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Five Apps You Should Download Before You Land on Maui

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been to Maui multiple times or it’s your first time visiting, there are always a variety of things to do on Maui. And there’s always something to learn about this magical island.

Too Many Things To Do on Maui?

Some visitors find themselves with too many options. They may become so overwhelmed that they forego exploring the wonders of the island for the comfort of the resort. And that’s OK too—Maui has some spectacular and luxurious accommodations. But if you are a wanderer with a “bucket” or “must-do” list, here’s a short list of helpful apps to download to your iPhone or Android that will help you to have a safe and enjoyable stay, wherever you decide to roam.

Where Service is Unreliable

Cell phone coverage is unreliable in more remote areas.  Some infamous dead zones include:

  • Themap of Maui cell phone coverage Road to Hana after about mile marker 7 (Twin Falls Farm Stand).
  • The crater road heading toward the summit of Mount Haleakala.
  • On Makena Road at Big Beach and southward.
  • The upper Piilani Highway between Kaupo and Hana. (See map.)

Plan accordingly, both with your fuel and your plans. Pro tip: Put your phone in airplane mode when driving long distances without a signal to save your battery.

Cell Phone Usage Laws in Hawaii

In Hawaii, it’s illegal to use a handheld mobile electronic device while operating a vehicle. The restriction applies to talking on the phone, texting, and all other uses of an electronic device. So please hand your device to a passenger to use any of these apps while you’re on your way to doing some of the cool things to do on Maui.

Planning Your Things to Do on Maui? The Apps Are Where It’s At

  1. Hawaiian Words – Translation and Dictionary
    Most people are familiar with the words “aloha” and “mahalo”, but most of the Hawaiian language is intimidating to anyone new to it. If you are traveling and interested in the native culture, this free translation app could be perfect for you. Try out some of the words and phrases you learn while you’re at dinner or a luau.
  2. Magic Seaweed Surf Forecast and/or Surfline
    You don’t have to be a professional surfer use this app to your advantage. It’s handy if you are interested in any water or beach related activities like standup paddleboard, snorkeling, kayaking or swimming. Giving you up-to-date weather reports, including surf and wind conditions, to ensure that your beach day doesn’t get postponed because of unsafe water conditions or irritating sandblasting. Rainy day? No rain, no rainbows. There are lots of great things to do on Maui that are not sunshine dependent. (Bonus: There usually is at least one sunny part of the island on any given day.)
  3. What3Words
    If you know you’re going for a walk in the woods or an unfamiliar area, What3Words can be your lifeline if you get lost. It’s brilliant: the makers of the app divided the whole world into 3m squares, and assigned each square a word. By telling someone the three words you are at, you can share your exact location. Of course, you can’t use the app if you don’t have your phone, so keep your device with you on hikes and walks, using a sealed plastic bag or container to keep it dry in case of rain.
  4. GyPSy Guide
    Maui is a relatively easy place to drive but it does help to have an app that organizes the most popular day trips into sub categories for efficiency. GyPSy Guide is designed to allow you to create your own Maui adventure and has divided the island into 5 main areas: Haleakala, South Maui, West Maui, Hana Highway, and Iao Valley; all five are included in one app.
  1. Rider
    Maui is not known for their superior public transportation services, so you may feel like the only way to get around is to rent a car, but you might find this to be a game-changer. Traveling via bus can be frustrating since 95% of the bus stops don’t tell you when the next bus will be coming or where the bus is going. The Rider app will help you find the nearest bus stop and not only tell you where the bus is going, but will also give you real-time location tracking so you know the exact arrival time. Saving money on a rental car means more poke on your plate, and more time with your toes in the sand.

Some Reminders on What to Do on Maui–And What Not to Do

Don’t drink and drive, turn your back on the ocean, or hold your phone while driving.

Do heed posted warnings, stay on marked trails, and most of all, take in the beauty whenever it’s safe to do so. And we hope you’ll consider spending a day with us in the rainforest. No apps necessary!

What You Don’t See in the Rainforest

With some of the severe offshore weather the Hawaiian Islands experienced while Hurricane Lane was in the vicinity, many beach-goers are reporting frequent encounters with the Portuguese man-o-war (Physalia physalis). Like many exotic sea creatures, the man-o-war isn’t just beautiful, it’s harmful. Its long tentacles dangle down into the water, while its head bobs along the top of the water. The translucent wing on its head acts like a sail. Because it can’t actively swim or direct itself, the sail is the man-o-war’s only means of locomotion.

When the tentacles make contact with whatever is unlucky enough to be near them, they deliver a very painful, venomous sting. How painful and harmful the sting is depends on the size of the man-o-war, how many tentacles made contact, and how sensitive the victim is.

You won’t just see these creatures in the water. The winds will also blow them into the beach break, and eventually they end up littering the sandy beaches, where unsuspecting feet and toes step on them. Even after a man-o-war has died, their tentacles remain venomous, so be wary of these blue devils, especially after off shore storms or strong winds that blow man-o-war toward the beaches.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s impossible to encounter a man-0-war or stinging jellyfish or any meddlesome, venomous sea creature on a Rappel Maui tour. There’s also no need to worry about shark bites, rip currents, wana (sea urchins) quills, or coral scrapes, either. You may see Tahitian prawns, those little crawdad-looking crustaceans in the fresh water ponds, but they move like lightning when threatened by curious hands.  Here’s more about what makes a Rappel Maui tour safe.  The rainforest also poses no threat from land wildlife such as bears, wildcats, or snakes. But if you’re worried about mosquitoes, please ask your guide for the DEET-free spray they carry. (Please do not apply products containing DEET before your tour, as it damages the gear that we use.)  If you notice you’ve been bitten ask for the Afterbite, an anti-itch treatment that can be applied to the skin.

While the ocean waters may be rough, murky or unfriendly after storms, the rainforest streams remain, as always, man-o-war free. We operate rain or shine, and our offices are open 7 am to 7 pm every day of the year. Please call to ask about conditions due to weather any time.