Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Maui, Hawaii- Napili Bay Area

Napili Bay is a classical crescent-shaped bay with a sandy beach, located at the far northwest corner of Maui. It is fully developed, in terms of having various kinds of lodging, basic shops, and rental business. Yet the bay is quite secluded and still preserved with the natural beauty and charm of a tropical beach. Unlike Lahaina old town (30 min) or Ka'anapali (20 min) to its south, Napili Bay is pristine Hawaii without abundant tourist population or traffic, or any entrapment such as shopping mall, chain stores/eateries and big tour buses.

The eastern side of Molokai is visible straight across the bay at a distance. Its tall mountains, steep slopes with green valleys, as well as the island cloud formations can change in appearance and mood according to the time of the day. The north side of Lanai can be seen to the far left side when facing the bay. It is toward there that daily sunset can be seen over the horizon, unobstructed by Lanai (unlike the view in Lahaina or Ka'anapali).

Kapalua Bay is the next bay north of Napili Bay. It is publicized for good snorkeling and diving, yet there is only one lodging on the bay (Kapalua Resort). To avoid the limited parking there, one could easily walk there from Napili Bay. To the north end of Napili Bay is Napili Kai Beach Resort where we stayed, which stretches from the beach to the top of the headland, where the resort's entrance is next to the short trail for going to Kapalua Bay. One can walk up the steps that leads from the beach to the main lobby, then out to the parking area and turn left to get to the trail (around 10 min).That public trail is also the beginning of a nature hiking trail that meanders along the shoreline boundary of Ritz Carlton Resort in a northern direction. It passes through a headland that has many interesting volcanic rocks and then passes by the Honolua Bay.

Photographs: From the top: Looking out at Molokai from Napili Kai Resort, view from the trail, the view of Molokai from the trail, the rolling waves of Spenser's Bay.

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