So, one of the top things to know about hostels on Maui?!
There are Maui hostels with FREE tours!!
This is GREAT most especially if you are on Maui without a car, and it’s also great if you’re traveling to Hawaii alone and looking to do things on Maui with other people.
The “catch” is that tip is appreciated. $10-20 would be good. As a backpacker on a budget, this might sound like a lot, but think about it in a way that it is WAY cheaper than booking a normal tour. (Although you should totally look into booking the best Maui tours for an epic Hawaii experience.) But think of the tip as paying for gas or something.
The other “catch” you could say I guess is that you need to sign up for them in advance, and you need to be staying there the night before to sign up for them. Sign-up sheets go up in the morning the day before the tour, and the popular tours might fill up quickly. So even checking into the hostel in the afternoon might be too late. On the flip side, if there’s not enough people signed up for a tour (maybe like 4 people), then the tour could be canceled.
But otherwise, if you do manage to sign up for the tours, these free tours are a GREAT option to have!
I found that there are 2 hostels on Maui that offer free tours:
The Banana Bungalow facebook page shows a Road to Hana group tour with masks, so it seems that they are doing the group tours in 2021. But it could be good to contact them to confirm, if the free tours are the main reason you want to stay at one of these hostels.
Hostels in Maui perfect for backpackers
Where are the hostels in Maui?
- Paia hostel
- Lahaina hostels (West Maui)
- Wailuku hostels
You can generally expect hostels on Maui to have general backpacker hostel type things. There are shared dorm rooms, and there are private rooms available too.
Hostels will generally have a common area to chill at, along with a kitchen so you can prepare your own food.
You can expect Maui hostels to cost around $50-70 a night for a dorm bed. The Lahaina/West Maui hostels are on the higher end.
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!
- Best shoes for hiking in Hawaii
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Hawaii
- Do you need water shoes for Hawaii?
- THE top things to pack for Hawaii
Save the Maui video playlist to watch on youtube later!
Explore the outdoors all over Maui:
- Driving to the top of the Haleakala summit
- Things to do in West Maui with amazing views
- How much time do you need in Waianapanapa State Park?
- Where to see Maui lava fields
- One day in the West Maui mountains with amazing views
- The big list of 50+ things to do on Maui (mostly free and outdoors!)
Which are the best Maui hostels?!
It totally depends on what you’re looking for! (Lame…)
So, here is a bit about each of the hostels in Maui worth considering.
Paia Maui hostel
The hostel in Paia is Aloha Surf Hostel.
You might have seen a picture of this place without even realizing it. This is where you can go to see a bunch of surfboards lined up.
Paia is like a 15 minute drive from Maui’s main airport, OGG Kahului airport. There is also a direct bus that goes from the airport to Paia. From the Paia bus stop you’ll walk about 10-15 minutes to get to the hostel.
I took a bus from the airport to Aloha Surf Hostel. You might have to wait a little bit for the bus to show up. But otherwise it’s just fine!
You need cash and exact change for the bus. You can use google maps to help you navigate Maui by bus. You’ll select the public transit option.
See more about how to take the Maui bus.
Paia is known as a hippie town. There are some bars and restaurants around.
There is also a popular surf spot, Hookipa Beach, that is located 2.5 miles away from the hostel.
There is a health food grocery store about a 5 minute walk away from the hostel. The prices are on the high side compared to traditional grocery stores in Hawaii (which are already high for US standards).
I stayed at Aloha Surf Hostel for like a week. I went to South Maui (Wailea) by bus and also did the Road to Hana tour with the hostel. After that I rented a car and went to Haleakala National Park, the part of West Maui that you can’t get to by bus, the part of South Maui that you can’t get to by bus, and more. Basically, the first 7 days of this Maui itinerary if you’re looking for ideas of things to do on Maui I did while staying at Aloha Surf Hostel.
Paia would be a perfect location if you’re doing the Road to Hana drive on your own. Paia town is basically the unofficial start of the Road to Hana. If you’ll be renting a car on Maui, you can also camp on the Road to Hana. I spent a week on the Road to Hana. See the Road to Hana camping itinerary.
Lahaina Maui hostels
West Maui hostels
When I was on Maui in early 2020, there were 3 hostels in Lahaina. It looks like in 2021, there are now 2 hostels in Lahaina.
The Lahaina hostels are interesting because they are literally all located on the exact same block! But it seems they really have no affiliation to each other. So in terms of one Lahaina hostel being in a better location than another, there is absolutely no difference at all.
You can get to Lahaina by bus from the airport, but it will require a bus transfer. It’s about a 5 minute walk to the hostel from the Lahaina bus stop.
There are beaches within easy walking distance of the Lahaina hostels. Baby Beach is frequently mentioned as the beach to go for snorkeling in Lahaina.
The grocery store is about a 15-20 minute walk away.
This is also where you take the ferry to Lanai, another Hawaiian island. Many people make it a day trip to Lanai, and you can also camp at a beach park on Lanai, but this is actually more expensive than staying at a Maui hostel. Otherwise, there are no budget accommodation options on Lanai.
I stayed at both Tiki Beach Hostel and the Hakuna Matata hostel, which seem to still be in existence in 2021.
If you speak Spanish, you might like the Tiki Beach hostel. When I was staying there, there were a bunch of Spanish-speaking volunteers, and I believe the owner is from a Spanish-speaking country.
I got the feeling that the Tiki Beach Hostel would be the “party” hostel. And then there’s Hakuna Matata that might be on the quiet side as well, compared to being a party hostel.
None of the Lahaina hostels offer free tours, at least did not when I was there.
Wailuku Maui hostels
At the time I went, there were 3 hostels in Wailuku, but there’s only 1 that I’ll mention. The other 2 seem to have bad reviews which would make me not want to stay there. Although I did meet someone who stayed at one of the hostels with bad reviews and she thought nothing of it and had a good time.
So the hostel in Wailuku to stay at is Banana Bungalow. This is a hostel with free tours.
This is the hostel in which you can do the national park volcano crater hike. This is pretty huge, because if you don’t have a car, basically your only option to get to Haleakala National Park is through a tour. I would say this is reason enough to stay here! (If you’re into visiting national parks in Hawaii and/or hiking on Maui, that is…)
You can call this a party hostel. Free drinks for age 21+ on Friday nights. True story.
Wailuku is not really a cute little town like Paia or Lahaina. There are really no bars or restaurants near the hostel. There’s a small convenience store that’s a few minutes by walk.
Does age matter when staying at a hostel in Maui?!
In short, no.
At least not on the upper end!
Speaking about Hawaii in general, I’ve met people who are in different age groups traveling alone in Hawaii!
While most do tend to be in their 20s, there are travelers past their 20s that are solo travelers staying at hostels.
I’ve met people who are in their 30s and 40s, probably 50s, and even someone who was likely in their 60s!
At a hostel in Japan I even met a man in his 70s staying at a hostel traveling alone! I think he was from Canada. (He seemed to love his life!)
In general there are less “older” people traveling alone, so naturally there will also be less “older” people staying in hostels.
The types of people who stay in hostels are generally a welcoming community.
Some hostels around the world do have age limits, but I did not see any for any of the hostels in Maui.
And that’s a bit about staying at a hostel on Maui!
At the time I went to Maui (January/February 2020), there were NO hostels in the following places:
- Kaanapali (West Maui)
- Kapalua (West Maui)
- Kihei (South Maui)
- Wailea (South Maui)
These are some of the more popular spots for people to stay for resorts and condos, but no hostels in the area. And there are no hostels in Hana (East Maui) either. (But again, camping is possible!)
Plan more for backpacking Hawaii!
- Best of West Maui
- Best of South Maui
- The best of Maui in 3 days (rent a car for these 3 days and spend the rest of your time without a car!)
- The big list of things to do on Maui
- Ideas for how to spend 2 weeks on Maui
- Ideas for how to spend 2 weeks on Oahu without a car
- The best of the Big Island in 7 days (rent a car for these 7 days and spend the rest of your time at a Kona hostel without a car!)
HAPPY BACKPACKING MAUI AND STAYING IN A HOSTEL!