The place to Go in Hawai’i: Maui vs. Kauai

February 10, 2022

Touring to Hawai’i and solely have time for one island? If you happen to’ve narrowed down your decisions to Maui or Kauai, selecting between the 2 generally is a problem. In any case, you’re sure to have a tremendous time on both island.

That stated, there are some key variations and points of interest that one island affords over the opposite. So why not select the very best one for you?

Breaking down the highlights of every island, distinction in prices, and greatest locations to remain, it is a comparability of Maui vs. Kauai that can enable you plan your subsequent Hawaiian journey:

Highlights of Maui

Street to Hana

Though Kauai is understood for its heavy rainfall, which yields some epic waterfalls, the Road to Hana on Maui is dotted with equally spectacular ones, plus loads of different nice issues to do and see alongside the best way.

The route is exclusive, since you’ll additionally get to see bamboo forests, black-sand seashores, sea caves with lava tubes, cute small cities, and extra. You possibly can undoubtedly have an superior street journey on Kauai, however nothing really compares to what you’ll discover on the Street to Hana on Maui.

Not like the Street to Hana, which runs alongside Maui’s coast, Kauai has only a few roads that provide coastal views. Plus, Kauai is much less developed typically, making it tougher to drive round.

Snorkeling within the Molokini Crater

Maui is understood for its thrilling snorkeling spots, just like the Molokini Crater. There are dozens of locations on the island to go snorkeling the place you’ll have the possibility to see sea turtles, humpback whales, colourful fish, stingrays, and even sharks.

Molokini Crater was as soon as utilized by the Navy for goal observe however was restored by conservationists. These days you’ll see a formidable number of corals and marine life that’s distinctive to the positioning.

Kauai has some nice snorkeling as properly, however Maui undoubtedly has a larger number of websites, and plenty of of them are simpler to get to than these on Kauai. Maui’s seashores are additionally rather more swimmable than these on Kauai due to the calmer seas, so snorkeling is extra accessible right here.

Mount Haleakalā

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Dawn at Haleakalā volcano in Maui, Hawai’i

Seeing a dawn on the prime of the Haleakalā volcano is a must-do for those who select Maui. In fact there are breathtaking locations on Kauai to see the dawn, however that is additional particular. The journey to the highest of the mountain might require you to be up and able to go at 2:30am, however seeing the solar rise over the horizon whereas perched 10,000 ft above sea stage on a volcano is completely definitely worth the early begin.

To do that, you need to make a reservation. Between the drive there and again and the precise dawn itself, plan to be there from 3am to 7am, and ensure to decorate for chilly climate, because the mountaintop will probably be fairly chilly earlier than the solar comes up. Deliver layers and prepare for an epic photo-op!

Seashores Galore

The identical motive why Maui is right for snorkeling makes it the higher alternative if you wish to spend your days swimming, paddleboarding, or actually doing something within the water. Maui is understood for having calmer waters than Kauai, and also you’ll discover particular locations like Honokalani Seashore, which has black volcanic sand, and Ho’okipa Seashore, which is understood for its ample sea turtle inhabitants.

Highlights of Kauai

Waimea Canyon

Generally known as “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is an absolute gem, with views that you just received’t discover anyplace else in Hawai’i. You don’t want a allow to take a look at the canyon, and Waimea Canyon Street will take you round to scenic overlooks. You possibly can even see the 800-foot Waipo’o Falls from the principle canyon overlook. You possibly can even hike the Waimea Canyon Path to discover additional.

This is among the the explanation why Kauai is right for vacationers who’re on the lookout for a extra rugged and adventurous keep.

Nā Pali Coast

Whether or not you select to sail round it, fly above it, or hike by means of it, the Nā Pali Coast is certain to take your breath away. The jagged cliffs and plush greenery alongside the coast make this one of the crucial spectacular pure wonders of Kauai.

If you happen to’re really up for a problem, you’ll be able to hike the Kalalau Path. It’s a 22-mile spherical journey — and it’s a tricky one. You’ll see waterfalls alongside the best way, and there’s a distant seashore on the finish the place you’ll be able to arrange camp.

Like Waimea Canyon, the Nā Pali Coast is an instance of why Kauai is best suited to outside adventures, versus a extra relaxed trip on Maui. Crusing or flying to the Nā Pali Coast does price a fairly penny, nevertheless, and climbing the path requires numerous preparation.

Hideaway Seashore

Maui has a greater diversity of seashores which can be nice for swimming and snorkeling, however Kauai does have a couple of — and Hideaway is among the greatest, due to the tranquil waters which can be uncommon for the remainder of the island. It’s additionally recognized for having monk seals, which you may spot swimming by. You’ll should go down some steep stairs to get to the seashore, and parking is restricted, so get there early within the morning.

If spending a couple of days on the seashore is a part of your itinerary, it’s completely doable right here or at Tunnels Seashore.

Awa’awapuhi Path

A part of Kōkeʻe State Park, the Awa’awapuhi Path is an superior hike that demonstrates the rugged nature of Kauai completely. It has loads of shade alongside the best way, and the primary half is sort of fully downhill. The views of the ocean and rocky coast are unbelievable (as they’re on many others in Kōkeʻe State Park).

Trails like this one merely don’t exist on Maui. Positive, there are nice locations to hike there, however the abundance of climbing on Kauai surpasses it.

Prices of Maui vs. Kauai

There isn’t a lot of a distinction in price between Maui and Kauai. Most finances breakdowns of the Hawaiian Islands title Maui as the costliest island to go to, with Kauai shut behind. Lodging, meals, and points of interest are about the identical typically, nevertheless it all will depend on what you hope to see and do throughout your journey.

For instance, you’ll be able to doubtlessly do most of Kauai’s greatest hikes to some superior areas for fairly low-cost, however for those who needed to see the identical areas on a ship or helicopter tour, you’ll find yourself spending rather more.

The identical goes for Maui. You may spend a fairly penny happening snorkeling, diving, or whale-watching excursions, or you might lease your individual snorkeling gear and see marine life cheaper.

Since Maui is rather more geared towards honeymooners than Kauai, you may discover that lodging will not be as solo-traveler pleasant and are typically dearer; similar goes for eating places. However try this solo-traveler guide for Maui for some concepts on avoiding the honeymoon vibe.

In a nutshell, both island might be finished on a finances with some cautious planning, however it will likely be simpler to save cash on Kauai.

Greatest Locations to Keep on Maui vs. Kauai

Each Maui and Kauai have a variety of stays. From mega-resorts to distant tenting, you could find all of it on each islands.

Maui receives extra vacationers per 12 months, so due to this fact it has extra motels to select from. You’ll additionally discover one of the best of one of the best luxurious resorts and all-inclusives there. If that’s what you’re on the lookout for, Maui is perhaps the higher alternative for you.

Kauai additionally has large luxurious motels, however they’re not on the identical stage as these on Maui. Yow will discover loads of mid-range choices for both islands on Airbnb.

Remaining Verdict: Which Island Is Higher?

The reality is that the higher island for you will depend on what you’re on the lookout for. If you wish to get away from the crowds and have a extra adventurous journey, Kauai will probably be a better option for you. If you happen to’re all about luxurious and ease, Maui is unquestionably the place to go.

To decide on between these two unbelievable areas requires having a good suggestion of what your itinerary will appear to be, what actions you need to do, and the place you need to keep. Even those that have been to each islands a number of instances have a tough time selecting their favourite, so chances are high you’ll need to come again and take a look at your second alternative, anyway!

Journey Responsibly in Hawai’i

When in Hawai’i, there are particular concerns to take into consideration, together with leave-no-trace ideas that must be utilized each time you benefit from the nice open air:

  • By no means contact, strategy, or chase wildlife, This consists of turtles and dolphins.
  • Scale back or get rid of your reliance on plastic, as Hawai’i has stopped recycling it.
  • Solely put on reef-safe sunscreen. Hawai’i’s reefs have been considerably broken as a result of sunscreen.
  • At all times respect signage asking you to stay away from cultural websites, even when different individuals are disrespecting it.
  • Take into account that you’re a visitor, and observe all native well being tips and guidelines.

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Whereas tourism shouldn’t be superb for a lot of locations, it’s additionally a actuality that it isn’t going anyplace. We completely agree that it can be crucial that tourism to Hawai’i be accountable, so we’ve at all times been right here to supply data that helps individuals expertise it as responsibly as doable. Individuals will at all times be on the lookout for this type of info, so we goal to be the primary useful resource they may see, one which encourages them to take pleasure in Hawai’i ethically.

Now that you just’ve seen our breakdown of Maui vs. Kauai, which island will you select?

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