Your Destination Guide to Maui

Destination Guide Maui - Your Destination Guide to Maui, HI

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Top 10 Adventures

Top 10 Adventures
Top 10 Adventures

© Derek van Vliet

Most come to Maui in search of coconut shells filled with frozen pina coladas and tans unattainable to their cubicle-habitating co-workers. Others come in search of something a bit more invigorating, giving up beach blankets and cabana boys for ventures of a more hazardous nature. Visions of sea cliffs, vast ocean, and 150-pound ahi tuna dance in their heads as they stroll past the Aloha shirt stands and shaved ice carts. These are the thrill-seekers. If you think that you might be one of them, read on and prepare yourself for the top ten adventures that the island of Maui has to offer.

#10 #10

Upcountry horseback riding

Upcountry horseback riding

Many don't realize that Maui has been home to cowboys and cattle-wranglers for over a century. The town of Makawao in central Maui is known as the island's original cowboy town. At number ten, spend the day at Piiholo Ranch, located in Makawao, for some mauka (upcountry) horseback riding. The ranch offers outings for all levels, from beginner lessons to expert country rides. At an elevation of 2,000 feet, gallop alongside views of the ocean, neighboring islands, Haleakala Crater, and the west Maui mountains. So if you fancy yourself a true 'Paniolo' (Hawaiian cowboy), then take the trek upcountry to ride along the Hawaiian open range.

#9

Hike to Waimoku Falls

Hike to Waimoku Falls

No Maui adventure is complete without a trek through the rainforest. At number nine, travel along the Pipiwai trail to the majestic Waimoku Falls, located in Haleakala's national park. In this moderate to difficult journey, you'll feel as if you've stumbled across an enchanted, fairytale forest. The trail starts above the famed seven sacred pools, and follows the Pipiwai stream all the way. Two hundred-foot drops covered in greenery and twisted branches reveal the stream far below, before an old, coiled banyan tree grins from its clearing halfway along. Continue to march over man-made wooden trails and bridges through tall bamboo trees before reaching Waimoku Falls, an awe-inducing 400-foot waterfall. This magical trek leaves no doubt as to why it is touted as one of the best hikes in all of Maui.

#8

Cliff Jumping from Black Rock

Cliff Jumping from Black Rock

Maui's famed Ka'anapali beach offers resorts, a huge expanse of white sand, fun waves, and the famous black rock. Number eight on the adventure list, practice your back flips while cliff jumping from Black Rock. Dividing Ka'anapali beach from Kahekili beach, legend has it that this is where the souls of warriors left the earth to meet their ancestors. Today, people back-flip, front-flip, and belly-flop from the historic rock looking for a thrill. Look up to Black Rock from the beach on any given day, and you will observe numerous people jumping the 20 feet into the Pacific Ocean down below. If you're looking for a rush, walk past the sun-bathers and climb up black rock. You're sure to enjoy yourself on the way down.

  • Information
  • Located at: Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, HI
#7

Private Surf Lessons

Private Surf Lessons

If you want to experience the island as a local, you have to surf like one. At number seven, learn to ride the waves in a private surf lesson. While most everyone else is waiting in line in a group lesson, make the most of your day with a private instructor. A private surf lesson is recommended for those in better physical shape, as you will paddle more and catch more waves than in a group lesson. As expected, this one-on-one attention and personal feedback will make you a better beginner overall than those floating around in groups. Befriend your instructor and find out which breaks you should be hitting up solo for the rest of your trip.

#6

Parasailing

Parasailing

At the number six spot, adventure moves from the land to the air. Parasailing off of Maui's west coast gives you the thrill of flying, combined with supreme coastal views. From the boat, you are strapped into your harness, and then whisked away into the blue skies. The ride lasts only for about 10 minutes (and sometimes less), but you are granted visions of the Maui coastline and the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai. Perhaps the best part of your airy voyage is the view of Maui's coral reef. Seen easily from above, it surrounds west Maui like a picture frame. One word of warning; because of whale season, parasailing tours are available only from May to December.

#5

Ka'anapali Zip Lines

Ka

From flying over the ocean, to soaring through the mountains, we are brought to adventure number five: the Ka'anapali zip lines. Touted as the best zip line in all of Maui, Ka'anapali zip lines offer amazing views and fun guides over a half day tour. Zig zag along eight different zip lines among Mount Kahalawai's lush valleys, at up to 150-feet above the ground. Enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, waterfalls peeking out from green walls, and Maui's neighboring islands. The zip lines are not only a day of adventure and exploration, but a day of beauty as well.

#4

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep Sea Fishing

Fish have always been a staple of the Hawaiian diet, and very important to the culture. On many an early morning, you can catch a glimpse of Maui's fishermen, already back from a pre-dawn trip, carrying their catches into the island's restaurants. At number four, find out where your island dinners come from and spend the morning deep sea fishing. Ahi, mahi mahi, ono and marlin are all possible catches as you take in an ocean sunrise. Morning trips are recommended not only for the spectacular sunrise, but because they are more likely to produce results. If you fancy yourself a good cook, find a company that lets you keep your fish.

#3

Trilogy's Kai Trip

Trilogy

Trilogy, a popular sailing company on west Maui, is best known for its snorkeling trips and daily tours to Lanai. What many don't know, however, is that it offers a secret trip, designed especially for the ocean adventurer. The number three Maui adventure is Trilogy's Kai Trip. The trip is not listed on the website; rather, you learn about it only through word of mouth, and must call Trilogy to request it. Trilogy sails you to a secluded cove, where you get to experience the ocean (or kai in Hawaiian), with the playfulness of a child. Numerous activities are offered, including snorkeling, stand-up paddling, and kayaking. Underwater-powered scooters are also available as the ultimate ocean toy. Trilogy's Kai trip is the ocean-lover's equivalent of recess.

  • Information
  • Phone: 808-661-4743 for reservations
  • Note: Kyle Ellison, Maui contributing writer for DGuides, is First Mate for Trilogy.
#2

Haleakala Full Moon Crater Hike

Haleakala Full Moon Crater Hike

Haleakala is known for its stunning sunrises and sunsets, and heavenly afternoon views of cloud tops. On full moons, while most head home for a good night's sleep, many local adventurers begin their trek up the volcano. At number two is Haleakala's Full Moon Crater Hike. Haleakala's crater is the serene and smoky landscape of a once-active volcano. Riddled with lava rock and ashy dust, the crater is reminiscent of a Martian countryside, especially under the lunar glow. Many local adventurers wait for this night, and swear by the beauty of it afterwards. This surreal hike, ranging from four to eight miles, will be one of your most treasured Maui memories.

#1

Island Helicopter Ride

Island Helicopter Ride

No matter how many hikes you climb, how many boats you sail, or how many zip lines you traverse, your island experience is not complete until you've seen it from the air. At number one, the biggest Maui adventure is a tour of the island by helicopter. The ride itself is an adventure for anyone new to helicopters, but it's what's outside the windshield that inspires wonderment. Dipping through mountains to lush valleys, a helicopter takes you to secluded waterfalls inaccessible by other means. You'll encounter phenomenal coastal scenes, Haleakala volcano, and steep sea cliffs. Because clouds tend to roll in most afternoons, most companies recommend an early morning trip.

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