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Aloha: six days in Maui - Hawaii

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii. it is a tangle of pretty contradictions, with a warm day at one of the white sandy beaches and a freezing sunrise at Mt Haleakala just two hours away.

Culturally, it's a combination of artists, good chefs, Hawaiian cowboys, and surfers.

#nature #maui #hawaii #beach #tropical
Napili bay beach was always quiet and still!

The first thing first is to make sure you check the Hawaiian government website requirements and see if you need to provide a negative test as well as if you'll have to quarantine for two weeks. There is always an update on the site, so make sure you check it regularly before you go ahead and make your travel arrangements.

If you are vaccinated, all you have to do is upload your vaccination card to the site prior to your trip. If you are flying from a US airport, they have people working at the departure gates to check your vaccination card and provide you with a badge that you should keep on your wrist until you leave the airport in Maui. This badge will save you long lines in Kahului airport. So get to the airport early to get it.

What to do in Maui:

  • Haleakala summit:

One of Maui’s most memorable experiences is seeing the Haleakala sunrise from the top of the volcano which is almost 10,000 feet (3000 meters) above sea level.

A sunrise view at Mt Halaekala - Maui - Sept. 2021

From here you can see the incredible views east of the morning sun, and watch as the morning light spreads dramatically across the volcano’s crater floor.

The tour was about eight hours in total and it took us two hours & a half to get from Lahaina to the summit.

Don’t rush off too quickly after sunrise, especially if you want some great pictures. The colors of Haleakala Valley will grow more vibrant as contrast becomes greater, about 15-20 minutes after sunrise.

The summit of Haleakala is always cold – Don’t do as I did, I wasn't fully prepared for the cold and took only a warm sweater instead of a winter jacket, gloves, hat, and a blanket‼️ So please dress in layers. Take a winter jacket and bring a blanket. Trust me you'll need it!

I invite you to watch this video and enjoy these outstanding sunrise views with a Hawaiian chant by all the tour guides that were presentwhen the sun crested above the horizon.

It was absolutely wonderful and below is the lyrics of the chant:

"E ala e, ka lā i ka hikina,

Awaken/Arise, the sun in the east

I ka moana, ka moana hohonu,

From the ocean, the deep ocean,

Pi‘i ka lewa, ka lewa nu‘u,

Climbing to heaven, the highest heaven,

I ka hikina, aia ka lā, e ala e!

In the east, there is the sun, arise!"

  • Lahaina:

Lahaina has played an important role throughout Hawaiian history from pre-contact to the monarchy days as explorers, missionaries and whalers arrived, followed by the plantation era of immigrant laborers through World War II.

Lahaina saw a renewed interest from celebrities as they flocked to its serene shores in the 1970s. And today, Lahaina keeps its vibrant stories alive.

Today Lahaina streets are stocked with restaurants, souvenir shops and many galleries. Lahaina is rife with tourist traps but you can still find lot of authentic history . It's also a great place to stay, you'll find hotels, bed & breakfasts lodging and many ocean front condos.

  • kaanapali:

Farther north along the west of maui coast is the island first master planned destination resort. along 2.5 miles of sun-kissed golden beach , pricey hotels with a landscape parkway and a beachfront walking path.

Kaanapali beach

Kaanapali is popular with families and especially teenagers, who like all the activities.

  • Napili:

Nāpili (referring to the pili grasses that once flourished in the area) is marked by a string of small and inviting bays known collectively in Hawaiian as Nāhono a Pi’ilani (the bays of Pi’ilani, who was a great chief of Māui).

Located just nine miles north of Lāhainā, Nāpili offers some of the most beautiful coastline views in West Māui along with a variety of activities, shopping and dining experiences!

the temperature in Napili is at least 5 degrees cooler than Lahaina, this tiny neighborhood feels like a world unto itself.

Actually it's here where we've stayed during our gateway. It has the most calm bay with crystal clear water and white sand beach. It's also tucked with many restaurants, food-trucks and grocery stores.

  • Makena:

Located in south of Maui with the hot sunny coastline, Makena Beach is popular with sun worshippers. Rain rarely falls here and temperatures are around 80 degrees F, 28 degrees Celcius year-round.

Makena is a luxurious wilderness and is an end -of-thee-road kind of place. It's a long drive from here to anywhere on Maui. If you are looking for an activity-filled vacation, you probably should stay elsewhere, or you'll spend most of your vacation in the car. But if you want. a quiet, relaxing break, where the biggest trip of the day is from your bed to the beach, Makena is the place.

  • Honokowai beach park

Honokowai means “bay for drawing water”; in the old days there were freshwater springs at the water’s edge. The beach was also said to have been a canoe landing.

This park is a convenient place for a beach picnic, and there are several great takeout joints in Honokowai – in fact there is more inexpensive takeout in the immediate area of Honokowai than anywhere else in West Maui.

It also has playgrounds, picnic tables and BBQ’s

We just happened to stumble across this Beach Park at a sunset time and were pleasantly surprised by the open areas and the lovely views of the Pacific .

Kanaha beach:

Directly next to the Kahului airport lies Maui's most hidden beach known as Kanaha Beach Park. A mile-long stretch of green grass lawns and tree-lined soft white sand beaches, it is a world-renown windsurfing and kite-boarding spot, attracting both experienced athletes and beginners. On any given windy afternoon there are swirls of butterfly-like sails off-shore. Kanaha also has some fine swimming, and though popular with locals on weekends, is wonderfully uncrowded during the weekdays.

We came here to enjoy the beach for the last time before flying back home. The beach has excellent free parking, bathrooms, tables, soft sand, great views of the western mountains, kite surfing and windsurfing. And did I say it's right near the airport?

  • A hula show :

On its surface, hula is the storytelling dance of the Hawaiian Islands. As with all of Hawaiian culture, when you are fortunate enough to learn more about it, much deeper, more powerful and empowering truths may be revealed.

Hula can be paired with chants or contemporary music, slow and sentimental in tempo or fast and energetic. But no matter its style, it is all part of a cultural practice of sharing a trove of stories that connect dancers and audiences to the foundation of Hawaiian ancestral knowledge. Hula animates history, genealogy, prophecy, and the tales of those who came before.

Hula has many roots, with various traditions offering different origins of the art – reflecting the beauty of the Hawaiian respect for multiple perspectives in a way that does not need to be mutually exclusive.

Where to stay in Maui:

Since I miss the beach so much, we opt for a hotel with sandy beach access and was located just nine miles north of Lāhainā. Nāpili offers some of the most beautiful coastline views in West Māui along with a variety of activities, shopping, and dining experiences!

Nāpili (referring to the pili grasses that once flourished in the area) is marked by a string of small and inviting bays known collectively in Hawaiian as Nāhono a Pi’ilani (the bays of Pi’ilani, who was a great chief of Māui).

#napili #maui
A driftwood art at Kauluku beach!

We stayed at Napili Sunset Beach Front Resort. Located beachfront of Napili Bay, this hotel offers self-catering apartments with equipped kitchens and free wifi. The location is just perfect if you are looking to unwind during your stay in Maui. You have a parking space just in front of the apartment. Book your stay at:

Where to eat in Maui:

  • Pacific'O restaurant:

This a such a lovely restaurant right on the beach. With a Farm to table concept. The food was nicely prepared and so delicious.

Enjoying dinner on a beautiful evening watching the sun set ….it does not get any better than this! Keep in mind to book your reservation weeks in advance. To make reservation, here is the link:

  • Lahaina Grill:

Food was amazing and can see why it was voted # 1 in Maui for so many years. We went here for my husband birthday and the server was fun and made us feel like part of the family. Highly recommend it but hang on to your wallet because it is going to be fun ride!

Dessert sampler at Lahaina grill!

Each course is prepared with a great deal of Aloha and a focus down to the detail.

It also has a gorgeous interior which so well fits to the overall impression. Book it in advance here:

  • Olowalu Juice Stand:

A picturesque little spot on the road to Lahaina. Everything they had looked amazing. It offers delicious smoothies reasonably priced.

So many flavors which few I’ve never heard of like lilikoi. You can mix and match for a fun twist or what about a pineapple juice served right in the pineapple!?

Plants and flowers in Maui:

Maui has 17 of the 20 known worldwide climate zones, so you can grow just about any kind of flower that exists. Many tropical flowers from all over the world are in Maui. Because Maui is such a tropical paradise for plants, many of the non-native plants brought here have gone wild, so not all flowers are native to Maui or Hawaii.

Pictured below is the Red Ginger. It is a native Malaysian plant with bright red bracts. These look like the bloom, but the actual flower is the small white flower at the top. Ginger grows thick underground stems and its flowers emit a subtle fragrance.

Getting around:

The simplest way to see Maui is by rental car; yes after Covid the prices went absolutely high but that is the only way to see places in the island as public transport is almost inexistant. All of the major car rental companies have agencies on Maui, we were lucky we could secure a good deal with Avis the last minute before our trip.

Last photo in our trip at Kanaha Beach

Aloha (ah-lo-ha) it is two words: alo meaning “in front” or “face” and ha meaning “breath” - Hawaii’s most common expression of love or compassion and greeting of hello or goodbye

So, Aloha and stay tuned for more details about my next trip.


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