Our recent cruise of the Hawaiian Islands had two full days in Maui. Maui is a beautiful island with varied terrain, weather, and scenery. Two days is not enough time to fully explore the entire island but it is a great way to see some of the highlights.
Our first day on Maui, we took a small group tour of the Road to Hana which was an unforgettable adventure. We were surrounded by lush rainforest, cascading waterfalls, and stunning coastal views. Waianapanapa Beach was our favorite stop with a black sand beach and a nearby sea cave to explore. We also enjoyed seeing the enormous waves crash on the rocky cliffs. We also saw numerous waterfalls along our way with some great opportunities for photos. Be prepared with rain ponchos/umbrellas because this part of the island tends to be rainy on and off. One thing to note is that the town of Hana is nothing special and is not the reason for the trip. The journey is the experience.
We chose to take a tour over driving ourselves for many reasons. As the only adult I would have had to drive the entire time and therefore would have missed out on the many breathtaking views along the way. Also, the winding road with one lane bridges and blind turns is hard to navigate. Our driver was a pro and knew all the blind turns and one lane bridges so was able to plan in advance, slow down, and honk when necessary to let people know that we were coming. This kept us feeling a lot more calm with the sharp cliff at the edge of the road. And he knew when and where to find the sea turtles that were lounging on the beach. Also, even though my 6 year old daughter really enjoyed the scenery, she needed to be kept entertained at some times and I was able to do that since I didn’t have to drive. The negative about taking a tour is that you have to stay on their schedule and if I had a choice I would have spent more than an hour at Waianapanapa State Park.
The second day we took a relaxing beach break at Wailea the best beach area in Maui. Wailea is a stunning destination full of breathtaking beaches and luxurious resorts. With its beautiful golden sand, crystal blue waters, and incredible sunsets, Wailea is the perfect place to relax and explore. From snorkeling and kayaking to paddleboarding and surfing, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in the warm, turquoise waters. Many of the most upscale resorts are in Wailea. It is often sunny in Wailea even when it is rainy on most of the rest of the island and that was our experience on our beach day.
Maui is a beautiful island and I wish that we had time to explore more. We did not get to visit the resort areas of Lahaina and Kaanapali. We did not have a chance to go whale watching which is typically great in winter. And we did not get to see the sunrise from Haleakala Crater. But this gives us reason to return to Maui again!