Haleakala means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian. This mountain is a massive dormant shield volcano that formed the base of over 75% of the island of Maui. The height of the volcano reaches a peak of more than 10,00 feet, and the National Park that surrounds it extends from the summit down all the way to the Kipahulu shoreline. Sunset and sunrise are popular times to visit the summit as the sun offers truly breathtaking views as it rises above, or below, the skyline.
One of the most iconic landmarks on an island of almost incomparable beauty, the Iao Needle is to Maui what Diamond Head is to Oahu: a rock pinnacle that rises an amazing 2250 feet and is covered in velvet green tropical plants. This point has historical significance for Hawaii, being the site of the battle of Kepaniwai where King Kamehameha I fought to unite the islands.
This crescent beach offers a clear view of Molokai across a narrow channel, and its lava rock outcroppings create a gentle lapping of waves against the shoreline. These calm water make Kapalua one of the very best beaches for swimming. Snorkelers will enjoy exploring the right side of the beach, filled with exotic fish and beautiful orange sea urchins. The beach is also a favorite destination for the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals.
The Hana Highway is the most celebrated road in Hawaii. Running along Maui’s northeastern shore, the Road to Hana is a twisting, fun 50 miles that will take you over dozens of bridges and past breathtaking seascapes, waterfalls, gardens and lush green rain forests. Once you arrive, you’ll enjoy one of Hawaii’s most impressive destinations.
Waimoku Falls is a humongous waterfall that falls some 400 feet to a pool at the bottom. You can approach the falls, but watch out for falling rocks dislodged at the top of the waterfall that could break loose and hurt visitors standing below. The height and natural majesty of the waterfall ensure that no matter your physical distance, any picture taken of Waimoku Falls will capture a beautiful Maui island memory.
Maui’s warm and relatively shallow waters offer humpback whales a welcome respite from the colder, less sheltered depths of the Pacific. Most cruises take you up-close-and-personal with enjoyable 2-hour tours, complete with both amazing photo ops and educational insights.