Paradise in Hawaii
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Jessica told us things that we would have never have known to do (in Maui) if we had planned the vac...
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Quick Links: Our Best Tips for Maui, The Food on Maui, Eat like a local!, Top Sites in Maui and Hawaii, What to know in planning a trip to Maui, Travel Agent Maui Reviews, Our Maui Blogs, Maui Travel Agents - Specialized in Maui Travel
A lot of thought and care needs to be put into planning a trip to Maui. Of course, that is why we recommend using a travel agency! However, there are some things to keep in mind as you go into the planning process, then during the trip. So, let’s dive in.
Do you want to stay on one island or island hop? As you’d imagine there are pros for each. Single island itineraries are easier and less hectic. Island hopping helps if you want to see as much of the state as possible, in one trip.
What island fits your style? The most frequented islands are Maui, Oahu, Big Island of Hawaii, and Kauai. Each has a unique culture, history, landscape, vibe, and things to do. Think about what’s important to you, and we can help match you with the right one!
Have a budget. Your trip will likely have a lot of components – air, hotel, transportation, activities, food. Try to come into the planning process with a number in mind. It will help in creating an itinerary that meets your needs.
Book well in advance. Flight(s) and hotel(s) are the most crucial part of the trip and need to be booked ASAP. Pricing for both is subject to change and are usually based on supply and demand. So, the earlier the better!
Plan activities in advance. Do NOT wait until you’re in destination to book tours and excursions. Put together your must-do list and purchase. Again, the sooner the better as things fill quickly!
Knowing what to pack. Think about your trip and what it involves. Sure, it’ll mostly be attire that is relaxed, but if you’re planning a lot of tours and activities, like hiking, you’ll want to come prepared.
Transportation. Likely a rental car will be recommended. If you don’t want to drive, park, sit in traffic, etc., we can work around it. Transfers and ride share options can always be discussed.
Hopefully these tidbits were helpful as you consider travel to Maui. We help keep these things top of mind as we go into the planning process, and certainly as you’re getting ready for the most exciting part – the trip itself!
Maui has quickly become a culinary force and shows no sign of stopping. From food trucks to holes in the wall and celebrity chefs – there’s something for every palate. In additional to all of this, you’ll find familiar staples in some places – California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, Yard House, etc. You will likely have one of these places near you, if not more. Sure, it may be solid and reliable but certainly not unique.
So, we ask… when traveling to such an exotic place why would you just stick with what’s familiar and something you can get any day of the week? I encourage you to step out of the resort and see what the island has to offer – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Eat like a local!
Here’s a small sampling of the specialties you will find and should try.
Loco Moco – found throughout the islands, a loco moco is a bed of rice topped with a hearty hamburger and delicate egg, then dressed in gravy. And because there’s an egg doesn’t mean it’s just for breakfast. It can be found on lunch and dinner menus too. Portions can sometimes be huge. So it is a great option for sharing.
Shave Ice – not “shaved ice!” Also found throughout the islands, a shave ice is the perfect way to cool off. While it sounds like a snow cone, it’s quite different in texture! A snow cone is made of ice that’s crushed whereas shave ice is light layers of ice that’s been finely shaved. Top it with a variety of flavored syrups, ice cream, condensed milk or azuki beans.
Plate Lunch – a local staple. A plate lunch typically consists of two scoops of perfectly cooked rice, creamy macaroni salad then a kicked-up protein like chicken katsu, teriyaki beef and kalua pork. YUM! I love the chicken. Which have or would you try?
Poke – if you’re a seafood lover, this is for you. And the freshness of locally sourced fish makes this dish very popular. Served as an appetizer (pupu) or main course, its main ingredient is raw fish – skipjack tuna, octopus, and yellowfin. It’s then combined with things like Maui onions, inamona, limu, soy sauce, green onions, or sesame oil to complete the dish.
Malasadas – perfect for a sweet tooth because they’re Portuguese donuts coated with cinnamon and sugar. Traditionally they do not come filled, but in Maui they sometimes are. Embrace the flavors of local fruits with fillings of coconut, passionfruit, guava, and pineapple, or keep it simple with a delicate custard. Leonards on Oahu is famous for their malasadas.
If you’re on another island, ask around for recommendations! There you have it, some of the tastiest local eats in Maui. Of course, there are many more and this list could go on and on, so don’t stop here! If you’re planning a trip to Maui, let us know and we can create the perfect itinerary for you and your family!
Diamond Head -
- Plan to tackle Diamond Head early before the crows and heat of midday. The hike is moderate and on a well-maintained trail, including some stair to the summit. Once there take time to enjoy the views of Oahu including Waikiki and Honolulu. 2 On a clear day you see forever.
Dolphins and Whales - Whale season on Maui typically runs from November through May. While they can sometimes be seen from the shore, your best bet is to do a watching tour by boat. The best scenic times are said to be early morning and sunset, so consider booking around those times. Be sure to do so in advance. Let us assist! 2 Did you know dolphins can dive up to 1,000 feet?
Fruit Stand - Roadside stands are one of the best places to buy Mauian fruit. It’s typically reasonably priced, local, fresh, and ready to eat! While some fruits are seasonal, you can find pineapples, bananas, papaya, and coconut yearround. 2 “The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” – Moliere
Hana - Narrow, 620 curves and 59 bridges. That’s the Road to Hana. Best to get a head start and spend the day. If doing so, the drive can take 10 to 12 hours. So, be sure to allocate time for stops. Along the way enjoy the absolute beauty of nature, the colors, the smells, the waterfalls, the plush greens, and the incredible vistas. 2 The crown jewel of driving tours in Maui – the Road to Hana.
Helicopter - Helicopter tours can be found on all the Mauian Islands and I’m sure they’re wonderful. But what are the top recommendations? Consider Kauai for views of Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast. If you’re looking for volcano views, your best bet would be the Big Island. Not sure? We can help! 2 Go where you feel most alive!
Kauai - Once you set foot on Kauai, you’ll quickly realize why it’s called “the garden isle.” The valleys draped in emerald and rainforests are the highlight of the landscape with mountains, cliffs, rivers, and waterfalls punctuating it. Does this sound like your vibe? Let’s chat. 2 “May there always be tradewinds behind you, rainbows above you, and aloha all around you.” - Kauai Blessing
Lava - On the Big Island is where you might see actual lava flow, but the volcanos are not always active. The most recent eruption lasted from December 20, 2020 to mid-May 2021. Your next best bet is to explore Volcanoes National Park and its many lava tubes. Need help getting there? Let’s chat! 2 “You better lava me now or lava me not” - Jimmy Buffett
Mountains - The Na Pali Coast can be found on Kauai and this photo certainly doesn’t do it justice. It’s known for its “pali”, or sea cliffs, dotted by narrow valleys, streams and waterfalls. Because this area is more remote, one of the best ways to see it is by boat tour. Let’s get you booked well in advance for best availability! 2 Boat isn’t the only way to see the Na Pali Coast. Catch a view from the top of Waimea Canyon. Have you done both? If so, which was your fav?
Paddle Boarder - One of the many bays in Maui would be a great place for stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). The water is perfectly calm and protected. TIP - A lesson with an experienced instructor is highly recommended if you’re a beginner. Have you done SUP in Maui? Where was your favorite spot? 2 Living on island time.
Royal Mauian - The Royal Mauian (also known as “Pink Palace of the Pacific”) is set beachfront on Waikiki and an absolute favorite of ours. The property is rich in history, and we encourage you to explore it, if you’re staying onsite or off. If staying on property tours are also given on certain days of the week! Have you had the pleasure of staying here? Tell us about it below! 2 Did you know that the original Mai Tai was given the Mauia
Sea Turtle - Seeing a Mauian green sea turtles is a vacation bucket list item for some. These “hono” are native to Maui, can be found on all islands and are the most common species found. Because they prefer calm waters, the best time for viewing is in the summer. Ready to plan a potential sighting? Let us assist! 2 If you’re lucky enough to see a green sea turtle, be sure not to touch! It is illegal!
Shave Ice - Shave ice is a Maui sweet treat staple. It comes from a block of solid ice from which delicate layers are shaved off. It’s almost snow like in consistency! Add some flavored syrups (the thin layers of ice better absorb it) and other fun toppings! A definite must try! Need some recommendations? 2 Don’t call it a snow cone! Snow cones are formed with crushed ice, shave ice is just that – shaved!
Sunset Palm - Catching a sunset in Maui is mandatory! A lot of people enjoy them from a beach and there are some on the islands that are better than others. As an alternative, make a dining reservation at a spot where it’s visible. Enjoy a great meal and cocktail as the sun goes down! Research sunset times before reserving and request a table with a view! 2 My favorite color is sunset.
Surfer - The North Shore of Oahu is a great place to watch surfers catching HUGE waves! Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Sunset Beach are well known and worth a stop. Spend time relaxing on the beach and walk the shoreline. Leave the surfing (and swimming) to the pros! 2 Island days, island ways, surf, sun and rays.
Surfers - You’ll likely see a lot of surfers out and about in the early morning around sunrise then again in the evening around sunset. Swells are said to be the best around these times. Grab your spot early! 2 Sunrise or sunset and swells. What a way to start or end the day!
Waikiki Beach - The two-mile stretch of Waikiki Beach is likely one of the world’s most famous. With that, it can also get very crowded. If you’re staying beachfront, there likely will be some dedicated real estate (sand) where you can set up for the day. If not, get there early! Need help selecting the right Waikiki hotel? Let’s connect! 2 And into the ocean I go to lose my mind and find my soul.
Waterfall and Lagoon - There are more than 100 waterfalls throughout the Mauian Islands. Some are very well known and easily accessible. Others are hidden gems and accessible by hiking or even helicopter! If you’re visiting and want to explore multiple locations, let us know! We’ll get you there with an expertly crafted itinerary! 2 Chasing waterfalls!
Waterfall - Maui’s waterfalls are natural beauties and meant to be explored. At minimum, include one stop when visiting. Let the scenery inspire and refresh you! 2 Life is like a waterfall. Keep it beautiful by keeping it moving and flowing.
Wave - If you’re a novice surfer, the wave-famous North Shore of Oahu is not for you. Rather, check out Waikiki Beach! Here you’ll typically find waves that are small, slow, and more mellow. Perfect for first timers! It’s also highly recommended you take a lesson with a pro before hitting the surf on your own! 2 “Meet me where the sky touches the sea.” - Jennifer Donnelly
White Flowers - Plumeria (also known as Frangipani) has a delightful scent, and its petals can be white, pink, red or yellow. They’re commonly associated with but not native to Maui and are commercially grown to make leis! 2 Plumeria is not native to Maui! Any guesses where they originated?
The island of Maui is for those who want a tropical paradise with a little of everything – beach, hikes, volcanoes, rainforests, resorts, and nightlife.
A lot of thought and care needs to be put into planning a trip to Maui. Of course, that is why we recommend using a travel agency! There are some things to keep in mind as you go into the planning process, then during the trip. So, let’s dive in.
Do you want to stay on one island or island hop? As you’d imagine there are pros for each. Single island itineraries are easier to plan and can be less hectic, and since all of your time will be spent in one place it will allow for full immersion into all the island has to offer. Oh, and you won’t have to deal with inter-island flights which can be super expensive. On the flip side, hopping can help if you’d like to experience as much of the state as possible in one trip. You can then compare the offerings and vibes on each island.
What island fits your style? There are eight major islands that make up Maui with the most frequented being Maui, Oahu, Big Island of Hawaii, and Kauai. Each has a unique culture, history, landscape, vibe, and things to do and see. Choose Oahu if you are looking for an island with a city vibe that’s near/on a beach. (Honolulu/Waikiki)! Think lively clubs, bars, nightlife, shopping, and dining.
Maui is for those who want a tropical paradise with a little of everything – beach, hikes, volcanoes, rainforests, resorts, and nightlife.
The Big Island is known for its multiple climates and abundance of natural attractions, including Volcanoes National Park.
Kauai is known as “the Garden Isle” and for good reason. Its lush landscapes make it a perfect escape for those looking for a more outdoor and active vibe.
Have a budget. Your trip will likely have a lot of components – air, hotel, transportation, activities, and food. Keep in mind that Maui isn’t exactly cheap either. Try to come into the planning process with a number in mind. A solid budget will help in the recommendation process and final creation of an itinerary that meets your specific needs.
Book well in advance. The most critical components of a trip to Maui (or anywhere, actually) are flight and hotel. Pricing for both is subject to change at anytime and usually based on supply and demand. So, typically, the earlier you book the better. Once your dates are solidified and options selected, place a deposit, or complete the booking! If you’re considering travel during a peak time this is even MORE important. Plan activities in advance.
Do NOT wait until you’re in destination to book tours and excursions. Put together your must-do list and purchase. Again, the sooner the better, since space on some activities is limited and can sell out quickly. It will also help in sticking to your budget.
Knowing what to pack. Think about your trip and what it involves. It can help in determining what to pack. For the most part the vibe in Maui is relaxed, but if you have more active things planned (hikes, biking, etc.) you want to pack for that. I am sure that if you have a strenuous hike planned, you don’t want to forget your boots. Flip flops at all other times are perfect, but I am sure you don’t want to hike in them.
Transportation. Likely a rental car will be recommended, but at the end of the day, it is your call. If the thought of driving in an unknown place, heavy traffic (especially on Oahu) and sometimes expensive parking (even at hotels) don’t appeal to you, we can work around it. Transfers and ride share options can always be discussed.
Hopefully these tidbits were helpful as you consider travel to Maui. I’ll help keep these things top of mind as we go into the planning process and certainly as you’re getting ready for the most exciting part – the trip itself!
Maui vacation packages are a tropical island fantasy come true. Here, you can stay on incredible beaches, watch gorgeous ocean sunsets, and climb a soaring volcano to watch the sunrise above the clouds. With watersports aplenty, kid-friendly resorts, and waterfall swims, Maui family vacation packages offer the perfect mix of entertainment and natural beauty. One of our last-minute Maui travel packages could deliver you to a gorgeous hotel on Kaanapali Beach in just a few days. If golf is your heart, take a swing on the unique courses on the slopes of a volcano with one of our Maui golf vacation packages. A welcoming aloha and lei are just a couple of clicks away.
Travel agents specializing in Maui, Hawaii travel.
With a seasoned travel agent ready to assist you, the natural wonders and distinct culture of traveling abroad are yours to discover! Explore colonial cities, ancient ruins, hidden cenotes, and architectural treasures, and create a new experience every time you visit. In the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, discover a fascinating blend of sun, culture, and archaeological ruins, and astounding beauty. In Central Mexico, discover charming UNESCO World Heritage colonial cities. The diversities are fascinating. From golden sand beaches and jungle forests of the Pacific Coast to the Land's End and endless horizons in the Sea of Cortes. We can help you arrange a vacation you will not soon forget.
Unspoiled, unhurried and uncrowded. Fiji is the land of happiness in the heart of the South Pacific, blessed with over 300 tropical islands. Here you'll find classic images of an island paradise - turquoise lagoons, sun-drenched beaches and swaying palm trees.
But it's the people that make the islands so special and the hospitality is warm and welcoming. Take time to mingle with the locals and relax. You will enjoy their genuine nature. Experience the true Bahamas. From its pristine naturan beauty to a host of water and land sports. We can help you plan an unforgettable vacation, whether you are seeking a romantic escape or an activity-filled stay. Everyday you'll find something new to discover.
Like sparking jewels in crystal-clear waters, the islands of the Caribbean and Bermuda beckon travelers to discover the natural beauty and unique culture each one has to offer. Explore World Heritage sites, spectacular beaches, tropical rainforests, and more. The Caribbean and Bermuda is where all the senses come to life. See the beauty of the natural landscapes. Hear the rhythm of Caribbean music. Smell the fragrances of tropical flowers, and taste the diversity of the Caribbean cuisine. Whether you seek an adventure-filled vacation or a leisure stay soaking in the local culture, a memorable vacation awaits. Let us make it easy and help you arrange your perfect experience on the island or islands of your choice.
Explore the Caribbean islands onboard a private crewed catamaran, for up to 10 of your closest friends or family in five cabins. Relax as your captain navigate over turquoise waters from one exotic port to the next, while your chef prepares delectable meals to enjoy onboard or on a secluded beach.
Your journey embarks from one of five Moorings’ bases, on a luxury crewed catamaran, like a fabulous floating resort, with a dedicated crew providing the utmost in personalized service onboard. At each tranquil anchorage, you will have the chance to explore the culture, shop in charming boutiques, sample local delicacies, or stroll on a white-sand beach of a new island. Each day is a new discovery of experiences you won’t soon forget.
From stunning seascapes to rare wildlife and granite and coral islands, your experience in the Maldives or Seychelles will be as unforgettable as these worlds-away locations in the Indian Ocean.
Comprising 26 atolls and 1,190 islands dating back 2,500 years, the Republic of Maldives is a serene masterpiece in natural landscaping and home to one of the world’s most diverse underwater marine life. Its capital, Malé, is easily reached by ferry from the main airport.
The Republic of Seychelles is a 115-island archipelago of legendary and unspoiled beauty, between 4º and 10º south of the equator. The inner islands cluster around the islands of Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue, and are renowned for their granite formations and stunning beaches.
Morning - Prepare for a two-tank dive, exploring a vibrant thila (submerged reef) and an overhang full of soft corals. Nondivers can snorkel or relax on board.
Afternoon - Set anchor at a virgin island. Divers can explore the open waters on a channel dive; nondivers can water-ski or tube in the lagoon. Later, enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach.
Evening - Take a fishing trip aboard a local dhoni boat and enjoy sunset at sea with cocktails. Set anchor and savor a BBQ dinner on a beautiful sandbank. See video highlights of the day with after-dinner drinks in the lounge.
Cruises and Inclusions -
All cruise packages aboard Four Seasons Explorer include:
• Seaplane and speedboat transfers
• Diving and recreational activities
• Full-board meals, bottled water, and nonalcoholic
beverages for up to two • Fresh fruit in your stateroom upon arrival
• Luxurious accommodations onboard
Northward Cruise: Three Nights -
Sail from Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa to Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru via the Malé and Baa atolls.
Southward Cruise: Four Nights -
Discover four secluded atolls between Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru and Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa.
Circuit Cruise: Seven Nights -
Visit five atolls on the ultimate dive cruise.
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Just got back from NOW Larimar Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic yesterday. Just wanted to thank you for all your help with our travels! This place was wonderful!!!!! We really had a great time and cannot wait to go back.— Amy Grellner
a weeklong vacation to Maui and a mother-daughter getaway to New York. Her advice and recommendations were spot on. Lia is great at understanding my needs and wants and customizing the perfect vacation for my family. Lia is my go-to travel agent and I look forward to many more great adventures booked through Vincent Vacations!— Jenelle Isaacson
Getting in touch with Lia was a whole new experience, she answered all my initial questions in that first phone call, had so many recommendations, and it was obvious she knew exactly what she was doing. By the time we hung up the first phone call, I had decided on a destination and venue (per Lia's suggestion). She was a God send!— Jenni Johnson