You’re planning a dream trip to Maui but don’t know how much time you should allot for your island adventure. I’ve put together a 7, 10 or 14 Day Maui itinerary that covers the whole island and also includes that much needed relaxation time on all the best beaches.
I recommend staying in a few different places all over the island. This allows you to experience all of Maui’s beauty.
READ NEXT: 10 Tips to Know Before you Travel to Maui
Of course if is possible to drive around the whole length of Maui in a day so if you like to stay at the same place the entire trip you can do that. Just pick and choose your day trips. This would give you more beach time. And time wasted at the beach isn’t time wasted.
7, 10 or 14 Day Maui Itinerary: A Local’s Guide
*I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling and coffee ☕️. I thank you in advance.
maui itinerary 7 days
Maui itinerary 10 days
how to get To maui
Did you know that the Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated island chains in the world?! That means no matter where you coming from its going to be a long flight.
Maui has many direct flights from the mainland especially on the West coast. Even if you can’t find a direct flight connecting through Honolulu isn’t terrible, from HNL to OGG (airport code for Kahului on Maui) its only a half hour flight.
Once arriving on Maui I ALWAYS recommend that you rent a car/jeep. The islands public transportation is very limited and time consuming. Having your own wheels only amplifies your Maui vacation and gets you to where you need to be.
book your jeep ↓
best time to go to maui
When to go will depend on what you want to do. If you want to escape the cold then visiting in the winter months is a no brainer. But the BEST part about visiting Maui during the winter months is for the whales. 🐳
Every year over 10,000 North Pacific Humpback Whales make their way to the warm shallow waters of Hawaii to give birth. Official whale season is mid-December to mid-May. Make sure you go on as many whale watching tours as you can!
Hurricane season is from June through November and thankfullyHawaii isn’t prone to hurricanes as much as other islands in the Caribbean.
The last 2 weeks of December during the holidays is the busiest time of the year. Make sure you book your accommodations, rental cars, popular activities and make restaurant reservations in advance. It’s crowded, everybody wants to spend Christmas in Hawaii.
Day 1: arrive-head to west maui
Ka’anapali is the popular resort area on West Maui. Just because its popular doesn’t mean that its not stunningly beautiful! I recommend basing yourself here for the next few days, its centrally located near restaurants, shops and sits on a long, gorgeous stretch of golden sand beach.
There are several top notch resorts to stay at perfect if you’re on your honeymoon. If you’re only able on a 4 day Maui itinerary stay in West or South Maui the whole time.
READ NEXT: Where to Stay on Maui
Old Lahaina House
ROOMS: Twin | Queen | King | Suite
PRICE: $$ Around $300 per night.
The Royal Lahaina
The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas
Napili / Kahana
Napili Sunset Beach Front Resort
Napili Kai Beach Resort
Montage Kapalua Bay
No matter where you’re staying it’s gonna be on a beautiful white sand beach and perfect day involves a pina colada and boojee pool.
If you’re staying in Ka’anaapall go all the way to the end of the beach by the Sheraton and jump off black rock, this is one of the best things to do in West Maui. It’s a 20 feet jump off the cliff into the water.
Every night at sunset the tiki torches are lit and a man jumps into the water. This is also a great snorkel sight, I almost always see a turtles! 🐢
Eat dinner at Monkeypod which is walkable from any hotel on the Ka’anapali walkway. They have a great happy hour & reverse happy hour, a huge selection of beer and poke tacos.
Day 2: Explore west maui
Explore West Maui by driving North, but first stop and have breakfast at Down the Hatch, the Gazebo or Plantation House. Down the Hatch has the best breakfast on Maui. The Gazebo is more casual, it’s even BYOB. The Plantation House sits atop the beautiful Kapalua golf course.
The coastline is jaw dropping and there are many places to pull over, get out of the car and take pictures as you drive West Maui. A few of the best stops include Honolua Bay, Slaughterhouse the Blow Holea, the Oaia Trail and Julia’s Banana Bread. For a more detailed post
READ NEXT: Best Stops While Exploring West Maui
I have to warn you that the road gets sorta sketchy at some parts. Meaning very twisty and narrow. There’s one section that is a long stretch of one lane road on the side of a mountain. If theres people going both ways, someone will have to backup. So be aware.
EXTRA DAYS FOR THE 14 & 10 DAY MAUI ITINERARY
If you’re only the 7 or 10 day Maui itinerary you’ll have a 1 or 2 extra days in West Maui. Learn to surf, sip pina coladas the pool, bask at the beach, go diving, go for a snorkel.
If you’re here during whale season (December 15-May 15) go on a whale watching tour. I’d plan ahead if you plan on doing excursions, tours fill up fast especially in peak season.
extra day on 14 day maui itinerary: Day trip to lanai
Did you know that there’s a ferry that runs from Maui to Lana’i? This is a great way to explore Lana’i on a day trip from West Maui.
The ferry runs 5 times a day and cost $60 round trip. You can look up times here. The boat ride is a quick 45 minutes until you dock at Manele harbor.
Spend the day relaxing oat the picture perfect Manele Bay (pictured above ↑), enjoy a short hike to along the coastline to Puu Pehe, petting cats at the cat sanctuary or renting bikes to explore the island. However you decide to spend your day, it’ll be a great island hopping adventure.
YOU MAY ENJOY: Camping on Lana’i
day 3: DRIVE the road to hana
The road takes you through lush rainforests, by flowing waterfalls, and offers jaw dropping seascape views. Get an early start as it’ll be a long day of waterfall chasing.
READ NEXT: The Best Stops on the Road to Hana
tips FOR DRIVING THE ROAD TO HANA
- PULL OVER and let the locals pass. If they are riding your ass it’s not because they’re trying to be mean it’s their way of asking you to “let them pass.”
- Pack plenty of snacks & beverages for the drive, it’s a long day.
- Avoid sites located on or beyond private properties, and areas that lack visitor welcoming signage.
- Park in designated parking stalls. Don’t be “that guy” and block the road for everybody.
- Don’t expect much service, cell service and WIFI will be very limited on this journey.
- Please respect the Aina (land)! Theres nothing that irks me more than to see litter and trash strewed about. Pack it in, Pack it out.
- Lastly, Do Not park underneath a mango tree, those sweet things have an evil side!
where to stay in hana
You will be staying in Hana for 2 nights. Hotels & AirBnB’s are limited. Planning accommodations ahead of time are crucial. Here’s what I recommend.
Wai'napanapa State Park
Haleakala National Park
Where the famous Pipiwai Trail starts. I love camping in Hana.
Luxury in the jungle. The Travaasa (part of the Ritz Carlton) is one of Hana’s only luxury resorts. Explore during your days and relax in the evenings on the beautiful grounds witch ocean views and an amazing hot tub. A perfect stay on your Maui itinerary.
day 4: explore hana
Hana is a magical place, I wish I got to more often. When you think of Hawaii you probably think of waterfalls, lush rainforests and tropical flowers, Hana embodies all of this.
Start your day early with sunrise at the red sand beach. Getting to this beach is half the adventure as you have to ‘scale’ a cliff to get there. If you did it right and booked a stay at the Travaasa for a few nights ask anyone at the hotel to point you in the right direction to the beach, its located directly next door.
Bring a towel or blanket to sit on, along with a long sleeve shirt. There are tons of sand flies buzzed around that tend to get annoying so be prepared. It will be a sunrise you’ll never forget.
After sunrise at red sand beach head to the Surfing Burro to grab breakfast and coffee. There aren’t many food options in Hana so planning out your meals are crucial. Most places close early or are only open 4 hours a day.
READ NEXT: Where to Eat in Hana
Next head 20 minutes down the road to Haleakala National Park stopping to take some pictures at Wailua Falls along the way. This is the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park. Park at the visitor center and take the short Kūloa Point Trail to the Kūloa Point at the mouth of ‘Ohe’o Gulch. The ‘Ohe’o Gulch or commonly known as Seven Sacred Pools is a series of waterfalls that fall into pools.
Now start hiking the Pipiwai Trail. This is one of the most popular hikes on Maui and once you hike it, you’ll understand why. This 4 mile hike takes you past ancient banyan trees, through a dreamy bamboo forest and finally ends at the spectacular 400 foot Waimoku Falls.
Most people hike this trail are coming over for the day. This means that most hikers do not start til afternoon. You’ll be getting here fairly early around 9 so you’ll have the trail all to yourself. It’s a videographers dream. Just check out the pictures.
Most of the time when I come to Hana, I camp inside the Park. There’s shade, grills, bathrooms and its a 5 minute walk to the Pipiwai trailhead. If you’re traveling Maui on a budget, camping is a great option. Make sure you get all of your supplies before you leave. Hana has a 2 general stores but they are limited and pricey.
Finish the day lounging at Hamoa Beach and let your dreams melt away. Remember to plan ahead for dinner. Find out your options here.
EXTRA DAYS FOR THE 14 &10 DAY MAUI ITINERARY
If you’ve chosen to carve out more time in Hana, you’ve made the right choice. There is so much adventure to have in Hana its a dream.
If you crave thrill then make sure you check out Venus Pools which is my favorite place to go cliff jumping. There are several rocks that you can jump off of into a natural swimming hole that range in different heights. Then scramble up the lava rocks. Rinse and repeat.
I would also rise for yet another sunrise but this time at Wai’anapanapa State Park. I recommend this sunrise over the red sand beach because there’s more to explore, its more open and its absolutely beautiful. Just because Hana is remote doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of things to do.
READ NEXT: 8 Amazing Adventures to have in Hana
day 5: drive to south maui
Get ready to be in the car for more than a couple of hours. Drive the back way from Hana to South Maui. The drive is beautiful.
Make sure you stop at St. Joseph’s to snap a few pictures of the beautiful church perched on the cliff with views of the ocean below.
Another off-the beaten path must stop is at the Maui Honey Bee Sanctuary. The beautiful grounds overlook the ocean and I was surprised to have only discovered this spot in February!
Great souvenirs/gifts are handmade ‘Hive to Home’ and ‘Bees to Body’ products. I bought the local lavender honey and put it in my coffee every morning. ☕️
where to stay in south maui
If you want to splurge stay at one of the top end resorts in Wailea.
Fairmont Kea Lani
If you’d rather not spend insane resort prices stay at a vacation rental in Kihei.
Relax at the pool or at one of the pristine beaches nearby…I mean it is a vacation after all.
DAY 6: Surise at Haleakala or Explore Upcountry
Okay so this requires a 3:30 am wake up call and a reservation booked in advance but watching the sunrise above the clouds atop Haleakala is an incredible experience. It is a shorter drive to the top when you are staying in South Maui so that’s why I’m suggesting to do it this day.
The drive up to the summit of Haleakala is about 1 -1.5 hours. There’s even tours you can book that drive you to the top of the summit for sunrise then unload bikes and you get to coast 26 miles down the slopes of Haleakala Paia town. Make sure you bring a sweater, it gets cold at the summit of 10,000 feet.
My preferred way of exploring the crater is by hiking down, through and out of the crater. You do this by hiking down Sliding Sands Trail and connecting with the Spur Trail towards Holua and eventually onto the Halemauu Trail.
After a grueling 4 or 5 miles worth of switchbacks you’ll end up where you parked your car. (From the car you hitch hike to the summit to begin the hike).
If hiking is not your thing and you’re over these early morning wake up calls, sleep in and spend this day exploring Maui’s Upcountry and the North Shore. Upcountry is the area on the Haleakala side of Maui away from the shoreline. The town of Paia (you drove through this cute town at the beginning of the road to Hana) is about a 10 minute drive from Upcountry.
Mama’s Fish House is a staple of Maui and a great place for lunch, make reservations ahead of time. You’ll love the hippie/surfer vibe that the town of Paia gives off.
day 7: beach day all day
Alas its the last day on your 7 day Maui itinerary your so plan on doing nothing today but lounging at the beach or pool. My favorite beach is Big Beach located down in McKenna.
It’s a 5 mile long white sand beach that carved into a perfect crescent. You can climb up the side on rocks on the far East side of the beach. It gives a great viewpoint.
If you continue over the rocks you’ll be at little beach which happens to be a nude beach. On Sunday nights they have a naked drum circle.
extra days for the 2 week maui itinerary
Make sure you carve out a morning to drive down to La Perouse. The drive is picture perfect and gives you a small town Hawaii feel. Hike as far or as little as you want on the Kings Trail. You’ll see goats running around towards the beginning of the path. Lava rocks surrounded the and sometimes jut into the path.
Molokini is the crescent shaped atoll you can see from the Southern part of the island. Here is where you can find some of the best snorkeling on Maui.