Looking for a great place for you and your lover to honeymoon? Look no further as our honeymoon in Hawaii was adventurous, relaxing, exciting and so much more. Oh, and did I mention van life? Yup, we rented an airbnb van for our first 6 days in Maui!
After a lot of research to see which islands would be the best for our 12 day honeymoon in Hawaii, I ended up choosing Maui and Kauai. Maui was said to have the best adventurism and great resorts. And Kauai was for the laid back, explorers – which sounded right up our alley.
We ended up staying on Maui for 8 nights, and Kauai for 3 nights.
When looking for flights, I recommend using skyscanner to find the best dates, and cheapest travel. Because we left for our honeymoon right after our wedding in Colorado, I had to book a few different one-way tickets! We ended up flying from Denver to LAX, then to the Kahului airport in Maui. Upon arrival (this was during covid times), we had to get our wristbands scanned and then were able to exit the airport to the luscious breeze and sunshine! For reference, we were visiting in early January!
For some reason, I thought it would be super cool to start marriage off in a confined space by exploring the island by van. Let’s just say it was an adventure of a lifetime – and not always in a good way. You can rent the van here, and see photos below of what the situation looked like. After a quick 5 minute Uber ride to the van, we were off.
Let me first say, when honeymooning in Hawaii and doing van life, there are a few things to keep in mind. Space is limited. We definitely over-packed (but what woman doesnt?). The van had storage under the bed to store some luggage but not everything. We ended up traveling with most of our stuff on the bed, and then would move it to the floor at night. Our first stop was to stock up the van with groceries and drinks. We checked out a local grocery store (Safeway) to pick up the essentials. The van had a mini fridge and stove so we could do most of our cooking in here! Because we were already a day behind (long story short we missed our flight due to delays the day before and spent our first night of honeymoon in the airport) we decided to hit the road.
Our campground at Waianapanapa State Park was booked for two nights, therefore we started the trek down the road to hana to get to the state park. The drive was absolutely crazy. And then put a van on the very narrow paths, sharp turns, and steep hills – FUN. You can probably sense my sarcasm here. Don’t get me wrong, it was do-able but I was holding my breath on 60% of the turns! On the way, our first stop was to this secluded beach we randomly parked and hiked too. It just so happened to be the most cloudy, dreamy beach with a perfect rainbow in the sky! Off to a good start! We made a few other minor stops at lookouts, but for the most part drove straight through to arrive at the park before dark.
Upon arriving you must show a printed copy of your reservation! We got settled into our campsite, which consisted of really just a grass patch. Only 3 other campers were staying here at this time. We decided to walk to the shore and explore a bit before sunset. At first glance, it was beautiful. Then, we walked down to the black sand beach and WOW, it was breathtaking. We were also the only ones here, so it was even more peaceful! Watch this epic drone video of the beach!!
The next day, we did some hiking on the cliffs around the black sand beach and took some incredible photos! After that, we went to Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach about 30 minutes away! Bring your snorkels to this spot because it was incredible!! The red limestone arches and sand were remarkable. It is a little bit sketch of a hike to get there, but completely worth it! That night, we watched the sunset at the campground and made some tasty macaroni and cheese. My only complaint about the campground was the extremely cold outdoor showers, and not the cleanest bathrooms either!
Up and early we go back down the wonderful road to hana, or in this case back to civilization. We decided to make a couple more stops on the way: Twin Falls Maui, Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread, and Ke‘anae Peninsula. The Ke’anae Peninsula had some epic rock formations that spashed up and created some dreamy photos.
Before continuing the stretch, we had to stop and meet with the owners of the van as our solar panels were not keeping up with running the fridge and powering the van.
On the drive to the west side, we made a pitstop at ʻĪao Valley State Monument! This was definitely a tourist attraction in which we had to pay for a pass, and to park. The views were cool, but honestly there wasn’t that much to do here. The hike up the steps only took us about 2 minutes. I would say if you’re bored, stop, if not I’d skip this.
We finally arrived on the West side – specifically the Fleming Beach Park in Kapalua. Here, we relaxed on the beach before getting ready for our newlywed sunset photoshoot with Rodrigo. This was SO much fun! When you are on your Honeymoon in Hawaii, and photoshoot is a must in my opinion! If you are looking for some photographers to book, I’d recommend these peeps: Rodrigo Moraes Photography or Lexi Harry Photo.
That night, we parked at a dead end road near the Ritz Carlton Resort and attempted to sleep. It was raining that night, therefore we couldn’t open the fans in the van. Talk about hot, uncomfortable, and over tired.
Who said getting up at 2am on your honeymoon would be a great idea? Google. Thanks Google. We had booked a sunrise tour with Isle Excursions to see the sun rise above the clouds! Their shuttle picked us up at 2:30am! We descended the drive up this crater and were prepped with blankets and funny looking coats. They also gave us motion sickness gummies that were absolutely disgusting. Outside it was pretty chilly, so plan to dress in layers! We probably waited for an hour for the sun to rise, and then a big ass cloud came infront of it. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper that morning. The tour guide stopped at a few more stops on the way down and we were provided breakfast. Do I recommend this? Well, maybe if you are an early riser, and got more quality sleep then we did so far on the trip.
After an exhausting morning attempting to watch the sunrise, we literally did nothing but lay on the beach – Kalepolepo Beach Park. This beach had freaking chickens everywhere, but the sunset and sand was perfect. While laying there, we were dreading about finding a place to park and sleep in the van again. Also to mention, we still have yet to take a warm shower anywhere. Parking legally overnight with a van was extremely difficult as almost all beaches did not allow overnight parking. With dread on our mind, we went ahead and booked an airbnb nearby for the night. BEST. DECISION. EVER.
With late notice, the airbnb hosts were able to accommodate us so well! We took this night to make a great meal, take warm showers, re-pack and organize our life! Highly, highly recommend this stay for anyone looking for a quick stay.
Rise and shine, time to lay on the beach at – Makena State Park. In the afternoon, we had a whale watching tour booked with Ultimate Whale Watch. I’m telling you right now, if you do nothing else in Maui, book a whale watch!! Especially if you are visiting December – March as this is the best time to see whales! Our experience was so incredible I have full body chills just writing about it! Take a look at the photos below to see how amazing our experience was!
After spending our last night in the van at a Planet Fitness parking lot, we were ready to return the damn thing and start the next part of our honeymoon! We returned the van, and got an Uber ride back to the car rental place! This Hertz rental car place took one look at us and must have assumed we needed some luxury in our life. Therefore, she gave us a deal and booked us a Mustang Convertible. Now, this is honeymooning haha!
We sped off with the top down, hair abreeze, and sunshine on our shades!! The drive to our resort was beautiful especially upon arriving to the greens. We had a couple’s cabana massage booked at the Hyatt. This was nice, but not necessary if you are looking to save some money. We checked into our suite and were amazed. The room was pristine, view incredible, bed luscious, and service top notch. Granit, we were just in a van for the last 6 days, but still amazing!
At our resort, we had reservations for a Lu’au! This was quite the experience and so much fun! By the end, we were out of our seats and dancing with the crew! Check out more information about the Lu’au here- Drums of the Pacific Luau
On day 8 of our honeymoon in hawaii, we snorkeled at Black Rock – a spot about a mile walk from our resort. This snorkel spot had tons of fish, sea turtles and so much marine life! The rest of the day, we did absolutely nothing but lay by the pools, eat shaved ice, take a dip in the ocean and chill. For dinner, we ate at a steakhouse at the resort.
The following morning we watched the sunrise from an infinity pool and had a delicious breakfast before checking out and heading to the airport.
After a quick 47 minute flight to Kauai we landed in a much different environment. Trees everywhere, luscious greenery, and immediately a very laid back feel. We stopped at a local Bamboo bar for lunch before lounging on the Kapalua beach! That night, we checked into our awesome airbnb. This house had an outdoor shower, friendly neighbors, and a very modern kitchen!
Day two in Kauai was a bit all over the place as our helicopter tour got postponed due to low visibility. Therefore, we took the day to explore Queens bath, Halalei Bay, and stop at some shops for donuts, souvenirs and chicken!
If you have never been on a helicopter before, Kauai is the place to do it! We booked the Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure tour! This was absolutely breathtaking! We landed infront of the 400ft waterfall that was on Jurassic Park. Then, we saw canyons, and the south side of the island which is only accessible by hiking 22 miles to or viewing by air! That afternoon, we napped on Poipu beach!
For our last day of our honeymoon in hawaii, we went hiking at the Waimea canyon! The “hikes” we did were only about 100ft from the car to the lookout before we turned around. Essentially we were pretty traveled out and ready to go home by this day! That night, we had a late night flight and arrived back home the following day!
Overall, our honeymoon in hawaii was incredible! We did a good mix of adventure and relax and loved our time exploring the islands!
Loved reading about our honeymoon in Hawaii? Check out our glamping experience at Zion National Park in Utah!