Friday, January 2, 2015

Hawaiian Islands Travel Series: Welcome to Maui

Introduction: Welcome to Maui

Image courtesy of Map Hawaiian Islands Map.

Sunrise outside of Wai'anapanapa State Park Campground

THERE ARE EIGHT MAIN ISLANDS in the Hawaiian Island chain and thousands of tiny islets and atolls that stretch far out into the Pacific. The eight main islands in order from youngest to oldest are: the Big Island (Hawaiʻi), Kahoʻolawe (US military zone), Lanaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu (most populated/Honolulu), Niʻihau (Hawaiian ancestry only may live here; others may visit by invitation), and Kauaʻi (some 5.1 million years old!).

Snorkeling near Makena Beach

The Hawaiian Islands are known internationally as a tropical paradise, but each one is unique. On the Big Island, you can find everything from active lava to snow atop Mauna Kea, and on Kauaʻi, you can explore Waimea Canyon, which, I shit you not, looks exactly like a mini-Grand Canyon (located Arizona and Utah).

Waimoku Falls
Maui is known for its glorious white-sand beaches, epic snorkeling adventures, the notorious one-lane Hana Highway, and the 10,000 ft Haleakalā National Park where the rare Hawaii state bird, the nēnē, and the enigmatic ahinahina (silversword plant) can be found. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to travel around Maui for about a week. Just one week! We did what we could and have spent the last few months wishing we could go back. 

Wai'anapanapa State Park

 Here is what this Hawaiian Island Travel Series: Maui will cover:

(0) Intro: Welcome to Maui
(1) Day 1: Northwest Maui: Lahaina
(3)Day 3: Central Maui: Paia and Makawao
Ahinahina: silversword
Haleakalā National Park

Along this journey, we stuck our toes in black, red, and white sand beaches. Enjoy!

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