The Hawaiian island of Maui is a destination for anyone who enjoys nature. With bamboo forests, ever flowing waterfalls, golden sand beaches, and the beautiful tropical scenery along the road to Hana – there’s something for everyone. Enjoy a day relaxing on the beach, go diving with sea turtles, or hike into its gorgeous forests, you’ll never be lacking for something spectacular to enjoy.
The Goal of Our Trip to Maui
We had originally come to Maui for a wedding, but wanted to spend some extra time enjoying the luscious beauty the island had to offer. Putting together a list of the must do’s in Maui, we planned out a trip everyone was jealous of. From diving with the giant sea turtles that flock to the warm island waters, to hiking amidst its gorgeous island forests and swimming in its beautiful waterfall fed pools, we were able to fit in all the best things Maui has to offer.
Check out our itinerary to help you plan your trip to Maui – and see the very best that Maui has to offer.
5 Day Itinerary for Maui
Flight to Maui
Because of the time difference and the long flight, this day was spent mostly on a plane. Landing in Maui in the evening, we had time for dinner and then back to the hotel to sleep.
*Note* We actually had an extra day in Maui for the wedding, but because that’s not really relevant, I have removed it from the itinerary.
Secret Waterfall Hike
This was by far my favorite day in Maui – and every single day was phenomenal if that tells you anything. We signed up with Maui’s Private Guides for a day long excursion hike like no other. We hiked through Maui’s gorgeous tropical forest, ate fresh fruit our guide picked from the trees, swam in numerous waterfall pools, and eventually ended up at a remote waterfall, with not a single soul but ourselves to enjoy it.
This waterfall was stunning, to say the least. After hiking a couple hours to get close, you then have to leave your stuff behind (our guide stayed with it all) and swim down a long causeway to a small trickling waterfall. From there, we climbed up this waterfall which lead to a small rocky pathway. As we walked along the rocks, the cavern opened up to reveal a giant waterfall with a large pool of water. This is the only way in to this waterfall – and we were the only people there. We enjoyed some time alone marveling at its beauty and swimming in its refreshing waters.
Learn more about hiking Maui’s Bamboo forest.
On our way back, we also stopped at Kahaluu Beach to see a large group of sea turtles – 11 in total – sun bathing on its shores. After a quick photo op, it was time to say good bye and return to our car.
Our original plan had been to dive the Molokini Crater, but unfortunately due to weather conditions we were not able to take a boat all the way out there. Instead, we took a dive boat to the cliff edges for some fantastic reef diving.
The day included 2 dives and despite not getting to do Molokini Crater, it did not disappoint in the least bit. The reefs were full of fish, and the coral was beautiful. But the best part were the giant sea turtles who came to say hello. These turtles were much larger than the ones we’d seen at the beach the day before – all of them were easily larger than myself. I’ve gone diving in a number of locations, and Maui easily had the largest and easiest to find turtles I’ve ever seen.
The Road to Hana
After reading a lot of things about driving the Road to Hana (aka the Road to Divorce) we decided the best way to experience it, was not to drive it ourselves. Instead, impressed with the amazing service of Maui’s Private Guides, we decided to let them take us on this beautiful journey, and I’m so glad we did. Having a guide do all the driving took the pressure off of us and allowed us to fully enjoy the beautiful sights along the way.
Our guide, Brian, drove us the full way around (in reverse order) and was full of knowledge and information that really added to the trip. We stopped numerous times to enjoy some of best sights the trip had to offer. There were so many waterfalls, and the scenery was lush and picturesque. We stopped at the blank sand beach and went swimming in its nearby caves. We even stopped to open a coconut we had spotted and enjoyed its fresh juicy goodness.
The Road to Hana is a Maui must see, regardless of how you choose to do it. Learn more about driving the Road to Hana – wether you take a tour (group or private) or drive it yourself you’re sure to find something useful.
Haleakalā Sunrise & Flight Home
For our final day we picked a flight leaving Maui late enough in the day to allow us the chance to see the absolutely gorgeous sunrise above the clouds at Mount Haleakalā. It does require you getting up very early – but it was worth every second. The sunrise was absolutely stunning.
We were up at 3:00AM just to make the long drive all the way up to the top in time to see the sun rise. There were huge crowds waiting right near the parking lot, but we noticed a small path off to the right and we decided to follow it – and I’m glad we did! At the end of the path was another viewing area. But instead of being surrounded by people (easily over 100) there were only a handful of other people. With plenty of space to enjoy the beauty without the distracting crowds, it was the perfect place to be.
Get tips and information about how to best enjoy the beautiful Haleakala Sunrise.
After enjoying the sunrise, it was time to head back down and then off to the airport for our flight home.
Our Journey Through Maui
What We Packed for Maui
- Carry On Sized Suitcase – When I don’t use a backpack, I use this suitcase by Travel Pro because not only is it great, but Amazon sells it at a good price.
- Daypack – We did a bunch of hiking, so a daypack was a must. I love my Osprey Daylight.
- Water Bottle/Hydration Reservoir – (2L) I carry my water in a reservoir for easy access
- Trail Running Shoes/Hiking Shoes – I like to hike with these shoes from New Balance (Women’s) (Men’s) – they’re lightweight and comfortable.
- Sandals/Flip Flops – You’re on a island!
- Socks (3 pair) – I used these (Women’s) (Men’s) to pair with my hiking shoes.
- Shorts (2 Pair) – It’s plenty warm on Maui. I used these shorts by Columbia (Women) (Men’s).
- Pants (1 Pair) – Because we were viewing the sunrise at Haleakala, warm gear was a must.
- T-Shirts (1) – It’s nice to get a little extra protection from the sun and for the evenings.
- Tank Tops (3) – I mostly wore tank tops while we were there.
- Warm Jacket – Haleakala is incredibly cold at sunrise. You MUST bring something warm or you’ll hate yourself. I used my North Face Jacket (Women’s) (Men’s).
- Beanie – Again, this was just for Haleakala.
- Hat/Bandana – It’s nice to get a little sun cover. I used a bandana made by Buff – it’s very versatile (Unisex).
- Sunglasses – You definitely don’t want to forget these!
- Camera + Memory + Charger – This is an adventure of a lifetime! You definitely want a way to capture all the amazing sights you’re about to see.
- Sunscreen – Zion is a beautiful national park, you’re going to be out in the sun all day enjoying it.
- Chapstick – It’s dry – your lips will thank you.
- Basic First Aid – Basic items include aspirin, ibuprofen, bandaids, Neosporin, and moleskin.