Maui is one of the most popular and famous islands in Hawaii. Located in the central Pacific Ocean, Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands and has become a top vacation destination. But where exactly is Maui located on the map? And just how big is this island paradise? Let’s take a closer look.
Locating Maui on the Map
Maui is part of the Hawaiian archipelago, which consists of hundreds of islands stretching across 1,500 miles in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the southernmost state of the United States, located around 2,400 miles from the continental west coast.
Within the Hawaiian islands, Maui lies northwest of the Big Island of Hawaii, east of Molokai, and west of Kahoolawe. The coordinates for Maui are approximately 20.8°N 156.3°W. It sits between the islands of Molokai to the west and Hawaii to the southeast.
On a map of Hawaii, you’ll find Maui prominent with its distinctive shape, indented at the isthmus between West Maui and Central Maui. The island has 120 miles of coastline that varies dramatically from rainforest waterfalls to desert-like terrain to black sand and golden beaches.
Maui is certainly not hard to spot on any map of Hawaii with its iconic silhouette. When looking at a map of the Pacific Ocean, find the Hawaiian islands and you’ll see Maui centrally positioned there.
The Size of Maui
How big is Maui compared to the other Hawaiian islands? Maui ranks as the second largest of the islands after the Big Island of Hawaii.
Here are some key facts about the size of Maui:
- The total land area is 727.2 square miles, making it the 17th largest island in the United States.
- Maui is about 48 miles long and 26 miles wide at its widest point.
- The island has 120 miles of coastline.
- Maui is divided into 4 main land sections: West Maui, Central Maui, South Maui, and Upcountry Maui.
- The island includes smaller land masses like the islands of Kahoolawe, Lanai, and Molokini Crater.
- The highest point on Maui is the dormant volcano Haleakala at 10,023 feet above sea level.
So while not the biggest Hawaiian island, Maui still boasts a sizable land area with diverse landscapes and microclimates within its sections. The miles of coastline offer numerous sandy beaches, surf spots, snorkeling bays, seaside resorts, and bustling harbors.
The interior contains tropical rainforests, dramatic waterfalls, volcanic landscape, and the massive open space of Haleakala Crater. All in all, Maui has an abundance of scenery and adventures packed into its 727 square miles.
Experience the Beauty of Maui
One reason Maui is so popular is that you can drive around the entire island in a day and experience wildly different scenery in a small geographic area.
On the west side there are resorts and small towns like Lahaina and Kaanapali along sunny beaches. Drive just 10 miles toward the interior and you’re in a lush tropical jungle with waterfalls. Head south and you’ll find the resort area of Wailea with luxury hotels. And upcountry has ranches, farms and the peak of Haleakala volcano.
No matter what type of Hawaiian vacation you envision, Maui has it within its relatively compact area. You can relax on pristine beaches, go snorkeling with sea turtles, hike through jungles and volcanoes, enjoy five-star dining and resorts, and take scenic drives to waterfalls—all on one island.
While not the biggest, Maui is certainly one of Hawaii’s most stunning and varied islands. Its location in the center of the Hawaiian chain makes it easily accessible for travelers. And its small size allows you to enjoy so many incredible landscapes and activities in a short time period.
So don’t let its modest size fool you. Maui has more adventure packed into 727 square miles than most places do in thousands of miles. Its diverse beauty and experiences continue to make it one of the most coveted vacation destinations in the world.
5 FAQs about Maui:
Q: What is the best time of year to visit Maui? A: The best time to visit Maui is between April and May or September to November when the weather is ideal, crowds are smaller, and hotel rates are cheaper.
Q: How can I get around Maui without a rental car? A: Maui has public buses, tours, taxis, and Uber/Lyft to get around the island without a rental car. Consider staying in a central area like Kihei or Lahaina to have access to amenities.
Q: What is there to do on Maui when it rains? A: Enjoy indoor activities like the Maui Ocean Center, Iao Valley botanical gardens, museums, shopping, spas, movie theaters, and restaurants. Or take a rainy day drive on the Road to Hana.
Q: What is the best place to stay on Maui for families? A: Some top family-friendly areas are Kaanapali, Lahaina, and Wailea which have resorts, beaches, pools, luaus, and kid-friendly restaurants and activities.
Q: Is Maui expensive to visit? A: Maui can be expensive but there are ways to save like choosing more affordable accommodations, shopping at local grocery stores, limiting pricier activities, and avoiding peak season. Traveling in the shoulder season and booking ahead also helps.
Maui remains one of the most magical and popular islands in Hawaii due to its incredible diversity packed into a relatively compact area. Located in the central Pacific as the second largest Hawaiian island, Maui boasts 120 miles of jaw-dropping coastlines, tropical jungles, historic towns, luxury resorts, and the massive Haleakala volcano all within 727 scenic square miles. Getting around Maui is part of the adventure as you navigate from breathtaking beach to lush waterfall within minutes. Whether you want to relax on golden sand, snorkel with sea turtles, hike through jungles, or enjoy luxury resorts, Maui truly offers an unforgettable Hawaiian vacation.