To explore the wondrous playground that is Maui, let’s start at the top and work our way down. Maui’s Haleakala Crater stands two miles above sea level. Hiking trails reveal a landscape of charred rock, cinder stacks and ash—more a moonscape than a place you’d associate with Earth. From there, head down the slopes into rain forests that ooze with Garden of Eden visions—400-foot waterfalls, tropical streams bordered with native trees such as ’ohi’a, ’olapa and kolea, and warm turquoise pools that invite an invigorating swim. Next, glide along the surface of the ocean on a surfboard or catamaran then dip below to greet a whole new world. Here, brilliant colors are the norm. It’s like diving into your own private "National Geographic" episode.
Day done—dig your toes into the sand, listen to the music of the waves and let your cares float away.