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.
*I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post including Amazon 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, coffee ☕️ and let's be real...probably wine 🍷. 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.
book your jeep ↓
Best time to go to Maui
Maui basically has two seasons, summer and winter. Summer season is April through October and winter is November through March. Temperatures only vary by a few degrees between seasons. It’s a tropical paradise that has warm weather all year round.
When to go to Maui 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 tasty 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.
Where to Stay in Lahaina
Old Lahaina House
Where to Stay in Kaanapali
The Royal Lahaina
The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas
Where to Stay in Napili / Kahana
Napili Sunset Beach Front Resort
Condo style with kitchen, lanai (Hawaiian patio) and amenities for the beach. Located on Napili Bay as well.
Napili Kai Beach Resort
Where to Stay in kapalua
Montage Kapalua Bay
Luxury, Luxury, Luxury. Perched above Ironwoods beach you’ll find this picture perfect resort. World class golfing located 5 minutes away. You won’t be disappointed.
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 Kaanapali. 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, one of the best restaurants in Kaanapali and 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
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.
READ NEXT: The Best Restaurants in Lahaina
Extra days for the 14 & 10 day Maui itinerary
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 at 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.
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.
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
On the iconic black sand beach has camp grounds and cabins.
Haleakala National Park
Great location for this jungle oasis. Equipped with amenities for the beach this one bedroom place has a kitchen and parking. Perfect for a night or 2 while you explore the surrounding area.
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.
If you want a beach front resort that you’ll never want to leave. The Andaz has 4 outdoor infinity pools, a couple on-site bars and restaurants, and top notch service. Spend your days relaxing pool side with a lava flow (a Pina colada with strawberry). Close to the best beaches on Maui and high end shopping.
On you’re honeymoon? The Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux is an adults only resort with the finest views, luxury and facilities.
Fairmont Kea Lani
Located on a perfect beach. The Fairmont has several pools, hot tubs, restaurants and bars on sight. Koa’s has a great happy hour and is located at the adult pool. Walkable to the beach and a free shuttle to the shops at Wailea.
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. And you’ll be able to walk to all the things to do in Kihei.
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.
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.