Haleakala (Haleakalā), also referred to as the East Maui Volcano, is an immense shield volcano that actually makes up 75% of the Maui island. The tallest peak of the volcano is 3,055 metres high – you will literally be standing above the clouds!
It’s easy to visit the volcano’s summit as it’s part of the Haleakala National Park: Simply rent a car in town and drive up the gorgeous mountain until you reach the top. The roads are entirely paved and it’s super safe to drive (not like the Road to Hana..). It’s quite cold up there though (between 5 and 15°C). So make sure to bring some warmer clothes with you. And, as for any road trip through a national park, come with a full tank, bring lots of water and food. As you can see in the photos, I obviously had forgotten the extra clothes haha
And not only the peak of the volcano is absolutely breathtaking, also the road up has its fair share of stunning spots for taking little breaks or having picnics.
Haleakala was home to demigod Maui’s granny..
There is a beautiful legend to the Haleakala volcano which says that the crater at summit of Haleakala was home to the grandmother of the demigod Maui. It is said that Maui’s grandmother helped him to capture the sun, forcing it to slow down in order to lengthen the day. Have you seen the Disney movie Moana? It’s so beautiful – make sure to watch it before you head to Hawaii!
Convinced yet? It’s really such a beautiful place and makes a perfect day trip in Maui. Read more info about the volcano and how to get there here on the official Haleakala National Park website. And for more tips for Maui, check out the Road to Hana here, Lahaina here and the Maui Hyatt Regency here. For lots of beautiful photos of Maui, click over to this one and this one.
Road to Hana is a must-see in Maui and makes a perfect day tour away from the beaches into the more tropical part of the island. And as the name probably already suggests, this day trip is not to visit Hana, it’s about driving the beautiful ROAD to Hana. There are endless beautiful spots for having picnics and taking photos. So make sure you reserve a whole day for your Road to Hana trip and start in the morning.
Rise and shine early
We left the hotel in West Maui at around 10 am in the morning and started our road trip along the Road to Hana. I think the usual tours already start around 8 am and also a lot of individual travellers start much earlier than 10 am. This is because it takes a while to drive along the Road to Hana and back. You don’t want to RUSH the Road to Hana as (1) there are so many beautiful spots to discover and get out of your car and (2) driving fast on the Road to Hana will make it rather a Road to Death as the streets become really narrow and non-paved. That said, one of the reasons why you should start your trip early is to prevent ending up on such a narrow mountain road after dark.
The Real Surfers..
Once you have made your way to start the start of the official back-road of the Road to Hana, the beauty begins. Just being a few mins on the Road to Hana we passed by massive waves. The waves you associate Hawaii with after seeing some surfer movies. And yes, there were surfers actually surfing these huge waves. OMG. Obviously we had to stay there a for a little while to watch them. That’s when I realised for real that I will NEVER become one of them. That train has left the station and it probably had done so many years before haha. Life is all about focusing on the realistic dreams haha..
Anyway, after seeing how these surfers were being washed away by the waves I decided to happily stick to the longer end of the mini malibu surf boards and much smaller waves :)
Nature at its best!
Continuing driving along the Road to Hana you will come across literally countless spots to have a little break and take in the gorgeous views and beauty of nature. It’s really so beautiful that you wish you had left much earlier in the morning to have longer and more frequent breaks along the road.
Don’t get stuck under a tree…
Some parts of the Road to Hana are quite deserted and others have places where you can grab coffee, barbecue or coconuts. You do have to watch out at the deserted parts though: We stopped at a lovely, peaceful rocky beach and suddenly a huge wave came towards us and smashed over the stones where we were standing.
I fell down and had to run on bare feet through the rocks to grab back my flip flops.. Then I heard screams and looked over to the three girls who were sitting on a fallen tree enjoying the view when we arrived. Apparently the wave had washed over them and one of the girls got stuck UNDER that tree. The wave must have been so powerful that it lifted up the tree and buried one girl underneath. The girls were panicking and screaming as there were more waves coming and washing over her friend. Thank goodness, Michael was already making his way to help lift up that tree and free the poor girl. She was lucky as nothing really bad happened. She just injured her knee a bit but was able to walk slowly again after a little break.
50 Shades of Green and Waterfalls
A dozens of super gorgeous waterfalls and an impressive variety of plants later we arrived at paved roads again surrounded by a countryside type landscape and direct view of the ocean – just in time for sunset. We were one of the only cars still driving there (so much for starting the Road to Hana late!) and decided to still take another break to enjoy the sunset. At least we made it back to the paved roads again, so driving there in the dark was fine for us.
We arrived back at the hotel late at night. I don’t think we went for an evening swim in the pool that night anymore. Instead we went straight to bed to rise and shine early again the next morning :)
See here for a more detailed overview of the different must-see spots on the Road to Hana. Read this post for a day trip to Maui’s volcano and this one for more things to do in Maui.
Voted one of the Top 10 Most Popular Honeymoon Resort in Hawaii by Conde Nast Traveler, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa is a great choice for travellers who enjoy good food, luxurious interior and a paradise style beach.
Hyatt Regency Maui
Though the Hyatt Maui offers 800 beautiful rooms that are spread over eight floors and three buildings, it never felt crowded when I was there. That’s due to the variety of different facilities in the hotel. These include, for instance, a half-acre pool with waterfalls, 10 onsite restaurants and lounges, an area with exotic wildlife including penguins, and a lots of of cultural activities. The hotel is also known for one of Maui’s best rated lu’au, Drums of the Pacific. Depending which room you have in the hotel you might even be able to see the show from the balcony.
Haven for Foodies
The Hyatt Regency Maui is home to amazing restaurants and cocktail bars: The Japengo restaurant offers Pacific Rim cuisine and sushi and was rated Best Asian and Pacific Rim Cuisine. The Ūmalu Restaurant & Bar serves modern Hawaiian cuisine and Son’z Steakhouse yummy seafood and steaks. There are also lovely and peaceful places for breakfast and coffee. Of course you will also find plenty of pool bars :)
Beautiful Oceanfront Location
Location-wise the Hyatt Regency in Maui ticked three of my four paradise boxes: 1) beautiful beach, 2) waves for surfing, and 3) coral reefs for scuba diving. For 4) mountains and nature, just rent a car and head up to Maui’s breathtaking volcano or drive along the Road to Hana – both are incredibly beautiful and fun day tours.
Private Picture Perfect Beach
The Hyatt Regency Maui is located on Ka’anapali Beach, the signature beach of West Maui. The beach is 3 miles long, has white sand and crystal clear water. And the best thing: the beach is literally just a few seconds walk from the hotel’s impressive pool area. Either just hop into the ocean and then walk back to your lounger on the pool or choose one of the hotel’s comfy loungers on Ka’anapali beach directly. I chose the latter option most of the days. I just loved relaxing on these huge sunbeds with a Bellini in my hand while having the most breathtaking view of the ocean. PARADISE.
If you are up for some surfing, just walk around 200 metres further down the promenade and you will arrive at a surf rental place. I usually went there for 8 am, surfed for an hour and then walked back to our hotel in time for breakfast. The waves are not huge in this part of Maui but are perfect for long boards and a chilled out morning work out.
Say hi to Reef sharks
Maui has some gorgeous scuba diving spots and a couple of them are located in short distance from the Hyatt Maui Hotel. To book a scuba diving trip, just head over to the hotel’s instructors a bit further up on the hotel’s beach. Alternatively, pay a visit to the concierge who is happy to book any trip for you. There are also trial sessions offered in the hotel’s pool.
We even saw three reef sharks during our scuba trip which was super amazing. We also saw giant turtles and so so so many colourful fishies. The marine life is seriously impressive and a must-see for scuba divers.
Swimming in the moon shine
The Hyatt Regency Maui has an incredibly beautiful pool and you can swim in the pool after dinner! I’m not sure whether that’s a normal thing to do in Hawaii. For most of the hotels that I have been to though, the pool closes around 8 pm. The water temperate is surprisingly perfect at night which is either due to the strong and lasting heat of the Hawaiian sun. Well, or due to a little help from the hotel. The pool is not even crowded at night. I guess most of the hotel guests don’t feel like hopping back into their bathing suits after having dressed up for the evening. So, take your sweetheart and go for a little swim at night!
Picture this: You are floating in a beautiful pool in the moon shine. Looking at the stars. And your hear nothing except the waves and the pool’s waterfall :)
Last but not least: the most helpful concierge service
This usually doesn’t make the separate category criteria but the Hyatt Regency concierge personnel was nothing short of amazing. They pretty much planned the whole Road to Hana tour for us. On top of this they gave us plenty of great suggestions for restaurants and coffee places and wouldn’t stop naming little road trips to Maui’s picture perfect nature spots. One time I made the last minute decision that I’d like to get a mani and pedi in the afternoon (as in ‘I’d like get it booked for in the next two hours, pretty please’). The concierge lady immediately called five salons until she was finally able to get me booked in. Little note here: If you’d like to have a treatment in the Hyatt Regency SPA, book a couple of days or so in advance :)
How to Book the Hyatt Regency Maui
To read more about the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, click here for the hotel’s website.