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Maui Travel 2004
We just returned from our annual Maui trip, and are
reporting in with the latest travel tips, places to see, and activity
Maui Travel Tips
Airfare - In my article “Maui on Budget”
there is a section on booking via travel agents to get better flights at
a competitive price. Although
we booked this trip as well via an agent (verse online), next vacation
will likely be booked online. Shortly
after we booked this package the online flight prices dropped to the
rate we got through the agent, and we could have booked the car much
Car Rental – There are several car rental
alternatives on Maui that offer significantly better rates.
One I came across extensively in the windsurfing community is
“Al West’s Rentals”. In
viewing the cars, and talking with the people that used these rental
vehicles, I found the rates to be between 50 to 65% less than the main
rental companies for comparable cars.
These cars ranged from new to more used vehicles.
While many of these were for windsurfing, I believe the rent to
non-sailors as well. Another
company to check is “Island Car Rentals of Maui” (http://www.rentacarinmaui.com).
to Hana – For a change of pace we booked three nights in Hana this
trip. For us, as well
as based on feedback from others, staying in Hana is the way to go!
My recommendation to others is to book two nights in Hana, and
take some time to enjoy the area.
There are a number of good hikes in Wai'anapanapa State Park and at the Seven Pools.
There are also a variety of beaches including black-sand,
red-sand (clothing optional), and normal white-sand beaches.
The city beach near the old pier is well protected for kids use.
There are several online listings for booking condo
accommodations (search Hana accommodations, Hana condos, or just go to www.vrbo.com).
We had several days out to different snorkeling
locations this trip. Each
is listed below…
End of the Road – While I can never remember the
exact name of the snorkel spot past Wialea, it is best described as the
end of the road. Normally a
good place for a variety of fish, this year the waves were particularly
high and often dangerous. Of
two attempts to snorkel there we only managed brief snorkeling in the
shallow waters on our second trip.
Breaking wave sets of about 3 feet were a little much for the
kids this year…
Molokini – This was the first year we have taken
the Molokini snorkel trips. We
chose the Ocean Voyager trip from the Pacific Whale Foundation.
This offered stops at Molokini and turtle arches.
The service was good, good equipment, and good food. I was not
particularly excited about the trip overall as there were less fish at
Molokini than expected, and the water was too rough near turtle arches
to see much. In other
words, the snorkeling from Maui’s shores was better than my experience
on this trip. We had kids
on this trip and the conditions particularly at the turtle spot were
beyond kids level. With my
opinion stated, some guests did see turtles, and others had a dolphin
swim by. I would give this
a neutral rating so you can decide based on others feedback.
Maui Prince Hotel – The turtle arches location
that the tours bring you to is not far off shore from the Maui Prince
hotel in Wialea. We took a
day trip there and I snorkeled from shore to see the turtles.
Unfortunately I was directed to snorkel the left side of the
beach… that meant the left side if standing in the ocean facing shore!
The turtles are mainly to the right when on the beach facing the
water… That is where the tours go.
Will try there again next year….
Twin Falls Hike and Swim
The Twin Falls hike and swim made for a nice day
outing. The hike in is
approximately ½ mile, and you can do a loop at the end to go past both
falls. The falls are located on the road to Hana before the narrow
windy sections begin, and are easy to drive to.
This is the rainy side (which explains the water
and therefore the trail is quite muddy.
Near the end we navigated through water about two feet deep to
get to one of the falls. Overall
this was a pretty easy hike, and a nice scenic location.
Nice freebee for a day outing.
Nicest South-side Beaches – Each year
there are a few favorite beaches we visit…
Grand Wialea – The Grand Wialea beach is one of our favorites. This beach is large, clean, has excellent
sand for the kids, and moderate to light break for family wave fun. The beach access provides restrooms and showers. Overall the
Grand Wialea offers a nice atmosphere for a day at the beach.
Wialea Fairmont Hotel – We had an excellent day
at the Fairmont beach while the south waves were high.
Although the waves were breaking with about four foot faces, they
broke well off shore and rolled in the rest of the way.
The white water near shore provided a good environment for our
Kihei/Maalea Beaches – The beaches between Kihei
and Maalea provide a unique experience in that they are hardly used!
We enjoyed a day on the beach with essentially no one in sight.
The waves were light, but made good boggy boarding waves for the
kids and I. Good quite day
at the beach.
Unfortunately legal disclaimers required on
everything these days – All vacationers need to assess what is safe
for their kids swimming abilities.
The information provided above should not be construed as
recommendations for the use of, or safety of, any of these locations.
For all of the activities the kids and adults do on
a trip to Maui, there are a few the kids seem to enjoy more than others.
This year we had our two boys (ages 5 and 7), and niece (also 7).
Pool Day - For these kids they would have been
satisfied to go to the pool every day.
They were often slow to accept day trips but often happy when we
were under way.
Beach Trips – The kids always enjoyed the time at
the beach whether it was playing in the waves, or making castles with
other kids. Our kids do not
sit still to lounge in the sun, but are happy as long as they have these
other beach activities.
Snorkeling – At the younger ages the attention
span is pretty short for snorkeling, but they do get a great deal of
excitement of the few fish they see!
Our kids really enjoyed the fish at the end of the road and talk
highly of the experience.
Temperature – I was a little concerned about the
summer heat in Maui as we usually go in April when it is cooler.
To my pleasant surprise summer temperatures were not much warmer
than April. The key factor
is the summer trade winds regulate the temperature to the surrounding
Windsurfing - Maui's summer provides the most
consistent winds of the season, and I talked with several people that
sailed 10 days straight before taking time off to recover. I sailed eight days of our trip hitting winds ranging from 16
to high 30’s. Windsurfing
Maui is an article unto itself, and the details are of less interest to
most. Just worth saying
there is sailing there!
We had another good trip to Maui
this year, and continue to expand our experiences there.
Even with a three-week vacation we found the end came and we
felt we ran out of time. Trips
back to the beaches of Napili and top of the volcano will have to wait
until next year. Until
then, it is back to the working world….
article is provided by Mr. Marc Elpel and SunsetMaui.com.
Mr Elpel has been an avid activity based traveler for years with
extensive travel in the Hawaiian Islands.
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