Thinking of ditching the snow for some sunshine and waves this December? Visiting Maui in December could be a great decision. Our island is sunny and warm all year round, and you won’t face the huge crowds that we see in the spring and summer. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning a trip to Maui in December. Here’s the low down:

Weather – Welcome to Ho’oilo

The ancients of Maui called the winter months ho’oilo, which means wet and cooler. Daytime temperatures in December often crack the low 80s but can dip into the mid 60s at night. That’s still nice and warm, but you’ll definitely want to bring a light rain jacket and some layers, especially if you plan on hiking Haleakala. The dormant volcano is chilly and windy at the top and has been known to get snow during the winter. One thing to note is that South Maui is typically a few degrees warmer and gets more sun than the northern part of the island.

Maui is also an island known for its microclimates, so be ready for anything. Most importantly, expect some rain!

The Rain

Maui does tend to see rain in December. Don’t let this discourage you from visiting the island. Occasionally we’ll get long spates of precipitation, but usually the storms are short. Most of the rain tends to fall on the northern part of the island. The southern areas are usually much drier. Bring a raincoat. Leave the umbrellas at home. Our gusty winds have a tendency to turn them inside out!

Our microclimates mean that the weather where you are may not be the weather of where you’re going, so check the reports before you start out on an activity. If you have any type of outdoor tour planned, phone on the day of to make sure it hasn’t been canceled or re-scheduled. If it is raining in your area, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Traffic can slow to a crawl during a bad storm.

The Hana Highway is one of our most beautiful and fun drives…in good weather. During large storms, the road may flood and become treacherous, so be very, very careful if you plan to drive it. We suggest signing up for a guided tour. At Ali’i Resorts, we are happy to coordinate a Hana Highway tour for our guests with an experienced and trusted company.

Water Temperature

Will it be too cold to swim or snorkel in December? The water does get a little chilly in December, but that doesn’t stop most of our tourists from having fun. Expect water temps in the ocean to be in the 70s. For most, the water will be comfortable enough to play in. If you plan on spending more than a half hour in the water, or if you get cold easily, then we recommend renting a short wetsuit “a shorty” from a local surf shop.

Whales, Whales, Whales!

December is one of the best times of the year to meet and greet our local koholas, otherwise known as Humpback Whales. These huge beauties winter off the shores of our island and can be seen even from the shore. We recommend, however, that you get up close with a whale tour.


If you are a surfing junkie, then winter in Maui is your time to shine. The winter months create massive swells that turn the ocean into a playground for experienced surfers. Check out Kanaha and Pa’ia in the north part of the island for the very best waves!

We hope that you will visit us this December. At Ali’I Resorts, we are here to keep you warm and dry in our beautiful and competitively priced vacation rentals in south Maui. Take a look at our growing collection of impressive vacation rentals today and book yourself a great December island getaway.

Ali’i Resorts