Most Maui visitors stay on the leeward side of the island—Lahaina to the Kapalua area in the west, or Kihei–Wailea in the south. It’s hard to decide which leeward side of the island to stay on: West or South. Shopping is better in West Maui, and its backdrop is more scenic, but it is also more densely developed. Food is better and more varied in West Maui, but South Maui has some of the most kickin’ resorts. Each area has advantages and disadvantages that sway us back and forth. Consider the pros and cons listed above, and the answer may become obvious to you.

How did the islands begin?

The Hawaiian Islands were born of fire thousands of feet below the surface in the icy cold waters on the Pacific Ocean floor. A rupture in the earth’s crust caused a vent to spew hot magma that built upon itself as it reached upward. When it began, no one knows exactly, but the first of the still-existing islands to boil to the surface was Kure. Nothing remains of that island today but its fringing coral reef called an atoll.

As the Pacific plate shifted over the opening of the vent like steel over a cutting torch, more islands were created. Midway, French Frigate Shoal, Necker, Nihoa—all of these once-great islands were….

Read the full chapter in our app. Download here.

Getting there

In order to get to the islands, you’ve got to fly here. While this may sound painfully obvious, many people contemplate cruises to the islands. Here’s a tip—there isn’t a single speck of land between the west coast and Hawai‘i. And 2,500 miles of open water is a pretty monotonous stretch to cover.

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The island of Maui is made up of two large volcanoes called… well, that’s a little confusing. The largest mountain, on the east side, is commonly referred to as Haleakala, meaning house of the sun. To the ancient Hawaiians, Haleakala referred only to a portion of the summit of the mountain, not the whole mountain. In fact, as far as we know, they had no name for either of the two large mountains that make up Maui. But the word Haleakala has been used so often in recent years to describe the entire mountain that it’s now generally accepted.

What to bring

This list may assist you in planning what to bring. Obviously, you won’t bring everything on the list, but it might make you think of a few things you may otherwise overlook:

  • Water-resistant, reef-safe sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher, with the ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide)
  • Hiking sticks (carbide-tipped ones are good for boulder-hopping hikes)
  • Shoes—flip-flops, trashable sneakers, water shoes, hiking shoes
  • Hat or cap for sun protection
  • Mask, snorkel and fins
  • Camera with lots of memory
  • Warm clothes (for Haleakala trips) and junk clothes for bikes, etc.
  • Light rain jacket
  • Small flashlight for Haleakala sunrise
  • Cheap, simple backpack—you don’t need to go backpacking to use one; a 10-minute trek to a secluded waterfall is much easier if you bring a pack
  • Shorts and other cool cotton clothing
  • Mosquito repellent for some hikes (Lotions with at least 10 percent DEET seem to work best)

Download our Hawaii Revealed app to keep this checklist handy or read everything you need to know about the Big Island before you plan your trip to Hawaii.

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Featured Resorts

Resorts aren’t actually rated 5 or 4 stars in Hawaii per se.  We’ll call them the “Top Resorts on Maui”

We have also included the best values on each island.

Top 10 Resorts on Maui

Top 10 Best Resort Values on Maui

That’s a lot of resorts to choose from! But we didn’t stop at simply reviewing the resorts, we’ve organized them based on amenities, prices and region in one app. If you wanted to know more information, such as which resorts have an outdoor lanai, weddings on site, and a swim-up bar, we’ve catalogued all of that information on our app, which you can filter through.

We have the same custom maps found in the book on our app, only now you can zoom in and quickly see what’s nearby, then tap on the activity to read more. The maps will also show you the distance between the resort and the attraction, making it easy to plan your Hawaii trip.

You can also find the following in our app:

  • Restaurants Reviews
  • Sights Information including their location, pricing, contact details
  • Adventure activities and their reviews
  • A planner to save your favourites spots
  • Maps to view nearby activities, resorts, restaurants and more.

Download the Hawaii Revealed app to see all the real gems and not to be missed sights on the islands.
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