Kihei Rent A Car Blog

Exploring Maui

Sight Seeing on Maui

Haleakala crater

While you are here on the island of Maui, don’t forget to visit the beautiful, volcanic mountain called Haleakala. This majestic mountain is home to the endangered Silversword plant, as well as the rare and endangered Nene bird. Though these birds are very cute, they can be very aggressive if you get too close to their nest or mate. So, if I where you, I would keep my distance.

A Nene bird on Haleakala

A beautiful flowering Silversword on the summit of Haleakala












There are many things to do for fun on the summit of Haleakala. The sunrise and sunset from the summit are breathtaking. Just be sure to bring jackets and blankets because even though it is nice and warm on Maui, the summit can be extremely cold. In the winter, it can snow up at the summit. Sometimes there are local residents at the summit honoring the House of the Sun with a chant.

You could also hike down into the crater. It is a beautiful hike and it is worth the trip.

Another thing you could do is ride down into the crater on horseback. It is a beautiful ride and the horses are sure-footed, experienced and adorable. Be sure to bring a jacket and water because it can be cold and dry.

There is a visitors’ center on the way to the summit that has stories about the crater. There is even an exhibit of ‘cursed rocks’; rocks that people took back home with them and had bad luck until they sent the rocks back to Haleakala.

Whatever you do just remember to use low gear when driving back down in your Kihei Rent A Car vehicle.

Enjoy your stay 🙂


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Packing Your Bags For Maui

Maui Facts

packing for maui

So, you’ve booked your flight and you’re now dreaming of basking in the Maui sun with sand between your toes, and the warm ocean waves beckoning you to dive in for a swim. Ahh yesss…. let’s dwell in this picture of paradise for a moment more. Sighhhh…..

Vacationing in Maui means you can pack light. No need for a heavy jacket, thick sweaters, or closed shoes. Instead, bring your shorts and light clothing since the temperatures will be a balmy 80 degrees or more, especially as we head into the summer months.

For the majority of the time, you will be out in the sun, so we recommend that you bring suntan lotion. Try to stick with a high level of protection such as 30. I hear you groaning, “But how will I get a suntan using 30?” Trust us, you will achieve Bronzed God or Goddess status even at SPF 30. The sun is strong, so protect that skin of yours. There’s a great suntan lotion company here on Maui that makes some of the best stuff on the planet. They’re called Maui Babe. They have a good SPF 30 lotion, plus a fast bronzing lotion which we use all the time. And, you can say we are definitely sporting a nice Maui tan!

Another good item to bring along on your trip to protect you from the sun is a hat. The sun gets very hot out there and you want to be sure to protect your head from the strong rays. It’ll help prevent sunburn and it’ll keep you a bit cooler…. not to mention prevent a headache.

Don’t forget your sunglasses. Heck, maybe this one should be at the top of your list. You don’t want to be squinting the whole time you’re here. Squinting on the beach, squinting while kayaking, or even squinting while surfing…. ummm…. okay…. maybe not while you’re surfing! Haa! Sunglasses can be a great way to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of the rays and it’ll help you take in the beauty of Maui that will surround you.

Okay… easy one. Don’t forget your bathing suit. Bring two! You’re probably going to be in the water a lot while here on Maui doing your water activities. In fact, you should even wear your bathing suit while hiking, since chances are you’ll find a nice cool waterfall pool that you’ll want to swim in.

As for shoes, you may need a pair of flip-flops… or what we call rubbah slippahs… and perhaps a pair of tennis shoes for going hiking. You will find that the dress code here on Maui is pretty relaxed and casual. No need to bring your fancy clothes and spiked high heeled shoes.

If you take a trip Upcountry, on the slopes of Haleakala, you will need a light jacket since it could get a little chilly in the higher elevations once the sun goes down.

Mosquito repellant is another good thing to bring. You won’t find many of the blood-suckers up in the higher elevations of Maui, but for hiking through Hana or any of the other lower elevations, you’ll need to bring some repellant so that you can really enjoy the scenery.

And…. don’t forget to bring your camera! You’ll be snapping photos left and right, trust us! Maui is such a beautiful island. You may even want to get a disposable underwater camera to take some photos while snorkeling. You’ll want to take as many pictures as you can, which make great treasures to share with family and friends back home.

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Hawaiian Poke – Ahi Tuna Recipe

Maui Food

Last week we told you about Hawaiian poi, and this week we bring you a tasty recipe that would go along really well with your poi. Give this one a try…
ahi poke recipe

Hawaiian Poke – Ahi Tuna Recipe
From Chef Jason Hill

Here is a version of Hawaiian poke which comes out pretty tasty. It’s not your traditional Hawaiian poke recipe, but it’s a tasty version.

1 1/2 lb. of fresh ahi tuna (sushi grade). Rinse the fish with cool water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Dice the tuna going against the grain of the fish. Put in a bowl. Mince up one red chili to add a little heat. This is optional if you don’t like it spicy. Be sure to remove the seeds and dice into tiny pieces. Be careful not to rub your eye! Put in 1/4 cup of Maui sweet onion diced, 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, teaspoon of garlic/shallot puree (see recipe below), three diced green onion, 1/3 cup shoyu (soy sauce), 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, and 2 Tbsp . finely chopped macadamia nuts (or kukui nuts).

Garlic/Shallot Puree

10 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 of a large shallot, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix the garlic, shallot and olive oil in a mini food processor or blender about 30 seconds. Scrape down and blend until creamy.

Pureed garlic keeps up to ten days covered in the refrigerator, and keeps frozen for up to six months in the freezer. I use this every time a recipe calls for fresh garlic, and I use about 1 teaspoon of the puree per clove of fresh garlic.

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Hawaiian Poi Goodness

Maui Food

PoiAnyone who has been to a lu’au has probably had the chance to try some Hawaiian poi. For many newcomers, they find it to be rather “interesting” and many describe the taste as subtle or even a little bland. Everyone has their own set of taste buds, but most kama’aina will agree that poi is both yummy and very nutritious.

It can be eaten by itself, or you can eat it with poke or kalua pig, or even lomi lomi salad. It takes the place of rice, potatoes, or bread. Many Hawaiian mothers feed their infants poi because of its nutritional value. Poi is good for everyone, young and old. It’s a great source of fiber and vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and B-1, iron, magnesium and potassium. Another good thing is that poi won’t make you fat, with fewer calories than rice (one cup of ready-to-eat poi has 120 calories; one cup of cooked rice has 250 calories).

But… just what is this gooey purple pudding-like paste? The ancient Hawaiians revered poi, and today Hawaiians continue to praise the benefits of poi. It is made from the popular taro plant. The corm of the plant is mashed down methodically while slowly adding water until it turns into a nice gooey paste. Fresh poi has an almost sweet flavor to it, while 3 or 4 day old poi tastes a little more sour because of the fermentation process.

If you’re new to poi, give it a try. Traditionally, it was eaten with two or three fingers. These days, go ahead and use your fork or chop sticks. Try it by itself, then try it with a piece of poke or kalua pork. The flavor of the other foods will bring out the flavor of the poi, and most likely you like be hooked.

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Humuhumunukunukuapua’a – What is it, and how the heck do you say it?

Maui Facts

HumuWhen you visit Maui, you will hear all sorts of Hawaiian words, some are easy to say and remember… but some are definite tongue twisters. Here’s one that will take some practice to wrap your tongue around… but it’s a fun one and will come in handy after a day of snorkeling. It is humuhumunukunukuapua’a and it’s Hawaii’s state fish. It’s a tropical reef trigger fish, and one that you will probably see when you go snorkeling in Maui waters. So, after you come out of the water, you can announce to everyone that you saw a humuhumunukunukuapua’a!!

But, before you go announcing to the world, you’ll have to learn how to say this gigantic word that has more letters than a centipede has legs. I know what you’re thinking, “How the heck am I going to be able to say this one??” Well, actually, after repeating it a few times, it’s actually pretty easy… and, well…. fun! Here’s how you pronounce it: “who-moo-who-moo-noo-koo-noo-koo-ah-pooah-ah”. Not so bad, ya? Well, to hear it said in person by a local is key to learning how to say this HUGE word with total ease and Hawaiian finesse. So, when you hop on our shuttle at the airport, don’t be afraid to ask our driver how to say this word! And ask again when you get to our office to pick up your car. Be sure to practice during your stay in Maui, because we just may quiz you later!

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