The Perfect 3 Days in Maui Itinerary | 3, 5, and 7 Day Itinerary Options

Trying to find great activities and attractions in Maui? Our Maui itinerary is all you need to plan the perfect trip!

Adored for its beautiful beaches, rocky cliffs, rich plant and animal life, and spectacular sightseeing opportunities, Maui is one of the best islands to see while visiting Hawaii!

The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui is a tropical paradise home to one of the world’s largest dormant volcanoes, Haleakalā Crater.

This dormant volcano is an enriching picture that has inspired legends, as its impressive structure can be seen from almost all points on the island. It represents some of the impactful culture and Hawaiian history.

More important symbolic sites on the island, like the sacred ʻĪao Valley, play a vital role in Maui’s history. There are other rewarding opportunities to experience the island’s culture, such as hula performances and local cuisine, which are a great addition to any Maui itinerary.

Known as “Valley Isle,” Maui is beloved for its thriving rainforests, rugged coastal landscapes, sprawling sandy beaches, and eye-catching blue waters, making it one of the best Hawaiian destinations.

The many plant and animal species, some of which are endemic to the island, that call Maui home are another drawing feature of Maui, where many people travel for whale-watching as humpback whales migrate to the island every year.

A trip to Maui presents an opportunity to adventure the island’s lush forests and oceans through memorable activities, including hiking, whale-watching, camping, snorkeling, windsurfing, scuba diving, boating, and more! 

Our Maui itinerary, which ranges from 3, 5, and 7 days, takes you on a whirlwind of a trip to venture into the enriching experience of Maui in all its glory for an unforgettable vacation! 

Find more of the best things to do in Maui here!

How to Spend Up to 7 Days in Maui Itinerary

There are many ways you can choose to spend your time while visiting Maui. Whether you’re an adventurer, a nature enthusiast, or simply want to savor the tropical paradise of this Hawaiian Island, our 3-day Maui itinerary is specially made to show off the best of the island.

Plus, we’ve extended the itinerary to 5 days in Maui and 7 days in Maui for those who have more time to spare on their Maui vacation!

Core 3-Day Maui Itinerary

The shortest amount of time recommended to spend is 3 days in Maui. And this 3-day Maui itinerary is the core of any visit to this stunning Hawaiian Island, full of adventure, culture, and natural beauty!

We’ll add on additional days so that you could spend 5 or 7 days on Maui and enjoy every minute of your time there!

Read Next: Don’t plan your time exploring the Hawaiian Islands without our Ultimate Hawaiian itinerary

Maui Itinerary: Day 1

After you arrive at Kahului Airport on day one in Maui, there’s no better way to take in the impactfulness of Maui’s nature and beauty than on the scenic Road to Hana route.

Visit the famous Black Sand Beach along the way, then hike the numerous scenic hiking trails at Waiʻānapanapa State Park for the perfect start to your trip! 

Day 1 Morning – Road To Hana

Start the morning sightseeing with glorious views of Maui on the legendary Road to Hana. This 64-mile stretch of scenic road links Kahului to Hana in east Maui.

Considered one of the top things to do in Maui, the Road to Hana is the perfect activity to start your trip on the best note while relishing in Maui’s rushing waterfalls, awe-inspiring vistas, and luscious tropical rainforests. 

On this adventure tour of the Road to Hana, experience the Kipahulu District, spectacular lava caves at Wai’anapanapa State Park, and more famous points of interest along the Road to Hana. 

The Road to Hana is an absolute must when you explore Maui, so you might as well tick it off the bucket list right away!

Day 1 Afternoon – Black Sand Beach

After driving the Road to Hana, head to the famous Black Sand Beach. Enjoy some relaxing beach time at this beautiful spot situated on mile marker 32 off the Road to Hana Highway. 

Also called Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach, or Honokalani, this natural wonder is a sacred spot for Hawaiians, full of history and legends. It is home to Hawaii’s largest heiau, a religious temple, and natural attractions, such as blow holes, lava caves, sea stacks, and vistas. 

Black Sand Beach
Maui’s black sand beaches are a stunning sight.
Day 1 Evening – Waiʻānapanapa State Park

Also found off the Road to Hana Highway, off mile marker 32, Waiʻānapanapa State Park is a 122-acre park full of geologic stunners, breathtaking views, and top attractions in Maui.

Camping is available at Waiʻānapanapa State Park for outdoor enthusiasts. There are scenic hiking trails, including the three-mile round trip Ke Ala Loa O Maui / Piilani Trail.

Also called Waianapanapa Coast Trail North, this trail travels along the rugged coastline. It is extremely popular, traveling over barren lava with exceptional viewpoints of native hala (screw-pine) trees, the Slopes of Haleakala, and the Hana Coast. 

  • Address: Hana, HI 96713
  • Phone Number: (808) 248-4843
  • Hours: 7 AM – 6 PM (Daily)

Heading to Honolulu next? Check out our list of the best things to do in Honolulu when you get there!

Maui Itinerary: Day 2

See the outstanding sights of the red-sanded beach, Kaihalulu Beach. Hike to the Seven Sacred Pools at the ʻOheʻo Gulch and swim in the other pools in the forest. Experience the legends at Haleakala National Park while relishing the awe-inspiring sights of Central Maui!

Day 2 Morning – Kaihalulu Beach

Kaihalulu Beach, also known as Red Sand Beach, is a serenely hidden cove and crescent-shaped beach in east Maui. The beach cuts into the Ka’uiki Head cinder cone and lava cinder cliffs, where it receives its red color for its sand.

The red sand beach contrasts wondrously with vibrant blue waters, rugged black lava rock, and cliffs dotted with trees. 

As safety advice, only experienced hikers should consider attempting the hike to Kaihalulu Beach. The hike should not be attempted before or after heavy rainfall. Kaihalulu Beach is also a “clothing optional” beach notorious for its strong rip currents. 

Day 2 Afternoon – ʻOheʻo Gulch 

ʻOheʻo Gulch is home to the Seven Sacred Pools, one of the most famous attractions in Maui. Formed over the years and fed by the river traveling through the rainforest, ʻOheʻo Gulch is located off the Road to Hana in Haleakala National Park. 

Swimming in the Seven Sacred Pools is prohibited. However, other pools sprinkled along the hiking path are available to swim in to refresh and relish Maui’s luscious nature. 

  • Address: Pipiwai Trail, Hana, HI 96713
  • Phone Number: (808) 248-7375
  • Hours: 9 AM – 4:30 PM (Daily)
Day 2 Evening – Haleakala National Park 

Notorious for its breathtaking sunrises, Haleakala National Park in Central Maui is home to the endangered Hawaiian geese and the dormant volcano, Haleakalā.

The volcano, translated to “house of the sun,” is where legends of the demigod Maui, a character in the Disney movie Moana, originate from. Legends tell it that the demigod lassoed the sun atop the volcano’s summit to slow its descent. 

Visit Haleakala National Park on an epic sunrise tour for a next-level experience! Learn the park’s history from your local, eco-certified guide while savoring breakfast and the sunrise atop the volcano’s summit! 

Haleakala National Park 
See the sunrise from the volcanic crater in Haleakala National Park!

Maui Itinerary: Day 3

Today, head to South Maui from the breathtaking vistas at the Manawainui Gulch for a quick stop. First, traverse the ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘U Natural Area Reserve to walk amongst lava fields and glimpse rare sights.

Then, hit the sand at Mākena Beach or Maluaka Beach to experience the best beaches on your trip in this tropical paradise! 

Read next: The 21 Best Things To Do In Kauai, Hawaii

Day 3 Morning – Manawainui Gulch

A marvelous way to start the day, the Manawainui Gulch is teeming with breathtaking vistas of the ocean and the sprawling valley. From its position on the south shore of Maui are unique sightseeing points of Wailea, La Perouse Bay, Pu’u O’lai, and Makena Beach. 

A hidden gem, the gulch is on the shoulder of Haleakalā National Park and was established by rain and wind erosion. It is a short but worthwhile stop teeming with photography and sightseeing opportunities. 

  • Address: Piilani Hwy, Kula, HI 96790
Day 3 Afternoon – ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘U Natural Area Reserve

A protected bay thriving with marine life in south Maui, ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘U Natural Area Reserve features lava fields established by Haleakala volcano’s last eruption, believed to be 200-500 years ago.

The marine ecosystems in the reserve include rare anchialine ponds and native plants such as cotton, wiliwili, and naio. 

Snorkeling is incredible at ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘U Natural Area Reserve, where its coral reefs are thriving with native marine species, like Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and various tropical fish.

Day 3 Evening – Mākena Beach (or travel farther to Maluaka Beach)

Within south Maui is the large expanse of Mākena State Park and two beaches, Little Beach and Big Beach, which is also called Oneloa Beach.

Mākena Beach, another name for Big Beach, is an undeveloped beach with viewpoints of the Kaho’olawe and Molokini islands. Beach hopping here is perfect if you are seeking to get away from the more crowded beaches without compromising the quality of the location.

Often referred to as Pu’u Olai Beach, Little Beach can get crowded. It’s also where people come to sunbathe in the nude. The park is home to Pu’u Olai, a dormant volcanic cinder cone in the middle of the park, perfect for participating in an extra adventure before the day ends! 

  • Address: 4670 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753
  • Hours: 6 AM – 7:45 PM (Daily)
Mākena Beach
Mākena Beach is a gem of Maui’s west coast!

5 Days In Maui Itinerary

Extend your trip to spend 5 days in Maui to experience more of the island’s top attractions! This 5 day Maui itinerary can be added to the recommended 3 day plan, as the full itinerary is designed to loop around Maui to encounter all sides of this Hawaiian island. 

Maui Itinerary: Day 4

Begin day 4 of your 5 days in Maui with a rewarding hike on Hoapili Trail, where Hawaiian royalty once walked. Then, snorkel, boat, or dive around the waters of Molokini Crater, formed by a volcanic eruption. Finally, finish the day basking in paradise at Wailea Beach on this exceptional 5-day Maui itinerary!

Find more fun things to do in Hawaii here!

Day 4 Morning – Hoapili Trail

One of the best hikes in Maui, the historic Hoapili Trail travels amongst lava formed from an eruption in 1790. The 5.5-mile round trip trail is surrounded by a barren land of lava rock along the rugged coastline.

It was once a reserved walking path for Hawaiian royalty, which is how it got its nickname, “King’s Highway.” 

The Hoapili Trail’s trailhead is in the parking lot for La Perouse Bay, where many travel to snorkel and surf.

From the parking lot is a three-mile trek to the snorkeling spot, and before you hit it, there is the surfing spot, Laps, where surfers go to test their courage and skills. Along this path is a sign to enter the King’s Highway, which refers to Hoapili Trail, and beach access to Kanaio Beach. 

Day 4 Afternoon – Molokini Crater 

A crescent moon-shaped volcanic crater, Molokini Crater, is located in the ʻAlalākeiki Channel, three miles off Maui island and near Kaho’olawe. Some of Molokini Crater is submerged, the crater forming an islet surrounded by reefs and rich marine life.  

Molokini Crater is notorious for being a hot spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, while whale watching is popular in the winter. Throw on some reef-safe sunscreen and take to the water!

This afternoon snorkeling trip offers a selection to travel to Coral Gardens or Molokini Crater. The snorkeling tour takes guests on a 55-foot catamaran across the Pacific to explore the wonder of Molokini Crater’s biodiversity and enriched coral reef environment. 

Molokini Crater 
Snorkeling at Molokini Crater is a must-have Maui experience!
Day 4 Evening – Wailea Beach

Snagging the reputation as America’s Best Beach in 1999, visiting Wailea Beach is one of the best things to do in Maui!

Wailea Beach’s golden-tinted sand, shaded palm trees, and sparkling blue waters make for a much-needed escape. A rejuvenating way to end the day breathing in the salty breeze and fresh air, at Wailea Beach, you can dip your toes in the water, sink your toes in the sand, and relax.

The waters are protected by a small cove, making it a safe spot to swim without the threat of crashing waves or intense rip currents. During whale watching season you can sometimes see whales off the coast!

Maui Itinerary: Day 5

Finish off your 5 days in Maui with a bang! Experience the glory of the ancient and sacred West Maui Mountains, embodying Hawaiian culture, history, and life.

Then, explore more of West Maui and join a tour of Hawaii’s largest craft brewery at the Maui Brewing Company. Finally, see marine species endemic to Hawaii up close and personal at the exceptional Maui Ocean Center to end the day on the perfect note!

Day 5 Morning – West Maui Mountains

Take a day trip to the spectacular West Maui Mountains, which feature fascinating biodiversity. The prosperous habitats in the mountains, which include lowland forests, Hawaiian music forests, and more, have numerous native species, including eighteen plant species endemic to Maui. 

These ancient mountains are a sacred historical site dedicated to Hawaiian culture, and a day trip here is the perfect addition to your Maui itinerary.

The mountains are estimated to be 1.7 million years old, full of sightseeing and other activities, such as the unique rock formation Makaluapuna Point Dragon’s Teeth.

West Maui Mountains
Experience the magic of the West Maui Mountains!
Day 5 Afternoon – Maui Brewing Company

The largest craft brewery in Hawaii, Maui Brewing Company, is a refreshing stop for the afternoon to quench your thirst and socialize with locals and fellow tourists in West Maui!

Go on a Maui Brewing Company brewery tour to see the brewhouse, cellar, and packing line while learning about the brewery’s process of making its exceptional hand-crafted brews.

There’s also a guided tasting option to consider, led by an experienced craft beer curator that gives guests a chance to experience the four flagship beers of Maui Brewing Company. 

  • Address: 605 Lipoa Pkwy, Kihei, HI 96753
  • Phone Number: (808) 201-2337
  • Hours: 11:30 AM – 10 PM (Daily)

Read next: The 21 Best Things To Do In Waikiki, Hawaii

Day 5 Evening – Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The largest living tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Maui Ocean Center is a one-of-a-kind experience to not pass up on during your travels to West Maui!

Since its founding in 1998, the center has continued to impress with its exceptional exhibits and encounters with marine life, some of which are endemic to Hawaii alone.

Experience one of the world’s largest collections of live Pacific corals at the Maui Ocean Center, learn about the local culture and marine life through the aquarium’s education programs, and observe the glory of the underwater world at this top Maui attraction! 

  • Address: 192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793
  • Phone Number: (808) 270-7000
  • Hours:  9 AM – 5 PM (Daily)

7 Days In Maui Itinerary

For a Maui 7-day itinerary, you have to hit some of the other top attractions of the area that shouldn’t be missed out on. These recommended points of interest continue around to the North Shore of Maui, making a loop, and are within easy access of one another so you can save time and make the most of your trip to Maui! 

Maui Itinerary: Day 6

Start the morning snorkeling the waters of Honolua Bay in North Maui. Then, sink into luxury at Ka’anapali Beach, surrounded by top-notch resorts. Then, satisfy your appetite with Hula Grill Kaanapali’s fresh seafood and sip on refreshing tropical drinks!

Read Next: Plan a trip to Kauai with our amazing Kauai itinerary!

Day 6 Morning – Honolua Bay

A fantastic location on the west coast for snorkeling and scuba diving, Honolua Bay is a part of the Mokulēʻia Marine Life Conservation District, its ecosystem full of prosperous marine life, secluded beaches, and thriving nature. 

On the northwest shore of Honolua Bay is a hot spot for experienced surfers to catch some waves, especially during the winter. However, during the summer, Honolua Bay is mostly where people come to explore the enriched marine environment, including coral formations, tropical fish, sea turtles, and more! 

Honolua Bay
If you love to surf, Honolua Bay is the place to be.
Day 6 Afternoon – Ka’anapali Beach

Another one of the best beaches in the USA, Ka’anapali Beach in west Maui was previously a luxurious retreat for Maui royalty, though now it is a favored tourist spot near resorts and hotels. 

A must-attraction on this Maui itinerary, Kaanapali Beach’s golden sand and blue waters are a notorious attraction on the island. Though swimming and sunbathing are popular at Ka’anapali Beach, more famously known is the daily cliff diving ceremony held at Black Rock, the northernmost cliff located on the beach. 

Day 6 Evening – Hula Grill Kaanapali Beach

End the evening at the beachside eatery, Hula Grill Kaanapali!

Dance and sing along with the live music. Quench your thirst with refreshing tropical drinks while people-watching at the Barefoot Bar settled on the water’s edge of Ka’anapali Beach. Relish in chef-driven dining with fresh local treats like fish tacos and pupu sourced and inspired by local fishermen, farmers, and ohana. 

The open-air setting of Hula Grill Kaanapali is one you’ll never forget, with immaculate vibes to make you feel at home while in paradise. 

  • Address: 2435 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
  • Phone Number: (808) 667-6636
  • Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM (Daily)

Heading to the US mainland? Here is our list of the best things to do in Los Angeles!

Maui Itinerary: Day 7

On the last day in Maui, savoring the natural beauty of Maui is a must! First, head to Paia near Upcountry Maui for a beach day at Baldwin Beach Park. In the afternoon, hike the Bamboo Forest Waterfalls Trailhead in North Maui. Then, end your Maui trip with a visit to Ke’anae Arboretum to see the vibrant rainbow eucalyptus trees living in a tropical rainforest! 

Day 7 Morning – Baldwin Beach Park

Located in Paia near Upcountry Maui, Baldwin Beach Park is a tranquil beach park perfect for spending time with the family. Lifeguards are on watch at Baldwin Beach Park, which also features a pavilion, bathrooms, picnic tables, showers, and grills for cooking out. 

Experienced boogie boards like to show off their skills here thanks to the park’s regular and large shore break that changes ideally in the winter months.

Families can head to the two protected swimming areas on the west and east ends of the park for the kids and beginner swimmers to safely enjoy the waters. The east end is Baldwin Cove, and the west is called Baby Beach. 

  • Address: Baldwin Park, Paia, HI 96779
  • Hours: 7 AM – 8 PM
Day 7 Afternoon – Bamboo Forest Waterfalls Trailhead

Na’ili’ili Haele Stream & Waterfalls, more commonly known as simply “Bamboo Forest,” is reached by the Bamboo Forest Waterfalls Trailhead. Whether you are a novice or an experienced hiker, this adventure is absolutely rewarding and accessible to the beauty of Maui!

Along this hike, you will trek through a rich bamboo forest to a streambed. Beyond this point is a string of roaring waterfalls. Reaching these points of interest depends on how experienced a hiker you are, as they may be difficult to access.

However, the first few waterfalls are within immediate reach, just a short distance into the hike for quick access, while the others require more work to reach. 

  • Address: Road to Hana Hwy, Haiku, HI 96708
Bamboo Forest Maui
Hiking through the serene bamboo forest is a beautiful way to spend a day on Maui!
Day 7 Evening – Ke’anae Arboretum

The Ke’anae Arboretum is an enriching environmental sprawling across six acres. The botanical garden and arboretum are overflowing with unique species, such as the rainbow eucalyptus trees, the only species of gum tree that can grow and sustain itself in a tropical rainforest.  

Numerous scenic trails lead guests throughout the Ke’anae Arboretum to witness the glory of the unique species set in the rainforest, including papaya, taro, and hibiscus! 

  • Address: 13385 HI-360, Kula, HI 96790

Maui Travel Guide

Now that you know how to spend your days, here is some information that will help you understand the best time to visit, how to get around, and where to stay when you visit Maui.

When Is The Best Time to Visit Maui

The best time to visit Maui is before the crowded tourist months during summer. These include April to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is ideal for visiting, with lower chances of experiencing rain that can ruin your outdoor plans of seeing all of Maui’s beautiful natural wonders. 

Snorkeling is still great year-round, but May to September has particularly great visibility for spotting sea turtles and other marine creatures. If you want to spot whales, visit from November to May! These months are also considered rainy season, though you should still get great weather mixed in with some showers.

Getting Around Maui

A rental car is the best way to get around Maui to experience the marvels of this island. For example, driving the scenic Road To Hana or hitting up some of the best beaches and coves scattered around the island is much easier in your own car.

However, if renting a vehicle is not in the books, other forms of transportation are available, including taxis, shuttles, and other public transportation options. Guided tours also visit many of the best attractions!

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

Where To Stay In Maui

Last on our Maui itinerary guide, let’s discuss where to stay in Maui! Our recommendations for the best accommodation in Maui will help you choose the top spot for your budget!

Best Hostel in Maui

Fixed around a Tiki Garden, Tiki Beach Hostel has the best beach vibes set on Lahaina’s beachside. A stay at this hotel includes access to boogie boards, beach chairs, snorkeling equipment, and a desirable location at the best surf spot in Lahaina and near the most famous streets in Maui, Front Street, for shopping, dining, and exploring. 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Maui

Within walking distance of Maui’s top attractions, Kihei Akahi presents impeccably designed condos with scenic viewpoints of Kamaole Beaches I and III. Go snorkeling or swimming at the beaches only a short walk away, or take a dip at the two on-site pools to relax and soak in the sun.

Best Luxury Hotel in Maui

A luxury five-star hotel, Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux was named the #1 hotel in Hawaii by Travel + Leisure in 2022. From Hotel Wailea, guests can savor 180-degree viewpoints of three Hawaiian Islands surrounded by landscaped grounds filled with tropical gardens, strolling paths, and rushing waterfalls. Your dream vacation starts here!

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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