Looking for a trip to Hawaii – Have you thought about Maui?

If you haven’t ever been to Hawaii before, you definitely need to add it to your bucket list! My husband and I went for our honeymoon in 2011 and it was honestly the most amazing place we’ve ever visited; I really didn’t want to leave. In fact, I have often said that if I could take my whole family with me, it’s somewhere I’d definitely consider moving to.

We travelled from London to LAX and had a short stopover before flying on to Maui and while the flight and travel time was long, it was most definitely worth it. We decided to rent a villa out on a complex so we had access to amenities as well as the freedom to come and go as we pleased. There are so many amazing places to stay so I would strongly advise you research the area and the different possibilities well before deciding.

Interestingly, there aren’t many all-inclusive type packages available but we actually found this quite refreshing. Instead, you will find a variety of Hawaii beachfront rentals or apartment complexes to choose from to suit your budget and needs from super luxurious villas to well maintained hotels.

After choosing a location and your accommodation, you can then begin the exciting planning the rest of your holiday. We wanted a mixture of relaxing days in the sun and some more adventurous activities. In the three weeks we were there, we packed in quite a lot and our highlights and must do activities would have to be:

Activites in Maui

Black Rock Diving

Every evening, about 10 minutes before sunset, a cliff diver treks up Black Rock on Ka’anapali’s beach with a lighted torch to light the torches that rest upon Black Rock before he offers a lei to the heavens above, throwing it into the sea and taking a head first leap into the ocean.

Although the ceremony itself only lasts about 15 minute in total, it is a wonderful spectacle to witness and started our Maui stay off perfectly. Visitors and guests of the Sheraton will line the beach each night in anticipation of the ceremony (which has been going since the late 1700s).

Hana Highway

The Hana Highway was by far one of my most memorable experiences from Maui. It’s a 64.4 mile long stretch of coastal roads which connect Kahului with the town of Hana. We hired car for our entire stay and drove ourselves at our own pace and I can highly recommend doing this.

Although there are tours available, I wouldn’t want to be rushed or potentially miss out certain aspects of the journey. We sat and looked at all the available sites to stop at and visit and made a loose plan of the places we were really keen to visit and spend some time at. We then allowed ourselves the chance to stop at other destinations as we drove.

Some of our favourite spots included the multiple waterfalls (including Twin Falls, Upper Waikani Falls, Hanawi Falls) – they were all so beautiful and peaceful and you could even take a plunge in them to cool off if you wanted -sometimes enjoying the whole area to ourselves. .

The Waikamoi Ridge Trail – a stunning walk. You could choose between a 10 minute or a 30 minute circuit and got to explore nature close up.

The Halfway to Hana Stand – if you like banana bread, you MUST stop here. It is so delicious and makes a perfect treat to keep you energised along your journey.

Hana Lava Tubes – although this seems more touristy, it was still a great stop along the way. The tour takes just over half an hour. It formed approximately 960 years ago as a result of spewing lava forcing its way up and flowing towards the ocean.

Wai’anapanapa State Park offers stunning views as well as legend and history. You can see the fresh water caves on the beach.

Haleakala National Park where you can walk to Waimoku falls – just don’t forget your water like we did! It’s a simply stunning 2 mile hike but most definitely work the walk if you are able.

There are so many other places to visit along the way with spectacular views, I would just take your time and enjoy the journey.

The Haleakala Sunrise

Another truly breath-taking experience (second time round!) Waking up around 3am to ascend 10,023 foot to the summit of Haleakala National Park (30 miles) wasn’t originally at the top of my list of things to do but we ended up doing this twice! The first time we drove there, the cloud didn’t clear and we couldn’t see the sunrise at all. It was so cold and wet that it was more than a little disappointing.

However, we were given the chance of remittance within the next two days for free so we tried it again. It was the most amazing sunrise I’ve ever witnessed with some of the most surreal looking landscape too.

Snorkelling at Honolua Bay

There are many places you can don a snorkel and enjoy the ocean in Hawaii but Honolua Bay was a highlight. Honolua Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District on the north western end of Maui. It’s surrounded by high rocks and cliffs and is secluded and sheltered from the wind. The beach is made up of rocks and boulders and is simply stunning. If you walk out along the rocks to the north side of the shore, most of the coral will be accessible from here. We saw plenty of marine life and got to swim with turtles too.

Zip Wire Across Ka’anapali

For the thrill seeker, you could also soar above Ka’anapali’s coastline and experience the breath-taking views. There are 8 zip wire lines to travel down and it will take you around 2 and a half to 3 and a half hours. You stop for lunch half way down and enjoy the stunning views. We had two very funny tour guides who really add to the experience and expertise of the island too.

Pearl Harbour

One of the day trips we knew we wanted to do before we arrived was Pearl Harbour, with such historical significance, we knew it was a must and we decided that a day trip would be plenty for us. When there we could visit the Pearl Harbour Centre, the USS Arizona Memorial, Bowfin Submarine and Missouri Battleship and more. We originally wanted to visit Honolulu beach too but didn’t have the time.

Our internal flight outbound was at around 5am and then we returned around 20:30 so while there was plenty of time to explore, the day was exhausting. We had a wonderful guide who really added to the experience with personal anecdotes and more history than we could have found out from guide books. It was well worth the early morning and the long day.

Such Diversity

There really is so much more to do in Maui, including Kayaking, experiencing some of the Polynesian culture at the Drums of the Pacific Luau. You will enjoy traditional tribal dancing, music and song with delicious food and drink. You can really make your holiday as magical as you want. Whether you want to visit as many places as you can or simply bask in the sun of the stunning coastline Hawaii is an amazing and magical place to visit if you can.

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