenic hike here.
blue arrowFollow signs in Wailuku to Lahaina.
blue arrowDrive north of Lahaina to Kaanapali Beach. Snorkel or dive at the famous Black Rock. Enjoy drinks at one of the many beach side bars $.
blue arrowTime permitting, drive north and explore the many beaches & views.
blue arrowEnd the day in your city of choice for lodging.
Stay: Condo in Kihei or hostel in Wailuku.
Day 2:
blue arrowDrive south of Lahaina with a possible stop at the Aquarium in Maalaea $.
blue arrowExplore the beaches on South Kihei Road down to Big and Little Beach in Makena.
blue arrowFurther into Makena are a few coves that are sometimes suitable for good snorkeling. Views of lava fields are along the end of the road.
blue arrowKihei has many places that offer happy hour and some night life $.
Stay: Condo in Kihei or hostel in Wailuku.
Alternative: Camp at Kanaha Beach Park by the airport.
Day 3:
blue arrowMorning activity: choose between seeing the sunrise atop Haleakala $ (requires very early rising) and biking down Crater Road $ OR a boat trip for whale watching $, scuba diving $, or snorkeling $. These boat trips leave from Kihei, Maalaea, or Lahaina Harbor.
blue arrowExplore the beginning of the Hana Hwy to Paia and Hookipa Beach.
blue arrowTake in a sunset cruise for dinner $ or the famous Old Lahaina Luau $.
Stay: Condo in Kihei or hostel in Wailuku.
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