Lanai Honeymoon Guide

Lanai – Hawaii's most secluded island – offers honeymoon couples and romantic twosomes a choice of stunning golden-sand beaches renowned for their scenic beauty and crystal clear waters, which boast some of the best snorkelling in the Hawaiian islands.

A former pineapple plantation (Dole’s to be exact), Lanai attracts travellers who appreciate pristine natural wonders, uncrowded beaches, serenity and seclusion.

With a population of just 3200, the island has only 50km of paved roads and just a few places to stay, ranging from the opulent Manele Bay Hotel, a world-class resort located near one of the island’s best beaches, to bed and breakfasts and rental homes.

With no nightlife to speak of, Lanai is best suited for those looking to get away from it all and is perfect for kicking back, relaxing and spending private time together on a secluded beach.

What to do and see in Lanai

Discover a choice of must-see natural attractions on Lanai, including…

Keahiakawelo – Hike into Keahikawelo, also known as the ‘Garden of the Gods’. Don’t expect lush green tropical forest here. It is instead a unique area of buttes, peaks, canyons, rocks and boulders formed by centuries of erosion.

Some appear sculptured while others sit atop locations and seem ready to just drop off and roll away at any moment.

Best time to visit is during the late afternoon and at dusk when the setting sun casts a warm orange glow on the rock sculptures illuminating them in brilliant reds and purples.

Munro Trail – Rent a four-wheel drive and explore the 11km one-lane dirt road that offers sweeping views among the majestic Cook pine trees. The rustic Munro Trail is named for George Munro, the naturalist from New Zealand who arrived here in 1890.

The 487m-long climb takes you to the top of Mount Lanaihale, Lanai's highest peak at 1026m, as well as past the stunning canyon views of Maunalei gulch and neighbouring Maui.

Bring a light jacket and a picnic hamper to take advantage of those great views. The four-wheel drive trek takes about three hours, so buckle up and enjoy ride.

Don’t expect crowds in Lanai, just vast stretches of stunning beaches waiting for you to relax, play golf, go snorkeling, diving and swimming – ideal for couples wanting an active romantic honeymoon getaway. You can easily rent a 4WD for a fun-filled day trip to Shipwreck, Lopa and Polihua beaches.

Things to do in Lanai, include…

Snorkelling – Try Hulopoe Bay and at nearby Manele Bay, considered the best spots on Lanai for swimming among tropical reef fish. Watch out for Spinner dolphins that abound in the area’s warm waters.

Scuba diving – Lanai is famous for its lava formations, caves and arches, with water clarity up to 30m. Along the more than 25 dive sites on the south and west coasts of Lanai you can experience unique coral formations, mysterious lava tubes, graceful archways and soaring pinnacles.

For sheer drama, nothing beats the sight of light cascading through the multiple openings of lava domes such as First or Second Cathedral. The ceiling of the ‘Cathedral’ extends upward about two storeys high from a depth of 20m and sun light pours in through the caves’ vertical ‘windows’, creating the impression of stained glass windows in a cathedral.

Look out for pods of playful dolphins, white-tipped reef sharks and numerous colourful reef fish.

Golfing – If you are looking for a golfing challenge, you may want to make this your honeymoon haven. Serious golfers recommend the Challenge at Manele, a Jack Nicklaus-designed masterpiece. Set on the cliffs above Hulopoe Bay, this target-style course roams across several hundred acres of natural lava outcroppings, using plunging ravines, native kiawe and towering trees as natural hazards.

Or try the Greg Norman-designed Koele golf course. Both courses consistently rank among the best in the world by leading publications and travel guides.

Lanai Beach Guide

Discover Lanai’s best beaches on a honeymoon or romantic getaway, including…

Hulopoe Beach (South Shore) – Relax on Lanai’s best beach, a gorgeous palm-fringed, golden-sand beach that gently shelves into the stunning clear turquoise waters of a Marine Life Conservation Area that teems with tropical fish.

Calm water in summer means great swimming, body boarding and snorkelling, with good diving found offshore amid colourful reef fish and pristine coral formations.

Look out for acrobatic spinner dolphins throughout the year and humpback whales during the winter months, during which the sea can be rough and swimming is not advised.

Explore volcanic tidal pools full of marine life, including asteroids (sea stars), holothurians (sea cucumbers), barber pole shrimp and opihi (limpit), a favourite local delicacy.

Facilities include the creature comforts of the Four Seasons Manele Bay as well as a beach park with picnic tables, barbecue grills, restrooms, showers and grassy hiking trails. There are no lifeguards.

Lanai’s other great beaches are best seen as part of a hiking adventure: with no lifeguards and strong rips in winter they are often best enjoyed for their scenic beauty. These beaches include…

Polihua Beach – (North Shore) A wide white-sand beach with stunning views of Molokai.

Shipwreck Beach – A long golden beach backed with sand dunes fronting the Kalohi Channel, which separates Lanai from Molokai.

Sharks Bay Beach – Located just east of Hulopoe Beach, with a red lava cliff face and beautiful sandy beach perfect for a picnic or sunbathing.

Huawai Beach – This tiny, salt-and-pepper sand beach on the south coast is dwarfed by the impressive surrounding sea cliffs. The beach offers great snorkelling, diving and swimming in summer when the deep crystal blue waters are calm.

There are no facilities and no lifeguard at Huawai. The beach is usually accessed via the Po'opo'o Fisherman Trail.

Best time to visit Lanai

For dry and sunny conditions the best time to visit Laanai is during summer, from July to late-September, when the average daytime high temperature is 28°C (82°F).

Lanai is balmy and warm all year-round; so any time of year is a good time to visit Lanai.

The rainy season lasts from December to March, when you can expect slightly cooler temperatures and heavy rain in the mountains and short showers elsewhere. Winter has an average daytime high temperature of 25°C (77°F).

For more climate info: Lanai Weather Guide

How to get to Lanai

Lanai, also known as the Pineapple Island, is located around 16km (10mi) west of Maui.

The most convenient route to Lanai is by air to Lanai Airport (LNY), located 6km (3.7mi) southwest of Lanai City.

From most international and US destinations this requires first flying into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu Island, followed by a connecting flight to Lanai Airport (LNY).

Alternatively, you may fly to Maui's Kapalua Airport (JHM), then take a ferry to Lanai. A regular ferry service operates from Maui's Lahaina Harbour to Manele Harbour on Lanai’s southern coast five times daily, taking 1 hour 30 minutes.

Lanai is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian islands, a chain of volcanic islands in the North Pacific Ocean, around 3860km (2398mi) from mainland USA.

Getting around

Land – For a one-time fee, hotel guests may have unlimited rides on the buses that commute between the hotels and the ferry landing at Manele Bay.

Rabaca's Limousine offers point-to-point rides between popular destinations on Lanai, including the airport. Custom trips and specialized tours are also available.

Bicycles and off-road vehicles are available for hire. Most attractions on the island are best visited by a 4WD vehicle. Traffic drives on the right.

Between islands – Hawaiian Airlines provides frequent inter-island flights, usually daily. Ferries link all the main islands with frequent services between Lana’i, O'ahu, Maui, Kauai'i and the Big Island.

More about more climate info: how to get to Lanai

More about Lanai…

Latest update: Lanai: 25 January, 2023