|Maui - The Valley Isle - named for a Hawaiian demigod, Maui is the second largest of the populated Hawaiian Islands, with the second-largest population. The central Maui town of Kahului/Wailuku is the island's business center; West Maui, with the sprawling beaches and resorts of Ka'anapali and the historic whaling town of Lahaina, is one of Maui's major resort areas. South Maui is home to the island's other main resort area, Wailea. Although the tropical north shore of Maui does not offer hotels, visitors can choose between bed & breakfasts and rental homes.
Maui was formed 1.3 million years ago by the volcano Haleakala (meaning "House of the Sun"), which is considered active and likely to erupt again within the next 200 years. Its last eruption was in 1790. The 10,026-foot-high volcano occupies much of central Maui and separates West Maui from the rest of the island.
The surrounding islands of Moloka'i, Lana'i and Kaho'olawe were formed by a group of six volcanoes and were once a part of Maui, but separated when the sea level rose and flooded the valleys between the land masses. These underwater valleys are shallower than the surrounding ocean and provide shelter for an abundance of marine life, including the humpback whales that migrate to Hawaiian waters during winter months to give birth to their calves.