Monday, July 18, 2016

Maui's Best Tours

For such a small island, Maui sure packs an adventurous punch. There is a myriad of outdoor activities and tours to participate in on the Valley Isle. We’ve sifted through the humdrum, mundane and bland and compiled a list of the best tours on Maui. From biking down the face of a volcano to sampling locally brewed beers, you’re sure to find a memorable excursion the whole gang can enjoy!

Outrigger Canoe Tours

A staple of Hawaiian culture, locals have utilized outrigger canoes as a form of transportation for nearly 2,000 years. The folks at Hawaiian Paddle Sports are keeping the tradition alive with cultural, educational and environmentally sustainable canoe excursions. Each tour offers educational interludes that include rope making and snorkeling. Tours range in difficulty from the calm waters of Turtle Town to an exhilarating 9-mile roundtrip to Molokini Crater.

Helicopter Island Sightseeing Tours

The best way to capture the beauty of Maui in photos is to take a helicopter tour of the island. The aerial views of stunning coastlines, cascading waterfalls and dense tropical rain forests make this the perfect tour for shutterbugs visiting Hawaii. The Hana Rainforest Landing tour in particular offers a flight across the eastern half of the island with a landing at the company’s exclusive site on a former taro plantation in the heart of lush Hana Rainforest. Passengers have a half hour to explore the surrounding wilderness. With the best safety record in the industry, you can fly with confidence.

Stargazing Tours

Billed as the “ultimate science-based activity” in Hawaii, Maui Stargazing tours offer an intimate glimpse into the cosmos as guided by expert astronomers from atop the 10,000-foot summit of Haleakala. Stargazers will arrive at the dormant volcano’s peak just in time for a pristine ocean sunset. The astronomer will present a laser-guided tour of the constellations, and each person will get at least an hour of telescope time. As darkness settles, you’ll observe “the visible planets and deep sky objects of the Milky Way, including nebulae and star clusters and the galaxies beyond, through a 12-inch aperture Dobsonian telescope!” As an added perk, Maui Stargazing supplies outwear should it be a chilly night, bottled water and a light snack during this two-hour tour.

Maui Brewing Company Tour

Take a break from all the sunshine to enjoy some beer tasting at Maui Brewing Co. For a surprisingly low $15, the local brewery takes visitors on a tour of the facilities, including an up-close look at the brew house, collar and packaging line. Then the fun part: the tour concludes with a tasting of the company’s flagship line of island-style barley pop. Each guest also receives a token for a full beer as well as a souvenir glass. After such an exciting tour and a handful of local brews, you'll be well prepared for an afternoon on the beach.

Sail Boat Tour

Snorkel around Molokini Crater in style when you take a sailing catamaran across the ocean to the centuries old volcano. The spacious vessel transports you to two different snorkel spots around the islet for variety and privacy. Seafarers are also treated to delicious food and adult beverages during the five-hour tour. TripAdvisor named this tour the No. 5 tour in the country.

Downhill Bike Tour

For the more adventurous, a downhill bike tour on the side of Haleakala affords unique thrills. Reserved for small groups of eight or less, these fast-paced tours cut out the pedaling, allowing you to focus on the panoramic scenery. Departing from the town of Paia, the guide will drive passengers 6,600 feet above the sea to Haleakala National Park, making note of points of interest along the way. The thrilling 25-mile downhill tour is relaxing and enjoyable for all skill levels. You’ll make brief stops at the towns of Kula and Makawao along the way, ending up exactly where you started, Paia beach.

Coastal Zipline Tour

Experience the thrill of a half-mile zipline along the northwest coast of Maui. With seven different lines to choose from, Kapalua Ziplines is a premier attraction on the island. A handful  of the runs will have you flying at speeds nearly reaching 60 mph. You have the option of navigating the entire 9,750 feet of line on the seven-line tour, taking an abbreviated 5,350-feet four-line tour or the Full Moon Tour under the light of the Maui moon.

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