The island of Maui is one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been to. Surrounded by crystal clear water, there are so many things to do in Maui that you likely won’t have the time to accomplish everything. (Such a shame you’ll have to book another trip, right?) Because you have limited time, this is a rough 5-day Maui itinerary for the best things to do in Maui.
Remember, driving throughout the island takes longer than on the mainland due to usually single-lane roads and speed limits that don’t even reach 60 MPH. Enjoy these adventures across your 5 days in Maui!
Things to do in Maui – 5-day Maui itinerary
Drive the Road to Hana
Get ready for a long but beautiful day on the island. The Road to Hanna is the most stunning drive on Maui but will eat up most of your day with slow, winding roads and more scenic turnoffs than you’ll know what to do with.
Plan to beat the crowds with a 6 AM wake-up call to ensure you get the most out of your day. Plenty of guides are available to tell you the best locations to stop along the drive. One thing I highly recommend is finding an accessible waterfall and taking a swim beneath it. Experiencing the force of a waterfall crashing down on your head is one you’ll remember forever.
Put your toes in the sand at Wai’ānapanapa State Park (The Maui black sand beach)
Near the end of the drive to Hanna is the mesmerizing Wai’ānapanapa State Park, otherwise known as the Maui Black Sand Beach. Access is reservation only. You can find the link here, so make sure you plan, or you’ll be on the outside looking in. The first beach is less than a quarter of a mile from the parking lot. That’s where most people go. Keep walking along the Lava Trail; you’ll find gorgeous views and another less hectic beach. You’ll also watch the waves crash against the lava walls and along the black sand beach. It’s a sight to see! I firmly believe this is one of the best things to do in Maui and make sure you have it included in your 5 days in Maui.
Snorkel Molokini Crater
Snorkeling at Molokini Crater will offer some of the clearest water and most beautiful fish you’ve ever seen. It’s one of the things to do in Maui. With a full hour to yourself at the crater, you can float on the surface or test your diving and breath-holding skills by heading towards the bottom. Of course, you’ll have to join a snorkeling trip to get out there unless you have a ride of your own, but I find it to be an incredibly worthwhile adventure. Make sure to bring your underwater cameras to capture the moment, as this is surely one of the places to visit in Maui, Hawaii.
Swim with Sea Turtles Maui Adventures
A memory you’ll treasure forever during your 5 days in Maui. On my first trip to Hawaii, I was lucky enough to see five or six sea turtles in three different places. While most paid trips will help you see them, they’re never guaranteed, and it was so stimulating to swim alongside them. (Remember, keep 6-10 feet away and never touch or feed sea turtles.) This Maui adventures memory will stick in my brain until I die.
Visit the Nakele Blowhole
Have you ever seen a natural blowhole? This is your chance! About 30 minutes from Lahaina, you’ll find the trail to the Nakele Blowhole. You’ll be able to see it from the parking lot but getting up close (but not too close) is so much better. Enjoy the consistent “eruptions” while also exploring the nearby lava rock. In all, it’s about a half-mile walk down with a couple of hundred feet of elevation gain. I wouldn’t recommend doing it in flip-flops.
Enjoy sunrise or sunset from Haleakala National Park during you 5 days in Maui
Let’s talk about a mind-blowing experience and one of the best things to do in Maui. Every person who visits Maui should drive up and watch a sunset or sunrise from the top of Haleakala. Standing over 10,000 feet above sea level, Haleakala owns the crown for one of the most abrupt elevation gains in the world. All visitors are welcome for sunset, while permits are required for those wishing to watch the sunrise. The drive-up takes about 90 minutes. Be aware that you will gain 10,000 feet of elevation in a short time, and you may feel the effects of the altitude when you arrive at the top. Take some time to get your bearings and drink plenty of water. This is one of the Maui adventures you can’t pass up.
Maui Where to Stay
There are too many unique places to stay in Maui that you can’t exactly go wrong. However, the following list is some of the areas I really enjoyed and thought you would too. So if you’re wondering where to stay in Maui, go with these two spots throughout your 5 days in Maui.
- Kihei: You’re central on the island, and getting up to Haleakala isn’t too long of a drive. The same goes for the Road to Hana. Additionally, if you like whale watching, you are close by. You’ll find hotels and things to do here.
- Kaanapali: I LOVED LOVED this area as it’s a true beach resort paradise. We splurged a bit and stayed at the Westin, but plenty of other areas are far less expensive. Click here for hotels and activities in the region.
5-day Maui itinerary
Unwinding in Maui Day 1
- Fly in and land in the afternoon.
- Find a beach and enjoy the sun and catch some waves.
- Book a helicopter flight over west Maui.
- Grab some poke or a local dish and get to your hotel room
- Go whale watching
Hiking Maui Day 2
- Explore Haleakala National Park. If you won a permit, go up for sunrise. If not, head up in the early morning and stay for sunset. Make sure to bring lots of food and water. This is one of the best places to visit in Maui, Hawaii.
- Come down for dinner.
Maui Adventures Day 3
- Go snorkeling and swim with turtles. Hands down one of the best experiences I had.
- Spend the rest of the day unwinding. Go check out Makena Beach State Park for sunset.
- Or take a sunset dinner cruise.
Road to Hana on Maui Day 4
- This is your Road to Hana day. Plan for a LONG day out and about. Make sure to get your reservations beforehand and screenshot them, as service is subpar. The Maui black sand beach is phenomenal.
Exploring Maui Day 5
- Sadly the time has gone, but hopefully, your flight is late enough that you don’t have to rush out.
Wrapping up our 5-day Maui itinerary
Before going to Maui, I really didn’t know how much fun I’d have as I’m not a big beach person. But having the Maui black sand beach to explore, snorkeling, and spending time in a volcano was more than I could have ever hoped. So if you’re looking for a ridiculously amazing Maui adventure trip, do as much as you can over your 5-day Maui itinerary.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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