5 Days in Maui Hawaii Itinerary: How to Plan the Perfect Maui Trip

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Dreaming of your vacation or maybe even your honeymoon to Maui, Hawaii? Well, you’re in luck because this 5 days in Maui itinerary is going to cover all the must-do attractions, beautiful beaches, travel tips, where to stay, and more broken down into easy-to-follow days with an accompanying map.

Some top attractions you can expect to explore include the Road to Hana, the famous sunrise at Mt. Haleakala, black sand beaches, and so much more! This guide has been updated since the tragic fires.

Sea Turtle in Maui Hawaii
Swim with sea turtles with 5 days in Maui
Your complete guide to spending the most epic 5 days in Maui, Hawaii, Itinerary
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Getting Around Maui, Hawaii

The best way to explore Maui is by renting a car. The island has so much to offer, you won’t want to miss a thing or have to rely on tour companies to bring you around. We rented a car and found the island very easy to navigate. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with traffic laws and parking. We did get a parking ticket for a silly mistake. You can check out car rentals here.

This itinerary is designed for those driving the island, although you can still use it as a reference for things to do without a car. Uber is available, and you can supplement with tours. Feel free to switch around days and even activities to fit your travel needs, although I curated it with activities that are near each other!

Fun Fact: Maui, also known as the Valley Isle, is the second-largest of the Hawaiian islands.

Wailua Valley State Wayside Park
Wailua Valley State Wayside Park

This Map includes all the attractions listed below. Save this map to your maps by hitting the star or on mobile, it will open up in your Google Maps app. Click the “view map larger” to see it in more detail.


Day 1 Maui Itinerary – Beach, Shops, and Luau

During our honeymoon in Maui, we stayed in the city of Lahaina and loved it. Lahaina itself is really large, so you can easily avoid areas that were affected by the fires, and I still recommend staying in the West Maui area!

This itinerary originally included tons of fun things to do in Lahaina, but downtown Front Street is not ready for tourists yet. So, I have altered this itinerary a little bit to accommodate that.

Google Map Screenshot of Maui with itinerary stops
Google Maps Screenshot of Day 1 Stops

Black Rock at Kaanapali Beach, Kaanapali

To start the day from your long flight, let’s head to the beach. One of our favorite beaches in all of Maui has to be Black Rock Beach. This beach is located right outside the Sheraton in West Maui and has been voted one of the best beaches in Maui.

What makes it amazing is that the snorkeling is incredible due to the giant lava rock. In fact, this was the first place we got to swim with green sea turtles (for free)! Kaanapali Beach is public, so everyone is welcome. You can even see some mountains in the distance.

We were lucky to spend our honeymoon at the Sheraton at Black Rock, therefore we had access to this beach every day. If you happen to stay at the Sheraton, too, there are showers, giant pools, and a place to rent snorkel gear.

If you are not staying at the Sheraton at Black Rock, you can find public parking here: 3445 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761

Make sure to visit black rock beach for great snorkeling in Maui in 5 days
Black Rock Beach
View from our balcony at the Sheraton at Black Rock Maui
Black Rock Beach

Slaughterhouse Beach

I also want to include Slaughterhouse Beach, which is not too far away. Despite the name, this is a great beach for snorkeling and a hidden gem. During low tide, you can walk pretty far out, making it great for families as well.

We saw a ton of Green Sea Turtles here, so once again, please be respectful of their space! If you drive just 15 minutes more, you can also see the Nakalele Blowhole, which includes a short hike (a little over a mile) to see water shoot out of the rocks when waves crash.

Maui, Hawaii Green Sea Turtle in swimming by.

Whalers Village, Lahaina

In the afternoon, check out Whalers Village, a really nice outdoor shopping mall. Shop til you drop, or enjoy tons of dining options with access to the beach! You can see all the Whaler Village stores here. During whale watching season (in the winter), you can sometimes see whales off in the distance. 

Attend a Maui Luau

In the evening, I highly recommend attending a Luau. A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that includes entertainment, and everyone will tell you Maui is the best place to do it.

Enjoy local Hawaiian food, which usually includes poke, roasted pig, fruits, and poi, along with hula. So, whether you attend a Luau on your first day in Maui or your last day, just make sure to experience one.

We did our Luau at the Sheraton Resort, however, I wish I had done a luau in town or run by a local company instead of the hotel. It wasn’t bad at all; I just felt like we maybe could have had a more “authentic” experience.


Day 2 – Driving the Road to Hana

Driving the Road to Hana is a must with 5 days in Maui! Located in East Maui, it is an all-day experience, but well worth being on your Maui bucket list. The road consists of tons of waterfalls, lush jungles, a black sand beach, red sand beach, and lava tunnels & caves.

There are 3 ways to drive the Road to Hana. The loop, in Reverse, or driving the classic.

  1. The loop consists of driving to the town of Hana and back.
  2. The classic route drives through Hana to the backside of Mt. Haleakala and around South Maui. This route is “against” most rental car terms and conditions, as the roads are not paved or maintained.
  3. The last is to do the road in reverse, which would be similar to the classic. 

No matter which route you choose, I would highly recommend using the Shaka Guide App if you plan to self-drive! It is like having your own personal tour guide. It was recommended to us by a couple we met in Kauai, and we are so happy we had this app! See the Shaka Guide here

Some of the best stops along the Road to Hana are:

  • Twin Falls
  • The Bamboo Forest
  • Upper Waikani Falls (3 Bears Falls)
  • Waiʻanapanapa State Park (Black Sand Beach)
  • The Seven Sacred Pools at Haleakala National Park

Here is my whole guide on driving the Road to Hana highway, which will cover all the details you need to know, including the best stops, waterfalls, etc!

You might also be interested in my Road to Hana Packing List, which will also help in general for packing in Maui.

The black sand beach on the Road to Hana in Maui
Road to Hana Jungle views in Maui, Hawaii
Road to Hana Google Map Overview
Google Maps Screenshot to give you an idea of the Road to Hana Drive

Day 3 – Iao Valley State Park and Snorkel Molokini Crater

Day 3 in your Maui itinerary depends on how much you like to do in a day. So, you can consider seeing both Iao Valley State Park and snorkeling Molokini crater or just one of these activities.

Snorkel Molokini Crater

If you love snorkeling or seeing sea turtles, this one is for you. Molokini Crater is probably one of the most popular snorkel spots on Maui, and for good reason.

This volcanic caldera is located a few miles off Maui’s shore, so you will need to take a tour to get there. Depending on the tour you take will determine if you have time for other activities for the rest of the day.

Usually, tours will take you to Molokini and Turtle Town. The crater is home to approximately 250 different fish species and 38 different hard coral species.

Sea Turtle in Maui Hawaii

Iao Valley State Park, Maui

Located on the west side of Maui (about 40 minutes from Lahania) is Iao Valley State Park. The state park covers about 4,000 acres, although the amount of the park you will explore is quite small.

Enjoy the lush landscape down the paved 0.6-mile walk provides a scenic viewpoint of Kuka‘emoku (Iao Needle), which stands 1,200 feet high! Besides the sheer beauty of Iao Valley, these lands also hold significant historical meaning.

In 1790, King Kamehameha I battled with Maui’s army with the goal of uniting the islands. This was known as the Battle of Kepaniwai. Kamehameha’s win changed the course of Hawaiian history.

  • Hours: Daily 7 AM – 6 PM
  • Address: 54 S High St, Wailuku, HI 96793
  • Entrance fee (non-residents): $5 USD
  • Parking fee (non-residents): $10 USD
  • Iao Valley Gov’t website to check for closures.
Iao Valley State Park looking up at the Needle with lots of green landscape
credit: twildlife/depositphotos

Day 4 – Haleakala Sunrise & Explorational Around Haleakala National Park

Alright, are you ready for one of the best sunrise experiences of your life? I can confidently say the Haleakala sunrise I witnessed was by far the most spectacular I have ever seen! I’ve woken up for lots of sunrises, I must add.

Don’t skip out on this one! I promise waking up super early to drive in the dark is worth it!

Fun Fact: Did you know Haleakala stands for the house of the sun?

And get this, we almost didn’t go because we had to wake up so early….like 3 AM early.

One of the most important things you need to know about seeing the Haleakala sunrise is that you need a reservation, and it is important to get it ahead of time.

Another thing you need to know about seeing this sunrise is, even though you’re on a tropical island, it is beyond freezing at this National Park summit. This is because you have just driven to an elevation of over 10,000 ft. Temperatures can hit below freezing (which was the case during our visit).

So all the important things YOU SHOULD know for visiting Haleakala Sunrise are noted here!

Maui Travel Tip: If sunrise is not your thing, you can also do a sunset with reservations. Additionally, make sure to bring snacks with you because there are not many places to get food.

Haleakala Sunrise in Maui Tips

After the Sunrise at Mt. Haleakala National Park

If you didn’t already know, Mt. Haleakala is a part of the USA National Parks, so you can cross this one off your bucket list!

Additionally, if you have already driven the Road to Hana, you will notice that Mt. Haleakala is the turning point if you decide to drive the loop.

Haleakala National Park covers over 30,000 acres of public land. The park includes a dormant volcano crater, tons of hiking trails, waterfalls, and even ocean views.

Did you know that there are more endangered species here than in any other park in the National Park Service? This includes the blooming ahinahina (silversword) and nene (Hawaiian goose), the state bird.

You can camp here, with separate campgrounds and cabins available.​

Another very popular thing to do after seeing the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala is to do a biking tour down and around the mountain or to go ziplining!

Mt Haleakala waterfall on the Road to hana
Waterfall at Mt. Haleakala

Ali’I Lavender Farm

After exploring the summit of Mt. Haleakala, head over to the Ali’I Lavender Farm.

*Please note that the farm is now only open for tours Friday- Sunday, so you will have to plan your sunrise accordingly if the lavender field is on your list.

Lavender is not native to Maui, however, the cool dry temperatures make the perfect environment for this 13.5-acre farm.

This farm includes approximately 55,000 lavender plants with over 40 different varieties.

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm Address: 1100 Waipoli Rd, Kula, HI 96790

After the Lavender Fields, you may want to take some time and relax by the resort or beach since we’ve had a pretty jam-packed Maui Itinerary!

In the afternoon, if you’re not too wiped out, I suggest considering a Maui sunset cruise to end the day.


Day 5 – Beaches, Resort, Relax

As you can tell, there is a lot to do in Maui, and you thought this was going to be a relaxing vacation! Therefore, on day 5, you can either do some of the above activities that you didn’t have time for, or… some new adventures!

Some additional beaches to consider visiting include:

  • Kapalua Bay Beach – a great beach for snorkeling.
  • Wailea Beach – Beach near high-end luxury resorts.
  • Slaughterhouse Beach – a local gem (please be respectful).
  • Snorkel a little further north at Honolua Bay.
  • Nakalele Point & Blowhole is not a beach per se, but it is a blowhole to visit during high tide.
  • Baldwin Beach in Paia.
  • Hike the popular Waihee Ridge Trail.

Whale watching is another very popular thing to do in Maui. You can see humpback whales migrate from November-May! Check out whale watching tours/cruises here.

Other fun things you might want to try while in Maui, Hawaii, are taking surf lessons, going on a pineapple plantation tour, scuba diving, or taking a helicopter ride over the island.

My last recommendation would be to take a trip back to the surfer town of Paia, located on the north shore of Maui. This is the town that usually starts off the road to Hana, however, most don’t give it enough exploration. There are cute local shops, The Paia fish market, restaurants, and nice beaches! We relaxed on the beach on our last night.

Or even make a reservation at one of the most famous places in Maui, Mama’s Fish House!

One thing we did, but I didn’t care too much for it was visiting the Maui Tropical Plantation. It was ok, but I would have rather done something else like a boat tour.

Relax at beaches in Maui with 5 days in Maui, Hawaii. View of blue ocean and green jungle.

Food to Try in Maui

Now that we have your days planned, I have to leave you with some food recommendations. While a lot of the restaurants I recommend are closed, there are definitely some foods you should try while on the island.

Some favorite foods to make sure to try are Banana Bread, Hula Pie, Shaved Ice, Poke, Roasted pig, Fresh Fish, Fresh Pineapple, and actually, all the fresh fruit!


When to Visit Maui

The best times to visit Maui are April through May and September through November. These are the shoulder seasons in Maui, so you will be able to enjoy fewer people.

During the winter and summer months, Maui hits its peak tourist season with larger crowds and higher rates.

Average temperatures in Maui are usually in the 70’s all year round.

We visited Maui in September and had great weather the entire time!

View Point from The Road to Hana's Black Sand Beach
The Road To Hana Road View Point

Where to Stay In Maui, Hawaii

As you have already guessed, we stayed at the Sheraton Maui Resort at Black Rock for our honeymoon in Maui. The reason I loved staying at the Sheraton was specifically for the location.

Because you are at Black Rock, at Kaanapali, you don’t feel like you are sharing the beach with other resorts. The resort itself is really nice and we overall had a great stay.

Other hotels we considered for our honeymoon in Maui that also had great reviews were: Westin Maui Resort & Spa | Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa

One thing you will notice is that all the hotels have a fee for your car. In my opinion, it is super annoying, but all the resorts have it.

View from our balcony at the Sheraton at Black Rock Maui
View from our balcony at the Sheraton on Black Rock.

Getting to Maui, Hawaii

The most common way to get to Maui is by flying. Maui has three airports, but the most popular is Kahului Airport (OGG). If you happen to be landing from a cruise, I doubt you will have this much time to explore.

Additionally, if you are planning on visiting Maui, you may also want to consider Island hopping! This is exactly what we did for our Hawaiian honeymoon.

We started our honeymoon with 3 days in Kauai, and island-hopped to Maui next!

Napali Coast, Kauai is a must on your Itinerary with beautiful mountain and ocean views.
Napali Coast, Kauai

Other Things to Know when traveling in Maui, Hawaii

When visiting Maui, there is a pretty good chance of seeing wildlife. Whether it be sea turtles, seals, wild boars, etc, please remember to respect these wild animals and stay at a very safe distance.

Another way to help protect wildlife is by using reef-safe sunscreen like Juice beauty or Blue Lizard. 

Please also respect Hawaiian property and land. Follow the rules. If the sign says flash floods, no crossing/ no swimming, this is for your safety!

My last Maui travel tip to keep in mind is budget. Maui is an expensive island. The hotels (as I mentioned above) usually have car and resort fees daily that add up. Additionally, food and activities are also pricy.

However, Maui can definitely still be enjoyed on a budget with beaches, the Road to Hana, and Mt. Haleakala being free or having a low-cost associated.

Waterfall on the Road to Hana in Maui
Waterfall on the Road to Hana in Maui

Maui FAQ

Is 5 Days Enough Time in Maui?

5 days in Maui gave us a great combination of both relaxation and exploring.

Can You Travel To Maui After the Fires?

Yes, Maui is open to tourists, with mainly just downtown Lahaina still closed off.

Is there Uber in Maui?

Yes, although renting a car will be the best way to get around the Island.

What is the best time to visit Maui?

April through May and September through November is best for weather and fewer crowds. Mid-December – March is high season and the most popular time people visit.


Maui in 5 Days Itinerary Wrap-up

This wraps up the best things to do with 5 days in your Maui itinerary! Whether you’re on your honeymoon, looking for adventure, or relaxing, you will find tons of amazing things to do in Maui. It has been considered one of the best Islands in all of Hawaii! 

Have any questions about this 5 days in Maui Hawaii itinerary or did I miss something? Please let me know in the comments below!

Did you find this Maui Itinerary helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

6 thoughts on “5 Days in Maui Hawaii Itinerary: How to Plan the Perfect Maui Trip”

  1. Thanks so much for this guide. We used most of this itinerary on our recent trip to Maui. So happy we got to see Molokini crater and Iao valley. We had to get up at 4:30am to make it work. It was a full day, but a fun day.

    Reply
    • I am so happy to hear it Jenn! I always prefer including as much as I think you can possibly do in a day in case you are looking for action-packed. It is easy to take things away, but not always as easy to add them! Maui is an incredible island!

      Reply
  2. Sounds like the perfect way to spend five days on Maui. I would love to go snorkeling in Molokini crater and eat at Mama’s Fish House, but there are so many great things to experience. Thanks for recommending the reef safe sunscreen too.

    Reply
  3. Can’t wait to visit Hawaii. Hopefully I’ll go soon .
    This is a great 5 day itinerary. I love that you added where to eat and where to stay.

    Reply
  4. Hawaii looks awesome. I’ve still never made it there but love these tips and hope I can make it there soon!

    Reply

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