Travel sites are a decent source for general information when you are traveling. I’ll admit, I do check out sites like Expedia, Yelp, or Trip Advisor, but I find people who write reviews on those sites are either very happy or very angry about their experience doing said activity. Usually the latter. You don’t want the smoothness of your trip to depend on these (usually negatively skewed) reviews, do you?
Travel sites can tell you the biggest tourist spots in Maui include the Hāna Highway, Haleakalā National Park, Lahaina, etc. What they can’t tell you is that to see all that Hāna Highway has to offer, you have to spend at least an entire day on the highway (more on that later in the post). They won’t tell you that most waterfall hikes are on private land and require a guide to navigate without getting lost. It doesn’t tell you that if you stay in Lahaina, it will most likely take you way longer than the estimated drive time to get to Haleakalā because Hawaiians have their own concept of time while driving.
This is where a travel blog, such as this one you’re reading, comes in handy. We have been there. We have learned from our planning mistakes so you don’t have to make the same ones. You’re welcome.
FOREWARNING: I am by NO MEANS an expert on Maui, or any of the other places I blog about. For that kind of information, I urge you to talk to the locals. I am simply a detail-oriented traveler who enjoys helping others with their travels through my perspective. This specific perspective may be a perspective that you, as a reader, are more familiar with.
Let’s get to it.
When I begin my interweb search for activities in a particular area, I’ll normally search a few blogs or travel articles to get different perspectives on the area. I’ll get a general idea of what there is to do and then I’ll search specific activities and that’s where more blog posts come into play. For example, pay attention to the titles of the articles but more importantly pay attention to the url located right under the title of the article. That’s where you’ll figure out what kind of site it is, e.g. blog, travel site, magazine, etc.
Example of a simple Google search for a specific activity in Maui…
I’ve labeled the different types of sites with the red arrows. Usually, the more specific you get with a search of an activity, the more blog posts come up. Try it out. It’s helped me a lot in my travels.
Anyways, here today, gone to Maui… Bad pun, I know…
So… what do you do when your friends decide to have their wedding in Maui? Go with, of course! I mean, when you’re invited, that is. Don’t just be a creep and crash it if you’re not invited. Don’t be that guy.
Moments after my friends Dakotah and Devin decided their wedding would take place in Maui, instead of their previously planned fancy schmancy Castle Rock venue, we were planning things to do. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, but could never bring myself to spend that much money on a week-long vacation. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to splurge. Maui, being the most expensive Hawaiian island (I’m sure of it), had so many tourist options it was disgusting. From what one of our tour guides mentioned, tourism is a HUGE part of the Maui economy.
Here are just a few tips I learned to help with your Maui travels.
“We Made the Mistake So You Don’t Have To” Tips:
Expect the Possibility of Rain
Our first two days in Maui it rained constantly. Therefore, I learned that it is good to make sure to book with companies who will refund your money if the weather decides to take a turn for the worst. If they don’t refund you, they’re horrible people anyway. Why would they not?! Only providing rescheduling as an option doesn’t always work for people on vacation. We were fortunate to have booked with a kayak company who refunded our full cost with absolutely no hassle. Sadly, we would have rescheduled if we had the time. Our Luau also got rained-out, but fortunately our schedule permitted us to reschedule for another night. Easy enough. Before our arrival, the possibility of getting rained-out hadn’t even crossed my mind. I should have put two and two together… tropical climate, rain… Oh well. Have a few backup indoor plans ready. Or just drink and swim in the ocean while it’s raining. I’m kidding! Or am I?…
Black Rock Beach
When trekkin’ to the infamous Black Rock for a bit of cliff diving or snorkeling, don’t forget to pack a pair of water shoes. If you do, you’ll thank me and if you don’t, you’ll be leaving with a foot full of sea urchin spines. Mother Nature is great, don’t get me wrong, but when she decides to send shooting pains through your foot and up into your leg via one of her beautiful creature’s defense mechanisms, you start to really blame her instead of your lack of planning. She doesn’t deserve that… She’s a nice lady.
CAUTION: Jump at your own risk. This little expedition isn’t for the faint-hearted, vertigo prone, or folks that are afraid of heights (or water, for that matter). The rocks are slippery and dangerous. You could die. Similarly, you could die in a car accident too, so think about that.
I’ll post a video of a few of us jumping soon!
Hike with Pasco
When in Maui, one must jump off at least one waterfall! We booked a beautiful waterfall hike through Hike Maui. If I remember correctly, this company owns a large area of land that appeared to be an old plantation of sorts. Our tour guide, Pasco, was absolutely phenomenal and his knowledge of the culture, history, geology, flora, fauna, etc. of Maui blew my mind. The love and passion he has for his job is very evident.
Speaking briefly earlier about getting lost on hikes to waterfalls, we walked past many self-guided “hikers” who looked very very lost. Maybe something about the thick jungle really throws people’s internal compass off. Our very last waterfall was so off the beaten path, there were only two locals there enjoying the swimming hole. It was awesome.
Before I get into the depths of Hāna Highway, I will first tell you this excursion can range from a simple leisurely drive to a two day exploration of waterfalls, lava tubes, beaches, swimming holes, etc. The list is expansive.
That being said, The Road to Hana, as some call it, has a wide range of activities. To experience the full array of sites, I advise doing something like staying the night at a spot like Wai’anapanapa State Park. I wish we would have done this. I sadly did not expect there would be soooo much stuff to do and places to stop. Our trip down The Road to Hana was not as long as we had hoped. We made it as far as Wai’anapanapa State Park when we had to turn around as rain clouds began to roll in and we had a flight to catch that evening.
If I ever go back, I will definitely camp and continue along past Hāna, to enjoy even more places like Ohe’o Gulch. Regardless, take in all the individual sites. Give yourself time. This will most likely be the only time you get to experience this beautiful stretch of highway and all it has to offer.
Pro tip: Bring a bathing suit and towel. Most of these waterfalls and the pools beneath them you can swim in. You don’t want to be that guy standing on a rock overlooking a 30 foot waterfall in jean shorts wondering how quickly they would dry if you jumped in.
Take in all the sights. Breathe in the clean air. Enjoy your time.
If you enjoyed this article SUBSCRIBE HERE
and get ALL the new updates on my travels!
PSSSSTTTT… You may even get some free stuff, like videos, guides, PDFs eBooks, etc. I love FREE Stuff!
Like my page on Facebook: HERE!
Follow me on the Instagram: HERE!
Subscribe on my Youtube channel: HERE!
Follow me on the Twitter: HERE!
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” -Henry Miller