Maui holds such striking beauty from the lush, green mountains to vibrant colored beaches and clear azure waters. It is impossible not to fall in love with the dramatic landscape, quaint towns, friendly locals and the tropical food. Our trip here was nothing short of spectacular and if we could go back- I would jump on a plane in a heartbeat! Here’s our 4 day itinerary to help you plan your own trip to paradise.
Day 1: Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
Our trip started with getting into our rental car from the airport and driving to Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. I honestly could keep raving about this resort. Fantastic, Pure Luxury, Beautiful- every word falls short to describe the Andaz experience. I have stayed in many fine resorts across the world but Andaz has been my absolute favorite so far. Once we entered, our host brought us welcome drinks and checked us in quickly. We were offered an upgrade and explained all that the resort had to offer. The resort has three swimming pools, free mini-fridge drinks, snacks and re-usable water bottles which are refilled each day. They offer a wide variety of complimentary activities – kayaking, snorkeling, beach yoga, lei making, coconut husking & cocktail making classes just to name a few. The breakfast is excellent and the chefs would go out of their way each day to bring us a complete Vegetarian meal. Housekeeping cleaned the room twice a day and the concierge helped us plan our entire trip for the following days! I honestly can’t fault the location, the beauty of the hotel and the service. Our entire stay just kept me longing for more.
Day 2: Road to Hana
After a very relaxing first day in the hotel, we were totally ready for an adventure-packed day and that’s exactly what we got!! The best way to describe Road to Hana is that it’s an experience. Not a drive, not just hiking, not beach-ing or dancing in the waterfalls- it’s completely, utterly, breathtakingly the most surreal experience. No trip to Maui is complete without this drive.
There are so many blogs that will tell you the “must-see” on the Road to Hana so I’ll skip the details but in a nutshell you absolutely have to make it to these stops on your way to Hana- Wainapanapa State Park, Hamoa Beach, Red Sand Beach and finally just before you get to Hana is the Seven Sacred Pools, Waimoku Falls and Bamboo and Banyan Forest (all part of the Pipiwai Trail!) Road to Hana is a long drive and a full day adventure so I strongly urge you to read multiple blogs to get a clearer idea of how to best plan your day. In the Good to Know section at the bottom, I’ve linked a few blogs that I followed to help plan our day.
Day 3: Kayaking, Snorkeling & Haleakala Sunset
Today we started the day early with Kayaking in Turtle Town which was complimentary with our stay at Andaz Wailea Maui. The water was calm and clear and we could see sea turtles swimming which made the whole experience so much more fun! Our Kayak guides were also locals and did an excellent job of educating us on early Maui settlements, different islands and Hawaiian culture. After Kayaking for nearly 2 hours, we got our snorkeling equipment (again, complimentary with our stay) and dived into the water. It was by far one of the best snorkeling experiences of my life. Turtle town is the top rated snorkeling destination for Maui and going early when the water was still calm ensured that we saw a huge array of marine life. We swam alongside baby and hugeee green sea-turtles, nemos, butterfly fish and so much more.
After an amazing start to our day and tired from all the kayaking and swimming, we ate a hearty breakfast at the hotel and took a long nap! In the evening, we started our long drive towards Haleakala National Park. Haleakala crater lies 10, 023 above sea level and is a dormant volcano. The dramatic landscape and views of sunrise or sunset from the summit are surreal. No description or words can ever do justice to what we experienced that day; all I can is do is strong strongly recommend that you make time for this majestic experience.
Day 4: Lahaina
For our last day in Maui; we explored the quaint seaside town of Lahaina. From exploring galleries to oceanfront walks- It was a super cute and relaxing day. An alternative to Lahaina would be touring Maui Pineapple plantations and Dole Factories. We skipped these since we had an action packed trip already and just wanted to soak in a little bit of local culture.
Day 4: Helicopter Ride over West Maui & Molokai
For our final day in Maui; Malav had surprised me with a helicopter ride over West Maui & Molokai. It was my first time in a helicopter and sitting front seat; right next to our pilot made the ride even better!! I highly recommend this little splurge if you are in Maui because it is well worth the experience and the memories.
Good To Know:
Flights: Flights to Hawaii can be infrequent, seasonal and expensive. We are lucky that we live in San Francisco and have a huge number of airlines offering services. However, it might not be the case from the rest of the country and even harder if you’re trying to visit from outside of USA. It’s important to plan ahead and book flights in advance to get the best possible deal.
Accommodation: Maui, just like any other remote island can get very expensive very quickly. Luckily, there are plenty of options to keep costs low. For starters, we splurged on our hotel and while I truly do believe it has enhanced my Hawaiian experience, I realize it’s not always necessary to indulge for accommodation when Maui itself has much to offer. So, consider Airbnb or more budget hotels in other parts of Maui such as Lahaina, Paia or Kanapali.
Road to Hana: Here are some of the links that I used to help plan our Road to Hana. I highly recommend reading multiple blogs and itineraries so that you can make the best of your drive. Some blogs (time-permitting) also recommend staying a night in Hana so that you get can explore more of the parks, trails and all the sights on the way.
Shelby’s One Day Road to Hana Adventure
17 Stunning Road to Hana Stops & Why you should stay in Hana
Excursions: Book in advance!! I cannot emphasize this enough. Certain attractions like the Haleakala Sunset require reservations and it’s so popular that it gets booked up quite quickly. Other excursions like Helicopter rides can be heavily discounted if booked in advance. We went with Air Maui Helicopter Tour and loved the experience and would highly recommend them.
Other activities include touring the pineapple plantations, visiting the Dole Factory, sunset cruises and whale watching, attending a luau etc. There is plenty to do in Maui, you just need to have the time for it!
Food: Since we stayed at Andaz Wailea Maui, our dietary requirements were very well taken care of. The hotel made us a wonderful a la carte breakfast every morning; from egg-free pancakes, waffles to pad Thai, stir fried rice and sandwiches. Our breakfasts were so hearty that we always ended up skipping lunch and heading straight to dinner. Overall, we found that Vegetarian options, although limited are still easily available in all the major cities. I recommend using Yelp to find restaurants in the area you are staying in and you’re sure to find restaurants ranging from Vegan Sushi to Thai, Italian and Mediterranean. Also, you absolutely cannot miss Shave Ice and Dole Whip in Maui.
In a nutshell, Maui has so much to offer for every kind of holiday traveler. I thoroughly enjoyed our 4 days in Maui and would have no qualms in extending our stay because there is so much to do! This island is truly magical in every way and I really hope you get the chance to experience the Maui magic someday xxx