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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in maui
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in maui, Bed and Breakfast!
"Maui no ka oi": that's Hawaiian for "Maui is the best", and this local motto reflects a common sentiment among natives and tourists alike: Maui really is the best part of Hawaii. With its wide beaches, lush rain forests, expansive mountaintop vistas, and humpback whales in the winter, Maui certainly makes an impressive case for itself.
Areas and Cities
Maui's Central Valley is home to much of the island's resident population with its two largest towns, and the center of island's agriculture industry, with sugar cane and pineapple fields in the saddle-like valley.
Kahului is the main gateway to Maui, and is the location of both the main airport and the harbor. Kahului is also the undisputed center of commercialism, home to a vast array of shopping centers, strip malls, and big box stores, which make it practically indistinguishable from anywhere on the US mainland. With few tourist attractions here, most tourists just pass through on their way from the airport to the resorts on the leeward coasts. However, there are some excellent budget accommodations available at motels near the airport, for a good bit cheaper than the prevailing Maui rates.
Wailuku, the county seat and government center, is a quiet former plantation town with an old time Main Street feel. It is the gateway to the Iao Needle, but has few other tourist attractions.
West Maui is the main tourist center of the island, home to most of the island's resort destinations.
Lahaina is an old whaling town on Maui's west coast, with a charming (though touristy) feel these days. Nearby are the master-planned resort areas of Kaanapali and Kapalua.
South Maui is one of the fastest growing areas on Maui, with high tech industries and a tourist center on the southwest coast.
Kihei is a recent upstart on the south coast. Beyond the omnipresent beaches and resorts, Kihei is home to Maui's small but growing high-tech industries, including a supercomputing center.
Wailea and Makena are master-planned resort areas located just south of Kihei.
Sparsely populated East Maui centers around the village of Hana and the winding road that leads to it.
Isolated Hana is located on Maui's eastern tip surrounded by dense rainforests. The Highway to Hana is a tourist attraction in its own right, as it winds for hours through green valleys, past waterfalls, and over one-lane bridges.
Located in the foothills of Haleakala, the area known as Upcountry is a ranching area, and its cooler temperatures also lend itself to specialized agriculture.
Pukalani and Makawao are the two largest communities of Upcountry Maui. Pukalani has a rural residential feel to it, while Makawao is home to larger lots and ranches and a funky town center.
Kula is also home to large ranches, and is home to the only winery on Maui, Tedeschi Vineyards.
Maui is shaped something like a figure eight turned on its side. The massive volcanic bulk of Haleakala anchors the island in the east, while the West Maui Mountains rise in the west. The two volcanic mountains meet in a narrow saddle-like valley heavily cultivated in sugarcane and pineapples. Because of this, the island also has the nickname "The Valley Isle."
Maui has a population of about 150,000 people, about the same as the Big Island but in a fraction of the area.
Kahului Airport (OGG) is the main airport for the island of Maui, and the second largest commercial airport in the state. It is a secondary hub for Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines, which provides interisland service to Kahului from the other major airports in the state. Several major U.S. airlines also provide non-stop service to Maui from the West Coast and beyond.
To get to Lahaina and Kaanapali, where most major hotels are located, exit the airport and follow route 380 to its junction with route 30, and turn left on route 30 toward Lahaina. For Kihei and Wailea, follow the above instructions and turn left on route 31 about a mile from the route 380 junction.
Maui doesn't have much of a public transportation system so you'll probably want to rent a car. Fortunately, renting a car in Hawaii is much cheaper than anywhere else in the United States.
Honoapiilani Highway (Route 30) is the road to Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua; it runs between West Maui and Wailuku around majestic cliffs and along white sand beaches.
Hana Highway (Routes 36 and 360), the "road to Hana," runs from Kahului to Hana along the north shore of Maui. The 56 mile road winds along the cliffs along the three-hour journey and in many places is one lane wide.
Haleakala Highway (Routes 37, 377, and 378) is the road that leads to Pukalani and Makawao in upcountry Maui and takes you to the summit of Haleakala.
Humpback whales breed off the coast of Maui from about December to March. Whalewatching cruises make frequent trips, though often the whales are easily visible from shore.
Haleakala National Park offers alpine wilderness and stunning views of Maui and beyond (from the summit you can see five of the eight main islands, more than are visible from anywhere else in Hawaii).
Wainapanapa State Park has black sand beach, sea arch, sea caves, a small blowhole to see.
Snorkelling and scuba diving are popular. Many tour boats run out to the spectacular volcanic atoll Molokini a few miles offshore. There are also plenty of beaches, especially in the west and northwest, where you can simply wade in and get to excellent snorkelling spots just off shore. There are several local shops where you can rent snorkel gear by the day or week.
There are many tour groups that will take you on mountain bike trips down Haleakala. If you can ride a bicycle, you can do this. It's a 26 mile trip, but you only have to pedal for about a quarter mile. Generally, there are trips that start with watching the sun rise at the top of Haleakala, then trips that start later in the morning. Be aware that for the sunrise trips, you'll probably end up leaving your hotel at 2AM, or even earlier if you're staying in the Lahaina or Kapalua area. It takes some time to drive to the top of the mountain, get everyone equipped, etc. Your tour group will probably lend you some type of jacket and gloves, but plan on being cold while you're waiting for nature's show -- the overnight temperature will probably be in the 40s or 30s. If you have a spiritual nature and think that watching the sun rise from the top of a 10,000 foot mountain will be a memorable experience for you, do the sunrise trip. A warning however: many days the top of the mountain will be covered in clouds and you may not see as far as you might like. If you're the practical type and feel like you've seen enough sunrises, get a good night's sleep and take the later trip.
Hike on trails in Haleakala National Park starting from the visitor center near the top to dormant volcanic cinder cones.
Take the road trip on Hwy 36 (Hana Hwy) stopping on the road to see waterfalls, lush greenery and beaches. A private aroboretum and botanical garden (with an entrance fee) called "Garden of Eden" around the 10-mile marker has peacocks, bamboo gardens and view of Puohokamoa Falls. The round-trip will be difficult to complete in one day, so stay over in Hana to break it into two days. Wainapanapa State Park, 2 miles east of Hana, has cabins to offer. There are other private nicer places to stay, also in and around Hana.
When departing from OGG airport for the U.S. Mainland, all baggage must be inspected by Hawaii State Department of Agriculture inspectors at the airport. Be advised that fresh fruits (with the exception of pineapples and treated papayas) are prohibited from leaving the islands to prevent the spread of fruit flies.