The sunset in Maui is beautiful and mesmerizing, but the time of sunset in Maui depends on the date.
The latitude of Maui is 20 degrees North which means that it takes 35 minutes more for Maui to cast a shadow than a location in the Northern Hemisphere and 35 minutes less than a location in the Southern Hemisphere.
During winter the sun sets around 5:30 pm, and during the summer months the sun sets at about 7:30 pm.
Taking the time to see Maui’s dramatic sunset is something you should do while on vacation on the island, so here are some recommendations on when to watch the sunset, and what you should expect during your visit.
Let’s delve right into the details.
What Time Does Sunset Start In Maui?
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After hiking and snorkeling, what better way to end the day than with a stroll on the beach and a sunset cocktail?
Sunset lasts for about two to two-and-a-half hours on most days in Maui. The magic hour is between 5 pm and 8 pm. During this time, the golden light will paint the sky orange and pink, creating that spectacular “purple” hue that makes Maui so famous.
The day of the year when the sun sets at its latest is December 23, and the day when it sets at its earliest is June 22.
Tropical breezes will brush against your face as you gaze at the gorgeous colors on the horizon. Watching a sunset in Maui is truly breathtaking.
Why Watch The Sunset In Maui?
While some people might think it’s a touristy thing to do, watching the sunset in Maui is a must for those who have never seen one. The colors of the skies and clouds will take your breath away and make your heart skip a beat.
There are at least three reasons for this:
- The sun in Maui sets over a longer distance than from other places—a lot closer to the horizon, so the colors are more vibrant.
- The best place to view the sunset is at a beach with no or very few clouds in the sky. When there are clouds, they add an interesting dimension that makes the sky look magical.
- The sunsets are different every day because of weather and ocean conditions, so there’s always something different to see and photograph.
Where Can You Watch The Sunset On Maui?
The best place to watch a sunset is typically the beach, but the beaches of Maui are not the only place.
While you can enjoy the sunset from almost any place on the island, there are a few spots we guarantee will be unmatched:
1. Haleakala National Park
There’s no better place to watch the sunset than at Haleakala National Park. The park is located on the eastern slope of Haleakala, so you’ll have a front-row seat as the sun sets behind Kaho’olawe and Lanai. There are several viewpoints inside the park, but we recommend stopping at Holua Shelter (also called the Paliku Cabin) for sunset viewing. The cabin is located about nine miles up from the visitor center, which means you’ll get to enjoy one of Hawaii’s most spectacular sunsets with minimal traffic.
2. Keawakapu Beach
This beach is in front of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa at Kalapaki Beach. It’s a great place for families because it’s not frequented by surfers. The water is calm and shallow, making it perfect for kids. The sand is soft and white, and there are no rocks or coral to step on if you wear flip flops. There are restrooms and showers on the property, as well as a bar and restaurant to grab a drink or bite to eat before the sunset.
3. Makena Beach
Makena Beach on Maui’s south side has a beautiful white sand beach that stretches for miles. It’s popular with surfers because of its long reef break that provides great waves all year round. You can watch the sunset while surfing or swimming because the water is usually calm at sunset There are restrooms, showers, and a lifeguard station at Makena.
Bonus Tips On Watching The Sunset In Maui
Watch for a cloudless sky (or as close as possible) over the ocean/seaside to your west. If you go too far east, you’ll lose the sun behind the land instead of watching it set into the sea.
Make sure there’s no wind—or at least no strong wind—coming from that direction. Wind will make it hard to see anything and will probably mess up your hair horribly.
Make sure you can find a nice place with a good view of the horizon or sea without too much hassle. You don’t want to spend twenty minutes trying to find an optimal spot.
Don’t worry if the sun sets behind a mountain range or hill, it doesn’t have to be unobstructed to be perfect.
If in doubt about any of these, ask your hotel concierge for help! They know the island best and can guide you to an optimal spot for watching sunsets in Maui.