Just back from a week long trip to Maui. I love it there! Plenty of sun, a little bit of rain, lots of snorkeling and a rainbow or two.
After weeks of miserable cold and rain on the “Wet Coast.” It was time to head somewhere tropical. With just a short stretch of time off, it made the most sense to go somewhere relatively close to Vancouver with non-stop direct flights, a familiar landscape and tried, tested and truly excellent snorkeling …… it’s not my first trip to Maui.
A little bit of Maui …………
Maui vacations are typically car-centric. I’ve tried doing the back packer thing in the past and there is no question that having access to a vehicle provides more freedom. The public transit is getting much better between Lahaina and Kihei (they actually keep a schedule now) but getting to places that are farther off the beaten track is a bit tricky without a car.
Maui tip #1 Reserve your car well in advance. Its the only way to secure the car you want at the best price. I’ve witnessed the consequences of failing to do this …… of the 10 or so rental agencies near the airport, only a single car was available at a premium price.
Snorkelling was the first order of business after getting settled into the exotic Makai Inn. I’m not an expert snorkeler by any stretch and I have never gone diving but I do love to paddle around spotting colourful creatures under the water. Here’s a link to My snorkel map which shows some pretty great spots. And here’s a sampling of what was beneath the surface ….
Also of note, were the whales breaching off Honolua point. While swimming in the bay, I shot some terrible under water video with my gopro hero2 (topic for a future blog) and when reviewing it afterwards noted that the camera’s microphone picked up the sounds of Humpback whale songs. That was a pleasant surprise.
Maui tip #2 Bring a long sleeved sun shirt or rash guard to wear in the water. Sun screen is poisonous to the fish and corals.
Maui tip #3 I’ve been to Maui two other times, in September/October and November. It was HOT and HUMID! March, not so much. Not too hot unless you’re standing in direct sun and much less humid than other times of the year.
The Road to Hana is a scenic and very winding road through a lush tropical rain forest. There are numerous waterfalls, dream like vistas and about 60 bridges many of which are single lane. It takes the whole day to go 85km from Kahului to Hana and back. In my opinion though, the end of the road is Haleakala National park which is another 11 miles past Hana. The hike to Waimoku falls is a “must do,” as is a dip in the Ohe’o Gulch. I have only ever taken one day to do this adventure but the next time I go I will certainly be making it a two day excursion with an over night stay in Hana. There is just too much to experience in one day.
Maui tip #4 Take 2 days to explore the Road to Hana. Take your time and enjoy the scene.
Maui tip #5 If there are more than 3 cars following behind you on the road to Hana, it’s time to pull over at the next pull-out and let them pass.
Scenes along the Road to Hana …..
Maui tip #6 All beaches in Maui are public, including those that front major resorts. Resorts must provide public access to these beaches so find yourself a parking spot and walk right in.
Haleakala crater is a complete contrast to the rest of Maui. It is a cold, dry, windy moonscape and at 10,000+ feet is usually above the clouds. It is the only place on earth where the silversword plant lives. Unfortunately it is evident that global warming is threatening their habitat. I have never witnessed a sunset from Haleakala but I have seen some awe inspiring sun rises and would recommend them to anyone. This requires committing to a 3:30am wake up call and on the road by 4:00am. It is worth it!
Maui tip #7 Dress warmly if you are going up to Haleakala. It is winter up there. I am not kidding! The car thermometer read 28°C in Lahaina and dropped to 6°C at the summit of Haleakala. There were ice crystals on the ground!
Some places are worth visiting again and again and again …..
Maui, I will be back ……..