With no public transportation on the island, renting a vehicle is practically necessary to see Maui’s fabulous attractions unless you plan to stay on the grounds of your hotel or travel with a tour group. For a bit of adventure you can even rent an exotic car or, if you have the appropriate license, a motorcycle.
Getting to your hotel: West Maui resort destinations are between 27 and 38 miles from the Kahului airport, about a 45-minute drive on the Honoapi‘ilani Highway. South Maui resorts are between 12 and 19 miles from the airport, a 20-minute drive via Kuihelani Hwy 380 (if you’re headed to Ma’alaea) or Mokulele Hwy 311 (if you’re headed to Kihei, Wailea or Makena). If you’re traveling to Upcountry Maui, you’ll drive 10-15 miles on the Haleakala Hwy. (The Haleakala summit is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Lahaina and 2 hours from Wailea.) If you’re headed east to Hana, it’s a slow, winding, 52-mile drive via the famous Hana Highway. Allow two to three hours for the trip.
Finally, some areas on the island are best tackled with a four-wheel-drive vehicle, including Polipoli State Park (on the slopes of Haleakala Volcano), the fishing village of Kahakuloa in West Maui, and La Perouse Bay south of Makena.
Maui has three airports, but only one, Kahului Airport, has facilities to accommodate direct flights from the U.S. mainland. Most flights into Maui originate as interisland flights from Oahu’s Honolulu International Airport and other smaller airports in the Islands.
Kahului Airport is located between Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains, three miles east of the town of Kahului. The airport services domestic overseas and interisland commercial service, and commuter/air taxi and general aviation operations, including helicopter operations.
The Kapalua Airport located above Kapalua in West Maui is a commercial service airport served by propeller air carriers and commuter/air taxi aircraft only. Hana Airport, about three miles northwest of the town of Hana, supports commuter, unscheduled air taxi, and general aviation activities.