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The Ultimate 5 Day Maui Itinerary – 15 Best Things to Do in Maui, Hawaii

From swimming with dolphins and beach time to exciting jungle hikes, these are the best things to do on a 5-day Maui Itinerary!

Between its stunning beaches, active volcanoes, lush jungles and wild and varied landscapes, Maui is the perfect spot for a tropical island getaway!

Surfers at sunset in Maui
Surfers at sunset in Maui

Whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach or spend a holiday filled with fun and adventure, Maui offers something for every type of traveller. 5 days will give you just enough time to squeeze in as much sun, natural beauty and adventure as possible!

To help you truly maximise your time, I’ve popped together an awesome 5-day Maui itinerary. It features all of the best things to do in Maui, plus lots of travel tips to help you make the most of your Hawaiian holiday!

Beautiful places to visit for your Maui itinerary
There are plenty of beautiful places to visit on your Maui itinerary

The Ultimate 5 Day Maui Itinerary 

Experience a Once-in-a-lifetime Sunrise 

One of the most romantic things to do in Hawaii is watch a breathtaking sunrise over Haleakala National Park. It’s quite ambitious to organise alone, so I’d recommend booking this guided tour, where a guide will take care of all the details.

If you're spending 5 days in Maui, try to squeeze in sunrise at Haleakala National Park
If you’re spending 5 days in Maui, try to squeeze in sunrise at Haleakala National Park

You’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the national park’s 10,023-foot summit just in time to view the sunrise. The panoramic views from up here are mind-blowing, with vistas all the way to the crater floor.

You’ll finish the morning with a tasty breakfast at the historic Kula Lodge, before returning back to your hotel to rest!

Visit a Unique Black Sand Beach 

Have you ever seen a black sand beach before? If you’re used to seeing tropical white sand, you’ll feel like your eyes are deceiving you! Because of constant volcanic activity, many of Hawaii’s beaches take on the striking black colour!

Honokalani Beach in Maui
Honokalani Beach is one of the most famous black sand beaches in Maui

Maui’s most famous black sand beach, Honokalani, is located about three miles north of the town of Hana. It’s considered sacred by the Hawaiian people too, so don’t miss out on seeing this beautiful and culturally significant natural wonder! It’s an absolute must for any 5-day Maui itinerary.

Enjoy Dinner and a Show at Old Lahaina Luau

One of the best things to do in Maui is experiencing the vibrant local culture. At the Old Lahaina Luau, you can take part in an evening of traditional Hawaiian hospitality, food and entertainment. This is all in a beautiful oceanside setting! You’ll get to enjoy a 5-course Hawaiian meal and open bar, all while watching an authentic Hawaiian Luau.

Explore the Fascinating Molokini Crater

The Molokini Crater is all that’s left of a volcanic eruption that occurred more than 230,000 years ago. The area is now a refuge for a variety of marine and bird wildlife.

Molokini Crater, Maui
Book a tour to see Molokini Crater during your 5 day trip to Maui

It’s a wonderful place for swimming, scuba diving, snorkelling and whale watching. While you can’t swim to the Molokini Crater itself, there are plenty of guided tours such as this one that depart from Maalaea Harbor.

Hike the Waihe’e Ridge Trail

The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is one of Maui’s best hiking trails. This scenic 2-5 mile trek offers spectacular views, varied landscapes and plenty of beautiful flora and fauna. The trail leads you to a viewpoint on one of Maui’s highest ridges where you can take in stunning views of the West Maui Mountains. 

waihe’e Ridge Trail
Hiking Waihe’e Ridge Trail is a must for your Maui itinerary

Take a Snorkelling Tour in Lahaina Turtle Town 

If you’re looking for fun and adventurous things to do in Maui, how about booking a snorkelling tour? On this guided snorkelling cruise, you’ll be able to swim with sea turtles and brightly coloured tropical fish amongst the coral reefs.

You can swim with turtles in Maui
You can swim with turtles in Maui! How cute!

During whale season, you might even spot some humpback whales or dolphins in their natural habitat! Just imagine how incredible that would be!

Soak Up the Sun on Kaanapali Beach

With over three miles of pristine sandy beach and crystal clear water, there’s no better place to enjoy a day of sun, sand and surf than Kaanapali Beach.

Kaanapali Beach
Kaanapali Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Maui

Spend the day sunbathing or try out fun water sports like surfing and wakeboarding. Be sure to stay for sunset. Every evening around this time you can see a traditional cliff diving ceremony where cliff divers light lanterns along the ridgeline! It’s magical.

Go on a Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour 

If you’re spending 5 days in Maui, I’d definitely suggest you book a dolphin and whale watching tour. Seeing these amazing creatures in the wild is one of the highlights of visiting Maui. Did you know the Maui coast is one of the best places in North America to see dolphins. In fact, there are three varieties in this area: acrobatic spinner dolphins, friendly bottlenose and spotted dolphins

Spinner dolphins in Maui
Just imagine seeing spinner dolphins in Maui?

This guided cruise to goes along the Lanaʻi island coastline. On the way you’ll enjoy world-class snorkelling and whale-watching in an underwater oasis! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of marine life, including those friendly dolphins, whales, sea turtles and monk seals.

The tour also includes breakfast and a generous BBQ lunch. After all, you’ll definitely need to refuel after all that swimming!

Enjoy Delicious Fresh Seafood at the Paia Fish Market 

The Paia Fish Market is the best place in Maui to enjoy generous portions of fresh seafood at affordable prices. On any given day, you’ll see lines out the door as people take a break from surfing or shopping to enjoy delicious ocean-to-table seafood. Try the market’s specialties which include blackened sashimi, fish tacos and grilled mahi mahi. 

Definitely include some beach time in your Maui itinerary
Definitely include some beach time in your Maui itinerary

Visit the Stunning Pools of ‘Ohe’o (aka Seven Sacred Pools)

No five-day Maui Itinerary would be complete without a visit to the Seven Sacred Pools in East Maui. If you’re looking for a day of adventure, the most accessible of these pools are well suited for swimming and cliff jumping.

‘Ohe’o pools in Maui
‘Ohe’o pools in Maui are one of the best natural wonders in Hawaii

You can also just bring a picnic lunch and relax amongst the beautiful scenery. This is one of the best things to do in Maui with kids. Just don’t forget to take lots of photos!

Visit Hawaii’s Best Snorkelling Spot 

With colourful coral reefs and schools of tropical fish, Honolua Bay is often considered to be Hawaii’s best snorkelling beach.

Honolua Bay in Maui, Hawaii
Honolua Bay in Maui is one of the best places to snorkel in Hawaii

The crystal clear waters here offer perfect views of the coral gardens and abundant wildlife, even at great distances. Just make sure you add reef-safe sunscreen to your packing list to protect this fragile ecosystem. 

Enjoy a Refreshing Dip at the Upper Waikani Falls

While many waterfalls in Hawaii take some serious hiking to reach, Upper Waikani Falls is accessible to everyone. This waterfall is located around milepost 19 on the famous Hana Highway.

Upper Waikani Falls, Maui
Upper Waikani Falls are very easy to visit

The falls cascade over the rocks to form the perfect swimming hole underneath. If you’re short on time (or feeling lazy!) you can even check out the falls from the comfort of your car!

Go Cliff Jumping at Black Rock Beach 

If you’re spending 5 days in Maui and looking for something adventurous to try, how about taking a trip to Black Rock Beach for some cliff jumping? Ancient Hawaiians believed that Black Rock was the place where spirits jumped over the cliffs to be with their ancestors forever. These days, Black Rock is a popular place amongst the locals for swimming, cliff jumping and all sorts of other adventures.

Treat Yourself to Massage on the beach

If you’re busy planning your Maui itinerary, definitely schedule in some relaxation time. One of the best options is to book an ocean-side massage at the Four Seasons Resort.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Four Seasons Resort Maui is one of the best resorts in Maui

Savour the cool tropical breezes from your own open-air hut whilst enjoying the spectacular views of Wailea Beach. You could finish your massage with some more luxurious spa treatments such as facials or body scrubs. It’s one of the best 5-star resorts in Hawaii, and the ideal spot for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.

Take a Scenic Walk in Iao Valley State Park 

Iao Valley State Park is a natural oasis that is home to one of Maui’s most recognisable landmarks: the 1,200-foot ʻĪao Needle. The trails in the park are well-marked and easy to travel, making this an ideal hiking destination for all. Even the kids will enjoy this one.

Iao Valley State Park in Maui
There are lots of beautiful trails through Iao Valley State Park in Maui

Take a rainforest walk or explore interactive exhibits at the Hawaiʻi Nature Center – it’s a lovely spot to visit for families to visit in Maui.

8 Practical Tips For Your Trip To Maui

  1. Rent a Car: Maui has diverse landscapes and attractions scattered across the island. Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore everything, from the stunning Road to Hana to Haleakalā National Park.
  2. Pack Sun Protection: Maui is known for its beautiful beaches and abundant sunshine. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the strong UV rays.
  3. Stay in Different Areas: Consider splitting your stay between different areas of the island to experience its varied landscapes and vibes. Lahaina, Wailea, and Paia all offer unique experiences.
  4. Check for Beach Conditions: Before heading to the beach, check the ocean conditions and follow any posted warnings. Maui’s beaches can have strong currents, so be cautious and swim in designated areas.
  5. Respect Wildlife and Nature: Maui is home to various endangered species, including the Hawaiian green sea turtle (honu). Keep a safe distance from wildlife, don’t touch the turtles, and avoid disturbing nesting birds.
  6. Plan Your Haleakalā Sunrise: If you plan to visit Haleakalā National Park for the sunrise, make a reservation in advance. The sunrise viewing area has limited parking, and it can get crowded.
  7. Try Local Cuisine: Maui boasts a vibrant food scene. Don’t miss trying Hawaiian specialties like loco moco, poi, and fresh poke. Visit local food trucks and farmers’ markets for authentic flavors.
  8. Hike Safely: If you plan to go hiking, especially in remote areas, let someone know your plans, and carry essentials like water, snacks, a map, and a first-aid kit. Weather can change quickly, so be prepared for different conditions.

Remember to immerse yourself in the island’s culture and aloha spirit while respecting the natural environment. Maui offers a diverse range of activities and sights, so take your time to enjoy the island’s beauty.

If you’re planning on visiting beautiful Maui, 5 days is just enough time to check out the island’s highlights! If you’re also looking for places to stay on the island, don’t miss my guide to the best honeymoon resorts in Maui. 

Or for other Hawaii travel tips, check out all of these handy guides:

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With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

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