(and only 2 are beaches!)
Some of the most picturesque place on Maui are along its North Shore and the best and likely easiest way to check them out is by moped! Many places in Lahaina rent mopeds and the North Shore is a short drive from there. Your first 3 must-see spots can be done all in one day along the North Shore.
12) Olivine Pools
The seeming stillness, but latent danger are part of the draw and thrill of the Olivine Pools. On the North Shore you will pull off the highway, descending lava rock, overlooking the clearest and most perfect pools of water next to the unforgiving ocean. Only enter the pools at low tide and low winds because as signs will tell you, it is not unheard of for tourists to get washed out to see with a freak wave. Safety first! They can be appreciated just as well from the shore.
11) Slaughterhouse Beach
The views from above and below the water are unparalleled at Slaughterhouse Beach. We found the best snorkelling on the island here, swimming with sea turtles on every excursion.
10) Nakahele Blow hole
You will find this exhilarating natural phenomenon along the North Shore of the island. The pressure of the water being forced through lava rocks creates this huge spout of water, when in high winds can reach up to 30 feet high! The spray is a great way to cool off, but don’t get too close. water at that speed and pressure can do some serious damage.
9) Hana Hwy
The best way to experience the beautiful chaos that is Maui is without a doubt driving the Hana Highway. Winding its way through jungles and waterfalls, cliffs and valleys, you haven’t really experienced Maui until you have done the Hana Highway. Just make sure you have a safe, experienced driver so the hairpin turns and single car width roads.
8) Venus Pool
One of our favourite stops along the Hana Hwy is known locally as Waioka Pond, and best visited at sunrise. The peace and quiet of the Venus Pool at sunrise is bested only by the reflection of the rising sun on the still, unbroken surface of the pool.
If you get here early enough you may get it all to yourself. If you do, climb up the large rock between the pool and the ocean and tell me what you find! But keep it sacred for others. If it doesn’t a bring a tear to your eye I am convinced you are not human.
7) Red Sand Beach
The effort it takes to get to Red Sand Beach off the Hana Hwy is well worth it. The deep red sand and bright blue water create the perfect contrast of colours.
The seclusion does not hurt either.
6) Bamboo Forest and Falls
The peaceful stroll through this jade paradise is the perfect introduction to your climb up multiple layers of waterfalls. Don’t you listen to TLC, you do you.
5) Whale watching/ kayaking
This is especially relevant from the end of January to beginning of March. The humpback whales migrate to Maui in this season to mate and birth their young. The magnificent sight of these whales breaching and flipping will stay with you forever. On a boat tour from Lahaina you will almost definitely see the whales in this season, and while kayaking it isn’t as sure a bet, it is a much more intimate experience if you do come across a mother and calf.
4) Hike Launiupoko Valley
One of Maui’s best kept secrets, you will find the Launiupoko Valley between the largest two mountains of the West Maui Mountain range. Since the Iao Valley is often or perhaps even permanently closed for flooding, this is a great alternative, but still poses dangers in heavy rain so do NOT visit then!
On a sunny day you will have the opportunity to see gorgeous tropical plants like wild coffee trees, guava trees, wild ginger and giant agave cactus! But in order to keep it the jungle paradise that it is, all I can say is head to the highest most point of Punakea Loop and keep going up!
3) Haleakala Summit/ National Park
One of the most well-known things to do in Maui, and its for a reason! Whether you choose to go for sunset or sunrise, or to hike the crater, the views will have you literally on cloud 9.
2) Drum Circle on Little Beach
I know I said only 2 beaches, but this is more about what happens on the beach than the beach itself. Due to its isolation, Little Beach is the main nude beach on Maui and a trip to Maui would not be complete without a visit here.
On Sundays hippies gather for the drum circle followed by fire dancing once the sun goes down. If you are lucky, the whales may put on a show.
1) La Perouse Bay
The southern most tip of Maui is definitely one of the coolest. Wear durable shoes for your stroll through the jagged lava fields, left behind from volcanic eruptions from hundreds of years ago!
Then be prepared to take them off again to walk through sandy beaches and secret coves. If you go early enough in the morning, you may even see dolphins!
We want to know what we missed! What was your favourite place in Maui?
Stay tuned for our list of places you Must eat in Maui!