Trip Advisor recently published the list of 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards Top 10 islands to visit around the world. And you know what topped that list? It’s Maui, Hawaii. While I will forever remain loyal to the Philippines and its beautiful islands, Maui has a special place in my heart.


Here are the reasons why I love Maui and why it is almost always considered as one of the best:


1. The banyan trees – The banyan is actually native to India, and the Lahaina Banyan was presented to Maui Sherriff William Owen Smith by missionaries from India. He planted it to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission to Lahaina. The Lahaina Banyan is now the oldest banyan in Hawaii, and one of the oldest in the United States. “Their canopies are vast, and seem to drip roots to the ground below. Kids love to swing from those roots, and to climb among nooks and crannies of intricately intertwined trunks.”


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This enormous banyan tree is found within the Pipiwai Trail as you hike towards the Waimoku Falls. This trail is located in Southeast Maui and is within Haleakala National Park in the area called Kipahulu. The Pipiwai Trail is a 4-mile (round trip) hike that takes about 2 hours to complete.


2. The pineapples – We toured the Maui Gold Farm on our last visit as our 50th wedding anniversary gift to my in-laws (together with the helicoper tour). It’s very interesting to hear the story, to see fellow Filipinos working there, of course to taste unlimited amount of pineapples of different degree of ripeness and getting free boxes to bring home. Did somebody say pina colada? 🙂

Maui Gold farm, Pineapple Tours, Aloha, Maui, Hawaii, vrbo hawaii, vrbo maui

Maui Gold and a rainbow. What else could be better?


3. The numerous Waterfalls and yes, there are tons of them varying from small to very tall. Some of them are easy to get to, others need some foot power. 😀

Waimoku Falls, Aloha, Hawaii, Maui, Best Island, JoyceDz

Waimoku Falls – Located within the Pipiwai Trail (same as #1) which is part of Haleakala National Park. This is towering about 400 ft. but provides no swimming at the base.


4. The beautiful golden, red and black beaches but the best ones are those that you can have to yourself if you know how to read a map (like this one) and not mentioned in popular guidebooks. 😉

I will keep this beach a secret unless you are a good friend. 😉 😉

Kihei Beach, Maui, Hawaii, Aloha, #familyTravel, #travelwithkids

Kihei Beach – We love this one, too as it was by the home we rented.


5. The biota of the island

Diverse Island


6. Watching amazing sunsets and my favorite spot? At Makena Beach… and I meant really just watching and not taking photos although I did take one using a 50mm camera on our second trip there.

Maui Time, Maui wowie, Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii, Aloha, Travel with Kids, wedding anniversary, family

Sunsets at Makena Beach are beautiful – South’s largest beach with two distinct areas, ‘Big Beach’ and ‘Little Beach,’ with three main entry points.


7. The rugged Northwest where guidebooks said not to venture into. Well we did, it wasn’t illegal, we are very respectful and we weren’t breaking any laws. 🙂

This scenery was so breathtaking that we had to stop.


8. Waianapanapa State Park – I had never seen a black beach prior to setting foot on this State Park. This Maui location feels like it deserves an entire blog post as it’s so beautiful and expansive but for the sake of time, here’s one photo of it (no justice at all as you just have to see the entire place to believe it).

Wainapanapa State Park – Black Beach


9. The Summit Area of Haleakala National Park – the NPS website says it best — “No place can prepare you for the experiences and feelings you will have on the summit of Haleakala volcano. The landscape – deeply sculpted, richly colored, and intensely evocative will be unlike any landcape you have known. Visually expansive, the summit area continually eludes any attempt to understand its scale or dimensions.”

Haleakala Crater, Maui, Hawaii, Aloha, Top Island 2016, Travel with Kids, Travel with Family

We didn’t do a sunrise hike but it was still beautiful whatever time of the day it was. The cloud cover gets thicker in the afternoon, though. 🙂


10. I wanted to write “The Road to Hana” as my last but not the least (like #8, it feels like an entire post is necessary for this, too) but what I love the most about that trip only needs one word…. OHANA! 🙂

One word – Ohana (I am very thankful that I got married into this wonderful, generous family)



It was such an amazing and marvelous opportunity that I was given and with that, I am extremely grateful. I would like to go back someday and maybe stay on the West side more.


Mahalo! Share me your Maui experiences or email me, too, if you have questions.


Much love,

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