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With its beautiful white sandy beaches, lush landscapes, and crystal clear waters, it is no wonder Maui is often referred to as “heaven on Earth” and one of Hawaii’s most popular islands. But exactly how big is Maui?

If you are short on time, here’s the quick answer: Maui covers an area of approximately 1,884 square miles.

In this comprehensive 3000 word guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the exact dimensions of Maui, from its total land area to each of its districts. We will compare Maui’s size to other Hawaiian islands as well as major US cities.

We will also explore how Maui’s landscape varies across different regions.

Total Land Area and Dimensions of Maui

Land Area in Square Miles

Maui, the second largest island in Hawaii, has a total land area of 727.2 square miles (1,883 km2). To put that into perspective, that’s slightly larger than the land area of New York City (302 square miles).

So there’s plenty of beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and breathtaking landscapes to explore on the Valley Isle!

Maui’s land area ranks 13th among the world’s islands. The island of Hawaii, also part of the Hawaiian island chain, is by far the largest at 4,028 square miles. Maui certainly holds its own though, as the island’s diverse terrain offers visitors ample opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and taking in the island’s natural splendor.

Length and Width Dimensions

In terms of length and width, Maui measures approximately 48 miles (77 km) long from end to end, and 26 miles (42 km) wide at its widest point. To visualize the dimensions, imagine an oval stretched longer on the east-west axis.

Driving the entire perimeter of the island at a leisurely pace takes about 6 hours, while driving directly across the center of the island from Kahului to Hana takes around 2.5-3 hours. The winding Hana Highway passing through lush rainforests and by crashing waterfalls makes for one of the most famous and stunning drives in Hawaii.

Just be sure to take it slow and enjoy the spectacular scenery!

Total land area 727.2 square miles (1,883 km2)
Length (east-west axis) 48 miles (77 km)
Width (north-south axis) 26 miles (42 km) at widest point

So while Maui is certainly not the biggest island around, its diverse natural landscapes packed into a relatively small area mean adventure around every corner. There are always new hidden beaches, vistas, and experiences awaiting discovery!

Maui’s Districts and Their Respective Sizes

West Maui

West Maui, consisting of areas like Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua, is known for its beautiful beaches and luxury resorts. Spanning around 120 square miles, it makes up a sizable portion of the western side of the island.

West Maui offers diverse landscapes, from the flat coastal areas near the beaches to the steep cliffs of the West Maui Mountains rising over 6,000 feet. It provides visitors plenty of options for ocean activities as well as hiking amidst waterfalls and lush valleys.

Central Maui

As its name suggests, Central Maui covers the central part of the island. Major towns here include Kahului, Wailuku, and Waikapu. At 300 square miles, it is the largest district and home to around one-third of Maui’s population. The landscape varies from coastal plains to volcanic mountains.

Central Maui boasts popular attractions like Iao Valley State Park and Maui Tropical Plantation. It also contains the main airport and commercial harbor, making it the economic center of the island.

South Maui

South Maui is another popular tourist destination, with famous beaches like Wailea and Makena. Spanning around 100 square miles along Maui’s southern shores, it is known for its luxury beach resorts and golf courses.

The area enjoys a tropical climate year-round, with smaller inland towns contrasting sharply to the bustling oceanfront resort areas. South Maui offers exceptional snorkeling and whale watching opportunities. It also contains the winding Road to Hana leading to East Maui.

Upcountry Maui

Upcountry Maui refers to the higher elevation towns located along the slopes of Haleakala volcano. Spanning about 500 square miles of central Maui, the panoramic views here stretch all the way from lush valleys to the ocean.

Major towns include Kula, Makawao, and Haliimaile, with most agriculture and ranches situated here. Upcountry offers a quieter pace, fruit stands selling local produce, and access points for exploring Haleakala National Park.

East Maui

Separated from the rest of island by Haleakala volcano, East Maui contains stunning yet remote landscapes within its 300 square miles. Also called the Hana Coast or Hana side, popular sights include Oheo Gulch with its waterfalls and pools as well as the Garden of Eden Arboretum.

With far fewer resorts, East Maui feels distinctly rugged and has maintained its small-town Hawaiian roots. This part of island rewards those seeking a scenic and peaceful getaway surrounded by rainforests, waterfalls, ocean cliffs, and winding coastal drives with over 600 curves and 50 bridges.

How Maui Compares in Size to Other Hawaiian Islands

When it comes to size, Maui is the second largest Hawaiian island after the Big Island of Hawaii. At 727 square miles, Maui offers visitors plenty of areas to explore and enjoy. Here’s a comparison of Maui to the other main Hawaiian islands:

  • Hawaii (Big Island): 4,028 square miles – over 5 times larger than Maui
  • Maui: 727 square miles
  • Oahu: 597 square miles
  • Kauai: 552 square miles
  • Molokai: 260 square miles
  • Lanai: 140 square miles

As you can see, Maui is substantially larger than Oahu, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai. Only the aptly named Big Island beats Maui when it comes size. But don’t let Maui’s second place ranking fool you – there are still plenty of things to see and do across the island’s diverse landscapes.

Maui’s Many Sides

From the stunning beaches of Wailea and historic Lahaina town to the lush Haleakala National Park and the famous Road to Hana, Maui has so much to offer. You can spend your morning snorkeling with sea turtles in Makena, drive up to Kula in the afternoon for farm-fresh treats, and end the day watching the sunset from the top of Haleakala volcano.

Side of Island Major Towns & Areas Top Attractions
West Maui Lahaina, Ka’anapali, Kapalua Beaches, snorkeling, shopping, dining, museums
South Maui Wailea, Makena, Kihei Beaches, luxury resorts, golfing
Central Maui Kahului, Wailuku Shopping, dining, culture
Upcountry Maui Kula, Pukalani, Makawao Farms, ranches, small towns
North Shore Paia, Haiku Surfing, Road to Hana, waterfalls
East Maui Hana Scenic coastal drives, waterfalls, hikes

As you explore the different areas of the island, you’ll see rainforests, waterfalls, beaches, valleys and volcanoes that showcase Maui’s natural beauty and diversity. It may be second largest, but Maui definitely offers visitors huge experiences across its many sides. 😊👍

Maui’s Size Relative to Major US Cities

New York City

With a total land area of just 728 square miles, the island of Maui is quite a bit smaller than the massive metropolis of New York City. New York City encompasses over 300 square miles by itself, and the broader NYC metro area covers over 13,000 square miles.

To put it another way, you could fit over 17 islands the size of Maui inside the NYC metro area!

Despite its small size, Maui packs a lot of punch when it comes to world-class beaches, stunning mountain vistas, and awesome tourist attractions. As the old saying goes, dynamite comes in small packages!

Los Angeles

Sprawling Los Angeles covers almost 500 square miles of land area – much larger than the island of Maui. However, Maui beats out LA in terms of shoreline and natural beauty. Maui’s 120 miles of coastline and lush green valleys make it a picturesque paradise compared to the concrete jungle of LA.

Location Land Area (sq. miles) Coastline (miles)
Maui 728 120
Los Angeles 498 70

So while LA dwarfs Maui in pure size, the island makes up for it with its incredible natural landscapes. No wonder so many celebrities own vacation homes there!


The Windy City of Chicago covers over 230 square miles of land area – still much smaller than Maui County’s total area of 1,159 square miles (which includes smaller surrounding islands besides Maui itself).

And with an average temperature of 70°F, Maui’s climate definitely wins over Chicago’s cold winters!

However, Chicago outpaces Maui when it comes to museums, professional sports teams, and deep-dish pizza joints (over 200!). So while Chicago’s culture and cityscape is world-renowned, Maui offers a more laid-back tropical vibe with stunning natural wonders like Haleakala Crater and the Road to Hana.

It’s hard to pick a favorite between these awesome but totally different destinations!

Variations in Maui’s Landscape Across Different Regions


Maui is famous for its picturesque beaches, but the beaches vary greatly depending on which part of the island you visit. The western and southwestern shores boast over 25 miles of gorgeous sandy beaches dotted with luxury resorts.

Popular spots like Ka’anapali, Wailea, and Makena offer soft white sand, sparkling turquoise waters, and gentle waves perfect for swimming and snorkeling. As you travel further east and north, the beaches become rockier and the waves get bigger, appealing more to seasoned surfers.

The eastern shore sees waves up to 20 feet high in the winter! No matter your beach preference, Maui has an option for you.

Mountains and Valleys

The interior landscape of Maui is dominated by the massive extinct volcano Haleakala, which covers over 40% of the island. The summit soars over 10,000 feet above sea level, making it easy to spot from most points on Maui.

Dramatic erosion over millions of years has carved deep valleys into the mountain slopes. One of the most popular spots is ʻOheʻo Gulch, located on the windward side of Haleakala within Haleakalā National Park. This area encompasses waterfalls, pools, and trails showcasing lush green rainforest.

The leeward side of Haleakala by contrast is much drier, with sparser vegetation.


Lush tropical rainforests thrive in Maui’s eastern mountain slopes, or Windward side, which faces the direction of the Northeast trade winds. This area sees heavier rainfall averaging 300 inches per year, creating ideal growing conditions for native plants and trees.

The rainforest spans around 30,000 acres within East Maui and extends down to the Hāna Coast. More than 700 native species of flora, including hibiscus, heliconia, ginger, orchids, ti plants, and bamboos, grow in this verdant landscape.

Many rainforest hikes in East Maui weave through fruit trees and waterfalls. The dense foliage shelters an array of birds and insects, making it a birder’s paradise.


We hope this comprehensive guide has answered how truly massive Maui is at nearly 1,900 square miles. While its idyllic landscapes make it seem like a small tropical paradise, Maui is actually larger than major metropolises like Chicago.

With rugged coastlines, tropical rainforests, and the soaring Haleakala volcano all packed into one island, Maui certainly makes excellent use of its expansive area.

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