The holidays are over but your vacation has yet to start. January is a good time to escape the winter on the mainland and head to Hawaii. Maui to be more precise.

Airline tickets to Maui in January are the lowest prices all year. Another good reason to go to Maui in January is smaller crowds. January sees 8% fewer visitors than the yearly average. But, January is the wettest month of the year and temperatures are cooler, an average high of 79 degrees.

An average high of 79 degrees in the middle of winter still sounds pretty good though. Visiting Maui in January isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but there is a lot of that, as it is one of the wettest months. You will also find some of the highest accommodation costs for the year.

Here we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about visiting Maui in January: the weather, the crowds, the cost, and some of the best things you don’t want to miss. 

Psst, like whale season is in January.

January Maui Sunrise Whale Watching

A January sunrise over Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains from the vantage point of a whale watching cruise.

 

Maui Weather in January

To be frank, the weather in January on Maui isn’t the best you will find during the year. As I’ll detail below, the days are cooler and there is a higher probability of showers. Even on the dry parts of the island.

But, choosing a month to visit Maui based on the weather is a bit like splitting hairs. The temperature is still hot, the tradewinds provide a cool breeze, and you may still need the A/C on at night. 

When winter is in full swing on the mainland, Maui is looking good. We are in the tropics, the swings between seasons are not much. 

The average high in January is in the high-70s and the average low is in the mid-60s. 

What’s Maui weather like in January? Here are all the stats you need to know 

West Maui January Temperature Graph Kihei Wailea Maui January Temperature Graph Hana Maui January Temperature graph

 

The average high temperature in Ka’anapali is 78oF, in Kihei (near Wailea), it’s 81oF, and in Hana, it’s 78oF. The average low temperature in Ka’anapali is 66oF, in Kihei, it’s 63oF, and in Hana, it’s 65oF. 

You’ll still be wearing a t-shirt and shorts at all times of the day and trips to the pool and beach will be a must. An additional silver lining, you won’t be running to the shade as you would in July in August.

Bottom line: When it comes to the average temperature in January: it’s warm and lovely. 

West Maui Beach in January

Ka’anapali Beach on an early morning in January.

 

But just because it’s warm doesn’t mean it’s always sunny. 

January and December are the wettest months in Maui. Of all the islands, Maui is the island with the least rainfall. Yes, it does still rain here, but not as much as, say, Kauai.

Maui January Rainfall Graph

 

Even if you stay on the leeward (dry side) of Maui in the resort areas of Ka’anapali or Wailea you may get rain in January during your trip. The hurricane season is over but tropical morning rains occur and some rare but possible two to four days of overcast skies.

As a bonus, 76oF is the average ocean temperature around Maui in January. You can swim in the ocean without a wetsuit year-round.

Maui in January Ocean Temperature Graph

Source: NOAA

January may be rainy but you will still get plenty of time in the sun and the air and ocean temperature will be inviting. 

 

 

Is Maui Crowded in January?

Maui goes quiet after the Christmas rush. Occupancy rates drop and a calm comes over the island. 

You will find 8% fewer visitors than the yearly average number of visitors. In 2020, 247,000 people visited Maui compared to the average of 256,000. There are still a lot of people but you won’t find restaurants booked weeks in advance, traffic jams, beach parking that is gone by 9 am, or luaus booked up months in advance. 

January is still considered part of the busy winter season of Maui. You will need to visit the fall and spring shoulder seasons if you want the smallest crowds on Maui. 

As you can see in the visitor chart below, January isn’t dead but you won’t find it filled to the brim.

Maui in January Visitor Statistics

Source: Hawaii Tourism Authority

As a local, I find January a great time to be here. After the holidays, Maui feels peaceful. Especially during the winter when February gets busy again on the island. 

 

 

Is January Cheaper on Maui?

January is one of the cheapest months to visit Maui. The big savings is airline tickets as January is the cheapest month to fly. You will also save on car rental rates since there are fewer visitors to the Garden Isle.

 

How to Fly to Maui in January for Less

2-years of Skyscanner historical data discovered the cheapest month to fly to Maui is January. To take advantage of the cheapest tickets of the year, follow our five steps to get the cheapest flights to Maui

January Car Rental Tip to Save

We always use Discount Hawaii Car Rental because we save so much every time. We book through them every time we island-hop and have our friends use them when they visit us on Maui. 

They are a price comparison site so you can reserve a car with big carriers like Avis, Hertz, Advantage, National, etc and not some unheard-of brand. But, Discount Hawaii Car Rental is always cheaper than booking directly with Avis or the others. Price shop, you will be amazed.

 

Accommodation Costs in January

January is home to the second-highest vacation rental costs of the year and 3rd highest hotel rates of the year. Since the cost of lodging will be your biggest expense for your Maui vacation, this doesn’t bode well for January.

Let’s look at hotel rates first.

The average hotel room will run you $477 per night based on January 2020 data. The cheapest hotels on the island are located around Lahaina and Ka’anapali. Their average hotel rate was $396 in January. 

 Hotel Prices January in Maui

Source: Hawaii Tourism Authority Infrastructure 2019 Report 

 

A cheaper option than a hotel will always be a vacation rental on Maui. 

The average cost for a vacation rental in January 2020 was $311 per night. Wailea and Kihei take the prize for the cheapest area to get a vacation rental as their average daily rate was $306 compared to $344 on West Maui. The graph below is 2019 data.

Vacation Rental Rates January in Maui

Source: Hawaii Tourism Authority Infrastructure Report 

 

Where to Stay in January

Your best bet to avoid or minimize the amount of rain you get is to stay in West Maui (Ka’anapali area) or South Maui (Wailea). 

Maui Area Resorts Map

 

That’s likely the reason most hotels and vacation rentals are concentrated in these two areas. 

Need help choosing to stay between Ka’anapali and Wailea? Ka’anapali vs Wailea: Here’s Here’s How to Decide Where to Stay.

 

January Things to Do in Maui

You can do all of the most popular activities on Maui every month of the year. But there are some that are extra special in January: 

🍍 Whale Season on Maui: The most popular thing to do in January is humpback whale watching. Check out our article below on how to choose the right tour for your trip. This is a must-do activity, we go multiple times every year plus we watch from shore.

🍍 Big Surf Watching: Massive waves hit Maui’s north shore. While not as popular as Oahu’s big wave competitions, Peahi or Jaws gets some of the biggest waves in the world. When swells hit 25 to 50 feet, drive to Ho’okipa Beach Park to watch the action.

🍍 Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course: Drive up to northwest Maui to watch the opening of the PGA tour at Kapalua.  

🍍 Maui Oceanfront Marathon: Run along the Pacific ocean from Wailea to Lahaina during the Maui Oceanfront Marathon. The race offers a full marathon and also half, 15k, 10k, and 5k races.  

For a listing of more events in January, be sure to check the calendar of events on GoHawaii.com

 

Related articles:

Maui in January Beach Activities

Henry playing on a Wailea beach (Polo Beach) in January.

 

Is January a Good Time to Go to Maui?

Let’s summarize our research so far on visiting Maui in January. 

Maui in January: Reasons To Go

✅ Whale season! Whale season is in full swing in January

✅ Cheapest airfare tickets can be found in January

✅ A less crowded island means you can see the sights with fewer people around

✅ It’s still hot and the ocean is very warm, the summer heatwave is over

✅ Escape the mainland winter with a trip to paradise

 

Maui in January: Reasons Not to Go

❌ Hotels and vacation rentals are some of the highest prices of the year

❌ January is one of the wettest months of the year

❌ January is one of the coolest months of the year

Overall, yes, January is a great time to visit Maui. The biggest concern is the rain and the cost for lodging but compared to the snow and dreary skies at home, Maui is still looking good. 

 

 

How to Find January Deals on Maui

You are saving on your plane ticket by coming in January. Kudos for that decision. Keep making good decisions to help your Maui vacation budget. 

Read our Affordable Hawaii articles for activities, rental cars, and hotel hacks to save you money.

If you want to get straight to the point on saving money in January, go to our Hawaii Recommendations to find our favorite deals on lodging and rental cars. 

These are the deals we do ourselves when island hopping or having friends visit. Only our trusted vendors make it on this coveted list.

Going to Maui in January is a great idea. Have a wonderful time on the Valley Isle! 

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Jordan Fromholz

Jordan Fromholz

Author

I'm the co-founder, with my wife Erica, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. I have a thing for photographing pineapples and learning to surf.

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