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Maui trip report

Madison, Mississippi
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Maui trip report
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Just came back from our first trip to MAUI and I am already thinking about our next trip there. This trip exceeded all my expectations - that were high, by the way. I recently posted a MAUI - 7 night itinerary and this is the trip report that goes with it.

We arrived in the Island at 9:00 pm on the 11th, one day before planned. As you know, we were going to stay at Maui Beach hotel given its proximity to the airport because we didn't want to drive all the way to Kaanapali at night after 3 long flights. Thanks to the tips from TA folks, I cancelled that booking and headed to Days INN Oceanfront in Kihei, which was a short drive. It was the best thing. We woke up jet legged at 2, 3, 4 and finally a little before 5:00 decided to go for a walk on the beach to watch the sunrise ( not really, because the sun rises behind Haleakala), but it was definitely better than waking up in front of a harbor. After that, we had breakfast at 5 Palms, just because it was the closest to the hotel. Food was ok. We headed to La Perouse Bay ( unfortunately no dolphins) and to The Dumps at Ahihi Bay for our first snorkeling. We were amazed by the amount of marine life we saw. Trip was off to a great start. We had lunch at a Food truck on our way back to the hotel. We checked out at 1:00 pm and spared some time at the shops at Wailea. Went to our hotel for check in after that. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa. I was reluctant at first to spend that much money on a hotel because I knew we were going to be out the whole day everyday. But it was worth it. Our stay there was amazing. We booked the oceanfront king and the view was phenomenal. We had dinner at Umalu at the hotel. This was the end of day 1. This is going to be a very long post so I will probably post each day separately.

Edited: 21 September 2021, 05:40
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San Diego...
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Sounds good so far

can’t beat the Dumps…loaded with marine life

Madison, Mississippi
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Day 2 - waking up to the sound of the Pacific ocean was great. We had breakfast at The Swan Court at the hotel . Paid a little more than what we had paid at 5 palms for much better service and food. We then walked on the beach and checked out Black Rock for snorkeling, It was great! Not as many fish as in the Ahihi bay, but... we swam with not one , but two turtles !! I really cannot describe the feeling! My most expected encounter happened and I felt accomplished.

We headed back to the hotel to get ready for our Haleakala sunset. We didn't have much time to check Maui upcountry, but we stopped in Kula and had lunch at Kula bistro - the food was delicious. Presentation, service and flavor. Plates were so beautiful - those which are picture worthy. Probably one f the best meals we had. I did not expect much and boy I was wrong. Going up pass the clouds was insane. Sunset at Haleakala was one of the most magical moments of my life. We waited until it got dark to check our constellations. Stargazing was beautiful, but I rushed to go back because I was scared of driving in the dark. Going up and down Haleakala was a bit stressful .specially at night, because the cattle there is raised freely - there are no rails or fences. We had a car accident involving cows in the past and I was nervous. But it was all wort it! I f you are doing this, don't forget your jacket and blankets. It gets really cold. This was the end of day 2.

Edited: 21 September 2021, 06:00
Dallas, Texas
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Oh wow, sounds great, can't wait to read the rest!

Waterford, Michigan
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Loving your trip report, and taking notes for our trip in 2 weeks

Ontario, California
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thank you for posting! I love trip reports, especially long detailed ones! Looking forward to reading about the rest of your Maui trip.

Linda

Edited: 21 September 2021, 06:48
Madison, Mississippi
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We woke up at 4:15 AM on day number 3 because our snorkeling/scuba tour to Molokini would leave from Makena before 6:00. We were there before 6 and got to Molokini before the crowds. We booked the snorkeling and scuba tour with Prodiver Maui after reading the Maui revealed book. We were certified PADI divers in the past but the only dive we did was in a river in Brazil more than 15 years ago. So, we decided to book an intro dive, and because of that we couldn’t dive in Molokini backwall, just snorkel. After Ahihi Bay and Black Rock beach, snorkeling in Molokini was disappointing. The PRODIVER Maui crew was great, very laid back and seems like everybody was having a great time. The sea was a little too but for my taste and I started feeling extremely nauseated. We headed to Makena cove for our dive and I got excited with the neoprene suit, regulator and what not after all those years! Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. I freaked out with the water getting into my mask and despite the patience of our instructor, I decided not to dive. I felt like I needed more preparation than a 5 minute practice before going down. So, my husband dived and I watched him from the surface with my neoprene suit and my snorkeling mask! But hey, I took picture. So it happened, right?

We went back to Ka’anapali and had lunch at Monkeypod. I had tacos and he had fish and chips. No reservation needed but we had a 30 minute wait. Guess what is in front of Monkeypod kitchen? A Louis Vuitton store. We went in just to browse while we waited for our lunch but guess what? Hubs got me a participation trophy, but we called it an Anniversary gift.

After that, we got to the hotel to get ready for our photo shoot. We had pictures taken by Colleen’s Captures at

It rained on our way there, but we were blessed with a beautiful sunset and a rainbow. We had dinner st Leilani’s on the beach. Husband got fish and chips ( he’s kinda picky) and I had a Caesar salad with Ahi. Quality was proportional to price. It was cheap and also subpar - it was most definitely our worst meal. This was the end of day 3.

Edited: 21 September 2021, 06:55
Madison, Mississippi
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Day 4 was “road to Hana” day. We left the hotel later than I had planned but after waking up 4:25 the day before we “overslept” until 6:30. We had breakfast at one of the coffee shops at the Hotel and we paid almost 40 dollars for a couple of drinks, banana bread and cookies. This made the breakfast at Swan Court sound really cheap at a little above 30 dollars per person. But we were in a hurry, because I knew this was going to be a long day. First stop in Ho’okipa beach to watch the surfers. It was not a high surf day, but we saw turtles! A lot of them sunbathing at the beach sand! Better than a bunch of surfers. We headed to Hana but fist we stopped at a fruit stand for pineapple and coconut water. It was the most expensive coconut of my life ( paid 10 dollars - I can get those in Brazil for a fraction of a dollar). But anyway, this is Hawaii and Ir comes with a price! The coconut was also the sweetest and most refreshing and it was with every penny. The road to Hana was breathtaking. We stopped at Garden of Eden because I wanted some

Civilization - clean restrooms, paved paths. Lots of tropical exotic fruit and plants for Mainland folks. We are originally from Brazil in case you haven’t noticed so it wasn’t that exotic for us. Still very pretty! We took pictures of the plants and fruits just for fun, to tease my family showing them the mango, banana, breadfruit and papaya trees that we were paying to see (we have these in every backyard in the Brazilian countryside). garden of Eden is paid entrance, but the arboretum nearby is free.

Anyway, it was worthy it for the rainbow eucalyptus (have never seen those) the bamboo, the waterfall and the gorgeous ocean views.

Every stop on our way to Hana was beautiful. It was one breathtaking sight after the other. There is an abundance of life and beauty everywhere you look. We stopped at a stand halfway to Hana for lunch . We had Kailua pork sandwich and macadamia and mango ice cream. We passed Hana and drive 45 more minutes to the Oheo Gulch pools ( seven sacred pools). Good thing I have saved our entrance from the Haleakala summit from day 2 - the pools and the Pipiwai trail are part of the Haleakala national park but the 30 dollar entrance was valid here. This was the most disappointing part of our entire trip. The seven sacred pools were closed for swimming we could only look. They look jut like a couple of ponds full of dirty water. I think it might be beautiful after a good rain, when the pools get full and they open for swimming, but I wouldn’t go back. It took us 2 precious hours.we did just a short hike of the Pipiwai trail but Ir was getting late and I have a reservation for Wanapapa from 3:00 to 6:00 and it was already past 4 pm ( park closes at 5). We rushed back to Wainapanapa, just after Hana ( if you are driving back to Paia) to spend one hour there. I wish I should have stopped here. This place was phenomenal. There is something about standing your towel on pitch back rocks and watching the deep blue waters - there was enough time for me to get in the water , do a little hiking and enjoy the wonderful views. We left when the park closed. That means we drove half the way back at night. The moon was beautiful but the views were a little bit scary in the dark. We arrived in Paia around 8pm and had dinner at Paia fish market. We loved it! This was also one of the best meals we had. I had grilled mahi-mahi and my husband had the garlic lemon snapper. His was even better!! They asked for our vaccine cards and thankfully they accepted pictures on our phone. It was the first day of the new State mandate that now requires a vaccination card prior to entering restaurants and closed spaces. One more hour and we were back at the hotel, overwhelmed by the e beauty of the road to Hana

Edited: 21 September 2021, 08:33
Kapaa, Hawaii
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Glad you enjoyed your Hana journey. The pools at Oheo Gulch have been closed for years. Yes, they get pretty stagnant during the dry season.

Oh, the vaccination requirement for restaurants isn't a state mandate. It's a county of Maui mandate. We don't have that here on Kauai.

Indiana
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128 reviews
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Nice report. Thank you. We were smitten after our first trip to Maui 3 years ago

Fremont, California
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Fun trip. Thanks for your trip report.

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