Maui, Hawaii Trip | Diving, Snorkeling, and Hiking

Maui, Hawaii, what an incredible island! My wife, her parents, and I spent 10 days driving around the second largest of the Hawaiian Island chain. We spent as much time in the water as possible, while also getting our fill of fresh fish and beer when on land. Over the 10 days, we moved around quite a bit, staying in Lahaina, Kapalua, Kihei, Hana, and Kahului, each for a couple nights. This allowed us to see and explore different parts of the island without having to drive many hours each day. This was our adventure!

A majority of this trip was focused around great places to snorkel, right off the beach. Each day, we’d head to the beach and get right into the warm, clear water. We headed out along colorful coral reefs and rusty old piers to see some of the most colorful fish i’ve ever seen. We swam with Moorish Idols, my favorite Orange Spine Unicornfish, more Tangs than you can imagine, and of course the ultra common reef triggerfish, or as the Hawaiians call it, Humuhumu-nukunuku-apuaa. And even though we just bought a new camera & housing before this trip to capture these underwater moments, it barely does their colors and beauty justice.

Beyond swimming with the fish, the more incredible thing was getting to swim with the large, majestic Green Sea Turtles. And even though we were lucky to see multiple turtles every day, each time was its own unique experience. From swimming along side a graceful turtle or watching them graze from above, it was always so peaceful. These creatures, known to move so slowly from the cartoons, actually can takeoff with incredible speeds as needed underwater when they need to. But most of the time, they casually swam along with the currents from one feeding ground to another. That is, unless they were planning to nap or sleep on the seafloor bottom. 

To add to my underwater experience, I got SCUBA certified prior to the trip so we could do multiple dives on our vacation. We booked a boat dive trip through Maui Dive Shop where we explored two dive sites called Temple of Doom and Stonewall. At a depth of 50ft, I explored my first beautiful reef while Scuba diving. It was amazing, nothing but deep blue ocean surrounding you. Weightless, I floated around this underwater world drifting in the current. Courtney, her Dad, and I did two dives off the boat, being escorted around the sites by our Dive Master Nick. Both were beyond and incredible experience to be able to witness. Later in the week, we rented some tanks from the local dive shop and did a shore dive right off Ulua beach near where we were staying. Needless to say, I was hooked on diving after this trip.

Maui is known for more than just it’s lush, bountiful ocean that surrounds the island, but also the water falling off its two volcanos on either end. We hiked at the ʻĪao Valley State Monument, and countless hikes off the Road to Hana. All of which lead us to pristine, massive waterfalls and swimming holes. Being able to swim at the top of every hike in Maui will sure ruin most hikes from here on out in the desert landscape of Utah. My favorite hike was to the Venus Pool where we could go cliff jumping off a 30ft cliff into an enormous tidal pool. The water was surprisingly warm, the hike was easy, and of course, what’s better than cliff jumping on a Hawaiian island? Here’s a photo below of Courtney’s dad hucking it off the 30 footer into the water below.

Beyond the adventures on land and in the water, Maui offered some delicious meals every single night. Wether they were from a restaurant or a meal we picked up and made from the grocery store, it was all so delicious. Plus, I think we ate fish in one form or another every single day. My favorite, as always, were the Poke Bowls made with fresh Ahi. To go along with the tasty food were some equally delicious beer from Maui Brewing and Kohola Brewing. Overall, there wasn’t a single thing to complain about eating and drinking on that island.

Everyone says you’re on Maui time when you land on the island, and I couldn’t agree more. Even though Hawaii is a part of the USA, and everyone speaks English, you really do feel like you’re in a world away. It was a perfect vacation to get away and really embrace the culture of Hawaii and everything Maui has to offer. We all couldn’t wait to go back to dive more, snorkel more, and eat some more Poke bowls. Aloha!

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