Touted as the largest tropical aquaria with a reef in the Western Hemisphere, this impressive oceanfront aquarium has become one of most popular attractions of Maui. With more than 50 marine habitats, a massive ocean exhibit and a Whale Discovery Center, this is a must-see for anyone interested in the undersea world. Guided tours and audio guides are available, and there is an entertaining Keiki Program for the little ones. Check out the Marine Mammal Discovery Center here—it is educational and fun too!
In the early days of Hawaii's Western colonization, trains were used to haul sugar cane from one spot to the other. Eventually, more modern forms of transportation became popular, and today almost nothing can be seen of the original Hawaiian railroads. However, the tracks between Lahaina and Ka'anapali are still functional, and the cherry-red Sugar Cane Train still travels them regularly. A dinner ride is available during the week; check out the website or contact Sugar Cane Train for more information.
Though similar in appearance to mountain caves which are formed over a period of time these tube-like lava caverns are formed within a few weeks of a volcanic eruption. The Hana Lava Tube also known as the Ka’eleku Caverns is one such geological formation formed out of volcanic lava. It consists of stalactites, stalagmite, lava balls and tunnels. Explore the tube with a guided tour and marvel at this mesmerizing natural oddity. Make sure to wear good footwear while visiting this amazing place.
If you are driving too fast on the Hana Highway (which, by the way, is a real no-no), you will miss this garden entirely. Students or fans of botany or natural history will definitely want to keep an eye out for it. On the 123 acres of cultivated gardens, one can view an ancient stone structure thought to be a former king's residence, as well as the largest grove of breadfruit trees in the entire world. Many of the plants and trees in the garden, such as the taro plant and the breadfruit tree, served an important purpose in the day-to-day life of the ancient Hawaiian people. Reservations are required before visiting this beautiful place.
If you cannot manage to move to the island, arrange a tour through this company. With more than 15 years of experience providing adventure/eco-tours, these people are expert guides. They can take you into the heart of the rain forest, under waterfalls, to the summit of Haleakala and down into the crater. Prices are reasonable for a half-day hike. Call or check the website for more information.
It is hard to imagine a more dramatic spectacle than the active Kilauea Volcano. Now visitors to Maui can take this company's helicopter tour over to the Big Island to view the volcano. Tours depart from Kapalua, West Maui Airport and Kahului, Maui. The heli-tour also passes over Maunakea, Hilo and Hana. This is a fantastic way to view a few of Hawaii's most amazing attractions within a two-hour period. Charters are also available. It is recommended that you book tours a few days in advance. Call for pricing information.
Guide Randy shares a wealth of natural history, geological and botanical lore, and island folklore while leading hikers through Maui's magnificent wilderness. Several half-day and full-day hikes are offered, many to areas not usually visited by tourists. The "easy" three-mile Haleakala Waterfall Hike is appropriate for children. Several treks in the West Maui Mountains explore more remote, rugged, rainforest terrain. Snacks and minimal gear is included in tour prices. Discounts are available; check out the website for more information.
The Hāli‘imaile Community Garden is an initiative taken by the local community to usher in a new phase in the community's food production. Encouraging participation from the community members, the garden allots plots of land to each member, and guides them on how to raise their own food, organically. In an age when pesticides and fertilizers are ubiquitous and are being used foolishly, this initiative is a welcome relief, and will greatly benefit the environment in the bigger picture. There are strict rules and regulations that are to be followed for visiting or owning a patch of land here, so do see the website before planning your visit.
Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery is an eco-friendly distillery that produces premium quality vodka. The sugarcane comes from its onsite farm which blends with mineral water from the deep sea to create this popular brand. It is touted to be the only vodka that is made from organic sugarcane. The drink is gluten-free and as close to nature as possible. Tour the facility and relax in the martini garden where you can sip a few strong cocktails amidst strawberries, pineapple and local flora.
Nicknamed the The Cadillac of helicopter tour companies, this tour company aims to provide each guest with a perfect flight experience. Each year, it is awarded a Five Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, proof that it has met its goal. Each helicopter is spacious and comfortable, offering 180-degree views. Tours include: Kilauea Volcano, lava fields, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Hamakua coast, the Kohala coast and Waimanu Valley. Call for tour prices and reservations.
View the natural wonders of Maui from above. The state-of-the-art Black Beauties can get passengers amazingly close to waterfalls, cliffs, craters and other stunning landmarks. Two popular tours are the West Maui Deluxe Tour, which flies over the West Maui Mountains, Lahaina and Ka'anapali, and the Hana/Haleakala Special, which visits the Haleakala Crater, Hana and Ho'okipa Beach. A horseback-helicopter combination tour is offered; call for more information.
Many of Maui's highlights are best viewed from above. This company offers a plethora of excellent helicopter tours, including a West Maui Tour, Hana/Haleakala Tour, Moloka'i Tour and a Complete Island Tour. See Haleakala Crater, the waterfalls of heavenly Hana, the majestic West Maui Mountains and more —the wonders never cease. Tours are between 30 and 65 minutes long and cost USD147.50-318.60 per person . If you would like to plan out your own itinerary, ask about private charters.