Maui is a magical place with so many activities to do. It's hard to pack all the great things to do into even a week-long vacation, but there are so many things you can explore and discover on this island! Here's our list of the best Maui activities you should try when visiting this island. If you want to experience the beauty and charm of Maui, you should go for one of the best Maui activities we have listed below.
There are so many ways to see nature up close here, from hiking and swimming in waterfalls, exploring ancient volcanoes, and going on boat tours where you can see humpback whales breaching in the distance. So read more details about what's possible if you come to this island as your primary destination.
1. Hike Maui's Waterfalls
If you like hiking and want to discover some of the unique beauty of Maui, then you should go to the Wailua Falls on the island's north side. It's an easy hike but takes a couple of hours to complete. The path winds through the tropical jungle with its lush greenery, flowers, and vines. You will also come across various birds and other local fauna.
There is also the 400-foot cascade of the Iao Valley, another popular hiking trail in Maui with views of the island's central plain, mountains, and Hana's coastline. You can also make shorter tracks with kids, such as the Kipu Falls trail, which is also on Maui's north side. It's a quick, easy trail walk and a great place to see waterfalls.
2. Swim with Dolphins
It's one of the most popular things to do in Hawaii and one of the best Maui activities. There are many places in Maui where you can go swimming with dolphins. The best businesses are on the island's West Side, such as the Dolphin Discovery or Pacific Whale Foundation.
You can also go snorkeling with dolphins and swimming with them, such as at the Maui Ocean Center. There are a couple of places in Kohala where you can swim with dolphins. The best time to go swimming with dolphins is between February and September.
3. Whale Watching and Scuba Diving
Maui has many good places to scuba dive and goes whale watching. The best places to go whale watching are between December and April when the humpback whales migrate to Hawaii. The best places to go whale watching are between the islands of Maui, Kaua'i, and the Big Island.
The same areas are also suitable for scuba diving, and the season is between October and May. The best places to go scuba diving are on the Maui islands, known as the "Garden Island" and the "Hawaiian Island of Tropical Marine Life."
4. Explore Maui's Volcanoes
If you are interested in history and culture, you should visit the Haleakala National Park and the Iliamna Volcano. The Haleakala National Park is one of the oldest on the island and is home to a dormant volcano.
There are many hiking trails in the park, and you can also go to the summit to see the sunrise from the highest point in all of the Hawaiian Islands at 10,000 feet. There's also the Iliamna Volcano, an active volcano you can explore and hike. There are also cultural places to see, such as the Hana, a small town in the east of the island, where you can see old Hawaiian ways of living.
5. Drive the Road to Hana
If you want a drive different from anything you've ever done, you should drive the Road to Hana. It is an iconic drive on the island's East Side and goes through beautiful scenery and lush greenery. There are many waterfalls, mountains, and beaches that you can see along the way. You can also take many stops along the way to explore these places. There are also many places to eat along the way to get fresh foods.
You can also visit the Hana Cultural Center, where you can see Hawaiian artifacts. There are many places to stay along the way to Hana, such as the Wailua Falls, where you can swim, the Twin Falls, where you can hike, the Hana Bay, where you can kayak, the Hana Beach, where you can surf, the Hana Plantation, where you can go on a tour, the Hana House, where you can stay, the Pi'ilani Heiau, where you can go down a zip line, and the Steep Road to Hana, where you can drive.
6. Kayak in Maui's Estuaries
You can also kayak in the estuaries found in many Maui places. They are brackish ponds that are a mix of fresh and saltwater. There are many estuaries in Maui, such as the Mamo and Wailua rivers and the Honokowai, Kiawe, and Waihee lakes. There are many birds, fish, and other marine life you can see in estuaries, and they are lovely places to kayak.
7. Take a Sunset Cocktail Cruise or Dinner Cruise
If you want to see the beautiful sunset over the ocean, you should go on a sunset cocktail cruise or dinner cruise. There are a lot of places in Maui where you can go on a sunset cruise, such as Lahaina Harbor, Maalaea Harbor, Napili Harbor, Honokohau Harbor, Kihei Boat Harbor, and the Hana Harbor. You can also take many kinds of cruises, such as snorkel cruises, whale watching cruises, dinner cruises, sunset cruises, and pleasure cruises.
Many hiking routes in Iao Valley State Park lead to or provide excellent views of the Iao Needle. The 0.6-mile Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop, a paved footpath that passes through a botanical garden before arriving at the famous rock formation, is the most well-liked route.
Although the park offers restrooms (placed at the start of the Lookout Trail), no drinking water or other refreshments are available on the grounds. This is true even if you don't intend to venture beyond the Iao Needle Lookout Trail.
8. Helicopter rides
Consider taking a helicopter trip to experience Maui from a bird's eye after seeing it through a fish's eyes. Recent tourists admit that viewing Maui from the air is a fantastic sight. Still, they also call this experience a "splurge" (tour ticket prices typically start at $275 per person, depending on the tour operator and the flight length).
Additionally, helicopters can reach areas of the island that are inaccessible by boat, vehicle, or foot. Regardless of the path you pick, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Maui's waterfalls, craters, cliffs, and valleys. Air Maui, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, and Maverick Helicopters are a few of the most well-known operators.
There are so many great things to do in Maui, and you will not be able to do them all in just a couple of days. So it would help if you planned your vacation correctly to make the most of your time on this beautiful island. If you want to explore the natural beauty of Maui, you need to go for things like hiking, swimming with dolphins, driving to Hana, or exploring Maui's volcanoes. So make sure to check out our list of the best Maui activities to do and make the most of your time on this fantastic island. Follow leisure.com for more trip suggestions and travel advice.
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