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Honeymoon

Maui questions

Hi knotties,

We just got married last week in Vegas and thinking about taking our honeymoon the end of May. We want to go to Maui because all the pretty pictures we saw and seems like our friends and family who've been there love the island.

Did any of you ever been there and have any affordable ($100 max) per person activities to suggest?

We are planning to rent a condo/apartment from airbnb.com because it's cheaper and most of them come with kitchen so we can save money by cooking our food for breakfast.

We also want to do Luau but not sure which one to pick from, so suggestions on that will be appreciated.

Any other tips regarding Maui and surrounding areas will be appreciated as well.

Thank you in advance for all your replies. :).
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Re: Maui questions

  • We went to the Old Lahaina Luau and enjoyed it. A huge variety of food, the drinks were pretty good, the show was great. It's billed as an "authentic" luau, so they don't do the whole throwing flaming knives thing, but I enjoyed having something more culturally significant, rather than an OOT theatrical show. 

    We drove the Road to Hana-we left Ka'anapali at about 6am and had the road to ourselves almost the whole way, thank god. I would not have survived otherwise. We ended up driving the dirt road around the bottom of the island instead of turning around and going back the way we came, and we were very happy we did. I can handle 11 miles of mostly unpaved road with no traffic vs twisty turny one lane and bridges in tons of traffic. 

    We went to Haleakala for sunset instead of sunrise and it was a perfect experience. We hiked part of the Trail of Sands about two hours before sunset and had the whole crater to ourselves which was the highlight of our trip.

    Instead of booking a snorkeling tour, we just rented fins & masks for about $25 for the week and went to different snorkeling spots in West Maui & South Maui. The area around the Black Rock on Ka'anapali is perfect.

    Get or borrow the Maui Revealed guide-it's how we chose the beaches, where to stop on the Road to Hana, etc. Have fun! 
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  • Thank you for the suggestions, I have a few questions if you don't mind:

    * How far is the Road to Hana? Is it a hard drive to do?

    * Is the hike at Haleakala pretty easy to do? I can do easy trails but got scaredy when it comes to windy and slippery trails.

    * Do you know to do snorkelling before? I've never done it before, I know how to swim but that's about it. Is it hard to do?

    Thank you so much!
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  • We went last June, so my memory might be a little off-I think it took us maybe 1:15 to get to the start of the Road to Hana from Ka'anapali. We spent the whole day doing it, but there are dozens of places to stop along the road, so it all depends on how often you want to stop. Some stops were literally a two minute "look at the waterfall", some places we spent 30 minutes +. There are usually only 2-3 spots for cars at the pullovers, so if the spots are full you have to just keep moving. 

    It's not difficult per se, but it is a mostly single lane, very windy, lots of blind turns with two way traffic, lots of one lane bridges where you can't see if someone is coming the other direction, etc. That it why we left much earlier than the book recommended, and I was very happy we did. There are small group tours that do the driving for you. If you don't think you can handle the stress of the roads, I would recommend letting someone else do the driving! 

    There are a lot of different hikes at Haleakala, the Sliding Sands is a steep downhill into the crater (we are pretty fast hikers, and after an hour we weren't anywhere near the bottom). You then have to turn around and walk back uphill. It's not slippery, unless its been raining. It was dry as a bone when we were there, so other than getting tired of walking uphill for an hour+, it wasn't difficult footing. It's such a unique terrain, it feels like what you imagine Mars to be like. It's barren but I thought it was breath taking. 

    I had only been snorkeling once before (in Belize), and I found it easier to do in Hawaii. In Belize we were out in open water, in Hawaii we were hugging the shoreline the whole time. Hawaii doesn't have a continental shelf, so once you get more 20-30 feet from shore it's a steep drop off, all the cool stuff is right near shore and very shallow. You just have to relax and breathe slowly. The Maui Revealed book has very thorough descriptions of each snorkeling place and whether the currents are challenging or not. I recommend wearing a short sleeve or long sleeve rash guard while snorkeling-your back is exposed for a long time and the board shirt keeps your from getting sunburned. Also I got cold pretty easily, so I was happy to have the extra coverage!
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  • Don't do the road to Hana at night. (and/or don't stay so late you're coming back at night). It's kinda scary then 'cause it's DARK. 

    Snorkeling is great. I had a huge tortiouse come swim right next to me. 

    going on a very restrictive budget might be frustrating, though, because so much of the fun is activities that cost $$. I wouldn't fly to Maui just to lay on the beach. I can do that much closer to home.
  • jwoftexasjwoftexas member
    10 Comments First Anniversary
    edited February 2013
    • Road to Hana - leave before 7 am.  You won't have to deal with all the traffic, and the black sand beach won't be super crowded.  If you can, stay the night in Hana and make it a 2 day trip. 

    • Luau - I went to the one at the Marriot.  $100 for regular/person, $120 for priority seating.  All you can eat and drink AND fire dancing.

    • Snorkeling - go on a morning trip so you can visit Molokini and turtle town. ($60/person) 

    • Sunrise at the volcano and bike ride- (forget the name of it) - Personally, I did't think the bike ride was worth it.  Drive up for sunrise yourself, then head back for a nap or breakfast.  It's freezing at the top so bring lots of layers and blankets. ($118/person)

    • If you're staying in Wailea, venture to Kihei, Paia, and the north shore.
    I regret not paddle boarding or kayaking.  If you're outdoorsy, definitely do it.
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  • Thank you all so much! These answers made me excited for our trip. Gonna book the plane tickets today. We are leaving the end of May. I'm also going to get that book :D.
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  • Oh yeah I'm not a big fan of steep or high locations. I'm kind of a scaredy cat. I'm excited to try snorkeling for the first time though :).
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  • Biking down from Haleakala looked miserable to me.  Definetly take hats, gloves, layers, etc if you are going up for sunrise.  Our B&B supplied us with tons of gear, but we also saw a lot of people wrapped in comforters from hotels.  It will likely be about 30-35 degrees up there.

    Whale watching season ends by April in Maui to my understanding, I would bother trying to do a tour in May.

    If you do the Road to Hana and have an iphone, there are apps that you can download before you go that work on GPS coordinates or something.  The one we got told us what each stop was before we got to it as well as a history of Maui.  It was really interesting.  If you plan to continue down the "back way" from Hana, be aware that it will take at least an hour or so before you get to civilization in upcountry (there is a neat winery).  There is literally no place to stop until you get to the winery.  Also, traveling that way will likely void your rental car agreement,

    Speaking of rental cars, don't leave anything in the car.  Make sure to leave it at your hotel. Locals told us that homeless people target rental cars, smash a window and take what they can grab.  I wouldn't risk it.

    Lahaina is a fun place to walk around, it's like a shopping village.

    You must get shave ice, it is delicious.  The Uleilani Shave Ice stand was the one we went to and it was amazing.

    If you watch Top Chef Seattle, the chef Sheldon Simeon has a restaurant in Lahaina called Star Noodle, it's tasty.  Who knows, you could see him there.
  • My husband is going to be the main driver and I think he is more brave than I am. Where is the road 340 going to and from? Do we need to take that road to hana?
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  • HW 340 is around the north end of West Maui. It is not for the faint of heart. There's a bunch of "hidden" treasures along the road, but it's not something many do. 

    You don't HAVE to take the Road to Hana (unless you want to fly into/out of Hana, or stay in Hana). It's just one of the more popular things to do. We enjoyed it, if you are only going to Maui it is your chance to see a black sand beach. But do I think you could have an enjoyable HM without doing it? Yes. Neither my H or I drive regularly, so being in a car for 6+ hrs in a day is tough. But if you are the sort of couple that enjoys a scenic drive, it won't be as taxing. 
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  • Wow..that sounds intense. Thank you for the tips. We'll see how many activities we want to do. I want to do the road to hana but if there's no time maybe next time. We booked our plane tickets yesterday got a really good deal for $1064 for 2 round trip tickets. Tonight, I'm going to book the condo that I found through vrbo. It's at Kihei. Good deal for that too, $675 for 7 nights. I'm glad we are going to be able to go on honeymoon sooner than what we are planning.
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  • FMIL12FMIL12 member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited March 2013
    Biking down was a blast! We went with a company that took you up for sunrise and let you ride down at your own pace - we could stop whenever we wanted etc., you didn't stay in a group.
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