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Climate

Maui is blessed with pleasant weather year-round. The Pacific Ocean keeps temperatures moderate and the trade winds make even the hottest days feel comfortable.

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Climate cont'd

Between July and October, average daytime highs hover around 31 C. And even during the coldest months (December and January), average highs are in the mid-20s C.

Maui's geography varies widely, which in turn influences the weather conditions. For example, you'll find hot, dry lowlands on the western (leeward) side of the island, and rainy, lush valleys in the upcountry and on the eastern (windward) sides. 

What's more, if you visit Haleakala volcano in the central region, the high elevation and winds will mean chilly conditions, at times close to the freezing mark! Bring a windbreaker, hat and gloves, especially for early morning trekking. 

No matter when you visit, make sure you bring sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, sunglasses and a hat. 

Weather charts

What makes it different?

Maui has so much more to offer than just sun and sand. It's no wonder it consistently ranks as the No. 1 island among Condé Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure magazine readers. Every year, the island attracts more than 2.2 million visitors.

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What makes it different? cont'd

Kaanapali and Kapalua are the main resort areas on the west side of the island. To the south, you’ll find most hotels in Makena and Wailea.

Maui is home to over 193 km of coastline, including its more than 81 accessible beaches – more than any other Hawaiian island. The sand here ranges in colour from white and gold, to black and salt and pepper. These variations are due to ancient volcanic activity.

The island has 10 state parks, 94 county parks and one national park. The latter is Haleakala National Park, home to Haleakala, the largest dormant volcano in the world.

The ocean around Maui is home to up to 10,000 humpback whales who visit every winter to give birth to their young. The baby whales, who weigh more than 900 kg each, fatten up on their mother's milk before making the long trip to more northern waters. Whales arrive in Maui as early as November and stick around until roughly the end of April. While there are many whale watching tours available, you can often spot whales right from the beach – and even from some of the island's oceanside golf courses.

Maui is considered one of the best golf destinations in the world. It has more than 16 beautiful courses that offer stunning ocean and mountain views, as well as some incredible holes of golf. The island's famed Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort is also the location of the annual Tournament of Champions – the first event of the PGA Tour season.

Geography

Like the other Hawaiian Islands, Maui's formation can be traced back to volcanoes. During the ancient eruptions of Puu Kukui and the Haleakala, the lava formed a valley. This valley is modern day Maui – sometimes called The Valley Isle.

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Geography cont'd

Maui is the second largest of the 132 Hawaiian Islands. The island's five distinct regions (namely West Maui, South Maui, Central Maui, Upcountry Maui and East Maui) each have their own microclimates.

Most of the resorts in Maui are located on the leeward side of the island, which is hotter and drier than the other areas. Lahaina, situated in the heart of the resort area, receives just 30 cm of rain each year. In contrast, the West Maui Mountains receive an average of 1,106 cm a year, making this the second-wettest place on the planet.

The wet and dry cycles in Maui make for an abundance of rainbows. You will likely spot at least one during your trip. These cycles also provide optimal growing conditions for two of Maui's main crops: pineapple and sugar cane.

You'll be dazzled by the beauty of the island's diversity: from lush valleys to Maui's highest point, the 3,055-metre tall Haleakala volcano.

Culture

Maui has an interesting mix of cultural influences, but the main influence is from the Polynesian. Maui's music, dance, art and customs all directly reflect Polynesian history. It is believed that around AD 700, Polynesians from Tahiti and Marquesas made the long journey across the ocean in outrigger canoes to Maui.

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Culture cont'd

In 1778, Captain James Cook became the first European to "discover" the island – although he never actually set foot on land (he couldn't find a suitable place to dock). Over the years, more Europeans arrived, including many missionaries who greatly influenced Maui's cultural makeup.

Interestingly, the Europeans didn't allow locals to dance the hula, but they did help them learn to read and write using a 12-letter Hawaiian alphabet they created. Before this, Hawaiian history was passed orally from generation to generation. With the introduction of a written language, the native culture and history was able to be better preserved.

In 1893, the monarchy ruling Maui was overthrown and the Republic of Hawaii was established. In the meantime, Maui was experiencing major immigration from China, Japan, Portugal, Korea and the Philippines. The influence of these cultures is still very evident in Maui today, in everything from local architecture to the food.

In 1898, Maui was annexed by the United States. It became a territory in 1900, before becoming the 50th state in 1959. Today, Maui is making great efforts to ensure its customs and traditions are not lost. School children learn the Hawaiian language and have opportunities to participate in Hawaiian dance and music.

A luau is a great way to have fun and to learn about Hawaii's rich traditions. There are many luaus available to visitors on the island providing ample opportunity to share Hawaiian culture and the talents of many local performers.

Transportation

In total, Maui offers 1173 sq km of land and 193 km of coastline to explore. Although it is not possible to drive around the entire island, half-day and full-day trips are very popular and free driving maps and tours books are available in the baggage claim area of the airport.

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Transportation cont'd

Rental cars are the most popular way to get around here. But whether or not you need to rent a car during your stay in Maui depends on what you want to see and where you want to go. If you're looking to explore and discover Maui's vast beaches and lush rainforests, you'll probably want to rent a car. Many of the area's most scenic spots are a few hours outside the resort areas.

Should you choose not to rent a car, there are airport transfers and public transportation options available. Maui Bus, the island's public transit system, is an affordable alternative to get you where you need to go – the fare is just US$1.

Currency

When visiting Maui, you'll want to have some U.S. cash on hand for general expenses and transit. For entertainment and shopping, your credit card will give you the exchange rate at the time of purchase. There are also numerous ATMs inside banks and public spaces where you can withdraw funds at your convenience. Just be aware that transaction fees vary by ATM.

Travel requirements

Arrival

Kahului Airport is Maui's main airport, receiving both domestic and international flights. When you depart Canada, you will go through security and U.S. Customs. Once you arrive in Maui, you'll proceed straight to the general baggage claim area.

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Travel requirements cont'd

If you've pre-booked a transfer or a Maui orchid lei greeting & transfer with WestJet Vacations, please look for the Diamond Head Vacations representative in the baggage claim area.

If you've rented a car, shuttles to the car rental depots are located outside the baggage claim to the far right (at the end of the airport terminal). Each car rental company has a designated pick-up area and shuttles operate continuously. You can also catch a taxi, but do keep in mind that most of the resort areas are 30-90 minutes away. Advance reservations may be required.

Departure

Smiling WestJetters are ready to assist you at the check-in counters located in Bay 3 of the main terminal. WestJet counters open three hours prior to departure and close 15 minutes after departure time. Guests can check in and select their seats ahead of time using the WestJet Web check-in service.

Services in the terminal include restaurants, gift shops (with plenty of souvenirs for your friends and family back home) and Internet access. Please note that most airport vendors do not accept debit cards. It is best to have some cash on hand to purchase last minute travel supplies, such as water, snacks and magazines. There are also no duty free stores at Kahului Airport. 

Travel requirements

Kahului Airport is Maui's main airport, receiving both domestic and international flights.

Learn more

Currency

When visiting Maui, you'll want to have some U.S. cash on hand for general expenses and transit.

Learn more

Transportation

In total, Maui offers 1173 sq km of land and 193 km of coastline to explore.

Learn more