Beach · Hawaii · Islands · Itinerary · National Park · Road Trip · USA

8-day Itinerary for an outdoorsman in Maui and Big Island

Hawaii is filled with Incredible places, it has one of the most varied landscape for an island. You have the option of hiking through rainforests, visiting great waterfalls, taking the Road to Hana Drive, climbing dormant and active volcanos and not to mention eating some delicious food. To put it simply, it has something for everyone. I love being outside, and I’d rather explore different places than chill on a beach for a few hours. So here’s an itinerary for someone with FOMO who wants to explore Hawaii from all angles :D.

Day 1:

We spent 5 days in Maui, and like any other tourist in Maui, we began our day at Secret Cove in Makena State Park. Despite the fact that the waves were a lot bigger than I had expected, it was a great place to cool off. It was then followed by a visit to a Food truck in Kiheki where we had Hawaiian Shaved some delicious Shaved Ice and Coffee. As we were going to Haleakala National Park from here, we packed our dinner from food trucks since it would be late by the time we arrived will be back. We had planned for a hike to Sliding Sands trail, sunset and stargazing from Haleakala National Park. 

Day 2:

We fell in love with Snorkelling after our first snorkelling trip on Virgin Island and decided to Snorkel Molokini Crater in Maui. While Molokini was one of the best places for diving and snorkelling for many years, too much commercialization had decimated the fish population. Honestly, I was a little disappointed with the number of fish that I encountered on this trip, and if I were to do it again I would pick a different location for snorkelling. Post Snorkelling we headed to Iao Valley for soaking in some amazing views of the West Maui Mountains and ended our day with sunset at Paia Secret Beach followed by dinner at Paia Fish Market.

Day 3:

Our third day was mostly spent on our half-day tour of Lanai and I recommend it to anyone who has half a day to spare on their trip. The tour takes you to the entire island of Lanai and some of its most famous sights like the Garden of Gods, Shipwreck Beach and Hulopoe Beach. The rest of the day was spent shopping in Lahaina Downtown, and the evening was spent Cliff jumping at Kaanapali Beach. If you know how to swim It’s a must to jump off Kaanapali Beach. 

Day 4:

I was personally most excited for day 4 as we were doing the epic Road to Hana Drive on Day 4 and 5. Fortunately, there are a lot of videos on Youtube showing you where to stop on the Road to Hana, but you have to plan well in advance since it’s nearly impossible to stop at all the viewpoints. Also, make sure to check the timings and reservation requirement for your stops. We could not go to the lava tube closes at 4:00 PM, and Waianapanapa State Park requires reservations. My personal favourite stops on Road to Hana were Waikamoi Waterfall and Red Sand Beach. It really takes 2 days to travel round trip on the Road to Hana. So we decided to stay the night in Hana.

Day 5:

We started early on Day 5 as we had to do the Pipiwai trail and then catch our flight for Big Island in the afternoon. The car rental companies do not let you take a car out for the second half the road almost everyone does it. The road is unpaved for a few miles but nothing that you can’t do, It’s totally worth doing the round trip rather than returning the same way. 

Day 6:

The weather in Big Island especially around Hilo is really unpredictable and our helicopter Tour over the Volcanos National Park got postponed to the afternoon as it was cloudy. We decided to make up for the lost time by going to Waipi’o Black Sand Beach. The drive from Waipi’o Valley Lookout to Black Sand Beach is a little tricky and you will need a 4 wheel drive to reach the beach. While we were en route for our helicopter ride, we took a quick stop at Rainbow Falls. In retrospect, there’s probably one thing I would have left out of our vacation was the helicopter tour, ariel views of Lava fields are amazing but the tour is way too overpriced.  

Day 7:

Big Island is home to 2 Active Volcanos and Volcanoes National National Park is home to Kilauea, which erupted in 2018. We spend most of our day in Volcano national park, visiting the Crater, hiking Lava Tube, and viewing other viewpoints. 

Day 8:

We were tired by day 8 and started our day late after checking out at 11:00 AM. Having explored Yellow Sand, Black Sand, and Red Sand Beaches so far, we decided to check out Green Sand Beach as well. While we had read we could drive a 4WD to the beach, the road is not only rough, the track is like a maze. Though all the unpaved roads lead to the beach, you must know which road to drive on. After some futile attempts, we decided to board a shuttle run by locals to Green Sand Beach. It was already 3 by the time we left Green Sand Beach. Considering we had a flight at 10:15 PM, we decided to watch the last sunset in Hawaii before heading home.  

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