It is hard to believe it was 26 years ago the last time I was in Maui. I was on a travel consultants “FAM” trip (a familiarization trip) to visit Oahu & Maui with other travel consultants on a non stop whirlwind 2 islands in 4 days of touring everything from basic hotels to luxury hotels along with escorted trips to various sight seeing destinations.
I was in awe of Maui’s pristine beauty. At that time the villages were not as commercialized as Oahu (Honolulu) and it was just a different vibe. The landscape was different, the people were different, the pace of life was different and even the “locals” were different. The color of the ocean was varying depending on which side of the island you were on. This photo taken from Kanappali Shores region looking at the island of Lanai in the background. There are so many resorts and condos available in this region for every type of budget and activity level.
From Kapalua to Lahaina to Wailea to the other side of the island in Hana to experience each area of Maui is a history/cultural lesson in itself. Many people want to see as many islands as possible. I recommend spending a week in Maui. In addition to the long flight from the mid-west or East coast, you need time to have the ability to explore the island’s vast scenic beauty as getting to the other side of Maui to Hana is a half day trip itself. There is everything from snorkeling, to scuba diving, to helicopter tours over water falls, to jeep tours, to shopping.
Fun fact: “Legends say the demigod Maui pulled the Hawaiian Islands from the sea and lassoed the sun atop Haleakala, the island’s highest peak. The island of Maui was named after this mythological being, perhaps because the shape of the island is said to resemble his head and body.” via http://www.gohawaii.com/en/maui/about/history/
An experience I recommend for everyone is a Sunrise tour to the top of the dormant volcano, Mt Haleakala, with the option of bicycling back down. To ride on the winding road to the top watching the change of vegetation from lush green to baron to being “above the clouds” then watch the sunrise is purely magical. If you are not up for “coasting” down the mountain on the bicycle, there are guided van tours that take you round trip. I highly recommend a layering of clothes as the temperatures down near the ocean are much different than at the top of the volcano.
The cost of living is very high in Hawaii especially Maui. I recommend getting a condo or at least a suite/hotel that has a refrigerator and microwave so you can go to the local grocery and make as many meals as possible if your hotel/condo does not have a meal plan. Groceries are double the price than in the states and eating out is culture shock on the prices.
Everyone should get the thrill of experiencing a luau and learn more about the culture behind a luau and take time to visit and “get to know the locals”. Another fun fact on luau’s: “Hawaiians called their important feasts an ‘aha‘aina (‘aha – gathering and ‘aina – meal). These feasts marked special occasions — such as reaching a significant life milestone, victory at war, the launching of a new canoe or a great endeavor. They believed in celebrating these occasions with their friends and families.” Via http://www.polynesia.com/history-of-the-luau.html#.V1alofkrLrc
The wonderful memory I have of Hawaii is the feeling of being in “Paradise”.