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1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Logan, Utah
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1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Hi,

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Maui. We'll be there Dec. 12-24th). We are both in our early 30s, are very active and love to hike, bike, swim, etc. We are considering splitting our trip into two 6-day trips; spending the first half on Maui and then flying to Kauai for the second portion so that we can hike the Kalalau Trail. Is this do-able to only spend 6 nights on each island? We are also worried about the rain this time of year, especially if we are camping/backpacking.

As for the Maui portion, we are debating between staying in South Kihei or Kaanapali for 4-5 days and then driving over to the eastern part of the island to explore the Road to Hana area for 2 days. If we decide to camp around the Hana area, are we basically guaranteed to get soaking wet each night?

Thanks for your help in advance!

Erin

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1. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Six nights is OK for each island, but if you decided to spend all 12 on one island, you would find enough to do as well.

I would ask on the Kauai forum re hiking the Kalalau Trail at that time of year. We've hiked the first two miles of it but from what I've read, the remaining 9 miles can be pretty challenging in rainy weather, and December is in the rainy season.

Louisville
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2. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

No need to relocate while on Maui. We love Kihei and Wailea, centrally located and a beautiful part of the island. Its very lush and green on South Maui. Kaanapali is on the dry side, plus you are an hour from the center of the island and based on your interests I think you would be better off in on South Maui.

We were on Maui and Kauai in 2009 and we spent 8 days on Maui and 5 on Kihei. If me I would do 7 days on Maui and 5 on Kauai. But 6 and 6 works as well. Do your homework on exactly what you want to do and see if you can get it done in 6 days.

Not sure of your flight plans, but consider coming home by departing in Kauai and not returning to Maui. You can get another good day in Kauai by departing for home from there. If not, your last day will be spent getting back to Maui and waiting for your departure back home. That's one mistake we made, and it also makes for a long day in 2 airports.

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3. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Winter is the worst season for Kauai. The most gorgeous north will be wet and the ocean will be rough there. You'd stay Poipu. (*I* would just plan another trip to Kauai in summer.)

Winter is also the worst season for Hana area! You could enjoy South Maui or West Maui from Kahana on south. (Skip Napili and Kapalua.) The ocean will be calmer off South Maui. You should also be able to see some whales off Maui toward the end of December. You might want to try the ferry Maui/Lanai.

Just fly in and out of Maui. Save the interisland airfare -- and the time in airports.

I don't believe you can camp anywhere without a permit.

Reserve your rental car NOW. Supply is limited and will be stretched as you approach the Christmas holidays.

Edited: 2:53 pm, October 02, 2012
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4. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Yes, Hana can be fairly wet in the winter months. Not only because it is a rain forest but we could get some winter storms. Guarantee of a soaker? No, but guarantee some kind of liquid sunshine during your stay.

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5. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Aloha,

Cancun..........you keep saying Kihei/Wailea is "lush and green" and Kaanapali is dry. You are wrong.............the South side is naturally a desert climate. Sure, the resort areas are "lush and green", but the natural landscape is rocky and barren for the most part. Kaanapali is also a combination of manicured and irrigated areas, plus dry zones.

We have 23-27 microclimates on Maui, depending on who one talks to. Both the West side and the South are leeward, so they are both drier than windward areas like Wailuku, Waehu, Hana, etc.

You cannot camp without a permit---or sleep in your car legally on Maui. The police are serious about it, and it's really not a good idea anyway. The campgrounds near Waianapanapa are pretty decent, but the cabins are prob already reserved during your dates. Also, know that the ocean will likely be very rough there at that time.

Sue is also correct that rain in Hana is very likely then.

Here's a good chart that shows average rain and temps for all areas of Maui:

www.hawaiigaga.com/WeatherGuide.aspx#maui

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Logan, Utah
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6. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Thank you all for your great suggestions! After doing some more research, I just discovered that rental cars in Kauai during that time period are around $90/day! That seems outrageous compared to the $10/day rental I just scored in Maui.

Has anyone done any backpacking in Central Maui? We are thinking that might be a fun way to see some of that area instead of flying to Kauai.

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7. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Aloha,

Eddie............I don't think you understand, re camping and backpacking! There aren't places to hike to and then camp out-esp. not in Central Maui. Central is the Kahului, Wailuku, Maalaea area.

If you're trying to find cheap lodging-check out Lahaina's Last Resort, it's prob the best of the hostel type places.

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8. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

You can do some day hikes but Maui really isn't conducive to backpacking. Central Maui is full of sugar cane fields. Not sure where you are thinking of going.

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9. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Eddie-

where did you score a $10/day car rental on Maui? & did this rate include all taxes / fees?

We like to quote car rentals as "all in" to circumvent any confusion on the highly variable taxes / fees differing sites / agencies charge.

Mahalo, & Aloha, NKO

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Logan, Utah
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10. Re: 1st trip to Maui - need help planning!!

Thanks for your added suggestions. Here's a revised itinerary:

Dec 12th-18th: stay in condo in Kihei (near Charley Young beach); day trip to Haleakala National Park to day hike crater and Sliding Sands Trail to crater floor

Dec 18th-21st: stay in condo in Kaanapali; explore Lahaina and surrounding beaches

Dec. 21-24th: explore Road to Hana; hike Pipiwai Trail; Seven Pools, etc, stay in Hana, possibly camp at Wai'anapanapa State Park.

Any advice? Are we spending too many days at the condos? Is it better to stay in Hana for a few more days as opposed to switching to kaanapali?

Thanks in advance!!

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