Topic Wiki

Maui Overview/DansMeals:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/39407

Trip Reports:
Dan 1, Dan 2, SpillTheBeans, e-Lawyer, Eli, lfas25, RJ898, gavhaller, daganster, Something Fishy, Yehoshua, Marco Polo, @Yehuda


Related DDF Threads:
-Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
-Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread
-Lanai, Molokai, and Niihau, Hawaii Master Thread


Before you go:

How long should I go for?
You could spend 10 years on Maui and not get your fill. That being said, the bare minimum to enjoy your stay is 4 days on the ground. A week is ideal.

It's possible to do a short trip by leaving early Sunday morning, getting there in the afternoon, and then leaving Thursday night and being back home for shabbos.

Do I need a guide book?
Very definitely. Sure you could find most info online, but nothing compares to a good, written-by-a-local, guide book. Maui Revealed is by far the best option, and will possibly be the best $16 you spent on your trip.

There is also an app version available for both iOS and Android for $7.99. The app has all the content of the book, plus navigation, offline maps, and links when applicable. You don't really need both, but some people find it useful to have the book while planning (much easier to use) and the app while on the island (for the maps and navigation).

What about Shabbos?
Some authorities hold that there's a dateline issue with Shabbos.
The local communities keep Shabbos on Saturday.
Definitely ask your LOR before you go - some hold simply that Shabbos is on Saturday, some hold that you have to keep Shabbos on both Friday and Saturday, and some hold that you have to keep D'oreisas on Friday and full Shabbos on Saturday.

If you must keep 2 days, remember that there are many questions that could come up (such as when to light Shabbos candles, how to warm up food, etc.), so make sure to discuss it all with your LOR.

There have been books written about the Chabad opinion of keeping Shabbos only on Saturday. Rabbi Aharon Dovid Gancz gives an absolutely fascinating pilpul on the topic, if you get a chance to attend one please record it (with permission) and upload the video online.

Note that you may run into this issue even if you leave the islands Thursday afternoon, as it may already be considered Shabbos. Ask your LOR.


Getting there and getting around:

Air:
The main airport is in Kahului, and is designated OGG. The are two other small airports - Kapalua (JHM) in the West Maui Mountains and Hana (HNM) in the east.
You could fly directly from the mainland to OGG from (bold is seasonal only):

ANC (AS)
BLI (AS, Allegiant Air)
DEN (UA)
DFW (AA)
LAX (AA, DL, HA, UA)
OAK (AS, HA)
ORD (UA)
PDX (AS)
PHX (US)
SAN (AS, HA)
SEA (AS, HA)
SFO (UA)
SJC (AS)
SMF (AS)
YEG (WestJet)
YVR (AC, WestJet)
YYC (AC, WestJet)

There are no direct flights from the East coast, so you will stop in one of these cities.
Alternately, you could fly directly to Honolulu (HNL) and continue to OGG from there.

Hawaiian and Go fly interisland from HNL, KOA, and LIH, Go, and Island Air flies from HNL. Mokulele flies from HNL and KOA, as well as to Kapalua (JHM), Hana (HNM), Molokai (MKK), Lanai (LNY), and Waimea-Kohala (MUE) on the Big Island.

There is a DansDeals corporate account for Hawaiian Airlines that allows you to take 2 free bags per person, up to a $50 value per flight (see baggage fees chart). It also gives free standby on earlier flights. You can email jj@dansdeals.com with the exact flights, dates, and time that you want, passengers names and dates of birth, and the price you found on hawaiianair.com to make a booking. A $6 per person per leg fee applies.

Alternatively, you can also use 5k AA, 6k UA or 7.5k HA miles each way to fly interisland. You can use 15k DL pesos for a RT interisland. United allows a free stopover on a round-trip, so for instance you can fly HNL-LIH-OGG-HNL for just 12K miles.
HA has several tiers, similar to DL, the lowest tier is the only one that's available using partner miles, but with HA miles you can purchase tickets that are otherwise unavailable for additional miles.

Car:
A car is necessary on Maui. All major companies have branches, mostly at the airport. There are also some local companies.

Hertz has Gold Choice at the airport. According to National's website there is no Executive Aisle/Selection at the airport, but according to reports there is one, albeit sparse to the point of uselessness. Also check out www.discounthawaiicarrental.com - they book from the major brands, and are worth a try. Costco Travel very often has great prices too.

Make sure to check your reservations often, as prices tend to drop a few weeks before pickup. If it does, make a new reservation and only then cancel your original one.

There's nothing like a convertible on Maui (especially on the Road to Hana). A 4WD is not really necessary, however some people feel more comfortable in one on the 'other side' of the Road to Hana and the hairy parts of Kahekill Hwy (east of the blowhole).

Air Maui will mail you a nice free paper map of the island - click here to request it. It usually takes a week or two to arrive.


Where to stay:

The two most popular area to stay are on the West side (Lahaina, Ka'anapali, Kapalua) and the South side (Wailea, Kihei), due to the better weather there. The South side could sometimes get windy in the winter, though. There are also many places to rent Upcountry (Kula, Pukalani), where the air is cooler and the views smashing (but farther from the beach).

Here are some places that are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaMore InfoComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hyatt RegencyWest side (Lahaina) WebsiteHyatt Category 5
AndazSouth side (Wailea)WebsiteHyatt Category 6. This is a brand spanking new hotel and is getting absolutely rave reviews.
SheratonWest side (Lahaina)WebsiteSPG category 6.
WestinWest side (Lahaina) WebsiteSPG category 6.
FairmontSouth side (Wailea)WebsiteAll suite hotel.
"Get your own place"AnywhereWebsiteThere are countless condos, timeshares, or villas available to rent on the island. The advantages are that you get more for your money - a couple of bedrooms, living/dining rooms, and a full kitchen. There will usually be a pool, sometimes even a private one. Additionally, they're often cheaper than a hotel. There are many places to find them -
HomeAway Maui
VRBO Maui
Airbnb Maui


What to do:

Beaches:
There are countless beaches on Maui, and all are public. Most offer amazing snorkeling. The East and South side beaches are safe for swimming / snorkeling year round, while some North and West beaches could be deadly in winter. Here are some popular ones, in no particular order:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Beach 1Area 1Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Beach 2Area 2Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Beach 3Area 3Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.


Hiking:
There are a tremendous amount of great hikes on Maui. Check the Maui Revealed book for detailed info on all of them, with maps, difficulty ratings, etc. These are just a few which are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Sliding SandsHaleakalaAn amazing hike into the crater from the upper visitors center. Quite challenging due to the constant downhill on a loose cinder trail. Amazing views unlike anything on the island, and no shade. The entire trail takes all day, but most people take it only partway in. Go as far as you like and remember that the way back is a constant uphill and will take twice as long. Bring lots of water.
Pipiwai TrailHanaOne of the nicest trail on Maui. A bit past Hana, just before the Seven Sacred Pools. The hike goes through the jungle, past banyan trees and a 200-foot waterfall, and through a bamboo forest (this is the highlight for most people). The trail ends at the amazing 400-foot Waimoku Falls. Give this hike a couple of hours.
Lava FieldSouth MauiAt the end of the road, past the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. This is an amazing and relatively difficult hike. You will be walking on sharp, loose lava rocks the entire time, but the views are smashing and the terrain interesting. Great views of a particularly wild stretch of ocean, interesting pools (not swimmable), and ends in a glorious (and generally empty) beach if you brave it till the end. Do the loop - hug the coast on the way out, and take the Kings Highway back. See Maui Revealed for all the details.


Other activities:

ActivityComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Helicopter toursA few companies offer this; Blue Hawaiian is generally considered to be the best. There are different routes to choose from - keep in mind that the ones going to Haleakala don't actually go into the crater. This is not as recommended on Maui as it is on other islands, since the entire island is pretty much easily accessible so you won't go anywhere remote or extremely amazing.
Road to HanaAbsolute must-do. Don't get scared off by misinformation and go all the way around - in a way the backside is even more spectacular that the more popular first half. You do NOT need a special car or 4WD; any regular car could do it happily. Best way to do the road is to spend the night in Hana, as that will leave the most time to explore the thousand different things along the road. If you're only going for the day, make sure to be on the road EARLY (7-7:30 the latest).
Haleakala SunriseA spectacular event that is not to be missed. You will wake up at the witching hour, it will be freezing cold, and it will be absolutely worth it. Be there at least 45 minutes before the listed sunrise - the earlier the better; they close the upper parking lot when it fills up and you'll have to park at the lower visitor center lot. Dress warmly and bring lots of jackets and blankets. Take the trail to Pakaoao (White Hill) and you'll have the sunrise to yourself (mostly, at least).
'Ohe'o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)Also known as the Seven Sacred Pools, this is in the Hana side of Haleakala National Park. Save your receipt from sunrise; it's valid for three days and will get you in to the pools too. Short hike from the parking lot to the pools, and it's absolutely stunning. Will be absolutely PACKED from around 1PM and on (but still worth it). If you're staying in Hana go early in the morning and it'll be mostly empty.
Snorkling Molokini craterCountless boat companies will take you out to Molokini. It has the best underwater visibility in the state, sometimes over 100 feet. Somewhat overrated and over-touristed, but generally considered to be worth it.
Kayaking
Biking
Horseback riding
Ziplining
Cruises


Shopping:
  • Costco in Kahului has some kosher food, as well as the cheapest gas on the island

« Last edited by @Yehuda on February 15, 2016, 03:20:24 PM »

Author Topic: Maui Master Thread  (Read 188778 times)

Offline 3yummyboys

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Posts: 1647
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1410 on: January 20, 2015, 01:23:25 PM »
Not sure what prices you can get on the island, but you can get a cheap toaster here for about $25 and bring it with you. You can pack it in a suitcase and stuff it with clothing to save space.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8336
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1411 on: January 20, 2015, 04:45:07 PM »
Does the andez Maui have microwaves In the rooms?
I don't know if they have normally, but we requested one and they gave it to us without a problem. We also requested a fridge and got one, too.
Not sure what prices you can get on the island, but you can get a cheap toaster here for about $25 and bring it with you. You can pack it in a suitcase and stuff it with clothing to save space.
That's what we did with a double burner, pots and pans.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8336
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1412 on: January 22, 2015, 12:53:18 AM »
Here's to hoping that they don't go and pave the other side of the RTH now :(. That would make it lose so much of its character.
So I'm happy to report back that the RTH is indeed not fully paved on the back side. It also happens to be a lot less windy and a far smoother drive than the front (main) side IMO. I spoke to a local yesterday who mentioned that she knew about the paving of West Maui (the road had almost washed away in recent rain and if they didn't pave it the road would have just disappeared), and she said that they have no plans to pave the entire RTH.

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4366
  • Total likes: 72
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1413 on: January 22, 2015, 01:00:14 AM »
Well, that's good news :).

It also happens to be a lot less windy and a far smoother drive than the front (main) side IMO.

:o
Whoa. You sure you didn't do it backwards without noticing? I could see "smoother" as in less curves and people, but smoother as in less bumpy?

And weird about the wind... you must have had some odd weather. The few trees that grow on the backside (once you round the bottom of the island) are all permanently bent because of the wind. In fact it was so windy that I couldn't keep my camera steady at times.

Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8336
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1414 on: January 22, 2015, 01:10:34 AM »
Well, that's good news :).

:o
Whoa. You sure you didn't do it backwards without noticing? I could see "smoother" as in less curves and people, but smoother as in less bumpy?

And weird about the wind... you must have had some odd weather. The few trees that grow on the backside (once you round the bottom of the island) are all permanently bent because of the wind. In fact it was so windy that I couldn't keep my camera steady at times.
I'm positive we didn't do it backwards. I meant smoother just like you assumed. It was definitely a lot bumpier.

In terms of the wind, it was dead: not a breeze to be had. It was odd weather, but it worked in our favor yesterday afternoon. We decided to stick with the afternoon snorkel trip, and we got lucky when we ended up going to Molokini instead of "coral gardens." We were the only ones there. It was smooth and had 130' visibility. The trade winds were not themselves these two days.

I did see the trees you were talking about though.

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4366
  • Total likes: 72
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1415 on: January 22, 2015, 01:12:51 AM »
I'm positive we didn't do it backwards. I meant smoother just like you assumed. It was definitely a lot bumpier.

In terms of the wind, it was dead: not a breeze to be had. It was odd weather, but it worked in our favor yesterday afternoon. We decided to stick with the afternoon snorkel trip, and we got lucky when we ended up going to Molokini instead of "coral gardens." We were the only ones there. It was smooth and had 130' visibility. The trade winds were not themselves these two days.

I did see the trees you were talking about though.

Wow. Very interesting. Glad it worked out!
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8336
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1416 on: January 25, 2015, 05:28:20 PM »
Maui TR:
Planning and flights
Just before Thanksgiving we decided to book a trip to HI.  I’d been to Maui and Kauai before and was really hoping we could visit the Big Island, but award availability dictated otherwise and we ended up on Maui.  I know there are different opinions regarding Shabbos in HI, but we decided just to stay Sunday through Thursday and stay away from any potential issues.
We used 25k Avios each for AA flights LAX-OGG-LAX.

For a car we rented through Discount Hawaii Car Rentals, which had the cheapest rate and ended up with a Thrifty for $129.55 for the entire trip ($21/day+taxes and fees).  More on the car type later.

For accommodations we used 75k UR for 3 nights at the Andaz Maui and $131 for an AirBNB place for our first night in Kula.  This was both intentional and mandatory. We wanted to spend the first night in Kula so we’d be closer to the summit of Haleakala for sunrise and the Andaz didn’t have any award availability the first night, as there was a convention at the hotel and all rooms were sold out.

For food we decided to go simple. We purchased and brought some noodle bowls (not instant soups, but something a step up from there) as well as snacks, bread and breakfast in LA and purchased fruit and vegetables once we arrived. Additionally, we brought a double burner, a pot and a small frying pan to cook our own food, and we requested a microwave from the Andaz to make our noodle bowls.

Sunday: Arrival and getting to Kula
We arrived at Kahului Airport right on time at 1:00pm. Since we’d booked trough BA we got PR boarding and treatment from AA. This was news to me, but very much appreciated.
Our bags were the first ones off  (having been tagged priority), and we were on the shuttle to Thrifty in no time.  The sight that we saw when we got to the rental office was unbelievable.  There was a one-hour queue just to pick up a car! Of course there was no wait at all at the Blue Chip desk, but apparently you must wait 1 week after signing up to use the counter (I was about to sign up while waiting in line, but decided against it once I was told it was futile).


Line in Thrifty/Dollar

One hour and a whole lot of watching-Korean-honeymooners-texting-rapidly-in-Korean later we finally got our car. Now I know people will say we should have rented a Jeep or perhaps a convertible, but we didn't. Neither of us cares too much about cars and something that drives would be good enough for us. We picked up our Ford Focus (compact car) and were off.

Our first order of business was Costco. We needed a beach towel and wanted to check out their fruits and veggies scene.  We ended up with the towel but decided not to get the produce simply because of the bulk packages it came in. Had we been staying for longer 4 lbs. of green beans might have been handy, but it would have been overkill for 4 days.  After a few minutes we were on our way to Pa’ia.


Pa'ia Town

We decided to head to Pa’ia on the way to Kula for two reasons. First we just wanted to see the town. We’d read (in Maui Revealed) that it was a quirky town and quirky people we did see.  The second reason we stopped by was to go produce shopping and Mana Foods, a real, hippy-style health food store. It was there that we got our first shock on Hawaiian produce prices. While I’m used to paying $1.99-$2.49 for a Maui Gold pineapple, here they wanted $1.99/lb (or $6.95 for the average pineapple) grown just down the road! $4.50/lb for zucchini, $2.50/lb for onions, $9/lb for white button mushrooms?! Well without much of a choice we got what we needed and just dealt with it.

Well by this time it was almost sunset. We went to the beach, saw the beautiful Pa’ia Inn and started up the mountain towards Kula.


Sunset on the way to Kula

The place we stayed in was a backhouse of a Reform Jewish woman named Jodi. It was a studio with one queen bed and a small kitchen area. There were pots, pans, a coffee maker, French press, and some assorted foods (from cup of soups to Nutella).


Kitchen area

Jodi was really nice and the place was clean, comfortable, safe, and best of all only 45 minutes from the summit of Haleakala.

We made dinner and got ready for the next morning. When we’d be getting up before dawn.

Monday: Haleakala for sunrise, car trouble and driving around West Maui
As the clock struck 5:00am (and the wild roosters outside let us know by making noise all night) we got up to make a 7:05am sunrise at the top of the mountain. I’d brought homemade pancakes for breakfast that we brought with us. I also brought my talis and tefilin to daven at the top.

Our way up was pretty uneventful. We didn’t really see more than a couple cars on our way up. When we got to the National Park entrance I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was free to enter as it was MLK Jr. Day, a national holiday (all national parks are free on national holidays).  Once we got nearly to the top we were diverted to the Kalahaku overlook just below the upper visitors center, as all the parking uphill was full.  No matter, we parked and made it to the viewpoint by 6:20am.


Haleakala National Park Entrance

At first I was fine with just a windbreaker, as it was around 50°F at the top. What was weird was as we were driving up the thermometer in our car dropped to 42° but then started rising again. After a few minutes the winds started to pick up and I switched to my winter coat and ski hat. Much better.

We were very fortunate to have clouds below us. I say fortunate because mart of the magic of sunrise at 10,000 ft is seeing the sun rise and shine on the clouds.  It was a very nice sunrise and worth every minutes of missed sleep to see.


Pre-Sunrise


Sunrise (please excuse my poor picture taking abilities :P

Once the show was over, I needed to daven. Since most of the cars were leaving the viewpoint, it was a simple matter of putting on my talis and tefilin and davening in the car (except for shmona esre). It really wasn’t too cold at this point with the sun heating things up rather quickly.


View of West Maui Mountain just after sunrise

We ate our pancakes and were off to the upper visitors center to hike the Sliding Sands trail.  We never intended to hike the whole thing, just enough to get a feel for it and enjoy the view.  After about 45 minutes we'd had enough and wanted to see the actual summit of 10,023’. It was empty when we got there so we just took some pictures and headed down the mountain.


Sliding Sands trail leading into Haleakala Crater


Peak of Haleakala

Now I should mention that after going up and down the mountain we noticed that there was a weird noise coming from the front left tire well.  I wasn’t sure if I did something (I’m fairly certain I didn’t) or if it was really an issue to be concerned about at all, but either way I wanted to play it safe and exchange the car just in case.

After picking up our stuff from Jodi’s house (and meeting her for the first time) we headed off the drive West Maui backwards with a quick stop at the airport to exchange the car. It was a relatively easy process and they upgraded us to an Altima for the trouble.  With a nicer car and 1 hour of time wasted we were off at around noon.

We simple loved the backside of West Maui. The road was small and windy; barely enough room for one car at times, but it was just beautiful. I really enjoyed the ocean and coast views on one side and the West Maui Mountain on the other. We passed a few cars coming the other way and let a lot more cars pass us along the way.


Hwy 340, the back of West Maui

Our first major stop was the Olivine Pools. This was the first time the Maui Revealed app came in handy. We used the app to follow the trail down to the pools, although in truth there really is no official trail. It’s just a bunch of rocks and boulders you have to hike over to get down the mountain to the pools below. We spent some time swimming in the pools before heading back up to the Nakalele blowhole.


Olivine Pools

We had initially planned to do the acid war zone hike to the blowhole, but due to our car trouble needed to scrap those plans and just go to the blowhole directly.  Turns out the blowhole was not really blowing when we arrived. We waited for around 20 minutes and nothing, barely a spray.


Nakalele Blowhole, not blowing

We did attempt the acid war zone hike though. We really wanted to see the area, hearing how unique it was, but we ultimately couldn’t find our way. We were in a bit of a rush (it was 2 hours until sunset), and even the app couldn’t help us. We read the book for instructions and followed the GPS on the app but we couldn’t fine it in the end. Oh well, something to save for next time.

We drove from there to Ka’anapali to see Big Rock and the beaches there. We saw ended up parking in the free beach parking at the Hyatt Regency and going to the beach there. It wasn’t really very comfortable though, as the beach was packed, it was almost 90° (pretty warm for the winter), and there was no breeze.

We decided at this point just to drive to the Andaz. We drove through Lahaina on the way, taking Front Street for most of the way. We passed by Warren and Annabel’s (we didn’t end up going to a show) and stopped by a Foodland for more veggies and a Mincha break. We then drove to the hotel and pulled in just as the sun was setting. It was really cool to walk up to the hotel for the first time seeing the whole thing bathed in sunset.


Andaz Maui entrance

We were upgraded, as Platinum members) to an ocean view room in the Akau wing on the 5th (lobby) floor. It was quite a walk from the front desk, but it was a nice room with a good view. At this point we were both exhausted. We made dinner (after exchanging the broken microwave they’d put in our room) and were in bed soon after that.


Andaz Maui, room entrance


Andaz Maui, bathroom


Andaz Maui room at sunset


Andaz Maui, bed with sliding walls revealing the shower behind them


Andaz Maui, view from our room at sunset


Andaz Maui, Pools as seen from Lobby

Tuesday: Lava Fields hike and Snorkeling
Since we got the sleep very early the night before we were up in time for the sunrise on Tuesday. While not as impressive as sunset from our room, it was still nice. We got ready for our day, which would start, with a morning hike of the lava fields near La Perouse bay. We opted for the 5-mile loop. Let’s just say that everyone is correct when they say this hike is an adventure. The first part of the hike is pretty easy to follow without much help. The path is pretty clearly marked even once you veer from the Kings Highway and take the ocean side path. However once you get to the tide pools, the path disappears; like it’s completely gone.


First part of the lava fields hike

Here, for the second time, the Maui Revealed app was invaluable. We were literally climbing over lava rocks without any guidance save for the GPS on the app. We bumped into a group of hikers who were also looking for the path and couldn't find one. I showed them my app and for a while they stared just following us. After realizing that it would be a little more difficult for their 60ish year old bodies to climb over what we were doing they just decided to head back the way they came while we pressed on.

After about 30 minutes of blindly flowing the GPS we saw some white rocks placed as markers for the “path” we were supposed to be following. This was a bit more reassuring, and not too long after we saw the first one we were on the Kings Highway. At this point we had a choice to make: head to the beach or head back. I would’ve been all for going to the beach, but my DW decided against it.


Kings Highway part of the hike

It was a shame to come all that way and not even see the unnamed beach, but that’s life. Another activity will have to wait for our next trip.

We got back to the hotel with just under 45 minutes before we had to leave for our snorkeling trip. We packed lunches and got changed for the water and were off.

I booked the afternoon snorkeling trip with Four Winds, per Maui Revealed’s suggestion. I was going back and forth about where and how to go snorkeling, and ended choosing them after realizing that going to Lanai would not work out for us on this trip. Check in for our trip was at 1:00pm, so we left the Andaz around 12:30 just to play it safe.

Usually the afternoon trips are to a place called “Coral Gardens.” Only about 10% of the time is the weather cooperative enough to make it out to Molokini, the usual spot for the morning trip.  Well G-d was really helping us here, as we were able to go to Molokini. The usual trade winds were not blowing and the captain of the boat made a last minute decision to go. I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Why would I be nervous? Well I get sea sick, like really easily. Molokini is a 1 hour boat rise in each direction where “Coral Gardens” is about half that. While the waters in Molokini Crater were smooth and clear, the water on the way there was not so much.

After a stomach-churning and quite sickening hour we made it to the crater. There was 130 ft. of visibility in the water that was nearly still. Best of all, since Molokini is a morning place for most snorkeling companies we were the only ones there! However, after only 15 minutes in the water, my stomach was acting up again, and I had to get out of the water. My DW stayed in though. We got some pictures while we were both in the water and had an amazing time. There were tons of fish and sea urchins all over the coral. After waiting for everyone else to finish up we headed back for a somewhat smoother ride to the dock.


Coral in Molokini crater


Fish and coral in Molokini crater


Fish in Molokini crater

Another benefit of going to Molokini in January is that it’s smack in the middle of whale watching season. We were fortunate enough to get a great view of a cow (whale) teaching her calf how to jump out of the water to strengthen his back fin. After seeing that group of 3 whales both ways, we were officially yotzei whale watching. Let me tell you, having the boat stop and rock in the waves for 15 minutes each way when you’re really seasick is not fun, but I survived.

We made it back to dry land and headed back to the hotel for another early night. We drove through Kihei on the way, but didn’t find it especially interesting. We had a big day planned for the following day so we just crashed after dinner.

Wednesday: The Road to Hana
We were once again up at the crack of dawn (5:45am) to prepare for our drive on the Road to Hana. We were out the door and on the road by 7:00am, having davened (it was Rosh Chodesh), learned, and eaten breakfast. We were told to get an early start to beat the traffic, which turned out to work. What no one told us is that if you’re trying to drive on the east side of Maui just after sunrise it’s nearly impossible to see the road with the sun glaring in your eyes at every blind turn! Once the road started getting windy this really presented a challenge trying to navigate the turns, but B”H we made it without crashing.

Now maybe it was just because I hadn’t gotten over the seasickness from the day before, maybe it was because I was dehydrated, or maybe it was a combination of the two, but I did not do well of the road until Hana. We had many stops planned, but only stopped at a few of them, besides for a couple unplanned bathroom breaks to easy my stomach.  I really tried to be a trooper and see the sights, but I’m afraid we did miss some things.


View on the way to Hana

Our first long stop was at the Black Sand Beach in Waianapanapa State Park. By this point I was going a bit better, having consuming about 1 liter of water, and was finally able to force down some food. It was really fun seeing the beach and exploring a cave there (to the right of the beach). We also ate lunch there, or at least my DW did. I still couldn’t get down more than a banana.


Waianapanapa State Park


Black Sand Beach


Cave at Black Sand Beach

Next we headed to see the Red Sand beach in Hana. This was also a nice beach, but we didn't hike the whole thing since I wasn’t feeling 100% yet.


Red Sand Beach

We then headed to the backside of the Road to Hana towards the Venus Pools and Oheo Gulch (or the Seven Sacred Pools). We totally missed the Venus pools and (again I was queasy still) didn’t head back to find them. We did make it to Oheo Gulch just fine. After paying the $10 entrance fee (since or summit visit was free) we did the lower loop to the pools.  This is just a half-mile loop that allows you to hike around the pools at the bottom. It was really nice, but it was a bit crowded as a few tour “busses” showed up just before we got there.


Pools at the Seven Sacred Pools


Trees leaning in the [non existent] wind

We then did the 2-mile hike to the big waterfall, except we never made it to the waterfall. I know, by now you’re thinking what’s with this guy? He went to the blowhole but not trough the acid war zone, the lava fields hike but not to the beach, the front part of the RTH without many stops, and now on a hike to a waterfall without going to the waterfall! Fair points, but by this point (even though I was all better), my DW didn’t want to go all the way. We made it as far at the bamboo forest, which was really pretty. I know, we were really close to the waterfall, but we really didn’t want to get stuck on the road without sunlight and it was nearly 2 hours until sunset. Had we hiked even 30 minutes more we’d have ended up driving in the dark, which would not have been fun.


Banyan Tree, Seven Sacread Pools


Bamboo forest, Seven Sacred Pools

We enjoyed ourselves tremendously on the way back. This side of the road is far less windy (and not at all windy when we went, even though it usually is) and more roller coaster-like. While the road does alternate between nicely paved, poorly paved and unpaved, it almost is all a series of ups and downs, enough to make your stomach drop if you’re going fast enough. The scenery couldn’t be any more different that the front side of the road, yet it was beautiful all the same.  It was also different than the front side in that you can see the coast almost the whole way. The front side of the road gives you glimpses of ocean, but most of the time it’s hidden between the trees so it feels more enclosed.



Hwy 37, back side of the Road to Hana

After stopping in Kula to pick of my glasses I’d forgotten at Jodi’s house, we headed back to the Andaz after yet another tiring day for another early night.


Sunset from Andaz Maui

Thursday: Relaxing at the resort and leaving
It was our last day of vacation, yet in some ways it felt like the first. We didn’t have to get up early (and we didn’t) and we didn’t have any activities planned for the morning other than lounging around at the beach and in the pools.  After a leisurely breakfast we headed down to the beach. We figured it’d also be a good opportunity to tovel the shot glass we’d picked up, as it was more convenient than going to a mikvah at home. We spent some time in the ocean and then in the nearly empty pools. It was nice to just relax for a couple hours without having to run anywhere and do anything.

We got packed up and ready to go and by 11:45 were off to Costco again for gas on the way to the airport. We got to the airport, returned the car without issue (we’d done it once so we knew exactly how to do it), and checked in for our flight.  By the time we got to the gate and ate lunch it was time to board or flight back from paradise. It was a super fun trip and we’d both go back in a flash.

Random thoughts:
1.   Don't go snorkeling by boat if you get seasick.
2.   Don’t worry about seeing all the “must see” sights. You’ll get to enough of them to tide you over until your next visit.
3.   The RTH is not for those who get carsick easily, even while driving, or for those who are dehydrated.
4.   Spend some time relaxing. It’s worth it, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.

Offline morgs

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 392
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Israel
  • Programs: *a Gold, Avis Presidents circle, Hertz Presidents club
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1417 on: January 25, 2015, 06:05:59 PM »
"While I’m used to paying $1.99-$2.49 for a Maui Gold pineapple, here they wanted $1.99/lb (or $6.95 for the average pineapple) grown just down the road! $4.50/lb for zucchini, $2.50/lb for onions, $9/lb for white button mushrooms?! Well without much of a choice we got what we needed and just dealt with it."

sounds like israel ::) :P-Thanks for the write up and the pics!!

Offline 3yummyboys

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Posts: 1647
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1418 on: January 25, 2015, 06:08:29 PM »
Excellent TR Yehoshua! Thanks for the tips about RTH we have been back and forth between doing Maui or Kauai and I think we will stick to Kauai.

Offline Ergel

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 10700
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1419 on: January 25, 2015, 06:28:05 PM »
Nice TR.
How many people are on the boat ride?
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline 3yummyboys

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Posts: 1647
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1420 on: January 25, 2015, 06:48:21 PM »
"While I’m used to paying $1.99-$2.49 for a Maui Gold pineapple, here they wanted $1.99/lb (or $6.95 for the average pineapple) grown just down the road! $4.50/lb for zucchini, $2.50/lb for onions, $9/lb for white button mushrooms?! Well without much of a choice we got what we needed and just dealt with it."

Was the pineapple really so much better there?

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8336
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1421 on: January 25, 2015, 06:48:49 PM »
"While I’m used to paying $1.99-$2.49 for a Maui Gold pineapple, here they wanted $1.99/lb (or $6.95 for the average pineapple) grown just down the road! $4.50/lb for zucchini, $2.50/lb for onions, $9/lb for white button mushrooms?! Well without much of a choice we got what we needed and just dealt with it."

sounds like israel ::) :P-Thanks for the write up and the pics!!
Thanks! I just bought my Hawaiian pineapple for half the price. I've been craving it ever since.
Excellent TR Yehoshua! Thanks for the tips about RTH we have been back and forth between doing Maui or Kauai and I think we will stick to Kauai.
Yw. Kauai is an excellent choice. There's really tons to do on all the islands. We only chose Maui based on award availability.
Nice TR.
How many people are on the boat ride?
There were about 40-50. Not the most tznius situation, but based on how sick I was, the fact that I was looking away from the boat trying not to throw up the whole time, and the fact that any place you go in the water will probably have people around really made it ok.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8336
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1422 on: January 25, 2015, 06:49:34 PM »
"While I’m used to paying $1.99-$2.49 for a Maui Gold pineapple, here they wanted $1.99/lb (or $6.95 for the average pineapple) grown just down the road! $4.50/lb for zucchini, $2.50/lb for onions, $9/lb for white button mushrooms?! Well without much of a choice we got what we needed and just dealt with it."

Was the pineapple really so much better there?
We didn't buy any. For that price I just waited till today.

Offline @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 8475
  • Total likes: 13
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1423 on: January 25, 2015, 07:16:01 PM »
Wow, incredible incredible. Great write-up, great pictures (not a cell phone cam right?) and wow, I want to go!!!!!  :D

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8336
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #1424 on: January 25, 2015, 07:17:42 PM »
Wow, incredible incredible. Great write-up, great pictures (not a cell phone cam right?) and wow, I want to go!!!!!  :D
Thanks! There are some cell phone pics, like the sunset at the end, but most are not. You'll make it hopefully soon.