Finding paradise on Maui

I had always dreamed of going to Hawaii, but never thought I would even get to visit two of the Hawaiian islands on my trip to North America. Yet, after six beautiful days on the island of Oahu, Saturday morning, I took the probably shortest flight of my life to the neighboring island Maui, where I eventually got to know the beauty of Maui in the following five days. In Maui, I stayed at Aloha Surf Hostel, 15 minutes from the airport and the best hostel you’ll find on the island. Located in the historic town of Paia, it’s close to two famous surf spots, Ho’okipa, and Kanaha Beach. But you can discover the whole island on a budget on their free daily tours as well (don’t forget to tip though!). 

So, once I got there and checked in, I switched my travel clothes for my bikini, stopped for lunch at a close-by café, and went to the beach at Paia Bay, where I spent the rest of the day tanning and reading my book. The following morning, some other people from the hostel and I went to the closeby beach, where we even discovered a sea turtle hanging out there too. What an experience! Around noon, we walked back to the hostel for the group tour to some beaches on the other side of the island. First, we stopped at Makena Beach, took a drip in the sea, and played some volleyball before heading to Wailea-Makena, where we spent the rest of the afternoon. After watching the sunset, taking another dip in the ocean in the dark, and dancing to the drums and the fire show at the beach, we drove back to Paia again.

I kicked off the new week with another tour, this time to West Maui. Together with Luli, Brigid, Paige, Sarah, and a bunch of other people, we first went to D.T. Flemings Beach, continued along the coast of West Maui to see some more of the main attractions there, and ended the tour at one of Maui’s hotspots, Lahaina. Since it was the last evening for some of the people I met on Maui, we later had a little (pizza) party at the hostel’s patio and then went stargazing on the beach. After going on two tours already, I decided to spend the day at the beach again, tanning and watching the surfers there for hours and having a chill last evening at the hostel’s patio again with some other people, having drinks and playing games.

My flight to San Francisco on my last day wouldn’t leave until midnight, giving me enough time to enjoy a full day in paradise. The morning began with pancakes for breakfast, which Luli had to make for me because she lost our bet. Later, I joined another tour to Iao Valley State Park. There, we picked guavas straight from the tree on our hike into the valley, enjoyed the stunning views at one of the lookouts, and cooled off in the valley’s stream. Back to Paia, I still had time to spend my last hours on this magical island at Paia Beach before getting to the airport and continuing my trip to my next stop on the West Coast.

Things to do

Go hiking at Iao Valley State Park and enjoy the splendid views of the valley from one of the lookouts

Visit Lahaina, one of Maui’s hotspots and once a historic whaling village, but also home to the largest Banyan trees in the United States

See the famous blowhole, producing powerful water spouts with the waves and tides at Nakelele Point or Dragon’s Teeth in Kapalua in West Maui

Discover the natural beauty of Maui while driving the Road to Hana, one of the most beautiful but dangerous drives in the world with its 617 turns and 56 one-lane bridges

Take a tour at Surfing Goat Dairy, a dairy farm in Kula producing award-winning Maui gourmet goat cheeses, to learn more about their history

Explore the underwater world of the island while snorkeling at Kapalua Bay Beach or Honolua Bay

Eat & drink here

Better Things Café: cute boutique café in Paia with great breakfast options and interior design

Choice Health Bar: Voted Maui’s best vegan restaurant serving plant-based meals with local, organic ingredients and the best acai bowls

Haui’s Life’s A Beach: bustling karaoke nights & classic pub and home of the 1 liter Mai Tai

Paia Fish Market: popular stop for seafood, plate lunches & fish burgers with a nautical theme & indoor picnic tables

Tobi’s Shave Ice & Poke: great choice for sweet and savory cravings, such as their ultra-fresh poke and shave ice with your flavors of choice

Oli Oli Pizza: authentic Italian restaurant featuring Neapolitan-style pizzas with a Hawaiian flare

Coconut Glen’s: ice cream shop on the Hana Highway serving dairy-free, coconut milk-based ice cream crafted with organic ingredients

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