What Not to Do in Maui (6 Things we DON’T Recommend)

Also known as The Valley Isle, Maui is one of Hawaii’s most gorgeous islands. You will find world-famous beaches, rich cultural events, and stunning waterfalls just waiting to be jumped in. There is simply so much to do here that you will certainly run out of time before running out of exciting places to see and things to do. 

That said, there are some important things that visitors should note as things not to do. It’s these no-go activities (or at least significantly not recommended activities) that we want to go over in this article. Not to take away any potential fun or thrilling experiences, but to ensure you get the most out of your trip without risking any hazards or undesired experiences.

With that notice aside, let’s take a look at the top things our team recommends you don’t do while you’re in Maui:

1. Don’t Bring Your Own Sunscreen

When packing your bag for Maui, leave out the sunscreen. This isn’t because we want you to be burned. Rather because many brands of sunscreen sold on the mainland continue to include ingredients that are harmful to sensitive marine life, especially coral reefs. In fact, there is a complete ban on the sale of sunscreen. Even those light sunscreens that are sold as facial cosmetics, that contain ozybenzone or octinoxate. Even just bringing in such sunscreens to Maui is illegal. So, instead of hurting the environment and risking a fine, simply put buying reef-safe sunblock at the top of your must-do list when you arrive in Maui.

2. Don’t Go Outside With Sunblock

We have to emphasize this one! Just because you have to buy special sunblock in Maui, doesn’t mean you should go without. Buy extra. Grab a hat. You will need it with as much as you’re inclined to be outside and under the sun during your stay in Maui! Going just one afternoon without sufficiently covering up can result in days of burning agony. 

3. Don’t Swim Where You Don’t See Other People

Really, we would say that you should only swim at beaches with lifeguards. Especially if you are a family with young children. Unfortunately, not all beaches in Maui have lifeguards. Yet there are some relatively safe beaches without a lifeguard on duty. The problem is that water conditions in Maui can change on a dime. Risks like underwater rip tides and jellyfish can’t always be readily discerned from shore. For that reason, we recommend once you do get to a beach without a lifeguard, only go in the water if you see other people present. Preferably locals who can help you gauge the general conditions of the water.

4. Keep Your Valuables in Your Room or on You At All Times

Maui is a beautiful place that is not known for violent crime. However, being a tourist destination, there is a fair amount of petty crime. Such as the theft of valuables left in vehicles. So, while we expect you to feel safe no matter where you go on the island, please do not be naive or blase about your wallet, keys, cell phone, and other critical items. Take only what you need when you leave your resort room and keep critical valuables on you as you explore. 

5. Don’t Take Souvenirs From the Outdoors

Taking pretty shells, little bottles of sand, or a specialty volcano rock may seem like a good way to remember your trip. However, it isn’t very respectful of the environment or to Hawaiians. You also may be putting yourself at risk of some nasty luck. As there is a bit of lore that taking volcanic rocks and sand can lead to incredible misfortune. Just take a look at this long list of letters from people who took lava rocks from Hawaii. They found themselves regretting it so much that they mailed them back with apologies. So, if you do find yourself desiring a natural souvenir, go to one of the approved vendors rather than take from the land. 

6. Be Wary of Hiking When There’s Rain in the Forecast

Hikes at state parks, specifically those on paved or wooden trails, are going to be relatively safe in light rain. We definitely recommend not hiking on any extended dirt trails when there is rain in the forecast. That’s because certain downpours, especially in East Maui, can quickly lead to flash flood conditions as the water courses down the mountains. If it starts to rain as you’re out hiking, check the weather and head back if the rain is estimated to persist beyond a passing drizzle. 

7. Don’t Trespass

As you search around for the best things to do in Maui, you undoubtedly will come across “secret coves” and “hidden waterfalls”. Some of these are completely legit and open to the public. However, others will require you to trespass on private property. Do not follow the latter ones. Trespassing in Maui is a good way to get yourself slapped with fines, injuries from dangerous trail conditions, and verbal altercations with angry property owners. So, instead, confirm it’s legal to go to those special sites and always turn around when you see a sign signifying a property line. 

Still Plenty to Do in Maui

We hope this list didn’t come across too negatively. There are, after all, a lot more things to do in Maui than not to do. We have plenty of articles and experienced guide tips on those! This list of what not to do in Maui is here to help keep you informed on how you can best enjoy your trip to Maui. Safely and without risking injuries, fines, or otherwise bad times.