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3 days in Maui itinerary

Our Maui Itinerary

When I started planning this around the world I was excited to visit new places. Hawaii always seemed so far away and a bit inaccessible. So I was delighted that we fitted it into this trip. Of course, as I’m sure you know, Hawaii is the only island state in the USA. Basically, it’s situated about 2000 miles off the west coast in the vast Pacific Ocean. In fact, it’s made up of lots of small islands so visiting Hawaii means making tough choices on which ones to visit. Eventually, we decided on Maui, Big Island and Oahu. So, in this post, I’m going to tell you about our 3 days in Maui itinerary

The weather was fantastic when we arrived, with clear blue skies. Firstly, we picked up our hire car from Dollar with minimal issues. We waited in a bit of a queue but not too bad. Then a short shuttle bus to the garage but nothing unusual. We had a small Nissan Versa which was fine on the Maui roads which are really quite quiet.

We stayed in a hotel in Kihei which is 8 miles south of the airport. Apart from one small wrong turn, we found it without any problems. It is right on the beach at the southernmost point of Kihei beach and right on the beach.

3 days in Maui itinerary
Sunset in Maui

After settling into our room, we headed out for some supplies. We found a local supermarket to stock up on essentials – Twizzlers, Choc Chip Cookies and local beer. They have their own brewing company on the island. We got back to the hotel just in time to go down to the beach to see the sun setting. Pretty impressive, I think you’ll agree. A fabulous way to start our 3 days in Maui.

The Road to Hana

3 days in Maui Waterfall
Road to Hana Waterfall

Our first full day exploring during our 3 days in Maui. We set off early this morning for a drive along the north coast of the island. The road to Hana runs along the northern coast of the island. Officially it is shown on the map as simply Hana Highway. There are very few roads on Maui and this one is particularly scenic and well worth taking the time to drive. It’s also very narrow and windy so allow plenty of time. Along the way we stopped off to view waterfalls and beaches:

Road to Hana Beach
Road to Hana Beach

Some of the beaches on the North Shore are famous for their surfing waves – not so big today but there were a few wind and kite surfers about.

3 days in Maui itinerary
Coastal View Maui

Caves

Maui Caves
Maui Caves

It really is a beautiful island. Then we went underground to see some caves created by lava. This was really cool. We were given flashlights and then left to walk down some steps into the cave tunnels. You are just left to wander down through the caves on your own. Apart from our flashlights, the caves were completely dark and they stretch for quite a distance. 

Maui Caves
Inside the cave

Flag

Hawaiian Flag
Hawaiian Flag

There is an official flag of Hawaii which you see flying all over the island. Note the inclusion of the Union Jack which relates to a historic British connection with the islands. In fact, it is the only US state flag to include a foreign nation’s flag.

Lao Valley

Lao Valley
Lao Valley

For day 2, we decided on a more relaxing start so we took walk along the beach. Even early in the morning, it is very warm here and it was even hot enough to get Paul to go for a dip in the sea. We don’t often get an opportunity to swim in the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately, the resort of Kehei where we are staying is very sheltered and the waves much less fierce than those in other parts of the island. Even so, the early morning surf is quite lively although once you are past the breaking waves the water is lovely.

Since neither of us had thought to take any water with us we headed back to the hotel for drinks and then took a drive to the Iao valley. This weekend is a holiday in the USA leading up to President’s Day on Monday so it is pretty busy everywhere and it was a slow drive along the coastal road. It is also World Whale Day apparently and Kehei had a Whale Parade this morning and some kind of fete in the beachfront gardens. This meant that there were lots and lots of extra people about but heading out of Kehei towards the centre of the Island it was much quieter.

Lao Valley
Lao Valley

The Iao Valley is Maui’s most sacred site and is also known as the ‘Valley of Supreme Light’ and ‘Valley of Dawning Inspiration’. Such hyperbole in the tourist information tends to lead to a rather underwhelming experience but the Iao Valley is pretty impressive. Kalaeoliki, high chief of the Mauris in the 1400, declared the valley the sacred burial place of Hawaiian royalty.

Lao Needle

Lao Needle
Lao Needle

Standing on the bridge crossing the river, in the centre of the valley, affords excellent views of Iao Needle – a 1200 foot monolith that stands 2250 feet above sea level.

Lao Valley Stream
Lao Valley Stream

There are several pathways through the valley and the shaded area were particularly nice today as it was really hot in the sun.

Lao Valley Butterfly
Lao Valley Butterfly

To the Beach again

We finished the afternoon off relaxing on the beach again. The waves were much calmer this afternoon and the sea is so clear you can see right down to the sand. The beach was much busier this afternoon although nothing like the crowds we used to see in the Canaries. One poor sunbather had to be taken away by the emergency services – we’re not sure why but a lot of security, firemen and paramedics swarmed the area and carried someone away. Hopefully, it was just a case of sunstroke and not something more serious.

Well, that is pretty much it for our 3 days in Maui itinerary. We have quite a few cans of island beer to drink before we leave tomorrow as we are travelling on hand luggage only which means no liquids over 100ml. Hawaiian Airlines charge $25 per checked bag and we’re far too mean to pay that. We managed to get our wheelie cases and backpacks on as hand luggage for the flight here but it does mean putting anything vaguely liquid – including toothpaste etc – into plastic bags for inspection at the airport. Still, it is worth it for the saving.

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