By Zeke Quezada
At the top of a trail sitting near the base of a waterfall on the edge of a bamboo rainforest, a simple sandwich of wheat bread and generic cold cuts tastes like a Michelin starred chef has prepared it. The air is thick with humidity and the mixture of sweat, dust, and sunscreen alter the flavor of the pineapple that has survived the 2 mile hike up the Pipiwai trail to Waimoku falls. The view is a mixture of jungle and geologic history framed with a portrait of paradise. The feeling is bliss, pride, accomplishment and sheer happiness.
It’s also the reason you get away to Maui
The Kapalua Coastal Trail
There are no amount of pixels that your camera can have that will suffice when it comes to capturing the essence of the coast of West Maui. The views across to Molokai and Lanai are mesmerizing. Allow your eye to wander down the coast and you’ll be treated to waves crashing on white sands and the hidden escapes of coves and bays ready for exploration. The Coastal Trail that extends from Napili Bay to D.T. Fleming Beach Park is speckled with photo opportunities and vistas worthy of long pauses and endless daydreaming. Find a spot on the rocks and watch the sea turtles feed below you in the tide or walk to the north end and have lunch at The Burger Shack at The Ritz Carlton Kapalua as a reward for soaking up all that beautiful Maui sunshine on your afternoon hike.
Paddle Board on Napili Bay
The sound of the ocean from the sand beckons you to enter. The edges of Napili Bay are tranquil with snorkelers and children frolicking, while the center of the bay is populated with body surfers and thrill seekers trying to ride the water to the shore. Out in the bay, the water is ripe for exploration of the clear water below on a stand-up paddleboard. Mornings are best as the trade winds have not yet begun to make their way down the West Maui Mountains and the bay becomes your own personal marine recreation area. If you want an even better snorkeling experience find Honolua Bay on a map and make your way there. It is just a few minutes further north but it is worth the drive and the scramble over the rocks.
Takamiya Market in Wailuku
A trip to Maui is not complete without some local food. You can find some of the typical favorites in touristy Lahaina Town at Aloha Mixed Plate but Takamiya Market in the little town of Wailuku about 10 minutes from the airport must be on your radar. Bento boxes, poke and fresh pie are all on the menu at this popular market. This is a neighborhood store so you can find fresh meats and a talented butcher here as well but the snacks for your day out and about should be purchased here. The prices are very reasonable so load up on some spam and poke bento boxes along with some musubi.
359 N Market St, Wailuku, HI 96793. (808) 244-3404
The Surf at Ho’okipa Beach Park
The view from up high is stereotypical when big waves are in the forecast. The parking lot is full of surfboards and smiles. The locals stand around talking about the waves and the beach is full of friendly faces watching the waves and enjoying the scenery. Stroll down the sand and you might catch a glimpse of the resident turtles that bask in the Hawaiian sunshine oblivious to the action all around them.
The Bamboo Rainforest
It’s the reason you drive to Hana in Maui and actually get out of the car. You won’t need a t-shirt with “I survived the road to Hana” written on it because your pictures will tell a different story. You’ll feel as if you found a secret paradise that only a fraction of the people know about. As the tourist drive back past the countless waterfalls and twist and turns of the scenic Hana Highway you will rejoice in knowing that you found a pocket of Hawaii that is truly magical. After a hike through the bamboo forest that blocks out the sunlight and a trek to the base of 400ft Waimoku waterfall, you’ll begin to countdown the days until you can return.
If all else fails, you can always count on a Maui sunset to take your breath away.
Waimoku Falls is part of the reason why you drive to Hana.