Arriving in Maui
To get in and out of Maui, most will come through the three airports on the island, Kahului Airport, Kapalua-West Maui Airport and the Hana Airport.
The biggest and the only airport that handles direct flights from the mainland is the “big” airport, Kahului, on the northwestern side of the island. “Big” doesn’t mean it’s anything like JFK or LAX, it has two runways and is an indoor-outdoor facility. There are always taxis waiting to take you to your hotel. If you’ve chosen to drive yourself, there is an easy shuttle to the rental car lots, and almost all of the major names in rental cars are represented on the island. There is a shuttle that can take you from the airport to the Lahaina/Kaanapali area for under $10, though it takes more than an hour.
If you’re driving your rental car, the distance from Kahului to Lahaina is about 30 miles. Take Route 380 West, and then turn left on Rt. 30 North, also known as the Honoapiilani Highway.
While Kahului also handles inter-island flights, the two other airports of Kapalua-West Maui and Hana deal only in flights between the islands. The very unique Volcano Air tour departs from Kapalua-West, which takes an aerial view of the Big Island volcanos. Kapalua-West is a mere 10- to 15-minute drive from Lahaina and the Kaanapali resorts. Simply drive south down the Honoapiilani Highway.
There are no rental car companies serving Kapalua-West, but there is one – Dollar Rental Car – that operates out of Hana, on the south-eastern tip of the island. To get to Lahaina from the Hana airport, you’ll have to drive on parts of the scenic – and sometimes curvy and treacherous – Road to Hana. Drive carefully!