Is there a Best Time to Visit Maui? Yes (and here’s why)
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase through my links we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Read about our affiliate policies here.
Planning a trip to Maui often starts with one big decision: when should you go? While there are personal things to consider, like school schedules and vacation time, you’ll also want to know the optimal time to visit Maui for your vacation goals.
The best time to visit Maui is during a shoulder period: April, May, September, or October. Not only will these months still provide good weather, you’ll also enjoy lower costs, and fewer crowds.
But, there’s a little more to consider when picking the right month for your vacation.
Maui Weather by Month:
Maui temperature by month:
In the summer, Maui can get hot. Expect average temperatures of up to the high 80’s or low 90’s. If you’re coming for the heat, that will be welcome news.
In the winter, the leeward side of Maui drops down to the high 70’s and low 80’s. It’s still very warm, but there will be days in there with stronger winds and some cooler temperatures. It’s smart to expect that you’ll want a light layer for the evenings.
Maui rainfall by month:
While you may always think that Maui has abundant sunshine, it does rain. And fairly frequently, though there are times of the year and locations that get more rain than others. If you want to have the lowest chance of rain on your vacation, visit Maui between April and October and plan to stay on the leeward side of the island, in Ka’anapali/Lahaina or Wailea/Kihei. The windward side of the island gets significantly more rain year round, which is why Hana has such beautiful waterfalls and lush landscape.
The chart below shows average rainfall in inches on three major parts of the island: Ka’anapali, Kihei, and Hana.
Maui hurricane season months:
Hawaii hurricane season runs June 1 – November 30th. While hurricanes don’t occur or cause damage or destruction every year, it’s something to be aware of as you book your trip. Hurricanes causing destruction in Hawaii are rare. The last three hurricanes that have caused damage on Hawaii are: Hurricane Lane (2018), Hurricane Iniki (1992), and Hurricane Iwa (1982).
Even if a hurricane doesn’t cause destruction or harsh weather (many of them veer off the path of Hawaii), it can still be disruptive to your vacation. When you get a hurricane warning while on your trip, you can expect to have things disrupted for a few days until the threat passes. For example, if you have a boat trip planned, it will likely be canceled as they wait for storm warnings to pass.
Picking the right time to visit Maui is but one step in our Maui Trip Planning Guide. Let me help finish your planning.
What is the best time to visit Maui?
We think that the best time to visit Maui is during the shoulder months of April, May, September, or October. This is when the weather is still favorable, the costs are lower, and the crowds are fewer. But it can also mean that you’re missing out on certain events, like whale season. You’re also catching the tail end of hurricane season in September and October, though you have a low chance of experiencing a hurricane during your visit.
Best time to visit Maui for whales?
Up to 12,000 humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii each year and Maui is the best Hawaiian island for whale watching. But you can’t see them year-round. They migrate during the winter months to breed, birth, and nurture their calfs. Whale season officially runs from mid-December to mid-April, though the peak is usually January, February, and the earlier part of March. So the best time to visit Maui for whale watching is January, February, and March.
Related read: The Ultimate Guide to Whale Watching
Best time to visit Maui for snorkeling?
Snorkeling on Maui can be great anytime of year. But weather, storms, and swells can affect water visibility and whether it’s safe to snorkel. The best time to visit Maui for snorkeling is the summer thanks to smaller swells and fewer storms.
During the winter months, Maui can be hit with large swells on the north and east sides of the island, making snorkeling challenging and in some cases unsafe. But you can also find large waves on the south and west side beaches if the swell wraps around the island.
During the summer, the water is usually calmer and any swells that you find will be coming from the south. There are also fewer storms during the summer, which means you’ll have more days of better snorkeling conditions. Wind and rain make snorkeling unpleasant and often unenjoyable as there are fewer fish and sea life out braving the stormy weather.
Even though summer is the best time to enjoy snorkeling, make sure you are always paying attention to ocean conditions and abiding by snorkeling best practices. It can be a dangerous activity for anyone, but especially those who have never snorkeled before.
Related read: The best snorkeling spots on Maui
If you want to snorkel on Maui, we’ve vetted the best tours on the island. Check out all of our tours and activities to find the perfect one for your trip.
Best time to visit Maui for the cheapest costs?
Maui is by no means a cheap vacation. But there are times where costs are high and other times where your dollar can stretch a bit further. Likely your largest expense when visiting Hawaii is going to be your accommodations. And prices vary widely depending on the time of year you’re planning your trip.
For example, hotel rates in December skyrocket and are the highest that you’ll find during the year. If you’re looking for the best deals on a hotel stay, May, September, October, and November offer the lowest rates.
If you’d rather stay in a vacation rental, the cheapest months are also May, September, October, and November. Interestingly, you can also find some good rates over the summer months, but winter is a peak for vacation rental rates.
So if you’re looking to plan a trip to Maui when you can find the cheapest prices, May, September, October, and November are the best months to visit.
Related read: The Cheapest Time to Fly to Maui
Best time to visit Maui for the fewest crowds?
If you are hoping to skip the crowds on Maui, there are some peak months that you should avoid. The table below shows visitor arrivals by month for 2019. Why did we use 2019? It’s the most recent normal year for travel. 2020 had virtually no visitors and 2021 has just been weird so far.
According to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, if you want to visit Maui with the fewest crowds, you should visit in January, February, September, October, or November.
The busiest months on Maui are March, June, July, August, and December.
Best time to visit Maui for the weather?
The best time to visit Maui strictly for the best weather, meaning the best chance for sun and no rain, is May through September. Coming in at a close second are April and October.
Related read: The 17 Best Beaches on Maui
Worst time to go to Maui
The worst time to Maui is subjective. Are you trying to avoid crowds and high costs? December, specifically the time over Christmas and New Years is the worst time to visit because this is when Maui sees a surge in visitors as well as a surge in high prices. While there are good things about visiting Hawaii during Christmas, be prepared that there are downsides to visiting during this busy period as well.
The best Maui itinerary
If you’re looking to make your trip planning easy and enjoy yourself when you get to Maui, check out our done for you itinerary. This instant download gives you 7+ excursion days that take you around the island to give you a tour of what makes this place so special.
“The itineraries were great and gave us many great ideas to plan our adventures each day! They were helpful in planning our 2 week trip to Maui and Oahu. Thanks a million, we were very happy.” – David B.
Get The Maui Itinerary
The step-by-step itinerary takes you to all the best beaches, snorkeling spots, restaurants, and sights. You’ll get six carefully planned excursion days to help you see the can’t miss stops no matter how limited your time is.
Get all the details on our itinerary and download it for a memorable and easily planned trip to Maui.