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

Traveling to Hawai’i and only have time for one island? If you’ve narrowed down your choices to Maui or Kauai, choosing between the two can be a challenge. After all, you’re bound to have an amazing time on either island. That said, there are some key differences and attractions that one island offers over the […]



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Touring to Hawai’i and solely have time for one island? If you happen to’ve narrowed down your selections to Maui or Kauai, selecting between the 2 is usually a problem. In spite of everything, you’re certain to have an incredible time on both island.

That stated, there are some key variations and sights that one island presents over the opposite. So why not select the best possible one for you?

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

Highlights of Maui

Highway to Hana

road to hana

Though Kauai is thought 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 way in which.

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'll be able to positively have an superior street journey on Kauai, however nothing actually compares to what you’ll discover on the Highway to Hana on Maui.

In contrast to the Highway to Hana, which runs alongside Maui’s coast, Kauai has only a few roads that supply coastal views. Plus, Kauai is much less developed usually, making it harder to drive round.

Snorkeling within the Molokini Crater

Maui is thought 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 prospect 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 powerful number of corals and marine life that's distinctive to the positioning.

Kauai has some nice snorkeling as properly, however Maui positively has a larger number of websites, and lots 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

earth chakras
Dawn at Haleakalā volcano in Maui, Hawai’i

Seeing a dawn on the prime of the Haleakalā volcano is a must-do should you select Maui. After all there are breathtaking locations on Kauai to see the dawn, however that is additional particular. The journey to the highest of the mountain could 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 well 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. Convey 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 thought for having calmer waters than Kauai, and also you’ll discover particular locations like Honokalani Seaside, which has black volcanic sand, and Ho’okipa Seaside, which is thought for its plentiful sea turtle inhabitants.

Highlights of Kauai

Waimea Canyon

Often called “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is an absolute gem, with views that you simply received’t discover anyplace else in Hawai’i. You don’t want a allow to take a look at the canyon, and Waimea Canyon Highway will take you round to scenic overlooks. You'll be able to even see the 800-foot Waipo’o Falls from the principle canyon overlook. You'll be able to even hike the Waimea Canyon Path to discover additional.

This is likely one of the the explanation why Kauai is right for vacationers who're in search of a extra rugged and adventurous keep.

Nā Pali Coast

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

If you happen to’re actually up for a problem, you'll be able to hike the Kalalau Path. It’s a 22-mile spherical journey — and it’s a troublesome one. You’ll see waterfalls alongside the way in which, and there’s a distant seaside 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 healthier fitted to out of doors adventures, versus a extra relaxed trip on Maui. Crusing or flying to the Nā Pali Coast does value a fairly penny, nonetheless, and mountain climbing the path requires a number of preparation.

Hideaway Seaside

Maui has a greater diversity of seashores which can be nice for swimming and snorkeling, however Kauai does have just a few — and Hideaway is likely one of the finest, due to the tranquil waters which can be uncommon for the remainder of the island. It’s additionally identified for having monk seals, which you would possibly spot swimming by. You’ll must go down some steep stairs to get to the seaside, and parking is proscribed, so get there early within the morning.

If spending just a few days on the seaside is a part of your itinerary, it’s completely doable right here or at Tunnels Seaside.

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 way in which, and the primary half is sort of totally 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. Certain, there are nice locations to hike there, however the abundance of mountain climbing on Kauai surpasses it.

Prices of Maui vs. Kauai

There isn’t a lot of a distinction in value 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 sights are about the identical usually, nevertheless it all is determined by what you hope to see and do throughout your journey.

For instance, you'll be able to probably do most of Kauai’s finest hikes to some superior places for fairly low cost, however should you wished to see the identical places on a ship or helicopter tour, you’ll find yourself spending rather more.

The identical goes for Maui. You could possibly spend a fairly penny occurring snorkeling, diving, or whale-watching excursions, or you could possibly hire your personal snorkeling gear and see marine life cheaper.

Since Maui is rather more geared towards honeymooners than Kauai, you would possibly discover that lodging will not be as solo-traveler pleasant and are usually costlier; similar goes for eating places. However take a look at 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 will probably be simpler to save cash on Kauai.

Finest Locations to Keep on Maui vs. Kauai

You'll be able to keep on this cute camper on Maui through Airbnb

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 subsequently 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 in search of, Maui is likely to be the higher alternative for you.

Kauai additionally has massive luxurious motels, however they’re not on the identical stage as these on Maui. You 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 is determined by what you're in search of. If you wish to get away from the crowds and have a extra adventurous journey, Kauai will probably be a more sensible choice for you. If you happen to’re all about luxurious and ease, Maui is certainly the place to go.

To decide on between these two unbelievable places requires having a good suggestion of what your itinerary will appear like, what actions you wish to do, and the place you wish to keep. Even those that have been to each islands a number of instances have a tough time selecting their favourite, so likelihood is you’ll wish 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 needs to be utilized each time you benefit from the nice outdoor:

  • By no means contact, method, or chase wildlife, This contains 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.
  • All the time respect signage asking you to steer clear of cultural websites, even when different individuals are disrespecting it.
  • Remember the fact that you're a visitor, and comply with all native well being tips and guidelines.

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Whereas tourism just isn't splendid for a lot of locations, it’s additionally a actuality that it isn’t going anyplace. We completely agree that it is necessary that tourism to Hawai’i be accountable, so we’ve at all times been right here to supply information that helps folks expertise it as responsibly as attainable. Folks will at all times be in search of this type of data, so we goal to be the primary useful resource they'll see, one which encourages them to get pleasure from Hawai’i ethically.

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

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!