So I am skipping Honolulu because honestly it is not worth really writing about. We ate, we drank, we explored. Waikiki feels like Times Square meets a shopping mall. There are beautiful beaches outside on the North Shore and other things to explore but you can google that.
What was really incredible was Maui. We stayed in Kihei which was located between all the ritzy spots on the south side. We aimed to stay away from the popular west coast to get a different feel. There is alot to do in Maui but our priority was the Road to Hana and swimming with turtles.
You can catch sunrise at the top of the volcano if you can survive a 2am pick up time and 2 hours of standing in 20 degrees with an incredible windchill. Can honestly say its the coldest I’ve ever been and I was pretty prepared with gear. Unfortunately there was some heavy cloud cover when I was up there so my sunrise wasn’t as ridiculous as some people’s are. Regardless I’d do it again because it was out of this world to see the stars fade away and the crater emerge.
Right next to our airbnb, calm waves and amazing nearby restaurants. Best fries I’ve ever had 10/10.
Also called turtle town for obvious reasons. We saw about 3 in total all around 3pm swimming east with the current. Big mood for 2020 is to be as unbothered with people near me as a turtle is.
The Road to Hana
Do this with an app. It seems odd in the beginning but lack of service and 10k places that you can stop and explore you really need someone to escort you on your first time. There are also weird nuisances with timing and parking and finding these places is just better with a guide can talk you through. We had Shaka Guide for $10 which was perfect outside of the mildly racist accents the narrator would do.
We chose the loop and reverse road to Hana which takes you down the backside of Haleakala for the most stunning views imaginable. The whole day took us 10 hours. We got to Kahului at 8am which gave us some time to stop in Paia for some breakfast before we headed out. We ended up in Keokea around 630pm when the sun had just set. When I do this again I’d stay the night in Hana and do the second part of the trip on a fresh day so you don’t feel like you are chasing the sunset.
There are 1,000 ways to do the road to Hana and everyone’s experience will be unique. It is incredible and shouldn’t be rushed. See below for what we chose but based on your energy level and time you’ll make your own decisions.
Twin Falls. Rainbow Trees. Puuhokamoa Falls. Honomanu Bay. Ke’anae Peninsula + Banana bread. Ching’s Pond. Waikani Falls. Lava Tube Cave. Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach. Hana. Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach. Koki Beach. Venus Pools. Wailua Falls. Oheo Gulch or 7 sacred pools. Alelele Falls. Haleakala views. Sea Arch. Manawainui Gulch.