Sea Turtles + Sunsets: A Magical Week in Maui

 Best. Trip. To Date.

This girl’s trip was one for the books. It was a relaxation and adventure filled week, spent with my best friend and both of our moms. So many great memories were made in Maui, which is something I will cherish for years to come. I would go back to this place in a heartbeat. #1 place I would choose to live… if money was not an issue haha.

We stayed at the Sands of Kahana Resort in Lahaina. The room had really good beach vibes and was nice and airy. From our balcony, we had a great view of the Ocean and the rest of the resort. Honestly, this place, and the whole trip really, felt like a dream. Everything was so beautiful. It was always warm and you could smell the ocean and flowery scents in the fresh air. I wanted to stay in Maui forever! Waking up every day to the sounds of chirping birds and waves crashing on the shore was magical.

This place is straight out of my fantasies, I cannot over-hype it enough.

Just hanging out and experiencing the energy and flow of Maui is amazing in itself. But going on some nature adventures while you’re there will boost your enjoyment of the island x100. There is so much natural beauty on Maui that you cannot help but explore. A week seems like a lot of time to do stuff, but it goes by so fast! Here are some amazing things we were able to fit in while visiting this gorgeous place.

 

Sunrise and Bike Tour on Haleakala

Let’s start with my absolute favorite thing. This was such a fun adventure; I will definitely be doing it again! It is a must if you are visiting Maui.

Haleakala is the world’s largest dormant volcano. Witnessing the sunrise from its summit above the clouds is magnificent. Our day began at 2:45 am when our tour van picked us up. Now I know what you’re thinking, that is crazy early. But I am so far from a morning person, and let me tell you, it was crazy worth it. After gearing up in some warm attire we traveled to the top of Haleakala arriving at 5:15 am. At this point we still had about an hour until sunrise. But getting there extra early assured us of having front row spots, even though we were waiting in temperatures around the mid 30’s.

There is really no way for me to give a good description of the sunrise, and pictures don’t do it justice either (or maybe I just need a better camera haha). Around 7:30 we began our decent from the summit. We biked down the winding 27 miles all the way down to the beach in Paia. Our trek down the volcano was filled with amazing views. As the wind blew past me I could smell Lavender, Eucalyptus and flowery scents. It really was an experience of a lifetime.

On our way to Paia, we stopped in Makawao for breakfast. This was such a cute little town. It reminded me of old western movies, complete with the old wooden hitching posts and saloon like store fronts. Last stop was Paia. It is known as a hippie town, which is why I loved it so much. It was full of cute boutiques, art galleries and great restaurants. One I would highly recommend would be Cafe Mambo. We liked Paia so much we went back and stopped there to get lunch on our way to the airport.

Tour Company

In case you’re wondering, the company we went with was Maui Mountain Riders. The staff was helpful, safe and funny! The price ($120) was very reasonable compared to some of the other tours. I would definitely ride down the volcano with them again.

Snorkel in Molokini

Molokini was amazing! There were fish of all different colors; it was so awesome to see. The second part of our adventure was to the back wall of Molokini. This was the coolest part to me. It was recommended for strong swimmers only. The boat had to stay a safe distance away from the crater, so we had to swim up to the wall without getting to close. The currents were pretty strong, it was really exhilarating! The back wall goes down 300 feet into the water. It was so cool to dive below the surface and see the depth of the crater. We saw a lot of beautiful fish. And although we did not witness them, whales, dolphins and sharks are frequently seen there as well.

Lastly we went to Turtle Town. We were able to see a number of sea turtles, as well as a lot of interesting fish. The crew were so awesome about giving us info on the different fish we could see. It was fun to be able to spot some of them. Once we were done swimming, lunch and drinks were served. We spent another hour or so cruising around while members of the crew pointed out different wildlife. It was such a great day!

Tour Company

If you are going to do any snorkeling in Maui, go through the Pacific Whale Foundation. The trip was amazing! The crew members were super knowledgeable and shared a lot of information about the different fish we could see. I thought it was super interesting! They also had a great breakfast and lunch with plenty of options. I really appreciated this as I was trying to stick to my vegan lifestyle.



Drums of the Pacific Luau

This Luau was a great time! The drinks were flowing, food was amazing and the ambiance and scenery were on point. It was fun to learn a little about the history of Hawaii and enjoy a very elaborate show. Now this was not our first choice, but we still had an amazing time. We had wanted to go to the Old Lahaina Luau, which we heard was the most authentic. We decided to book all of our activities once we got to Maui and there was a 3 week wait for the Old Lahaina Luau. So make sure you book in advance for that one! That being said, Drums of the Pacific was super fun and very entertaining. If you are visiting, I would just make sure you get to a Luau.

 

 

Sunset Cruise

It’s our first whole day in Maui and there are so many things to do. We are trying to think of what do to first to get our trip started off on the best note. The sunset booze cruise ended up being the perfect thing!  Not only are the views fantastic and the sunset magical, but there is all you can drink until you dock! Sounds like a perfect cruise to me! We had so much fun and our crew was super entertaining. I would definitely recommend checking out one of the companies that leaves from Whaler’s Village on Kaanapali Beach. We went with Teralani Sailing which was recommended by our concierge. We were really glad we went with them!

 

 

Rent Some Equipment

I don’t know if we just happened to be at a good spot on the beach or what, but we saw tons of sea turtles! We rented some snorkel equipment and went to the beach at our resort. We were not disappointed. It was such a cheap and fun way to spend the day! Next time I would definitely rent a paddle board to get a little further out in the water. So instead of paying to go on lots of snorkel trips, you can rent your equipment and just go to the beach. Honestly we saw more sea turtles than we did when we went snorkeling at turtle town. They were also so close, basically on the beach, so we could get awesome pictures (but no touching them unless you want a fine up to $25,000).

A couple other things I enjoyed doing while we were in Maui:
  • Yoga near the beach (so relaxing)
  • Shopping in Lahaina (lots of touristy shops, but also great jewelry stores!)
  • Beach days (duh)
  • Visiting Courthouse Square to see the largest Banyan tree in Hawaii
  • Stopping at all the little roadside fruit markets for the freshest fruit ever
  • Hanging out with the awesome people in the downstairs of Maui Grill (one of the few bars open till 2 am)

Have you done anything on my list? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience! What are your favorite things to do in Maui?! Let me know in the comments below!

 

One Reply to “Sea Turtles + Sunsets: A Magical Week in Maui”

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