How to spend 4 days on Maui in spring? What to do and see here in March – early April? How to get around the Hawaiian Island, still reigned by frequent rains? We had to answer all these questions on the spot while constantly changing our well-preplanned 4-day Maui itinerary.
Last updated: January 16, 2024
How to Spend 4 Days on Maui in Spring
The second largest island of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui astounds with both its natural and cultural diversity and remarkable history. For centuries the island allured ruling chiefs of Hawaii. Endless wars devastated the area for centuries until in 1810 King Kamehameha I conquered all of the islands and united them into the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Maui was a strategic point. It played a key role in the outcome of the great war. The island hasn’t lost its dominance. But instead of harboring the warring parties, the enchanting destination entices travelers from all over the world today.
Some people say Maui is the most beautiful island of all the Hawaiian Islands. This statement was presumptive. After debating whether we should have spent several days on Oahu or Maui, we chose the latter simply because of the convenience of direct, non-stop flights.
Are 4 Days Enough for Maui?
We had only 4 days to explore Maui and the underwater world off the coast of the island. Was it enough? Yes and no. 4 days would be certainly more than sufficient to explore most of Maui’s natural landmarks and towns in late spring and summer.
In the early spring, though, which marks the end of the rainy season in Hawaii, our 4-day Maui itinerary had to be modified several times on the spot. Some places we didn’t get to see simply because there was nothing to see but a dense veil of thick fog obscuring everything in front of you. Similarly, most of the natural swimming pools were not suitable for swimming because of the heavy flow. But waterfalls… The early spring is probably the best time to see Maui’s roaring giants at their peak flow.
Without further ado, let’s see what you can do and see on Maui during a 4-day vacation in March – April. This Maui itinerary includes some of the most popular hikes, landmarks, waterfalls, beaches, shopping destinations. And most importantly, you’ll learn where to eat traditional Hawaiian food and see hula. Because it’s Maui, Hawaii, and you absolutely must find room in your 4-day itinerary for this type of activity.
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO VISITING MAUI IN EARLY SPRING: 4-DAY ITINERARY
How to Spend 4 Days on Maui in Early Spring: Day 1
Our first and last days on Maui were the shortest since they included the flights in and out of the island. With that said, we started our Maui adventures at LAX. The direct flight from Los Angeles to Kahului was almost 6 hours.
We landed on Maui at noon. Clueless about the conditions of winding roads in the back side of West Maui, we planned to do the West Maui Mountain drive and explore the area between Kahului and Ka’anapali on day 1.
Stop 1: Waihe’e Ridge Trail
Drive time from Kahului: 20 minutes (7.8 miles)
An early spring trip to Maui can be somewhat challenging. It rains a lot. Considering the rural nature of the island, some roads are flooded and rather problematic to drive along.
TIP: Initially, we had booked a small sedan but had been upgraded to a truck. This “monster” made roaming over most of the island so much easier. It literally saved our third day on Maui when we ventured to Hana via the famous Road to Hana and its less popular back side route, the Back Road to Hana.
From Kahului, we headed northwest along Highway 340. The Waihe’e Ridge Trailhead was located roughly 20 minutes away from Kahului. An almost empty parking lot welcomed us on that windy spring day.
A trail sign instructed to walk up a paved trail. A herd of cows grazed on the hill that the trail was running through. Spectacular views of the ocean, which waters range from blue to turquoise colors, opened up to our right and behind us. Only noisy gusts of wind disturbed peace and serenity that embraced the area, still void of crowds of travelers, in those early spring days.
The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is 4 miles long (out and back) and considered a challenging hike. You can hike the entire distance or turn back at the first overlook after feasting your eyes on a waterfall cascading down the mountainside in the distance.
We walked through the open area near the trailhead and then under the thick canopy of a tropical forest for only about 0.6 mile. Here right before the trail turned sharply to the left, stunning views of Makamaka’ole Falls, a 270-foot, two-tiered waterfall, opened up. We saw the lower leg of the waterfall from the parking lot. Now the bigger picture came into view.
Stop 2: Nakalele Blowhole
Drive time from the Waihe’e Ridge Trail: 47 minutes (14 miles)
14 miles is quite a short distance, especially for drivers used to multilane freeways in California. But the narrow, winding roads of Maui required us to slow down, instantly giving a heavy hint that we would probably do far less than what we had expected in those 4 days on the island.
It took us nearly 50 minutes to reach our next destination, Nakalele Blowhole.
Nestled near Nakalele Point, the blowhole is a beautiful destination to observe from the road or hike to if you spend a day near the rugged northwestern tip of Maui.
The views of “erupted” geyser where seawater trapped in an underwater cave freed itself in an explosive column of water that could reach up to 100 feet in the air were almost out of this world. We saw a similar phenomenon on Kauai a few years ago.
TIP: While awe-inspiring, the blowholes can be dangerous, especially if, forgoing any common sense, you try to get too close or look down into the hole. People fell down the blowhole to their death in the past. The luckiest of them were launched into the air and broke some bones.
The Nakalele Blowhole is visible from the road. So if you don’t want to overdo yourself on your first day on Maui, just pull over and enjoy the views from the car. Otherwise, venture down a rocky path to the shore. The trail – if you even can call the unmarked path this way – is about 1.2 miles long (out and back). The hike feels shorter, though.
Stop 3: Dragon’s Teeth
Drive time from Nakalele Blowhole: 21 minutes (8.7 miles)
We finished our hiking activities for the day and admired the rough beauty of Maui either from the car or from the side of the road. Yet if you travel without small kids and have enough energy to explore the island on foot, do yourself a favor and go see the Dragon’s Teeth.
An easy 0.5-mile, round-trip trail is located along Makaluapuna Point in West Maui. The path takes you to the ocean-side lava rock pointed spires that resemble a row of dragon’s teeth.
Note: In the early spring, your biggest obstacle in this part of Maui is gusty wind. The rain would wait for you on the greener, eastern side of the island. So normally you wouldn’t have any issues hiking to the Dragon’s Teeth and a giant, circular maze nestled nearby.
Stop 4: Kapalua Coastal Trail
Drive time from Dragon’s Teeth: 3 minutes (0.9 mile)
Finish your day walking along the Kapalua Coastal Trail, a 2.5-mile out and back trail near Lahaina, the busiest town on Maui. As the name suggests, the path runs along the coast. Many people take advantage of this easy activity.
The area hardly ever gets deserted. Whether you hike or run along the coast early in the morning or squeeze in a leisure walk in the second part of the day, this corner of Maui doesn’t stop sharing its beauty and drier weather (even in March) with many locals and visitors alike.
Stop 5: Ka’anapali Beach
Drive time from the Kapalua Coastal Trailhead: 15 minutes (6.9 miles)
Ka’anapali Beach became our final destination of the day 1 (and the following two full days we spent on Maui) by default. We stayed at Maui Ka’anapali Villas, a resort that faced the sandy beach with splendid views of Lanai.
More Maui Attractions to See during Day 1
Iao Valley State Monument
The green valley with pointed peaks is an iconic place located in Central Maui, just west of Wailuku. Lush tropical greenery and legendary history surround the place. It was here that King Kamehameha I defeated Maui’s tribal warriors in the late 18th century.
Note: The state park was closed during our early spring visit to Maui. A slope stabilization project that lasted for months was supposed to come to an end in May of 2023.
At 1,119 feet, Honokohau Falls is the tallest waterfall on Maui. Yet due to its secluded location in a valley inaccessible by road, the site can be seen only from a helicopter. So consider booking that helicopter tour maybe not on the first, but the second or third day of your Maui vacation.
Where to Stay during Your Early Spring 4-Day Trip to Maui
We called it a day on the western side of the island, at Maui Ka’anapali Villas. The hotel sits right in front of Ka’anapali Beach with exceptional views of Lanai and Molokai in the distance. These vistas along with the sandy beach, warm ocean, and two swimming pools kept us outside most of the time we spent in Ka’anapali.
We would return to our simple, yet comfortable room with a small kitchenette in the evening to get some rest before a new day, full of activities in this area and other parts of Maui.
Maui Sheraton Resort sits within a walking distance from here. And this is the place that turns into a main gathering point every evening without exception. Overlooking the calm ocean and sandy beach, the resort hosts daily beachfront luau, a traditional Hawaiian feast with island music and hula show.
Map: Visit Maui in Early Spring – Day 1
How to Spend 4 Days on Maui in Early Spring: Day 2
Stop 1: Lahaina
Drive time from Ka’anapali: 8 minutes (3 miles)
Nestled just 3 miles south of Ka’anapali, Lahaina is the busiest town on Maui. The place boasts a profusion of cozy restaurants and oceanfront shops on Front Street. We spent the first part of the second day exploring historical sites of West Maui, immersing ourselves into culinary scene of the old town, and peeking into the underwater world off the coast of the island.
For the latter, we booked a submarine ride with Atlantis Submarine Adventures. The experience was worth the time and price, especially if you are a non-swimmer/non-diver or travel with kids. In a way, the submarine ride saved the day, as Maui showed its foggy side in the afternoon.
Stop 2: Haleakala National Park
Drive time from Lahaina: 1 hour 25 minutes (49.4 miles)
In the early spring, the elevated sections of Maui trap a lot of rain. The fog in the mountains could be seen from the sunny beaches near Lahaina. As the previous day showed, Maui wasn’t in a rush to make its mind about the weather. So we hoped for the best and set off on another tropical adventure.
Haleakala National Park is named after Haleakala, a dormant volcano, and covers an area of 33,265 acres. Haleakala Crater, the park’s signature site that we planned to explore during the second part of the day, is the highest place on Maui (10,023 feet above sea level).
As you get closer to the crater, you notice peculiar plants that look like silver hedgehogs with long, soft needles attached to their bodies. The plants, known as silverswords, are rare and endangered, endemic to Haleakala on Maui and Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island.
The silverswords grow mostly right near the Haleakala Crater Overlook as well as along the Sliding Sands (or Keonehe’ehe’e) Trail. This 11.2-mile point-to-point trail is considered one of the best and most difficult hikes on Maui.
TIP: With a unique palette of red, yellow, and orange colors, Haleakala Crater stands out from the rest of Maui. The area is certainly worth the long drive. But not when the mountain tips are trapped in the fog.
In early March, the fog can be so thick that you don’t see anything beyond a paved path at the overlook. So no matter how disheartening it may sound, skipping this area and spending the day exploring other more welcoming corners of Maui is the wisest option.
Stop 3: Maluaka Beach
Drive time from Lahaina: 50 minutes (30.8 miles)
Otherwise known as Turtle Beach, Maluaka Beach attracts not only beach loving visitors of Maui but also Hawaiian green sea turtles. The largest hard-shelled reptiles in the world usually frequent the beach in the summer. You may or may not be that lucky to see these sea creatures on the beach in the early spring.
Stop 4: Makena State Park
Drive time from Maluaka Beach: 6 minutes (2 miles)
The 165-acre state park consists of two sandy beaches and Pu’u Olai, a 360-foot dormant volcanic cinder cone.
Makena Beach (Big Beach or Oneloa Beach) is the largest of the two. It stretches for 1.5 miles along the undeveloped, white sandy coasts of Maui.
Pu’u Ola’i Beach (Little Beach) is shorter, only 660 feet long. In the not so distant past, it attracted hordes of nude sunbathers. You may still see more flesh than expected now and then here. But this has become less common nowadays.
Map: Visit Maui in Early Spring – Day 2
How to Spend 4 Days on Maui in Early Spring: Day 3
The Road to Hana and the Back Road to Hana
The most popular, greenest, and rainiest part of Maui, the Road to Hana area needs at least one day. The Hana Highway is relatively short. It stretches for 64.4 miles and connects Kahului with the remote town of Hana. Yet nearly 620 narrow, winding curves, 59 bridges (46 are one lane wide), and frequent rains prolong the journey.
It takes approximately 2.5 hours to drive from Kahului to Hana non-stop. But who would drive so fast? The Road to Hana is dotted with roadside waterfalls, natural swimming pools, pristine beaches, and scenic hikes that you want to explore over and over again.
This day trip was the most memorable, adventurous, and the rainiest experience we had on Maui. I have an entire article that dissects the natural splendor of the Road to Hana and lists activities you can count on in the area in the early spring.
How to Spend 4 Days on Maui in March: Day 4
The fourth day offered the last opportunity to soap up Maui’s warmth and hospitality. At least until next time. And we let the tropical slow way of life consume us. Admiring pastel colors the sky adorned itself with at sunrise and splashing in the warm ocean on Ka’anapali Beach was the epitome of a Hawaiian vacation and a perfect end of our Maui adventures.
Stop 1: Lahaina
We left Ka’anapali and headed to Lahaina in the early afternoon for a last-minute gift and souvenir shopping and our last meal on the island.
Stop 2: Kahului Airport
4 days flew by fast. Surprisingly, for such a short time, Maui taught us many lessons. But the biggest was to let go of expectations and enjoy the island one day at a time.
Things to Know before Visiting Maui in Early Spring, March – April
The early spring is the end of the rainy season, which lasts from November through March. So plan for the rain and be ready to skip some outdoor sites and activities. The beginning of March is the time to explore indoor places, such as the Maui Ocean Center, and treat yourself to a tropical spa session. The rainy weather normally cooperates very well with this itinerary.
Pack for Rain
Be sure to pack an umbrella and/or poncho before stepping on the ground of the Hawaiian Island in the early spring. It still rains a lot in March and early April here.
Rent a 4×4 Car
This part of your 4-day Maui trip checklist is optional, but highly recommended. A 4×4 truck or car comes in handy on the winding, unpaved roads with potholes generously filled up by the frequent spring rains.