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Hawaiian Islands: Similarities between Maui and Kauai

A map of the Hawaiian Islands
A map of the Hawaiian Islands
Beach Islands

Winter is the prime time to visit the Hawaiian Islands as it is the low tourism season and the humidity and heat are much more tolerable. Two of the favorite islands within the group are Kauai and Maui. Check out my article and learn about the similarities between these two popular island paradises.

The Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Maui couldn't be more different from one another in many ways, but you'd be surprised to learn they do have similarities. Kauai is the smaller of the two islands, boasting the largest square mile area of sandy beaches out of all the islands. Maui was once a bustling whaling port, and now charters thousands of whale watching tours per year. Kauai has several rivers running through the island, while Maui has hundreds of streams, but no actual rivers. While there are differences between these two island getaways, the similarities are also numerous.


Both Kauai and Maui were formed by once active volcanoes. This is a result of the island chain sitting directly above an underwater "hot spot." This hot spot is stationary, but as the tectonic plates move beneath the ocean, they form new volcanoes. These eventually erupt, spilling magma that dries and hardens, which built what we now know as the Hawaiian Islands. Both Kauai and Maui have underwater landscape similarities too. Each island has an abundant amount of lava reefs laden with stony coral that can only be viewed while diving or snorkeling.


Temperatures on Maui and Kauai average between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. All of the Hawaiian Islands basically have two seasons per year--winter and summer. The only difference between the two is in the winter the islands receive a fair amount of rainfall, and in summer, you'll be blessed with vast amounts of warm sunshine.


Both Kauai and Maui are known for having exceptional coastal areas to go surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling. They also offer their own individual areas for golfing, tennis, sport fishing and kayaking. Wildlife watching is also an enjoyable pastime for both islands. There are a number of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine creatures that can be seen from the island shores or on a wildlife watching cruise.

Resorts and Beaches

The Hawaiian Islands are famous for their magnificent beaches, but on both Kauai and Maui, you'll find more unspoiled land area that is beyond pristine. Each of the island's interior acreage is the same with many undeveloped areas providing some of the most breathtaking landscape in the world. Each island also has five major resort areas. On Kauai resorts are found primarily in Princeville, the Coconut Coast, Kalapaki, Poipu and Waimea. On Maui, the major resort areas include Hana, Kapalua, Wailea, Kaanapali, Wailea and Makena. The resort areas of each island are very laid back and perfect for honeymooners or families.


The islands of Kauai and Maui each offer some similar sightseeing areas. On Maui, there are the Olivine Pools, located along the central coast of the island. These are natural formed pools where you can swim or go wading safely. Maui also features the Haleakala Crater, an elevated hiking spot that reaches the highest points of the island. On Kauai, the best place to hike is Waimea Canyon, which is Hawaii's version of the Grand Canyon. Kauai also has a coastal spot called Queens Bath. Another natural swimming pool, carved into the lava rock, this is a refreshing place to take a dip. Both islands boast a number of waterfalls, natural bays and scenic bluffs.

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