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How to Plan an Adventure 5 day Itinerary Maui, Hawaii

Maui is an incredible adventure destination from stunning hikes along the coast to sweeping views of a volcanic crater. Spending 5 days in Maui is the perfect amount of time to explore and this Maui itinerary will give you a chance to relax and explore the adventurous side of the island. We visiting the island for 5 days and spent hours researching the best 5 day itinerary Maui had to offer. In this article, we will share our 5 day Maui itinerary as well as a few alternative activities. You can also find some general planning information to make the most of your visit in Maui.

*** Due to the recent fires on Maui, we strongly recommend that you reschedule travel to the area to give the island time to recover. The northerwest coast was the most impacted.

A few quick notes about how to use this 5 days in Maui itinerary

  • This itinerary assumes you will rent and car. We recommend driving around the island as you can get to some of the most interesting sites. There is a lot of driving in this itinerary, but you can easily skip one of the long driving days
  • These days can be interchangeable based on weather, etc. Feel free to shuffle the days around.
  • Maui is an expensive place to travel. If you are looking to travel on a budget, you can stop at the grocery store and bring along a picnic. See more about visiting Maui on a budget.
  • Several of these days are very ambitious. We did this itinerary as an active family of 5 (14 year old twins and an 11 year old).
  • This 5 days Maui itinerary assumes you will have 5 full days on the island. You can adjust the first or last day if you will arriving or leaving on one of these days.
5 day Itinerary Maui: Hike the Pipiwai Trail
5 day Itinerary Maui: Hike the Pipiwai Trail

Snapshot of this 5 day Itinerary Maui

Here is a snapshot of this 5 day Maui Itinerary. Read more below on exactly what to do and how to make the most of each day on Maui.

Day 1: Explore Western Maui

Day 2: Drive the Northwest Road Around Maui

Day 3: Surf and explore or take a tour

Day 4: Drive the Road to Hana

Day 5: Visit Haleakala National Park

Feeling overwhelmed trying to plan your own trip to Maui and the islands of Hawaii.  Now you can easily search for tours that make the most of your time in the island without all the work.  


Complete Details of this 5 day Itinerary Maui

Day 1: Explore Western Maui

The first day will be spent enjoying the Western side of Maui. This is a relaxed day to let you catch your breath once you arrive, but if you want to jump right into a bigger adventure start with day 2.

Western Maui is on the leeward and drier side of Maui and is full of gorgeous beach after gorgeous beach. You can easily fill up your entire day just popping from one beach to the next. Start your morning by walking the Wailea Beach Path. This lovely walk takes you past several lovely beaches. Consider stopping at some of these beaches to swim and snorkel. We saw whales and sea turtles during our walk on this path.

In the afternoon drive south and visit Makena Beach State Park and spend time walking and exploring the amazing undeveloped Big Beach. Wrap up your day with watching the sunset on your favorite Maui Beach before grabbing dinner.

Looking for more to do on the west of Maui? Check out: 15 Amazing and Adventurous Things to do in West Maui.

5 day Itinerary Maui: Nakalele Blowhole
5 day Itinerary Maui: Nakalele Blowhole

Day 2: Drive the Northwest Road Around Maui

On the second day of your 5 day Maui itinerary, hop in your car and drive the loop around the northeast portion of Maui. This incredible drive has incredible views and several great places to stop and explore. Depending on your interest, you can also surf or do a guided tour on this day.

Start your morning by driving up the western coast to Lahaina. There are several pretty stretches of beach just south of Lahaina you can check out on your drive north. Stop in Lahaina to surf, shop, grab a coffee and see the massive banyan tree in the center of town.

After visiting Lahaina continue driving north. There are several more beaches along the way to visit or you can make your way straight to Kapalua. Hike the Kapalua Coastal Trail and visit the Dragon’s Teeth and Maui Labyrinth. The Kapalua Coastal Trail is a a 2.5 mile trail along the lava-strewn coastline with views out across the coast and the sea. Spend time snorkeling at Kapalua Bay Beach.

Drive north a few more minutes to the Nakalele Blowhole. This is a short but steep hike down the rocks to a blowhole. When the waves crash against the rocks, they fill an underground cavern that shoots water up through a hole in the rocks. While you can see the blowhole from the lookout near the road, the best view is down on the rocks.

Use caution along this stretch of coast, especially when the waves are large.

Continue driving north and stop at the short 2 mile Ohai Trail. This remote trail offer a different view along the north of the island.

Complete the drive by making your way across the north and down the east side back to complete the loop. This section of the drive has several very narrow and winding roads. Use extreme caution driving and take your time. There are very few homes in this part of the island and is truly beautiful. If you prefer not to do this part of the drive, simply turn around and return the way you came.

This drive takes about 2-2.5 hour with no stops. We started this day around 8 am and finished exploring and were back to our resort at 6:00. Pack snacks and be prepared for a long, but incredible day!

See complete details on How to Drive the West Maui Loop Drive: An Incredible Hawaiian Day Trip

Try Surfing: 5 day Itinerary Maui
Try Surfing: 5 day Itinerary Maui

Day 3: Surf and explore or take a tour

Maui is a surfing destination and whether you are an experience surfer or beginner spending some time surfing on Maui is a must. There are many places to surf on Maui. As beginners, we chose to surf at Kihei. There are many places to rent boards and you can take a lesson or if you have some experience, give it a go on your own.

We loved this little area and ate as several of the restaurants several nights. The small park here is also great to sit and relax. * Small note – don’t walk down the paved boat ramp here as it is slippery – Dave fell and hit his head and needed 7 staples in his head.

In the afternoon head back to your favorite beach to explore or consider a guided tour – take a snorkeling trip or go whale watching. There are many amazing tours on the island – check out Viator for some of the best options. You can see more of the best tours below.

In the evening choose a Luau and enjoy exploring some of Maui’s dancing, food and culture.

Day 4: Drive the Road to Hana

One of the most popular things to do on Maui is to drive the famous Road to Hana. This route takes you along the southeastern stretch of the island. On this route, you will drive the winding and narrow road, cross many bridges, and see incredible waterfalls and lovely beaches.

This is a long driving day and you will need the entire day to explore this road. We recommend doing the Road to Hana as a loop instead of an out and back. The road along the southern coast of the island has several unpaved and winding section but also some beautiful straight stretches with views up to Haleakala and down to the coast.

If you aren’t up for driving the Road to Hana, you can also do this as a guided tour. Below you can see the best stops along the road to Hana:

 5 day Itinerary Maui: Road to Hana
5 day Itinerary Maui: Road to Hana

Day 5: Visit Haleakala National Park

End your 5 day Maui itinerary by driving to Haleakala National Park and exploring the crater. Located high above the rest of Maui, this National Park feels like a completely different world. There are several different hikes you can take in Haleakala. If you are up to a long hike, we recommend the epic Sliding Sands Trail and Halemau’u Trail.

Get an early start and watch the sunrise from the crater, then spend the morning hiking on one of the trails. If you don’t have enough time to hike the 11 mile Sliding Sands and Halemau’u you can also hike the first part of the Sliding Sands Trail. Just the first mile offers excellent views of the crater.

If you do plan to watch the sunrise from Haleakala, you will need to make a reservation through the National Park Service.

If you still have time in the afternoon, finish up your 5 day itinerary Maui with a visit to one of the beaches along the West Coast to watch the sunset.

5 day Itinerary Maui: Hiking Haleakala National Park

Things to Know to Plan a 5 Day Itinerary Maui

How to Get to Maui

The easiest way to get to Maui is to fly to the airport from one of the other islands. The airport on Maui is small but there are frequent flights from the other islands. You can find many airlines flying to Hawaii and we really enjoyed flying Hawaiian Airlines.

How to Get Around Maui

The easiest way to get around Maui, especially if you plan to follow this 5 day Maui Itinerary. You can rent cars and search for the best rates through Discover Cars.

It is possible to do many of the activities on this itinerary by booking a driver or through private tours, but this will obviously cost more money.

Best Tours on Maui

There are many excellent tours and activities on Maui. Some of the most popular are snorkeling to Molokini, whale watching, helicopter flights and Luau dinners. Below you can see some of the top rated tours on Maui:

Best Time of Year to Visit Maui

Maui is an incredible destination all year long. Temperatures are generally consistent throughout the year and comfortable and pleasant. The table below shows the temperatures at two places on Maui. Note that if you plan to visit Haleakala National Park and the crater, temperatures here are much colder than the coastline.

5 day Itinerary Maui

How Many Days do you Need in Maui

We thing 5 days in Maui is the perfect amount of time. That said, you could easily spend a week or more and spend more time visiting many of the beaches and relaxing. If you don’t have a full 5 days, I would plan at least 3 days to visit Maui. This would give you time to drive either around the northwest or the Road to Hana, visit Haleakala National Park and spend some time exploring the best beaches in Maui.

Where to Stay in Maui

Most of the places to stay in Maui are resorts, although it is possible to find some smaller hotels and rentals. We stayed in Wailea at the Residence Inn and you can find many other resorts in this part of the island. You can search for hotels directly on google, but we book almost every hotel through We have found better options for traveling with our family of 5. Use the search box below for a quick search.

How to Budget for Maui

Maui and Hawaii in general is expensive. There are many ways to keep costs down, but you will still spend more than in many other places. The biggest expenses are: food, lodging, and transportation (plus any tours). Just getting groceries at the store you can expect to pay almost double what you might pay in the grocery store on the mainland US.

To save money in Maui, we found cheap airflights and then booked our hotel using points. Most of the activities we chose were low cost or free and we shopped at the grocery store for about half our meals. See more about how we budget travel with a family. No matter how to visit Maui, expect to spend a bit more. Just to give you a sense of the cost, when eating out, entrées typically start around $20.

See more on how to visit Maui on a budget.

5 day Itinerary Maui: 7 Sacred Pools Maui

Summary of this 5-day itinerary Maui

This 5-day Maui itinerary includes incredible destinations, hikes, waterfalls, beaches and more. Maui is an epic destination and should be in your bucket list. This itinerary is the best way to see the best of what Maui has to offer.

Common Questions about a 5-day itinerary Maui

What are some must-visit places in West Maui?

Start your Maui adventure by exploring the historic town of Lahaina, relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Ka’anapali and Kapalua, and consider snorkeling at Black Rock or hiking in the scenic West Maui Mountains.

What can I expect on the Road to Hana?

The Road to Hana offers a breathtaking drive along Maui’s eastern coastline, with stops at attractions like Twin Falls, Ho’okipa Beach Park, and the majestic Wailua Falls. Don’t forget to spend time exploring the charming town of Hana and enjoying its serene beaches.

What should I do in South Maui?

Head to South Maui to experience the stunning beaches of Wailea and Makena. Engage in exciting water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, or paddleboarding, and consider taking a boat tour to Molokini Crater for incredible snorkeling adventures.

5 day Itinerary Maui

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