Whether you want to catch the glimpse of awe-inspiring sunrise at Haleakala National Park; take to the water on a whale-watching adventure; snorkel around Molokini; or taste some of the Hawaiian Islands' best pineapples, there's is a tour in this list that fits well with your interests. Analyzing both expert opinion and traveller sentiment, we've determined more than a dozen of the best, which all feature trained veteran guides keen to share their insights about the Valley Isle’s astonishing nature, lip-smacking cuisine, enchanting history, and rich culture.
Hike Maui – Waterfall and Rainforest Hiking Adventure
This unforgettable five-hour adventure allows you to experience lush rainforests and enjoy seeing (and if you dare, jumping off) stunning waterfalls along the spectacular Hana Highway along the coast. Rates from $155.
Air Maui – Doors Off West Maui and Molokai
With more than a quarter century of experience as well as a perfect safety record, this outfit offers visitors the best helicopter tours over the dramatic West Maui Mountains, then the equally impressive sea cliffs and waterfalls of the craggy north coast of Molokai island right across the water. Rates from $304.
Bike Maui – Sunrise Guided Tour
It's the stunning sunrise that lures many visitors to the summit of Haleakala National Park. A van drives you up there at dawn, then after witnessing its glory and having a look at the dramatic crater, you contine for an eight-hour, 23-mile ride down through the park's volcanic landscape to the charming upcountry town of Haiku. Rates from $230.
Temptation Tours – The Hana Ultimate Tour
Picking you up and dropping you off wherever you're staying, this full-day excursion in a luxury "limo van" of up to eight along the Hana Highway includes stops at, among other places, rainforested Kaumahina State Park; the village of Ke'anae; Waikani Falls; and Ho'okipa and Wai'anapanapa beaches. Breakfast in Pa'ia and lunch in Hana are also part of the package. Magical! Rates from $279.
Skyline Hawaii – Kaanapali 8-Line Zipline Adventure
Some 150 feet above the Kaanapali resort area, it's three hours worth of thrilling whizzing down a series of zips with enchanting views of the ocean and the West Maui Mountains. Rates from $170.
Maui Easy Riders – The Original Haleakala Downhill Bike Ride - Group Tour
The island's most experienced bike tour company offers affordable guided and self-guided tours beginng and ending in Paia. A van takes you up the slope of Haleakala (aka the East Maui Volcano), right outside Haleakala National Park, then it's a 25-mile glide taking four to five hours down through gorgeous farmland including a stop in the cute little town of Makawao. There's a morning and a sunset version. Rates from $225.
Redline Rafting – Molokini Crater Snorkeling
This partially submerged volcanic crater off the coast Molokini is a Federal marine reserve and home to a reef teeming with more than 250 species of fantastic marine life - including not just but green turtles, spinner dolphins, and in winter you might even spot humpback whales. Redline's excursion lasts five hours, and it's an underwater extravaganza! Rates from $189.
Pride of Maui – Sunset Luau Dinner Cruise
In addition to a lavish dinner spread and open bar, this 5-7 pm excursion out of the tiny south-coast village of Maalaea includes mesmerizing traditional Polynesian music and dancing. Rates from $159 adults, $99 kids.
Four Winds II – Snorkel Molokini Crater
Also five hours in duration, this tour to magical Molokini is a somewhat less pricey alternative to Redline Rafting, above, and also includes an underwater viewing room and an add-on option for SNUBA, which is a kind of diving supported by an oxygen tank floating on the surface above. Rates from $150 adults, $115 kids.
Maui Bombers – Cycle to the Sea
Another variation on the ride down the slope of Haleakala - through bucolic Haleakala Ranch and with stops in Makawao as well as another upcountry town, Kula. The Bombers tour is priced the same as the Maui Easy Riders option above, so for comparison check the websites and reviews of each. Great for almost all ages, from eight to 82. Rates from $225.
Alii Nui Maui – Royal Sunset Dinner Sail
For a touch of the romantic, the luxury, 65-foot-long catamaran Alii Nui offers a 2½-hour adults-only cruise including a lovely meal spread. It sets sail from Maalaea, around midway along the south coast. Snorkeling sailings (as well as whale watching in season) are also offered earlier in the day. Rates from $249.
Kapalua Ziplines – Dual Zipline Adventure
Above the Kapalua resort up on the northwest coast, this outfit takes you in an ATV 1,600 feet up the slopes of a volcano and offers the island's only dual-zipline setup, where guests can whizz along side by side for two miles over the jungle canopy. The views out over the coast reaching as far as neighboring Molokai and Lanai islands, and you can also them in more sedately from its 360-foot suspension bridge, Maui's longest. Comparable in price to Skyline Hawaii above. Rates from $179.
Unique among these outfits because it's run by a non-profit, the Pacific Whale Foundation, PacWhale runs a menu of cruises out of Lahaina for snorkeling, whale and dolphin-watching, and cocktails and/or dinner at sunset and in the evening. Rates from $90.
Discover Hawaii – Snorkel Molokini and Turtle Arches
Another five-hour cruise out of Ma'alaea, on a 120-foot catamaran, it also includes a stint at Turtle Arches off Maluaka Beach, a breathtaking reef known for its submarine lava arches and dubbed "turtle town" because of its abundance of giant green seat turtles. Yes, you get to snorkel amongst these majestic creatures - but remember, they're endangered, so look, don't touch!
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