You’ve decided to seize the day and plan that trip to Maui. Great. Now you want to know: when is the best time to visit Maui?
Work considerations aside, the best month for Maui adventures depends on what you’ll be doing there. We chose mid-October and that worked well for our purposes – hiking and exploring without paying top dollar for the privilege nor being around swarms of partying crowds.
So, when is the best time for you to go explore Maui? Let’s find out.
When is the High Time Vs. Low Tourist Season in Maui?
Keep this in mind:
Most visitors don’t come to Maui when the weather’s best on the island; rather, they come when it’s at its worst everywhere else.
Thus, the high season — when prices are up and resorts are often booked to capacity — is generally from mid-December through Easter plus June through Labor Day, plus Thanksgiving week. All the rest is considered “shoulder” or off-peak.
During the busiest season of mid-December to Jan 3rd for the holidays, you can expect sell-out conditions for rental cars and accommodations.
If you can book your holiday a little earlier, you’ll win by beating both the crowds and the bad (well, snow isn’t bad, just cold) weather. The first two weeks of December are arguably the slowest of the year and you can find great bargains and no crowds. Mele Kalikimaka!
So being the frugal adventure travelers that we (wanna be) are, we chose October. It worked out well for us — the weather was still great, neither too humid and hot nor rainy, and the beaches weren’t as busy as at the high tourist season. The only concern we had was not having a clear view of the sunrise at Haleakala due to morning fog, but that dissipated quickly.
What is the Best Month to Go to Maui?
In my humble opinion:
- July, August, and September are too hot;
- February, and March are peak whale watching times but if you want to avoid crowds, don’t travel during March break;
- Maui is pleasant and uncrowded in October, November and most of (earlier in) December.
In terms of combined quiet and decent weather, the best times to visit Maui are from April through May, and September to the end of November.
This strategic timing accomplishes two things: the spring and fall shoulder seasons provide the pleasant weather Hawaii vacationers want, without the more expensive rates and heavy crowds that accompany the summer and winter high season.
Best Time to Visit Maui For Best Weather
Daytime high temperatures on Maui range from about 78 degrees in the wintertime to about 93 degrees in the summertime.
Because the weather on the islands is usually very mild and pleasant, there is really no bad time to visit.
Winter in Maui brings more rain to the island, normally for the months between December and March. These are normally “Kona” storms, because they come from the south, bringing muggy weather and sometimes very heavy rains. Storms can be selective, only striking areas like Hana and the Northeast coast, or wider in size that affect the whole island.
(South and) West is Best for Winter Maui Visit
The majority of the resorts are along the leeward sides of the island: so that’s most of West Maui (Lahaina through Napili) and the south side (Kihei through Makena). These sides will receive the least amount of rain during the rainy season, except in storm situations.
Wintering in Maui? Leave Your Dry Suits at Home
Forget your dry and wet suits — the water around Maui is consistently warm all year. In the winter, water temperature averages 74°F; in the summer, the water can reach 82°F.
If you’ve never tried snorkeling, your best chance for an easy entry into the underwater world is to venture into Maui’s warm coastal waters.
What To Wear in Maui at Any Time of Year?
Dress in light layers. There are anywhere from 20 to 29 (or more!) micro climates on Maui, so you never know what kind of weather you’ll be in for the day.
If it’s raining where you are, a short 10-minute drive can place you in the sunshine instead of rain — or the other way around!
You might notice a “rain line” where you are: rain clearly delineated on one side of the pool, with dry sun glare on the other. So, if you don’t like the weather you’re currently experiencing, just move a few yards to the right. 🙂
Most places experience winds during the day, which are either “Kona” winds or “Trades”.
Kona winds are from the south and southwest, bringing with them uncomfortably muggy, hot conditions. They also bring fog from the Big Island to Maui.
Trades are the tradewinds, coming from the north and northeast direction. These winds keep the humidity lower, and make even high temperatures feel cooler. Trades will bring light showers to the mountain and windward areas, most often at night.
If you want to find the weather for a certain beach before you head there, check the weather forecast or some webcams.
What is the Warmest Month in Maui?
If you like the heat, go in August or September. These months on Maui are the hottest and most humid. Maui air temperatures will range from 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the area and its micro climate.
When Is the Rainy Season in Maui?
Historically, the rainy season spans the winter months, November to March. There’s a dry summer season from April to October, and a rainy season in winter… but, because Hawaii lies at the edge of the tropical zone, both of its two seasons are nice and warm.
Is January a good time to go to Hawaii?
January is a great time to visit Hawaii. The weather is usually mild and sunny, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the low 80s (Fahrenheit). January is also a great time for whale watching as humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii during this time.
LonelyPlanet.com has a nice summary of the weather in Maui each month.
What to Do in Maui When It Rains
Maui is known for its sunny weather, but it does rain occasionally. For example, in January, considered a rainy season, only 6 days of the month are usually considered rainy days (with only a little bit of precipitation). Not bad odds!
If you find yourself stuck indoors due to the rain, there are still plenty of things to do. Feel like a massage? You can do that! You can explore the many museums and galleries in the area, go swimming or paddleboarding in the rain, or go shopping at one of the local markets.
Kids like to play outside in the rain at the beach anyway. If you have little kids, they might like the Maui Ocean Center in Wailuku, but older kids and parents are sometimes disappointed by the expectation of something more.
You could visit some of Maui’s waterfalls (you’ll get wet anyway) or take a drive along the scenic Hana Highway.
No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to find something fun and interesting to do on a rainy day in Maui.
What is the Cheapest Time of Year to Go to Maui?
Compare Lowest Airfare
The most popular time to book Maui airfare is during the high season of mid-December to mid-April.
To get the best rates, try booking tickets during Maui’s spring, which is mid-April through mid-June, or fall, which is September to mid-December.
Best Time of Year for Snorkeling in Maui
For snorkeling adventures, you want calm winds and calm waters. The best time of year for snorkeling in Maui is from April to October. During this period, the ocean waters are warm and clear, making it ideal for snorkeling.
The visibility is usually at its best during these months, allowing you to spot a variety of marine life such as sea turtles, dolphins, and tropical fish.
Safety-wise, summer months tend to have the calmest waters, making it easier to explore the reefs.
Best Time of Year For Hiking on Maui
Thanks to the many micro-climates on Maui, There will always be a trail on the Island to hike, no matter the time of year or weather in one area. During so-called rainy season, either choose a trail a few miles away from where it is to rain, or just wait a few days after a downpour for a trail to dry a little, and away you go.
In terms of trail congestion, the best times to hike are also the least-touristy times of year — October to early December and in the spring EXCEPT during spring break.
Best Time of Year for Surfing in Maui
The best time to go surfing in Maui is typically during the winter months of November through March when the waves are at their highest (can reach over 70 feet). The ocean temperatures are still warm (around 75 degrees Fahrenheit at their chilliest) during this time, making it comfortable for surfers. During these months, you can find some of the best waves on the island and enjoy a great day out in the sun.
The summer swells in the south are still decent at 12-15 feet, but for the biggest waves, winter is king.
Read more about Maui surf beaches by time of year and skill level.
Best Time of Year For Kite Surfing in Maui
The best kitesurfing spots in Maui are along the windy north side of Maui, in the cove near Kahului, at any time of year. Most days you will find some wind, but the strongest winds are in the winter months of October to March.
Best Time of Year For Relaxing Without Crowds on Maui
Best Time of Year For Partying on Maui
The best time of year for partying on Maui is during the summer months of June through August. During this period, the island is bustling with tourists and locals alike, making it a great time to explore the nightlife and walk around shirtless in the muggy evenings.
The warm weather and long days make it perfect for outdoor activities such as beach parties, barbecues, and luaus. There are also plenty of bars and clubs to choose from in Kihei, so you can find the perfect spot to dance the night away.
Best Time For Hearing or Seeing Humpback Whales in Maui
Whale season starts in mid-December and generally is over by the end of April.
February is the peak of the season which provides visitors with the ability to see many pods of whales in the ocean, from shore or from boats. You’ll see them breach out of the water from viewpoints on the Pali highway (road between Lahaina and Ma’alaea). Stopping along this road is not allowed, but there is one scenic point with a large parking lot. Inbetween the Pali and Lahaina, there are also numerous beach areas that one can pull into and enjoy the views.
Best Time of Year To See Meteor Showers in Maui
The best time to see a meteor shower in Maui is in the spring or fall. During the spring season, look up at the early morning sky in late April to see the Lyrid meteor shower. During the fall, the night sky is filled with shooting stars as the Perseid and Orionid meteor showers peak.
In late September through October, you can see the Orionid meteor shower streaking across the night sky.
The Perseids usually peak around mid-August while the Orionids peak around late October.
Both of these meteor showers offer spectacular views of hundreds of meteors streaking across the night sky. To get the best view, try to find a spot away from light pollution (not hard to do on Maui) and look up towards the constellation of Perseus or Orion.
American Meteor Society has the list of meteors and the Meteor Shower Calendar for 2022-2023.
Best Time of the Year For Fishing on Maui
The best time of year for fishing on Maui is anytime, really. The waters are teeming with a variety of predatory fish such as marlin, tuna, mahi-mahi, and wahoo.
You might want to avoid the busy tourist season as boats are limited, otherwise, book early and enjoy your adventure.
If you are sportfishing, you are more likely to catch a huge marlin in the summer. The quality of the catch can be impressive during the summer, but the quantity brought in by the boats may not be as consistent.
Best Months for Cheapest Hotel and Airbnb Deals on Maui
There really isn’t a bad time of year to visit Maui, and the accommodations on the Island reflect that in their prices. The best months for finding the cheapest hotel and Airbnb deals on Maui are the shoulder season.
During October to early December (except for Thanksgiving) and again after holidays in December until May, the island is not as crowded with tourists and prices tend to be lower. Many hotels and Airbnbs offer discounted prices or perks during these slight downtimes in order to attract more visitors. If you plan your trip in advance, you can often find great deals on accommodations that will help you save money.
The best time to visit Maui for cheaper prices and good weather can vary depending on your personal preferences and what you are looking to do on the island.
- Spring and Fall for the Win: In general, the shoulder seasons (the periods just before and after the peak tourist season) tend to have lower prices and more comfortable weather. In Maui, the shoulder seasons are typically from mid-April to mid-June and from September to mid-December. During these times, you can expect moderate temperatures, less crowds, and lower prices on flights, accommodation, and activities.
- Busiest Months: The summer months (June to August) and the winter holiday season (December to March) are the busiest and most expensive times to visit Maui. During these times, you can expect higher prices on flights and accommodations, as well as more crowded beaches and attractions. However, these are also the best times to visit if you are looking to take advantage of all the island has to offer, including water sports, festivals, and holiday events.
It’s worth noting that the weather in Maui is generally pleasant year-round, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-30°C). However, the island does have a rainy season that typically runs from November to April, so you may want to avoid these months or the Eastern side of Maui if you are looking to avoid any potential rain or are planning a sunny destination wedding.