An Illustrated Guide of Maui & Lanai

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Maui Highlights || Lanai || Other things in Maui || Practicalities || Maui pics || Lanai pics

Must-See & Do in Maui

  • Haleakala Volcano.
    • 3500 m, possible to drive to the top (a couple of hours from Lahaina).
    • Possible to hike inside the crater (very hot).
    • A must to go on top of it to watch the sunrise (the top of the volcano is usually above the clouds).
    • There is even a trail from the bottom of the volcano (South Side) to the top. Basically one hikes on the south side of Haleakala until the Kuapo Gap, where the trail "enters" in the volcano. From there, one hikes among the cinder cones up to the top. Not sure if it is feasible at all (looks like 30 kms, always uphill with 3000m of elevation gain!) - if it is, it is surely worth it. Obviously it would be one-way, so one has to figure out the transportation.
  • Oheo Gulch.
    • The southern portion of the Haleakala National Park (accessible from the Road to Hana).
    • A couple of nice hikes. The Pipiwai Trail leads among pools, minor waterfalls, a giant bamboo and a river crossing to the Waimoku Falls. (~3 hours roundtrip),
  • Beaches.
    • Makena Beach is my favourite (in front of Molokini).
    • The beaches in Maalea are not very well known (nearly no tourists when we went) but beautiful.
    • Kaanapali is also popular but its beach is just ok (within the Hawaii scale).
    • Waiohue Bay (with the Kahanu Gardens) along the Road to Hana is also very nice but, if you are driving along the road, you end up having little time to spend in it.
    • La Perouse Bay has a beach with black volcanic sand. Just south of Makena Beach.
  • Lanai (see below)


  • Another must-see: 3000-people island in front of Maui.
  • Daily ferries from Maui (booth & departure from Lahaina downtown).
    • Convenient to do a one-day trip from Maui.
  • Lanai has one road (with no traffic lights).
    • Unless you have a bike, or you rent one (good luck) you are on foot. Still, you can do nearly everything.
  • Hulopoe Beach.
    • A nice & secluded beach within walking distance from the harbour.
    • Walking along some cliffs you get to a small bay with the famous Sweetheart Rock.
  • Going around:
    • To go to Lanai City you have to hitchhike along the main (and only) road. This does not seem to be a problem (was not for us, at least).
    • Ask them to bring to the Koele Lodge first and then walk back to the City yourself.
  • Lanai City.
    • Lanai City and the Lodge lie inside a volcano, so it is much cooler.
    • Lanai City has 1500 people and everything is around one square.
    • The Blue Ginger Cafe was raved about by the Lonely Planet and we confirm their review :-).

Other things in Maui

  • Lahaina, i.e. the touristic town in the Island.
    • Has all the restaurants and hotels, but apart from an evening stroll along the beach there is nothing to do here.
  • Molokini.
    • An ancient small volcano in front of Kihei that exploded and left a semicircular rock structure.
    • Several day snorkeling & diving trips are organized to Molokini.
  • Kuapo
    • Micro-village on the Pillani Highway.
  • The Road to Hana.
    • This is advertized like crazy so it is impossible not to know that it exists.
    • Fundamentally, it is the road along the north-estearn side of the island, with a lot of stops for waterfalls, caves, etc.
    • Due to this, the driving speed is really slow.
  • Keanae Peninsula.
    • Just off the Road to Hana. Has another micro-village and a nice rock church.
    • The Kahanu Gardens are nearby.
  • West Coast (north of Lahaina).
    • Lots of hotels (Hyatt, Marriott, etc.) around of Kaanapali.
    • No problem at all to stroll from one to the other (there is a walkway along the beach) - actually it is quite nice.
  • Iao Needle.
    • This is needle-shaped rock in the middle of the Maui Mountains (a different thing from the Haleakala Volcano).
    • The corresponding park is just so so.

Where is Maui



Where is Lanai



A map of Maui
(Mark indicates road to the top of Haleakala)


  • Maui's main airport is Kahului but tourists mostly go to Lahaina. The second tourist town is Kihei.
  • There is basically just one road that drives around the island, plus the one that goes on top of the volcano.
  • Rental cars in theory should not drive along the Pillani Highway (at the end of the Road to Hana) and therefore should not be able to close the loop. Personally I think that the Pillani Highway is one of the nicest parts of Maui, so draw your conclusions...
  • In Hawaii there is virtually no public transportation.
  • For better or for worse, all major American chain-stores are present in Hawaiian Islands

Maui Pictures


The Endless Summer

The church in the Keanae Peninsula

Kahanu Gardens

The giant bamboos on the Pipiwai Trail

Waimoku Falls at the end of the Pipiwai Trail

The Haleakala meets the ocean at the end of the Road to Hana

Pillani Highway

Sunset on Haleakala

Makena Beach


Black sand in La Perouse Bay

The Iao Needle

The West Maui Mountain at sunset

Sunrise from the top of Haleakala
The road on top of Haleakala
Cinder cones inside the volcano

Lanai Pictures

The Lanai coast

The Lanai harbour at Manele

Koele Lodge

Blue Ginger Cafe

Sweetheart Rock

The Lanai Coast in front of Sweetheart Rock


© Lorenzo Casaccia