Fondly referred to as “The Valley Isle” and sometimes as “The Magic Isle”, Maui is the second largest island in the state of Hawaii. It is a popular destination with visitors to Hawaii because it is thought to be a happy mid-point between Oahu, with its bustling night life, and sleepy Lanai. Indeed, Maui offers a good balance between country and city with its world class resorts and breathtaking waterfalls, which are nestled into verdant cliffs.
While some visitors come with a carpe diem attitude and no pre-made plans, most guests to the island have an idea of what they want to do, if not a fully planned itinerary. Unsurprisingly, some of the best and most popular activities are water based. Among the most popular activities are beach hopping, snorkeling at Molokini or Turtle Town, and participating in a dinner or cocktail cruise.
Beach hopping is ideal for everyone, from the oldest to the youngest traveler. After all, it only requires a little patience for the drive and a map or GPS! There is little cost involved and whether you want to swim or relax on the shore under an umbrella, you can. From West Maui to East Maui, and everywhere in between, there is a beautiful beach for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for black sand beaches, red sand beaches, or beaches where Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles like to rest, you’re in luck because they can all be found on Maui!
As for the other activities, like snorkeling or participating in a cocktail cruise, there are many companies that host these water based tours. How to choose which company to book with? Well, you may want to choose based on location—some depart from Lahaina Harbor, while others begin their excursions from less crowded Maalaea Harbor. It is also advisable to look into how long their cruises are and, if food is served, what is offered for their meals.
Snorkeling on Maui is often cited as being the best snorkeling experience by visitors due to the abundance of tropical fish and attractive coral that live in their clear tropical waters. In addition to curious tropical fish, visitors have often seen Humpback whales and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles while snorkeling, particularly when visiting Molokini or Turtle Town. For adventurers who love the idea of being out on the water but don’t necessarily enjoy swimming, a dinner or cocktail cruise is the perfect alternative. Enjoy tropical cocktails and a delicious dinner while leisurely sailing across Maui’s sparkling blue water, and if your cruise happens to fall within whale watching season you may even see some of these majestic, awe-inspiring creatures in person!
While water based activities are among the most popular, they are by no means the only type of activities available on Maui. Maui is also home to great land based tours, including the Road to Hana and viewing the sunrise at ethereal Haleakala National Park, which is simply magical and is a must for any travel bucket list. As with water based tour companies, there are companies that will take you to Haleakala or even to Hana, with its narrow winding road!
Maui has something for everyone, whether they want to stay on land and go shopping at one of Paia’s trendy boutiques, sight-see at landmarks, like Iao Valley, or enjoy a day out on the water snorkeling or whale watching.