Trip to Maui, Hawaii
Aloha friends! It's been a few weeks since we returned from the tropical Pacific Island and despite the 11 hour difference and jet lag that hung on like grim death, I'm finally ready to share our experience. (Check out our video at the end)
Our 4 night stay in Maui on Ka'anapali Beach was a whirlwind adventure and even though it was a quick trip, that didn't deter us from seeing all the extraordinary sights.
We flew direct with American Airlines from LAX to Maui which took approx 5.5 hours. The selection of movies, light bites and cabin crew decorated in Hawaiian lais kept us occupied the entire flight.
We landed in Maui Airport (OGG) and the heat hits you like a punch in the face! Not a complete shock seeing as the airport has an open space allowing the natural climate into the building. We made our way to the car rental booth and collected our SUV. As it was already dark outside (keeping in mind we travelled at end of October), I was slightly nervous to drive in unfamiliar territory. However, I quickly learned the cadence of Hawaiian living. Slow and steady!
The journey from Maui Airport to our condo in Ka'anapali Beach was approx 45 minutes. Our condo, Aston Mahana was a joy from beginning to end. Even the surroundings as you enter the premises is alluring with their tropical plants, lush green trees and the torches lit up as you enter the condo. The jovial welcome by the reservations team was exactly what we needed with our jet lag.
Every unit has an ocean view and you can hear the waves crashing into the beach from reception. We upgraded to a premium suite and boy we were glad we did! It was incredibly spacious and the suite had a full kitchen, dining table, living room, terrace and a large bedroom. Of course with patio doors to open so you can enjoy listening to the waves.
Day one involved getting up at 4:30am because of the 11 hour time difference from Ireland. This allowed us to watch the sun rise which was incredible. We made our way to the beach around 6:30am just in time to see the the white sandy beaches stretch out as far as the eye can see.
After wandering around our resort beach and taking in the sights, we packed out bags and made out way back to the airport for our 1 hour helicopter tour. Pacific Helicopter tour were amazing to deal with. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a warm welcome and as we booked the helicopter for ourselves, we were ready to rock and roll after a brief safety demonstration.
The tour included sights of Molokai cliffs and waterfalls and all I can say is.... WATCH OUR VIDEO BELOW! The tour guide/pilot was amazing, informative and had a great sense of humour. The doors off tour was scary as hell but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. The views, the mountains, the terrains, the waterfalls - spectacular!
Following the tour, we quickly changed back at the resort and headed out to Ka'anlapali beach for some highly anticipated snorkelling. The goggles and flippers were easily accessible for renting right on the beach which was handy dandy.
Note to self... waves are powerful in Hawaii. So powerful in fact that you should be wearing the appropriate swim suit to combat the force of the waves or the situation could literally go tits up /o\
Day two consisted of driving Hana Road which is approx 1 hr from Ka'anapali beach. The first stop we visited the twin waterfalls and you barely get notice about this when driving so best to check it out on google maps. The short hike to the water falls is worth seeing and in retrospect, I wish I had the courage to jump into the water!
Once we returned to Hana Road, here's a handy tip that I wish someone told me beforehand. The road is incredibly windy from start to finish so if you're prone to motion sickness (like I am), make sure to take a tablet. Also, take your time and don't be forced to speed up by local bullies as the road has several small bridges and acute bends every step of the way.
But.... the views... oh my God the views are incredible so I would recommend taking this drive and of course there are several more stops along the way. We hiked up a mountain and the terrain emulated the Lord of the Rings. And what's even better is that because of the humidity, my hair looked and felt just like Frodo Baggins! The hike took about 1 hour to complete and although it was slightly awkward as it rained heavily the night before, it was absolutely beautiful.
As a reward for all the exercise, we treated ourselves to lunch at the notoriously famous, Mama's Fish House. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! If I had to rate this place out of 10, it would get a 25.. it's absolutely sublime. We chuckled when the valet service took our rental off us when we stepped out with muck on our shoes and in our active wear from hiking. But hey, you can still be fabulous in dirt right? No reservation was required when we arrived and to see the colours, textures and ambience it set my senses into over drive. The restaurant is situated on the beach so if you can tear your sight away from your meal, you'll be content with sea views!
Day three included snorkelling at Kapalua Beach which had plenty of marine life to keep us occupied. We even encountered barracudas...yikes! The colours under the warm Hawaiian waters are majestic and it reminded me of the scene from Finding Nemo. This was one of our highlights so be sure to check out the GoPro footage at the end of the blog.
Our last stop of the day was hiking to the Cliff house and what a way to end the day. As you meander around the cliffs of Kapalua Beach, which can take up to 30 minutes (wear comfy shoes), the cliffs open up with views of the Pacific as far as the eyes can see. As the waves crash furiously against the rocks, it's definitely worth checking out the sights below.
Our trip to Maui was unequivocally, the most beautiful and exciting of all our destinations. If you ever get a chance to visit Hawaii... take it! Mahalo :)