Getting Around Maui
The best way to get around Maui is by car, particularly if you're planning on exploring large swaths of the island. Maui features a fairly comprehensive set of roadways, so finding your way around shouldn't be too difficult. There are also several public transportation options – including a bus system and hotel shuttles – but these won't always be a dependable option for wide exploration.
You can easily rent a set of wheels upon arriving at Maui's main flight terminal, Kahului Airport (OGG), located on the island's northern coast in Central Maui. You'll find two other airports on Maui: The Kapalua Airport (JHM) is located on the north coast of West Maui, while Hana Airport (HNM) sits in East Maui. There are direct flights to Kahului from several mainland airports (including Phoenix and Los Angeles), but both Kapalua and Hana are usually only used for inter-island transfers. If you're flying from the mainland's East Coast, you may find it easier (and cheaper) to book a trip that schedules a layover in one of the West Coast airports that offer direct flights to the Kapalua Airport (versus flying into Honolulu and taking an inter-island flight to Maui).
Renting a car is the best option if you're looking to see more of Maui than your hotel and the beach. Like in many other states, Hawaii requires you to be at least 25 years old to rent a vehicle. Also, since Hawaii is a no-fault state, you might want to spring for collision insurance (if your personal car insurance doesn't cover you). Although the island features several prominent highways, local routes are often labeled in Hawaiian, which can be confusing to those looking to get off the beaten path. You may want to rent a car with a GPS system to help you find your way. Also, drivers visiting from busier parts of the country should be prepared to tone down the road rage: Hawaiians do not use their horns unless they are in imminent danger.
You will find a variety of rental agencies at the Kahului and Kapalua airports.
There are 13 public bus routes spanning the west, south and central parts of the island. The Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 23, 35 and 40 all originate in Kahului, servicing the surrounding areas, as well as points south, east and west. You'll also find six lines operating along the southern and western coasts, but the westernmost point serviced by the bus system is Makawao in Upcountry Maui. (You will need a car to reach eastern points of interest, such as Hana.) A single ride will cost $2, and day passes are available for $4. Buses run seven days a week starting around 5:30 a.m. and ending around 11 p.m., depending on the route.
You'll see more taxis at the airport than you will around the island, but should you need a cab, your hotel can call one to take you to a restaurant, attraction or shopping area. However, you should do your best to avoid relying on cabs for long-distance travel: The standard rate on the island is $3 per mile, so the meter will add up quickly. The ride-sharing service Uber also operates in Maui.
Many hotels and resorts – especially those in popular tourist areas like Wailea and West Maui — offer complimentary shuttle services to and from the airport as well as to nearby attractions and shopping areas. If you don't feel like exploring Maui on your own, this is a very economical way to get around. Check with your hotel when booking to see what type of shuttle service it provides.
Inter-island ferry services operate out of the Lahaina Harbor. From here, you can catch a ferry to the Manele harbor on nearby Lanai several times a day with Expeditions Lanai – the first ferry departs Lahaina at 6:45 a.m., while the final return boat leaves Lanai at 6:45 p.m. Round-trip fares cost $60 for adults and $40 for children (one-way trips cost $30 and $20, respectfully).
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