If you can't stand the thought of just lazing around the beach all day, and your idea of the perfect vacation is to be up, active, and trying new adventures, then Maui is the place for you. This itinerary covers all the basics of what to see on Maui, with added adventures that active people like you will love.
Day 1: Arriving in Maui & Hitting the Beach
Your first stop after you get off the plane should be Snorkel Bob's to pick up snorkel gear (the staff will even show you how to use it). Check in to your hotel, and then head for the beach. Great snorkeling spots in west Maui include D.T. Fleming Beach Park, Kapalua Beach, Black Rock on Kaanapali Beach, and Wahikuli County Wayside Park. In south Maui, wonderful snorkeling beaches include the north end of Oneloa (Big) Beach in Makena (by the cinder cone), Ulua Beach and Wailea Beach in Wailea, and Kamaole III Beach in Kihei. Remember not to overdo the sun on your first day. If you just can't get enough of the underwater world, take a submarine trip with Atlantis Adventures.
Day 2: Going Up a 10,000-Foot Volcano & Down Again
You'll likely wake up early on your first day in Hawaii, so take advantage of it and head up to the 10,000-foot dormant volcano, Haleakala. Plan to either hike in the crater, speed down the mountain on a bicycle, see the crater on horseback with Pony Express Tours, or just wander about the national park. You don't have to be at the top for sunrise; in fact, it has gotten so congested at sunrise that you may be too busy fighting the crowds to have an awe-inspiring experience. Instead, I suggest heading up any time during the day.
On your way back down, stop and take Skyline Eco-Adventures' Zipline Haleakala Tour -- not for the faint of heart.
Day 3: Driving the Hana Highway
Pack a lunch and spend the entire day driving the scenic Hana Highway. Pull over often and get out to take photos, smell the flowers, and jump in the mountain-stream pools. Wave to everyone, move off the road for those speeding by, and breathe in Hawaii. Plan to spend at least 2 nights in Hana.
Day 4: Spending a Day in Heavenly Hana
You have an entire day in paradise and plenty of things to see. Take an early-morning hike along the black sands of Waianapanapa State Park and explore the Piilanihale Heiau in the Kahanu Garden. Set up a spelunking tour with Hana Lava Tube. Get a picnic lunch and drive out to the Kipihulu end of Haleakala National Park at Oheo Gulch. Hike to the waterfalls and swim in the pools. While you're out there, book a horseback tour with Maui Stables. Spend another night in Hana.
Day 5: Trying Something New & Exciting
Check to see if the road past Hana is open. If it is, continue driving around the island, past Kaupo and up to the Ulupalakua Ranch and the Tedeschi Vineyards and Winery. Stop at Grandma's Coffee House for a cup of java and head down the mountain. Plan to do something you've never tried before, such as learning how to surf with Rivers to the Sea, ocean rafting with Capt. Steve's Rafting Excursions, or windsurfing. If the road past Hana is closed, go back along the Hana Highway the way you came, stopping for lunch at Haliimaile General Store, and then follow the rest of the itinerary from there.
Day 6: Sailing to Lanai
Trilogy offers the best sailing/snorkeling trip in Hawaii, so don't miss it. You'll spend the day (breakfast and lunch included) sailing to Lanai, snorkeling, touring the island, and sailing back to Lahaina. The really adventurous can also try scuba diving.
Day 7: Enjoying Your Last Chance at Adventure
It's your last chance to do something out of the ordinary. My first pick would be to book a helicopter ride with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters to discover what Maui looks like from above. Or if you're a fan of the underwater world, sign up for a sailing/snorkel tour of Molokini. Even a guided hike into Maui's rainforest will remain etched in your memory.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.