A few years ago , during our trip to the United States we included Hawaii into our long itinerary. Located somewhere in the middle of Pacific Ocean , Hawaii seemed like a paradise surrounded with turquoise waters and is a dream vacation for anyone who loves beaches.
Exotic beaches, lush palm trees, beautiful Sunrises and sunsets, warm temperatures, free spirited people are still embedded in my memories.
We chose to visit Oahu and Maui islands. Both islands were distinct in their nature interms of geography and tourism.
Getting there :
We flew from Los Angeles (California) to the Honolulu international airport in Oahu. Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii. Once we reached we hired a cab to our hotel. Unlike Maui you find public transportation throughout in Honolulu.
The vibrant Honolulu :
Honolulu is the city of Oahu island and also a major capital. We stayed at the Waikiki beach area with our room overlooking the beach. Waikiki is a touristy place and is culturally vibrant.
We stayed at the Alohilani Resort due to its proximity to the beach and also the sea view from the room. Choosing the right hotel for yourself can always get challenging as every hotel promotes tourism and promises views.
Shopping and Food :
If you have serious shopping goals then Hawaii is the place . You can get everything from Premium brands to local handicrafts and is a shoppers paradise. Also a home for the worlds largest open air shopping centre.
On our first day we tried sampling around the local street food. For dinner we preferred the Tikis grill and bar. It was a nice rooftop restaurant with lively music complementing the surroundings.
Activities in Waikiki beach :
You can book various tours with your hotel like cultural tours, submarine adventure , snorkelling , cruises , parasailing and many other activities.
Budget for Waikiki :
Around $400 – $600 on an average per couple per night for Accomodation and Food with views. Extras ( flights, shopping , activities) are excluded.
From Honolulu to Maui :
We flew to Maui in Island air. It was a nice short 45 mins trip to Maui .Once we reached Maui we decided to hire a car to explore the island. Car rentals are easily available at the airport or you can prebook them.
The beautiful Hawaiian drives :
We drove over many places but Hawaiian drives are the most liveliest and unforgettable ones. Added to this is the Hawaiian music which creates a magical aroma in the air. The narrow winding roads lead you to the most beautiful scenic destinations.
Serene Maui :
There is no way to describe Maui other than just surrendering yourself to its tranquility and beauty. The blue waters are very calming and a perfect way to detox oneself.
Accommodation in Maui :
We chose to stay at the Westin Maui Resort and Spa on the Kanapali beach . It was a beautiful property with breathtaking oceanfront views from our room. If you get lucky enough you can experience whale watching from your room aswell
Stay and food can cost around $500- $700 excluding flight , car rental , food and activities.
Molkini Crater -My First snorkel experience:
We booked our snorkel tour with the hotel. Early morning the next day we left to Maui Ocean Center and from there we were taken to the Molkini crater on a boat where they halt it for an hour for the guests to experience the beautiful underwater marine sanctuary . The crater was perfectly placed in the blue ocean and it looked like a half moon. My husband is a good swimmer. But I was quite jittery as I never got into a pool before and now there was a huge ocean lying infront me. Somehow I wanted to take it as a challenge and also never wanted to miss what my husband was experiencing. I got into the water clumsily with the help of a person and a noodle . And then moments later, happened the best thing in my entire life . I have never seen anything so incredible before and the crystal clear waters of Maui made this experience even better.
The natural setting of the incredibly beautiful lush coral reef , various species of beautiful and colorful patterned fishes and many other marine species under crystal clear waters was breathtaking and unforgettable. After this we snorkeled in many other countries but this remains the best of all.
Art Galleries :
Maui has the best shopping and food but I would specifically mention about the fine art galleries. Lahaina houses the most sophisticated art galleries with jaw dropping innovations in art by the world-renowned artists. Also there are a number of galleries displaying the work of local artists. I spent almost about 2 hours totally awestruck by a number of master pieces.
If you have an eclectic taste in art or have a beach vibe then you should step into this beautiful paradise .
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