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Maui – Outdoor Adventures

Photo by David Bjorn / Photo Resource Hawaii

 

Take a walk—or a sail, snorkel or hike—on the wild side with an outdoor adventure on Maui. From easygoing golfing along the coastline to trekking the interior of the Mars-like Haleakala volcano, you’re sure to find an experience that will be unforgettable.

To plan your perfect Maui vacation itinerary, read on for great ideas, including Outdoor Adventures, Peaceful Retreats & Cultural Journeys, Scenic Spots, Nonstop Shopping and Family Fun. Then visit our list of Perfect Partners below.

 

On the Water

Surfing might be the ultimate “Hawaii” activity; in fact, the sport as we know it today actually began in Old Hawaii. You can book a lesson or sign up for surf camp through one of Maui’s many surf schools. Most also offer lessons in stand-up paddleboarding, the latest trend. Between June and November, try jet skiing off Kaanapali Beach—a real rush on the waves.

Maui’s also a great place for ocean kayaking, and tour companies offer kayaking adventures along almost every coastline on the island. If you’re already an experienced kayaker, you can also rent equipment and explore on your own. For a different mode of travel, try ocean rafting. These boats skim you along sea caves and lava arches, plus take you to exceptional snorkeling spots.

Each year humpback whales swim all the way from Alaska to winter in Hawaii, arriving in late November and returning home by April. Maui is arguably the best place in the Islands to whale-watch; and although you may see whales from the shoreline, a whale-watching excursion enables you to witness these magnificent giants up close. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Maui’s undersea world is home to many other incredible creatures. Rays, dolphins, turtles and countless tropical fish thrive in the crystalline waters along the reef and in the open ocean. The best way to see them is on a snorkeling or scuba-diving boating tour, and Maui offers an endless variety to choose from. One of the favorite snorkeling and scuba-diving destinations is Molokini, a partially submerged volcanic islet off Maui’s south shore. You can also rent your own equipment and explore spots such as Puu Kekaa (Black Rock), Honolua Bay or Kapalua Bay. To stay dry underwater, join in a submarine adventure off Lahaina.

On the Land

Find adventure across Maui’s incredibly diverse landscapes. One of the island’s most popular activities is a post-sunrise biking trip down Haleakala Crater’s 23 switchbacks, offering exhilarating views and fresh mountain air.

Another great activity on Maui is horseback riding. Upcountry Maui is the historic home of the paniolo—or “Hawaiian cowboy”—and ranchlands with miles of trails dot the slopes. Ride the range, or join a riding group through Haleakala Crater, the jungles of Hana or other unique island locations.

Maui hiking is exceptional, with many different types of trails. Hike the interior of Haleakala Crater—more like Mars than Earth—or explore the North Shore’s jungle waterfalls. Iao Valley hikes meander through rich forest reserves and deep valleys, and West Maui’s Kapalua trails crisscross through the mountains and along the sea. The Hawaii government provides information and topographic maps for 20 Maui hikes at http://hawaiitrails.ehawaii.gov. Also consider a guided hiking tour, the best way to stay safe in Hawaii’s wilderness.

How could we leave out golfing? Swing into outdoor fun on one of Maui’s 14 public-access courses, including PGA-tournament courses and courses designed by pro golfers. Not only is golfing one of Hawaii’s most popular sports, it can also be played here year-round.

In the Air

Ever wish you could soar like a bird? Between the months of June and November, try parasailing. You’ll be lifted as high as 1,000 feet above the ocean for spectacular vistas. Or, coast above tropical forest and waterfalls at one of Maui’s more than 30 incredible ziplines. No visit to Maui is complete without a helicopter tour, offering unbelievable aerial views of West Maui’s waterfalls and valleys, Hana rain forests, Haleakala Crater and more.

 

 

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