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Know Before You Go
- Maui is one of the best places in Hawaii to watch the yearly migration of humpback whales. Whale season starts from October and runs through to April. You can either join a boat tour or watch them from the south or west side beaches.
- If you want to watch the sunrise from the top of Haleakala - make sure you are prepared. The summit is cold, and the wind is strong. Wear enough warm clothes and pack plenty of water and snacks.
- Head to Ho'okipa beach if you want to see sea turtles without getting into the water. The beach is a resting area for the island's green turtles, and it's common to find at least 20 or so on the beach.
- If you are on a budget and want to experience the island's culture, watch the free hula shows at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. The Whaler's Village also has free events where you can learn to make leis, hula and listen to live music.
- Instead of forking out money to stay in hotels, take advantage of Maui's affordable camping options. You can pitch your tent at Haleakala National Park or Camp Olowalu which is also one of the island's best snorkelling spots.
Getting Around Maui
- The best way to get around Maui is with a car, especially if you want to explore the more remote areas. While the island's roads are comprehensive, you'll want a GPS as local routes are not in English. Tourists also need to be at least 25 years or older to rent from the car rental companies at the airport and in town.
- If you are on a budget, the 13 public buses are an affordable way to get around the island. The bus routes cover the west, south and central parts of Maui. A single trip costs USD 2 and the buses run from 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day.
- If you can't find a taxi on the street, your hotel can call one for you. While taxis are convenient for short trips, they should be avoided for long-distance travel. Uber's are a more affordable option with base fares starting at USD 1.70 and going up by USD 1.20 per mile.
- If you are staying in popular tourist areas like Wailea or West Maui, check with your hotel or resort to see if they offer complimentary shuttle bus services. Most ferry passengers between the airport and nearby attractions, cutting transport costs and making it a cheap way to explore the island.
When is The Best Time to Visit Maui?
The best time to visit Maui is during its two shoulder seasons.
April to May is Maui's short spring season and a good time to visit if you are on a budget. The summer crowds have yet to arrive which means you'll have an easier time finding deals on airfare and accommodation. There are also a string of cultural festivals during this period, making it an excellent choice for travellers who want to learn more about Maui's traditions and customs.
Maui's autumn months (September to November) is its second shoulder season. There are fewer tourists than any other time of the year and great deals for budget travellers. But if you want the best rates, book a few weeks in advance before prices start to rise in anticipation for the winter crowds.
Maui's winter months (December to March) are a popular time to visit - if you can afford it. Those looking to escape the winter chill on the mainland will have to fork out. Hotel rates and airfare are high during these months, but, it's also one of the best times for whale watching.
June to August is peak tourist season for Maui. During these summer months, the island sees an influx of tourists from the mainland. It's also one of the best times of year for beach bums with calm currents around the island. There is also plenty to do besides work on your tan will a full social calendar of events to take part in.
Airports in Maui
Kahului Airport is Maui's main airport. Its most popular route is between Honolulu, and it's one of the busiest in the United States. The airport is also a hub for Hawaiian Airlines and Island Air.
Maui also has two other smaller airports. Hana Airport is on the east shore of the island. It is serviced only by Mokulele Airlines and operates one flight to Kahului.
Kapalua Airport is on the west side of the island. It operates a handful of domestic flights to Honolulu, Kailua-Kona, Moloka'i and Kahului.
Getting To and From Maui's Airports
The cheapest way to get from Kahului Airport is with the bus. Fares are USD 2 one way, but you can't board if your luggage won't fit under the seat. The buses operate every 90 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day.
Other options include car rental, taking a taxi or the Maui Airport Shuttle Service. The shuttle costs USD 10 to USD 44 depending on your final destination and runs from 5:30 a.m. until the last flight. Taxis are available 24/7 from the airport and will cost between USD 20 to USD 105.
For Maui's other two airports there is no public transportation. You'll need to catch a taxi, pre-arrange an airport transfer or rent a car.