The Hawaiian Islands have a fascinating history, particularly because their history as an independent state was so short-lived – and so recent.As the only part of the United States that has a history of monarchs and palaces, the cultural sights in the islands are unlike those anywhere else in the country.

For those interested to learn more about Hawaiian culture by visiting the islands in person, it’s always a difficult decision when it comes to choosing which island to go to. Maui is the second largest island in the group, and there are plenty of excellent Maui rentals available for those people who choose to visit ‘The Valley Island’.

From sophisticated suites in the towns to private villas in the country, you’ll find a great range of accommodation options to suit everything from a romantic break to an annual vacation.From your base, you’ll be able to go out and explore an island that abounds in natural beauty and wildlife, and where there are plenty of cultural sights where you can gain a deeper understanding of the richsocial and spiritual heritage of the Hawaiian Islands.

If you’ve decided that your next vacation is going to be spent in Maui, now is the time to start doing some research and coming up with a general itinerary. By doing so, you’ll be able to make sure that you make the most of your time on the island, and get to see everything you’d like to see while you’re there.

To help you come up with a plan, below you’ll find information about the top five things to do in Maui. Some of are broad locations for you to explore; others are specific activities to do. Together, they serve to provide visitors with a well rounded overview of the island of Maui – and ensure that they go home with unforgettable memories of a true earthly paradise.

MalamaHonokowai Valley

For those people interested in learning more about Hawaiian history and culture, this is an absolutely essentialplace to visit.Long ago, the stream water in this area was diverted for sugar – and so the site got abandoned by the ancient Hawaiians who lived there.In recent years, renewed interest in preserving Hawaiian culture has led to the creation of volunteer groups who head to the area to remove invasive plant species and plant indigenous ones in their place.

The area feels steeped in the history of a people, and being there is an entirely unique experience. You can even help in the preservation and restoration effort by joining one of the volunteer teams on a Saturday morning. You’re bound to learn a lot about the history and culture of the Hawaiian Islands, and to enjoy the sense of closeness to the past that the site has.

Iao Valley

It’s not just the unique culture and heritage that draws so many people from all over the world to the Maui: the natural beauty and tropical climate are also a large part of the appeal! One of the island’s most famous and iconic landmarks is the impressive 1,200 footIao Needle, a huge green rock that sits by Iao stream at the base of Iao Valley.

If you’re based in Central Maui, Iao Valley is an easy hike away. Once you arrive, there’s a paved path that will lead you to an excellent viewing point where you’ll be able to get great photographs of the stunning Iao Needle and surrounding valley. No trip to Maui is complete without photographic evidence that you saw this famous (and immensely beautiful) natural wonder!

Whale Watching

Humpback whales don’t inhabit the waters around Maui all year round, but if you do happen to be on the island during the whale season then it’s absolutely essential that you see these magnificent creatures. The whales migrate down from Alaska between October and December in order to spend the winter in the warmer Hawaiian waters, before returning to Alaska towards the end of March.

You can see the whales from the beach during the peak season, which runs from January through to mid-March, but it’s worth making the effort to book yourself onto a whale watching tour: observing the whales up close is an experience you’ll never forget.

Snorkelling Tour

The marine life in the waters surrounding Maui is incredible to witness. Even from the beach, you can see beautiful tropical fish and coral. However, it’s highly recommended that you book onto one of the snorkelling tours operated by many local tour companies: the expert guides will be able to take you to the very best snorkelling spots and provide you with top quality equipment.

The underwater world you’ll be thrust into is one full of colour and vibrancy, and the experience of seeing it with your own eyes is one that you’ll cherish forever.

Visit Hana

Hana is an area of unspoilt natural beauty in the west of Maui. Somewhat removed from the rest of the island, Hana is a place where tropical rainforests meet rugged coastlines – and in between you’ll find beautiful rivers and waterfalls, and observe an abundant array of wildlife.

In many ways, Hana offers a glimpse into how the Hawaiian Islands would have looked before they developed. The local people live in communities that haven’t changed a lot in recent decades, and as you explore the region you’re bound to get the impression that you’ve stepped back in time to a magical and unspoilt tropical land.