The Polynesians named Maui after a demigod who was a restless trickster with superhuman strength, creative power, and playfulness. Legend has it that Maui snagged the Hawaiian Islands from the sea while fishing, captured the sun as it raced across the sky, and ordered it to slow down. In reality, the island of Maui is the product of volcanic eruptions beginning more than two million years ago. Haleakala, Maui’s currently-dormant volcano, is expected to erupt a few more times before drifting off to sleep forever.
As with each of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui features pristine rain forests, arid, cactus-filled deserts, and green, fertile farmland. Maui is brimming with unique flora and fauna, spectacular beaches, towering waterfalls, and a vibrant underwater world beyond compare.
Maui is without question the playground of the Hawaiian Islands. From luxury resorts to unique bed & breakfasts, upscale shopping to big, outdoor swap meets, miles of multi-colored sand beaches to waterfalls and freshwater pools—plus virtually every outdoor sport known to man—no other island in the world can deliver the variety of experience that Maui has to offer.
Maui: Essential Facts
Learn these Maui factoids and you will know more than most on your dream Hawaii vacation:
- Maui is known as the “Valley Isle,” and is the second largest of the major Hawaiian Islands (a distant second in size to the Big Island).
- Maui is approximately 48 miles (76.8km) long and 26 miles (41.6km) wide, totaling 728 square miles.
- The famous Banyon Tree in Lahaina is 130 years old and shades almost two-thirds of an acre.
- The largest of Maui’s two volcanoes, Mt. Haleakala (House of the Sun), is 10,000 feet high and may have last erupted in the late 1700’s (anecdotal evidence) or the late 1400s (scientific carbon dating).
- The average winter temperature on Maui is 71 degrees; in summer, 78 degrees. The average ocean temperature is 78 degrees (all Fahrenheit).
- Mt. Haleakala at 10,000 feet had a record low temperature of 11 degrees Fahrenheit in 1961.
- Maui County includes the islands of Lanai, Molokai, and Kahoolawe.
- Maui has a population of about 140,000 people.
- Maui has 30 miles of white, red, and black sand beaches, and has more miles of accessible beach than any of the other Hawaiian Islands.
- The rare, endemic Haleakala silversword is a distinctive, globe-shaped rosette plant with rigid (swordlike), succulent leaves densely covered by silver hairs. It flowers once (between June and September) and then dies.
- Maui is about half an hour by air from Honolulu.
- The breathtakingly beautiful “Road to Hana” drive is 45 miles long, and has 54 one-lane bridges and 600 hairpin turns.
- Hawaii Standard Time is in effect year-round. There is no daylight savings time. Hawaii is 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time and 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time. When daylight savings time is in effect on the mainland, Hawaii is 3 hours behind the West Coast and 6 hours behind the East Coast.