Which Hawaiian Island Is Higher?

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The primary huge choice you’ll need to make as soon as you intend a visit to Hawaii is to decide on which island to go to. Deciding whether or not to select the Massive Island vs Maui, Oahu vs the Massive Island, or Kauai vs Maui might really feel somewhat overwhelming, even when this isn’t your first time in Hawaii. There are numerous components which will decide your selection, like actions, nightlife, seashores, surroundings, and pure selection.

maui vs the big Island
Maui vs the Massive Island: Which One Ought to You Select?

We visited the Hawaiian islands many instances through the years and but, each time we return now we have a tough time selecting which island to go to.

On this article I’ll make a comparability between the Massive Island of Hawaii vs Maui, to be able to provide help to determine which one to decide on. This information covers actions, seashores, prices, nightlife, and the scenic range on every island.

Maui vs the Massive Island – Basic Concerns

Each Maui and the Massive Island have a lot to supply, however they’ve very distinct surroundings and cater to various kinds of vacationers. The desk under provides you with an concept about what every island is finest fitted to:

Climbing Maui
Seashores Maui
Much less Crowded Massive Island
Nightlife & Leisure Maui
Snorkeling & Diving Massive Island
Accessibility Maui
Surroundings & Pure Variety Each Islands
Prices (lodging, purchasing and consuming) Massive Island

What’s Distinctive About Maui

I really like Maui as a result of it’s so various and affords such a fantastic number of issues to do! Irrespective of how usually we go, we are able to nonetheless provide you with new adventures and enjoyable locations to go to.

Maui landscape
Maui panorama

It has seashores, waterfalls, excessive mountains, lush vegetation, and a lot extra. However then you’ve got simply as many points of interest on the Massive Island as nicely. So why Maui? Listed below are some issues which can be distinctive about Maui:

• Numerous gold sand seashores

General, Maui affords extra conventional seashores vs the Massive Island. The seashores in Maui are what you’d sometimes look forward to finding a on a tropical island: pristine lagoons with turquoise waters bordered by large, smooth stretches of golden sand. Maui boasts over 30 miles of gorgeous seashores, lots of which have calm, swimmable waters. No wander that Maui is a swimmers’ paradise!

beaches in maui vs the big island
Seashore in Maui

This island affords extra within the method of resorts and conventional beachfronts, that are properly geared up with showers, restroom services and seashore leases. This reality alone makes Maui a fantastic vacation spot for a honeymoon, anniversary, milestone birthday or a memorable household trip.

•  The big variety of leisure

Maui is usually a nice selection in case you journey with a bigger group of people that have totally different pursuits. Or in case you journey with kids and members of the family of various ages. On Maui you usually tend to discover one thing entertaining for each in your group. 

Maui restaurant
Maui Restaurant

Though leisure on Maui doesn’t even come near the energetic Oahu, there’s a good variety of dance golf equipment and energetic bars that keep open until daybreak. There are additionally a few comedy golf equipment, many good eating places and a few nice purchasing areas, particularly within the little city of Lahaina.

     • The vibe 

Lahaina is the typical old-time sea city turned vacationer spot. The city is an odd mixture of historical past, artwork galleries, T-shirt outlets and superb jewellery shops.  The number-one attraction in Lahaina is certainly “the thrill,” – the eating places, the night-life and the swinging bars.

Lahaina Main Street
Lahaina Predominant Avenue

     • The sunsets

Maui sunsets are merely spectacular. There are a number of nice spots to catch an ideal Maui sundown, like Kaanapali Seashore, Napili Bay Seashore, or Kimo’s Restaurant in Lahaina. Simply seize a Mai Tai and be part of the gang.

sunset in Maui vs on the Big Island
Maui Sundown

• The Street to Hana

Maui is a tropical paradise that stands out as distinctive, even when in comparison with the opposite Hawaiian islands. Probably the most enjoyable issues to do in Maui is drive the legendary Street to Hana and cease alongside the way in which on the many scenic factors of curiosity. 

Waterfall on the road to Hana
Waterfall on the Street to Hana

The Street to Hana is likely one of the most scenic drives on the earth, winding deep into the tropical jungle previous roaring waterfalls, botanical gardens, quaint seashores, and spectacular surroundings. The 52 mile street passes by a really rustic and rugged a part of the island, navigating round 617 scary curves, 56 one-lane bridges and steep cliff drops.

What’s Distinctive Concerning the Massive Island

As per its identify, the Massive Island is the biggest of the Hawaiian archipelago. It’s twice the dimensions of all of the islands put collectively. Due to its measurement, this island enjoys different landscapes and climates. You’ll be able to expertise tropical climate at sea-level and freezing chilly temperature on the peak of Mauna Kea volcano, the place it’s even doable to ski typically.

snow on the mountains on the Big Island vs warm weather in Maui
Mauna Kea summit coated in snow

It is usually extra rural and method much less crowded than the opposite three Hawaiian Islands (Oahu, Maui and Kauai). That’s not to say that you simply received’t have loads of issues to do on the Massive Island, however if you would like some peace and quiet, it is best to positively decide this island.

• Volcanic explorations

Hawaii’s Massive Island is house to a few energetic volcanoes ((Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea), vs Maui, which has just one volcano which is dormant (Haleakala). Kilauea’s dramatic eruptions maintain reshaping the Massive Island, creating new black sand seashores and typically destroying roads and whole villages of their path. The present eruption has been placing on a present for many years, gorgeous guests with its pink glow of lava flows.

active volcano on the Big Island vs Maui
Lava flowing into the ocean on the Massive Island of Hawaii

That is one thing very distinctive that may solely be seen on the Massive Island. Regardless that a lava movement isn’t significantly engaging, a go to to Volcanoes Nationwide Park continues to be value it. Kilauea Iki Path is the one place in Hawaii the place you possibly can stroll into the guts of a volcanic crater, so put together to be amazed!

Walking through the Kilauea Iki caldera
Strolling by the Kilauea Iki caldera

• Spectacular diving and snorkeling places

Hawaiian island dives are well-known all world wide, so that you’ll discover nice diving and snorkeling places on every island. Nevertheless, the Massive Island affords the best variety of diving websites, in addition to an enormous biodiversity on reef dives. You’ll be able to see on solely colourful tropical fish, but in addition dolphins, manta rays, eels puffers, and scorpionfish. 

Scuba diving on the big island
Scuba Diving on the Massive Island

The perfect snorkeling and diving spots on the Massive Island embrace: Crescent Seashore, Kahaluu Seashore Park, on Alii Drive in Kailua Kona, Honaunau Bay (Two Step), Waiopae Tidepools, on the east facet of the island, or Kealakekua Bay. My husband’s favourite is the Manta night time dive. On this dive you get to mingle with dolphins and large Manta Rays who come to feed on the plankton attracted by the divers’ flashlights.

• Lush Botanical Gardens

Whereas Maui prides itself in stunning botanical gardens, the Massive Island brags about essentially the most stunning ones in your entire Aloha State. Our #1 favourite is the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Backyard out of Hilo. However the island has many different attractive gardens like Lili’uokalani Gardens, Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Backyard, or the World Botanical Backyard.

Botanical garden on the Big Island of Hawaii
Botanical gardens on the Massive Island of Hawaii

Due to a mix of the excessive volcanos, the northeastern facet of the Massive Island is lush and tropical, with fixed commerce winds and tropical temperatures. With such very best situations, it’s straightforward to know why the Massive Island has so many attractive botanical gardens.

• Hidden White Sand Seashores

The Massive Island doesn’t have as many sandy seashores as Maui. Nevertheless, it has few completely distinctive white sand seashores, that you simply received’t discover on some other islands. One among them is Makalawena, on the sleepy North Kona coast. That is really a string of white-sand coves surrounded by turquoise-blue water.

hidden white beach on the Big Island vs Maui
Makalawena white sand seashore on the Massive Island

To succeed in this seashore, you’ll need to drive (and hike) on a really tough lava street, nevertheless it’s well worth the effort. This seashore is all the time abandoned and has numerous shady bushes to maintain you cool.

Driving on the road to Makalawena beach
Driving on the street to Makalawena Seashore

One other hidden white sand seashore is Mau’umae, situated between Spencer Seashore Park and Mauna Kea Resort. To get entry to this seashore you need to go to the Mauna Kea Resort and request a seashore cross on the guard shack. They solely situation 10 passes at one time, so your finest likelihood is toto come right here early within the morning. 

view of Mau’umae Beach
Mau’umae Seashore

Additionally like Makalawena Seashore, Mau’umae Seashore is undeveloped and may solely be accessed by an previous coastal street. The dearth of infrastructure retains it quiet and principally empty. Because of its place close to a bend within the shoreline, the seashore could be very secure for swimming and snorkeling.

• Black Sand Seashores

Sometimes, seashores with black sand seashores are discovered close to volcanoes. So, with three energetic volcanoes, it’s not shocking that the Massive Island has so lots of them. In actual fact, the Massive Island has a few of essentially the most stunning black sand seashores in Hawaii, adopted by those in Maui.

view of the Punaluu Black Sand Beach in Hawaii's Big Island
Punalu’u Seashore

• Spectacular waterfalls

There are few issues extra thrilling for me than a hike to one of many gorgeous waterfalls on the Massive Island of Hawaii. The expertise is deeply fulfilling: the lushness of the rainforest, the earth-damp path, the plumeria-scented air, and eventually, the second of revelation whenever you spot the torrent of water cascading over rocks right into a deep pool.

waterfalls on the Big Island
Waterfall on the Massive Island

The stretch of shoreline between Hilo and Hamakua is the Massive Island’s most stunning expanses of surroundings: hidden valleys, tropical gardens, and roaring waterfalls.

Which Island is Cheaper: the Massive Island or Maui?

To find out which island is definitely cheaper to go to, we checked out three totally different prices: airfare, lodging (resorts and trip leases), and rental automotive. A few of the information we used got here from the Hawaii Tourism Authority web site. Here’s what we discovered: 

The typical each day price for lodge rooms in 2021 was: Massive Island: $183 and Maui: $295

Utilizing a visit for 2 from LAX and a lodge room for seven nights, we got here up with the next prices:

Island Airfare Resort Rental Automobile Complete
Massive Island $662 $1,447 $280 $2,389
Maui $940 $2,333 $385 $3,658

We concluded that Maui is costlier to go to than the Massive Island, coming in almost $1,300 costlier.

Climate in Maui vs the Massive Island

No one needs rain when they’re on trip and but, these stunning islands received’t be blessed with a lot magnificence and luxurious vegetation if God listened to all of the vacationers’ prayers! The excellent news is that rain on a tropical island will not be the identical as rain in Seattle, or in New York. It comes and goes fairly quick after which you possibly can benefit from the blue skies once more.

That being stated, Hawaiian Islands has heat climate all yr, with a median of 26-28ºC within the winter, and 29-31ºC in the summertime. The most important variables are rain and surf situations. Since Maui and the Massive Island are shut to one another, they get about the identical quantity of sunshine and rain throughout the yr. On the similar time, each islands have a dry(er) and a moist(er) facet.

Landscape on the Road to Hana in Maui
Massive Island and Maui could be very related

The Massive Island has extra rain on the Hilo facet (east facet of the island) and is far drier on the Kona facet (west facet of the island). However because it will get extra rain, the Hilo facet is method greener, glowing with blooming flowers, waterfalls and tropical foliage all over the place. Kona, on the opposite facet, has little or no vegetation and shows miles and miles of dry and semi arid panorama.

Maui is alsodivided right into a dry and moist facet. Hana, on the north-eastern facet of the island, sees a variety of rain but in addition enjoys lush vegetation, fairytale botanical gardens and beautiful waterfalls. Whereas the western facet of Maui – the place most resorts and the very best seashores are situated – has a dryer and extra secure climate.

Surroundings and Pure Selection on the Massive Island vs Maui

On the subject of surroundings, Maui and the Massive Island are very totally different. Maui appears inexperienced and stuffed with vegetation wherever you go, vs the Massive Island which appears dryer and extra barren on the Kona facet. Nevertheless, in case you drive across the island, you’ll understand the island will not be barren in any respect!

The Massive Island – as its identify suggests – is larger than all the opposite islands put collectively. Sadly, that requires a variety of driving. However by way of surroundings, the Massive Island is exclusive, various and superb. It has unimaginable magnificence, big cliffs that, rivers of molten lava, snow-capped peaks, barren deserts, lava fields, rainforests, and beautiful valleys. That shouldn’t come as a shock, contemplating that this Hawaiian island has 10 totally different local weather zones.

Big Island barren landscape
Massive Island barren panorama

Maui in its flip, additionally has different and exquisite landscapes. Right here you’ve got the Hana Freeway with tons of waterfalls, Haleakala, which is an inactive volcano, Iao Valley State Park, and limitless seashores. Given its a lot smaller measurement, Maui is less complicated to discover, so you possibly can see a bunch of gorgeous websites on one journey. Whereas on the Massive Island, you’ll need to do a variety of driving to get to the totally different factors of curiosity.

Waimoku Falls in Maui
Panorama on the Street to Hana in Maui


So which island do you have to select: Maui or the Massive Island? We consider each these Hawaiian islands are image excellent and glorious decisions — every with their very own distinctive points of interest.

The Massive Island appears extra rural and fewer developed, which is why it’s not very best for these searching for fancy resorts, developed seashores, or a bustling nightlife.

The Massive Island is for individuals who recognize nature, like privateness, and don’t thoughts driving extra for a novel expertise. For this island I like to recommend a 10-day keep and likewise renting a 4-wheel drive to be able to discover the island correctly.

Hiking in Maui
Climbing in Maui

General, Maui appears fitter for romantic getaways, individuals who love extra selection. This island affords nice seashores, golf, nightlife, and superb eating. Maui can be nice for individuals who love mountain climbing. A few of the finest hikes we’ve ever executed are literally in Maui.

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