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Welcome to Maui, a Pacific gem where natural beauty and vibrant culture seamlessly blend into one incredible experience. We've designed this visitor's guide to enrich your stay while emphasizing sustainable tourism.

Here, you'll uncover insights into Maui's unique microclimates, learn about the importance of choosing reef-safe sunscreens, and find the best times to witness the awe-inspiring humpback whale migration. We'll also introduce you to the principles of 'Leave No Trace', ensuring your visit contributes positively to our beloved island.

As you plan your visit to Maui, use this guide to help ensure you have an unforgettable experience while also respecting the island's unique environment.

Be Ocean Aware

The ocean is a powerful force and a key draw to any Maui vacation! It's also a powerful force that can change conditions in a matter of minutes. To ensure you and your family enjoy a safe visit to Maui, we recommend adhering to the following practices:

  • Never Turn Your Back on the Ocean - Always be aware of what the water is doing.
  • If In Doubt, Don't Go Out - It's always better to play it safe.
  • Follow Safety Signage & Lifeguard Instructions - Swim at beaches with lifeguards to help keep you safe in the event of rogue waves, brown water events, and strong tides. 
  • Use the Buddy System - Always take a friend. Whether you're snorkeling or swimming, having a buddy is an easy way to stay safe in the water. 
two people snorkeling.
Pristine beach in Hawaii with large volcanic stones on shore

Eco-Conscious Mindset

Leave No Trace is a set of principles designed to promote conservation in the outdoors. It's about making good decisions to protect the world around us, and keeping our natural spaces beautiful and accessible for generations to come. When visiting Maui, it's essential to adhere to these principles.

By following the Leave No Trace principles, you're not just a visitor, but a caretaker of Maui's stunning natural beauty, helping to preserve its charm and biodiversity for the future.

  • Plan and Be Prepared - Know the routes you plan on traveling along with local restrictions, weather, and any updates that may affect your day out in nature.
  • Stay On Designated Trails - Hike single file and do not make your own path. Respect the environment by staying on designated trails and not altering them in any fashion.
  • Pack It In, Pack It Out - Properly dispose of any trash or waste that you create during your time on Maui. Use marked restroom locations and do not wander off-trail.
  • Leave What You Find - No matter how beautiful a seashell you find on the beach, it is best to leave the natural environment as you find it. Leave everything you find during your Maui adventures undisturbed and do not introduce or travel with any species non-native to the island.
  • Respect Wildlife and Others - Do not approach, feed, or follow wildlife. If driving by car, be mindful of speed limits and any passing wildlife you may encounter. Minimize your impact on the environment by avoiding popular visiting hours as well as limiting the noise you are putting out.
coral reef with fish in Hawaii

Wear Reef Safe Sunscreen

Hawaii has banned the sale of sunscreen that contains harmful chemicals (octinoxate and oxybenzone). These chemicals lead to coral bleaching which puts the reefs under stress and may lead to reef mortality. With an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen being introduced to the coral reefs every year, it is essential that visitors are mindful of their impact and do their part to minimize it. Although these harmful sunscreens can no longer be purchased on the island, make sure that your sunscreen does not include harmful ingredients before you enter the ocean.

foggy mountain range in Hawaii

Understanding Maui’s Microclimates

Maui is a diverse, large island full of varying climates and terranes. Conditions, temperature, and weather can vary drastically across the island. Researching these specifics as you plan your trip will help you have a safe and enjoyable time on your Maui vacation. 

Maui's Microclimates:

  • Tropical Moist Climates
  • Dry Climates
  • Moist Mid-latitude Climates with mild & cold winters
  • Polar Climates
  • Highland areas

Know When to Visit Maui

Maui’s high season typically falls between November and March. This is when you can expect the highest rates and largest crowds. If you decide to book during peak season, book your Maui vacation rental accommodations early. If you plan on having a rental car, you should also book well in advance as they can be limited.

Off-season is typically spring and fall, with lower fares and fewer crowds expected. Take your pick of accommodations and benefit from the less crowded time on the island. Plus, the island’s rainy season is typically during the winter months so visitors in the spring and fall will likely enjoy sunnier weather. 

Twin falls in Maui
Whale breeching in ocean

Maui’s Whale Watching Season

If whale watching is a top priority for your Maui itinerary, book your travel from mid-January through March. Visitors can view whales breaching from the ocean or even go out on a whale-watching excursion with a local company. If the whales are close enough, you may even be able to hear them sing as you dive under the water or snorkel! Whale watching season is truly a magical time to visit the island!