Real Estate

Micro-Climates & Choosing Residential Property to Buy on Maui

January 5, 2015, 2:40 PM HST
* Updated January 5, 2:46 PM
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Photo courtesy of: The Stice Team, Hawaii Life

Photo courtesy of The Stice Team, Hawai‘i Life.

By Alexandra Mitchell

When choosing residential property to buy on Maui, buyers usually have their ideal location in mind. On Maui, the blend of the warm tropical sunshine, low humidity, smooth ocean breezes and easy trade winds support a happy, healthy and comfortable year-round lifestyle no matter where you live.

Although the Island of Maui is small, it can feel very drastically different in each area. Each of the four corners of the island have a climate that’s just as diverse as the wants and needs of people that choose to settle in each location.

Maui’s overall temperature averages between 70 and 80 degrees all year round. The two main tropical seasons of the year are distinguished only by mild temperature changes and varying inches of rainfall. Maui has a unique selection of micro-climates that are typical to each of its distinctive locations–Central Maui, South Maui, West Maui, the North Shore, East Maui, and Upcountry.

Central Maui, in-large, consists of Kahului and Wailuku. Kahului is literally the center of the island, and tends to keep steady high temperatures throughout the year. The micro-climate in Kahului can be at times muggy, but it usually feels dry as a desert. The Wailuku area is set closer to the backside of the West Maui Mountain range. Here, you will find more rainfall throughout the year, and higher humidity levels.


The leeward side of the Maui includes South and West Maui. These areas are typically drier than most of Maui, with higher temperatures, and the least amount of rainfall. (An exception is the high-altitude areas of the West Maui summit, which boasts an average of 400 inches of rainfall per year.)


Maui’s windward side includes the North Shore and East Maui. Located perpendicular to consistent trade winds from all parts of the Hawaiian Islands (Kona winds are the wild ones), these areas receive a range of heavy to light rainfall levels, but also offer long days of sunshine.

If you venture 2,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level, the Upcountry areas provide mild heat during the day and calm and cool evenings. The higher the elevation, the cooler the evenings are. During a Maui Winter, Upper Kula can be as cold as 40 degrees in the early morning hours.

What is your favorite things about Maui’s diverse micro-climates? Is there an area you prefer before others? Let us know in the comment section below…

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