Maalaea Beach: The Best Maui Beach for Seeing Sea Turtles

Who doesn’t want to spot some sea turtles while sunbathing on a beach in Maui? Luckily, there are a few beaches in the Maalaea area that are known as sea turtle hot spots. Maalaea is less busy than Kihei or Makena beach areas, so the turtles might feel safer along the shore here.

Whatever the reason, if you want to get closer to the sea turtles, Maalaea Bay Beach (Haycraft Park) and Sugar Beach are good bets. Maalaea Bay Beach is located on the north end of Maalaea Bay and is a popular spot for snorkeling and watching sea turtles, while Sugar Beach is located on the south end of Maalaea Bay and is also a good place to see sea turtles. So you’ll have a high probability of seeing a sea turtle no matter which beach you choose.

Maalaea Beach and Sugar Beach are great areas for sea turtle watching.

8 tips for successful sea turtle viewing in Maalaea

  1. Check the local ocean conditions and time of day, as turtles are more active when the water is calmer and more clear. Turtles typically come out in the morning and late afternoon, so plan your visit accordingly.
  2. Look for signs of turtle activity, such as trails in the sand and bubble trails on the surface of the water. Turtles often leave a trail of bubbles on the surface of the water when they come up for air, which can be a great indicator that turtles are nearby.
  3. Visit the turtle cleaning stations located at the Maalaea Harbor and Maalaea Bay — a sea turtle cleaning station is a place where turtles and other animals go to seek out fish that eat the algae off their shells.These cleaning stations are great places to spot sea turtles, as they are often attracted to the area due to the abundance of food.
  4. Go snorkeling, especially in the morning, when sea turtles are more active above the water. This is a great way to spot turtles without having to dive too deep.
  5. Walk the rocky ends of the beach at Maalaea, as it is home to many sea turtles who feed and nest in the area. The area is full of reefs and tidal pools that are great for turtle spotting.
  6. Make sure to have a good pair of binoculars on hand to spot turtles from the shore. Binoculars are essential for spotting turtles (and all sorts of birds) from a distance.
  7. Avoid touching or harassing the turtles, and remain a respectful distance away. Keep in mind that turtles are wild animals, and it is important to give them their space.
  8. Be aware of the marine regulations and fishing restrictions in the area. It is important to know the regulations so that you do not unintentionally break any laws or disturb the local wildlife.

Where to go for sea turtle watching

In general, sea turtles can be found at many of the beaches along the southern and western coasts of Maui, as these areas have relatively clear and calm waters that are conducive to sea turtle habitat.

It is important to remember to respect the sea turtles and observe them from a distance, as they are a protected species and it is illegal to touch or harass them.

There are several factors that make Maalaea Beach a great place to see sea turtles:

  • the beach is home to a large population of green sea turtles, which are often seen swimming and basking on the shore.
  • The shallow waters at Maalaea Beach make it easy for visitors to spot the turtles, even from the shore.
  • This stretch of beach isn’t as busy as other beaches, and turtles are more likely to be left alone.
Maalaea Beach. Lots of sand and lots of space for sea turtles to lounge.

When to go to Maalaea to spot sea turtles

If you want to increase your chances of seeing sea turtles at Maalaea Beach, it’s best to visit during the early morning or late afternoon, as this is when the turtles are most active. If you want to experience the turtles on their home turf, bring snorkeling gear. You will get some exercise and an amazing look at the turtles and other marine life in the area.

Sea turtles on the beach in Maalaea
Sea turtles often look like the rocks on the beach they hang out beside. Good cover!

What else to see at Maalaea Beach

  • Maalaea Beach is a 6-mile stretch of beach that is perfect for viewing the sunrise and sunset. The calm water in the morning provides a great setting for paddle boarding, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and sunbathing.
  • The Kihei Canoe Club offers sunrise paddles on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:45am. Near the canoe club is a fishing pier that is another ideal spot from which to view sea turtles.
  • If visitors head further east, they may be able to spot some stingrays swimming close to shore.
  • Between December and February, visitors may be lucky enough to spot a whale while walking along the beach.
  • The boardwalk leading to KeLia Pond is located to the west. At the pond, visitors can observe a variety of waterfowl, including Hawaiian stilt, Hawaiian coor, ducks, and various shore birds. Binoculars are recommended for optimal viewing.
  • Beachcombing is also popular at Maalaea Beach, although it is illegal and considered bad luck in Hawaii to take any pieces of coral or rock from the beach. The sand is a light brown color with areas of black and gold sand near the pond.
  • Further west is a reef that provides decent snorkeling opportunities and a chance to spot some crabs. Maalaea Beach is an ideal spot for visitors to Hawaii looking for a variety of activities and stunning views.

Overall, Maalaea Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in seeing sea turtles on Maui and avoiding some of the crowds in the more touristy areas. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or simply want to enjoy the beauty of the island’s marine life, this beach is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Maui Downhill Bike Tour: The Ultimate Way to Explore the Island’s Scenic Beauty

Maui is known for its breathtaking landscapes, and there’s no better way to experience them than on a downhill bike tour. These self-guided tours (with expert advice available) take you on a 5- to 6-hour ride down the slopes of the island’s mountains, offering spectacular views of the coast and the surrounding rainforests at your own pace. Explore Maui’s scenery by bike in one morning; you don’t have to be a pro or even athletic to love this ride — simply take it easy and let gravity do the work on a downhill ride with amazing views.

Views for miles, and this isn’t even the fun part of the ride.

Beaches are nice for the average tourist, but looking at a panoramic view of the shoreline while racing down a mountain is an experience reserved for the adventurous few.

Haleakala Downhill Self-Guided Bike Tour

Maui’s Downhill Bike Tour (By Maui Sunriders Bike Co., although there are many other operators offering similar tours) is an unforgettable experience that will take you on an adventurous ride through the stunning scenery of Haleakala Crater and down the paved road through Kula and down to Paia.

This self-guided tour starts at the summit of the world’s largest dormant volcano and winds its way down the slopes of the crater, providing spectacular views of the island’s mix of lush rainforests and volcanic plains. The tour begins with a safety briefing and equipment check, a shuttle up Haleakala crater, followed by an exciting ride down the slopes of the crater.

Riding the bikes down the Haleakala mountain with family. So much fun. It was my 3rd time doing it. One of my favorite activities in Maui.

The tour is designed to accommodate all skill levels and ages 15 years and older, and offers a choice between a standard downhill ride and a more challenging downhill freeride option. The freeride option is a more challenging downhill ride that includes jumps and drops, as well as tight turns and steep descents. It is designed for more experienced cyclists and offers an adrenaline-filled journey down the slopes of Haleakala Crater.

The bike route down the mountain, courtesy of Maui Sunriders. Take lots of photos on the way down

The Basic Itinerary for the Downhill Bike Tour

Starting from 6,500 feet up Haleakala Volcano on the upper switchbacks, you will get to explore the stunning scenery and culture of the island. After about an hour you’ll be in Kula.

Bike down Haleakala to Kula

The first stop on your downhill tour is the Kula Community, located at about 3,200 feet on the western slopes of Haleakala. Enjoy the beautiful neighborhood and take the time to explore.

Choose an early morning or sunrise downhill ride. You’ll have more fun than you expect.

Continue the ride from Kula to Makawao

Continue your cycling journey for another hour or so, to the historic town of Makawao. Located on the slopes of Haleakala, Makawao is rich in paniolo heritage and has plenty of places to eat and shop.

With self-paced tour, you have more freedom to take breaks and explore the area.

End your downhill ride in Paia

After another hour of riding, you’ll finish your tour in the charming beach town of Paia. Return your bike and check out the unique shops and art galleries sprinkled throughout this artsy town. Paia Fish Market and Mama’s Fish House are popular spots for lunch, but may require a reservation.

Maui’s downhill bike tour is the perfect way to explore the island and make lasting memories. So book your tour today and get ready for an incredible adventure, and make your vacation your own!

What a gorgeous day coasting down Haleakala our group of 7 had! We were well prepared from our guides Jimmy and Shaymus. We were able to stop in Makawao to pick up trinkets and delicious cookies from the Cookie Lady! We took the morning tour that requires us to get to the bike shop at 8:45 A.M. and we got back at 1:00 P.M.

ATV and Off-Roading Tours on Maui: Splurge For It

Maui offers more off-roading adventures and ATV tours than you can shake a dirty stick at. Wherever you are on the island, you can find an ATV tour operator willing to take you out for some off-roading adventures in paradise. Some of the most popular ATV tours on Maui with the highest user reviews include:

  • Maui Off-Road Adventures
  • Maui Mountain Activities
  • Jungle Tours Maui
  • Maui Motor Adventures (motorcycles, dirt bikes)
  • Maui Mountain Activities
  • Haleakala Eco Tours
  • Hoaloha Jeep Adventures
A few of the ATV or off-roading tours on Maui, mostly West and North Maui

Where are the ATV tours located?

Most ATV tours are based out of West Maui, and offer 2- to 3-hour tours by ATV, UTV, or jeep out in the West Maui Mountains or Haleakala National Park. Some include drives that get up-close-and-personal to a waterfall or two

From Maui Off-Road Adventures

UTV tours are especially fun since you can experience the same ride with someone sitting in the seat beside you.

Which ATV tours consistently receive the highest user ratings?

The tours that consistently receive the highest user ratings are Maui Off-Road Adventures, Maui Mountain Activities LLC, Kipu Ranch ATV Tours, and Hoaloha Jeep Adventures.

People generally like these tours because they get to take an active part in exploring a side of Maui few get to see, and offer a unique view of the West Maui Mountains and some fun in the sun away from the beach. Others may be looking for a unique experience to bond with family and friends. If you enjoy the thrill of tackling challenging terrain, the outdoor off-road tours provide an opportunity to do this.

What to expect when you go ATV riding on Maui

For most of the tours, you will get to drive the ATV yourself. However, some tours may require a guide to lead the way and provide instruction on how to properly operate the ATV.

On an ATV tour, you can expect an adrenaline-filled experience, or at least a fun ride out in the fresh air with views of the West Maui Mountains. The tour is more fun with your friends and family with you, of course.

For around $200 to $400 per person, you will be provided with safety equipment and instruction on how to properly operate the ATV, and away you go. Most tours will include a guide to lead the way and provide additional tips on navigating the terrain, and you may want to pack a good wool buff or something to cover your nose and mouth to prevent the inhalation of dust.

Things to know about driving an all-terrain vehicle in Maui

Do you need a license to drive an ATV in Maui?

All you need is a valid driver’s license and you’re ready to hit the trails! The minimum age to drive an ATV is 18 in Hawaii.

What do you wear on an ATV in Maui?

When you go on an ATV or off-roading tour in Maui, it’s important to dress for the weather and environment. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty, like jeans or shorts, and a t-shirt or tank top. It’s also a good idea to bring a light jacket in case it gets chilly. You’ll want to wear closed-toed shoes like sneakers or hiking boots to protect your feet, and make sure to bring a hat or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and any flying dirt.

  • Closed-toed sneakers or running shoes
  • Shorts or long pants, depending on the terrain
  • Sun glasses (to keep the mud out of your eyes)
  • Hat to protect your eyes from sun
  • Perhaps a clean change of clothes for after the tour if you get rained on

Looking for another type of adventure on Maui?

Parasailing in Maui: for the Adventurous Vacationer

Have you ever wanted to soar through the sky like a bird? If so, parasailing in Maui is the perfect way to make that dream come true, without the risk that goes with other high-altitude adventure sports.

Parasailing offers a unique and exciting way to take in the beauty of Maui from a bird’s eye view. You can see the Islands from above the crystal-clear (or wavy) turquoise waters as you glide through the air, feeling the wind and sun on your face. It’s truly an unforgettable eight to ten minutes. Perfect for newlyweds as a way to set the standard for a good time.

Photo from West Maui Parasail

Parasailing is safer and easier than you think

But parasailing isn’t just a great way to take in the sights. It’s also a fun and safe adventure activity that requires little from you. You get to sit floating in the air suspended by a huge sail, and be pulled around by lines attached to a boat. The equipment used is inspected and maintained to the highest safety standards, and your certified captain and crew will make sure you have all the necessary safety gear and instructions.

What to expect when you go parasailing

When you’re ready to take off, you’ll be securely strapped into a harness and connected to the parasail. The boat will then take off and tow the parasail, lifting you off the ground and into the air.

You’ll be able to control your altitude and direction, giving you complete control of your flight. But the best part of parasailing in Maui is the feeling of freedom you get when you’re flying through the air. You can take in the breathtaking views of the island, the ocean, and the nearby islands. It’s truly an experience like no other. So if you’re looking for a thrilling and unique adventure in Maui, make sure to give parasailing a try. You won’t regret it!

How to book a parasailing experience

The best time to go parasailing is in the morning’s calm winds, before the afternoon winds pick up strength.

Highly rated parasailing operators include Maui Parasail, and UFO Parasail, and operate on West Maui out of Kaanapali and Lahaina locations.

Of the two locations, Lahaina is a little less windy than Kaanapali, so you are most likely to avoid a cancellation due to windy weather if you book at the Lahaina location in a morning slot, From May to December (no parasailing during the humpback migration).

Both companies have excellent reviews from previous guests.

How much does it cost to parasail in Maui?

The cost of parasailing in Maui will vary depending on the package you choose and the length of your flight. However, most companies offer packages that range from $50 to $150 per person, plus a fee for any observers in your group watching from the boat.

UFO Parasail Maui Prices as of 2023:

  • 1200 Ft Out-of-this-World Per Person $136
  • Observer Per Person $79
  • [source]
  • UFO Parasail offers discounts for certain groups with proof of credentials

West Maui Parasail Prices as of 2023:

  • Single 1200 ft. ($133.48 + taxes/fees)
  • Tandem (one tandem equals TWO People) 1200 ft. ($266.96 + taxes/fees)
  • Triple (one triple equals THREE People) 1200 ft. ($400.44 + taxes/fees)
  • Observer (Space Available – one per boat $72.83 + taxes/fees)
  • [source]
West Maui Parasail offers discounts, check their discount page for the codes

Is parasailing recommended for children?

Parasailing is a fun and safe activity for kids to enjoy too, as long as they meet the age and weight requirements.

Minimum age requirements to parasail in Maui

For West Maui Parasail: “Minimum age requirement is 6 years old. Children between 6 and 12 must fly with an adult parent or guardian of 18 years or older.”

For UFO Parasail: “Participants must be at least 5 years old. Parasailors must weigh at least 160 pounds (73 kilograms) to fly alone. Tandem and triple flights are available with a maximum weight limit of 450 pounds (204 kilograms).”

It is always a good idea to have an adult accompany any children parasailing, even if they are older, to take photos and share some quality bonding time suspended mid-air where no one can escape from awkward conversations.

How long is a typical parasailing experience, and will I get wet?

A typical parasailing experience usually lasts anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes, despite the number of people on the boat. During on your flight, you will likely not get wet unless you request a quick ocean touch, as the parasail experience is designed to keep you dry and above the clouds (or close enough to them to make you feel like you’re in the clouds). However, you may get splashed by the waves near the boat, so it is a good idea to bring a towel just in case.

How does the parasail land?

Most parasails will land on the beach or in the water on the boat landing spot, depending on the wind and weather conditions. The captain and crew will ensure a safe and smooth landing, and will provide any necessary instructions.

Shows the takeoff and landing when parasailing in Maui.

Once you get hooked on the views, try paragliding next or go find another adventure to experience while you’re on Maui.

Solo or Tandem Paragliding on Maui: Heavenly Views

Paragliding in Maui is an incredible experience that provides breathtaking views and an unforgettable feeling of contentment. Whether you’re an experienced paraglider or a first-timer ready to take the leap, the stunning scenery and (usually) favorable weather conditions make Maui an ideal destination for this peaceful activity above the mountain tops.

So, why should you go paragliding in Maui?

“Unlike skydiving, which provides more of an adrenaline rush, paragliding left me feeling happy and content.”

Megan Moseley

Stunning scenery of Maui from on high

Proflyght Maui paragliding tour
Photo from

Maui is known for its stunning scenery and breathtaking views, and paragliding provides a unique perspective of the island’s natural beauty. From the sky, you’ll see the lush forest reserves and desert-like crater; pristine beaches of black, red and gold sand; and crystal clear waters interrupted by powerful waves colliding with the rocks, in a way that’s impossible from the ground.

Bonding adventure to make memories that last a lifetime

For the newbies out there — so you’ve heard about paragliding in Maui and you’re ready to give it a try, but you may be wondering what it’s all about and why it’s such an awesome experience. Well, let me tell you: paragliding in Maui is an amazing adventure that you won’t soon forget!

Paragliding is an adrenaline-fueled adventure that’s perfect for thrill-seekers or first-time bucket list experiencers. Soaring through the air, feeling the wind in your face, and taking in the stunning views of Maui is an experience like no other.

Safe and Accessible

Paragliding in Maui is a safe activity, and the island is home to many experienced and certified instructors who can guide you through the experience. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced paraglider, you’ll have a safe and enjoyable time in Maui. Their business depends on it, if that provides more peace-of-mind.

When you go paragliding in Maui, you’ll be provided with all the necessary gear, including a paraglider, a harness, and a helmet. You’ll also be accompanied by an experienced instructor who will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. The instructor will provide you with instructions on how to take off, land, and maneuver the paraglider, as well as safety tips and other guidelines. The best part of paragliding in Maui is that it’s suitable for all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced flyer, you’ll be able to find a tour that fits your needs. And once you’re in the air, you’ll be able to see why so many people love paragliding in Maui.

How do you go paragliding in Maui?

The steps to go paragliding on Maui as a visitor include finding a reputable paragliding company (most likely Paraglide Maui), booking a flight, completing the necessary paperwork, and attending a safety briefing before the flight, then doing the fun thing!

If you can run for 5 seconds, you can paraglide.

Paraglide Maui 1K Briefing for Guests

Steps to go paragliding if you’re renting the equipment from an operator:

  • Choose a reputable paragliding operator: There are many paragliding operators in Maui, but it’s important to choose one that’s reputable and has a good safety record. Do your research and read reviews from previous customers to ensure you’re in good hands.
  • Book a lesson or orientation: If you’re a first-timer, it’s recommended to book a lesson with an experienced instructor. They’ll provide you with the necessary training and equipment, and guide you through your first paragliding experience. If you’re a visitor, you’ll need to clear your launch with the private land owner.
  • Arrive prepared: Before your paragliding session, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and have a good attitude. You’re here to have fun and live a little!
  • Enjoy the experience: Once you’re in the air, relax and enjoy the experience. Take in the stunning views of Maui and savor the thrill of soaring through the sky.

Reputable paragliding operators in Maui

The main launch area is on private land managed by Proflyght / Paraglide Maui. They offer a smooth and personalized paragliding experience, with a variety of options to choose from, including solo flights, lower launch flights, and tandem flights. They use state-of-the-art equipment and employ experienced and certified instructors to ensure a safe and enjoyable flight.

Polipoli flight park launch

The main spot for paragliding on Maui is the Haleakalā launch at Polipoli Flight Park. It is a popular launch site for paragliding and hang gliding, located in the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area, near the summit of the Kula Forest Reserve. The park offers incredible views of the surrounding forests, as well as the nearby towns of Kula, Pukalani, and Makawao.

paragliding flight launch and landing sites in Maui
Paragliding flight launch and landing sites. Photo from

As the launch is located near the summit of the Haleakalā volcano, naturally it offers some of the best views on the island. At this launch site, you can take off and soar over the lush forests and rolling hills of the volcano. The views of the volcano, the surrounding valleys, and the ocean are simply breathtaking. This launch area is on private property and is managed by Proflyght Paragliding / Paraglide Maui, so if you are a visiting pilot, contact them first.

One of the key features of Polipoli Flight Park is the variety of flying conditions it offers. The park is located at a high elevation, and the prevailing trade winds make it a great location for soaring and cross-country flights. The park also offers great conditions for beginner pilots, with soft and gentle thermals that make it an ideal place to learn how to fly.

Flying on your own

If you are a visitor, Flight Park Fees are $10 per day or $50 per year. All visiting pilots MUST have an orientation BEFORE flying. The orientation fee is $50. Instruction and guide service is $150 per hour.


Read the rules and regulations and pricing info for paragliding on your own, directly from Paraglide Maui’s visitor pilot info page.

How much does paragliding on Maui cost?

Paragliding with a company in Maui typically costs between $220 and $350, depending on the launch elevation tour selected and the number of people in your group.

The cost is for the shuttle and to hire an experienced guide to make sure you have a safe and successful flight.

Paragliding on Maui is a sport that requires common sense. If you are a beginner, it is important to take lessons and find an experienced instructor to guide you. Even easier — just fly tandem with an instructor and you can relax the whole time.

Most tours can accommodate up to six people at a time, so it’s a great activity to do with a friend or family member.

Paragliding vs. Parasailing in Maui

Paragliding and parasailing both involve gliding through the air, but there are a few key differences between the two activities. Paragliding is more of an independent activity, where you use a paraglider to soar through the air on your own or in tandem. A harness is used to keep you safely attached to the paraglider, but you’ll be in charge of taking off, landing, and maneuvering the paraglider.

Parasailing, on the other hand, is a more passive activity. You’ll be securely attached to a parasail, which will be towed by a boat. This means that you won’t have to worry about taking off, landing, or maneuvering the parasail. Both activities are fun and exhilarating, so it really comes down to personal preference.

If you’re an experienced flyer, paragliding is probably your best option as it gives you more control over your flight. Beginners may prefer parasailing, as it allows them to take in the sights without having to worry about piloting the parasail.

Or maybe you just want to keep your feet firmly on soil and go for a hike, or find another adventure.

Adventure Mountain Biking on Maui?

Here’s a look at some of the mountain biking offered on Maui, and the trails locals know and love.

Maui does have a few great trails that are satisfying for a morning workout on dirt and roots, but if you’re a hardcore technical rider you might have better luck on Molokai. That’s not to say Maui doesn’t have any downhill trails — it boasts a few — but most companies cater to tourists who want to rent a bike and go on a tour on some mostly paved trails to experience the beauty of Maui in that pampered vacation-y way.

Ride the Haleakala Crater Trail

The Haleakala Crater Trail is probably the main and therefore most popular mountain biking trail on Maui, also known as the Skyline Downhill ride. This is probably as good as it gets on Maui for the mountain biking views.

The Skyline Downhill trail is located in the Kula area of Maui, and it begins at the top of the Haleakala Volcano. As you ride, you’ll be treated to incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and the islands of Molokai and Lanai.

Mountain biking down skyline downhill on Maui
The lower you go on Skyline Downhill, the more greenery you see. Photo from

This 30-mile ride (depending on your route) takes you from the top of the 10,000-foot summit of Haleakala, down the slopes of the crater, through the Polipoli forest reserve, and out to Rice Memorial Park. The trail is mostly downhill, and features stunning views of the crater, ocean, and nearby islands. It’s considered to be an intermediate level trail, with some technical sections.

map of skyline downhill trail
Skyline Downhill begins at the top of Haleakala crater, then descends along half a loop of the Polipoli springs trail

Maui has some of the most beautiful hiking trails anywhere in the world, but Polipoli reserve seems to have the only single-track designed for mountain biking (until you find out about Makawao Forest Reserve, below). The best mountain biking ride option for a few hours of riding seems to be from the summit of Haleakala, down skyline trail, through polipoli springs, then on roads all the way to north Maui.


The trail starts off with a steep descent, with some tight switchbacks and technical terrain. After the descent, riders find themselves in the middle of the crater, surrounded by lush green foliage and wildflowers. The trail then follows the rim of the crater, with views of the Pacific Ocean and the crater walls.

As riders make their way back up the volcano, they will find a number of challenging climbs and technical sections. The trail is suitable for all levels of riders, from beginner to expert. Beginners can enjoy the descent from the summit and the views of the crater, while more experienced riders can take on the more technical sections. The terrain is mostly rock and loose dirt, with some roots and exposed rocks until you go lower. Views for everybody.

What should you know about getting to the top of Skyline Downhill trail?

The Haleakala Skyline Trail is a downhill ride, so the only way to get to the top is to take a shuttle. Most companies offer transportation from the port of Kahului to the summit of Haleakala for the ride. The shuttle will drop you off at the start of the trail, and from there you can begin your ride.

Haleakala biking shuttle companies and cost

There are several shuttle companies that offer transportation to the summit of Haleakala. Prices vary depending on the company and the size of your group. Some of the more popular companies include Skyline Eco Adventures, Maui Downhill, and Bike Maui.

Prices start at around $50 per person and can go up to $150 or more depending on the package.

I don’t recommend biking up the crater yourself with a rental bike for downhill riding, as most rentals are too heavy for that exertion and don’t have lockout.

Biking the Makawao Forest Reserve

The Makawao Forest Reserve is a great destination for intermediate and advanced riders. The reserve has many loops and small trails adding up to miles of fun with some technical features and rocky terrain. The trail is mostly downhill, with some steep sections.

map of makawao forest reserve
Map of Makawao Forest Reserve trails

How to get to Makawao Forest Reserve

The Makawao Forest Reserve is located just east of Paia, and can be accessed via the Haleakala Highway. There is no fee to access the reserve, although there is a parking fee of $3 per vehicle.

If you’re looking for an adventurous off-road biking experience, the Makawao Forest Reserve is the perfect spot for you while on Maui. You’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views of the Maui foothills. The 6,000-acre reserve is home to more than 30 miles of trails for all skill levels, ranging from beginner to expert. Take a look at the trail map here.

You’ll encounter mostly single-track paths with some double-track and jeep roads. Be sure to keep an eye out for the many different wildlife species that inhabit the forest, such as deer, wild boar, and the elusive Hawaiian Hawk.

A short downhill ride in Makawao Forest Reserve – Kahakapao Recreation Area

A fun single-track trail for intermediates is the Kahakapao Loop. It’s a 6.7-mile loop in the West Maui Mountains with some challenging terrain. You’ll start at the Puu Kukui summit, and then make your way around the loop, with some incredible views of the ocean and the island. You’ll climb up some steep grades, and then enjoy some fun, fast descents. You’ll also get to take in some lush rainforest and grassland scenery, and you might even spot some wild goats. The whole ride should take around an hour, and it’s definitely an unforgettable experience. Nothing too crazy since Makawao is at a lower elevation than Haleakala (and on Maui, what isn’t?).

Mountain Biking the West Maui Mountains

The West Maui Mountains is a great place for mountain bikers of all levels. The trails range from easy to expert, and feature stunning views of the ocean and the nearby islands. One of the more popular biking trails in the West Maui Mountains is the Kahakuloa Ridge Trail.

Biking the Kahakuloa Ridge Trail is a great workout. The trail is a steep climb up to the top of the ridge, but the views along the way make the effort worth it. Once at the top, you can take in breathtaking views of the West Maui Mountains and the ocean below. The trail is mostly single track and has a few technical sections, but is mostly smooth with great flow. Along the way, you’ll pass through lush forests and get to enjoy some of the island’s most stunning scenery. It’s a great way to get some exercise and take in some of Maui’s natural beauty.

The Kahakuloa Ridge Trail is located on the northwest side of Maui. To get there, you’ll need to drive a few miles up the Hana Highway from the town of Kahakuloa.

What is the terrain on the Kahakuloa Ridge trail like?

The terrain is mostly uphill, but there are some flat sections. It is a steep and rugged trail that winds through a tropical forest. You’ll have the opportunity to take in some amazing views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the entire north shore of Maui.

What should riders expect?

The ride is a challenging one in hunting territory, so you should come prepared with bright clothing and enough food and water for the uphill and downhill effort. The trail is mostly dirt and rocks, so you should expect to get a little dirty, as always. You’ll also want to be aware of the wildlife in the area, including wild pigs, goats, and even cattle. There are also some steep sections, so you should be prepared to dismount and push your bike in some places if you haven’t eaten your Wheaties for breakfast. Recommended for expert-level riders.

How long does the trail take to bike?

The entire trail is about 10 miles long, so it should take the average biker around 2-3 hours to complete the ride.

Rated: Expert skill level by


Maui is an amazing destination for mountain bikers, and with its beautiful trails, stunning scenery, and perfect climate, it’s no wonder why. So if you’re looking for an adventure of a lifetime, head to Maui and explore its world-famous mountain biking trails. Probably not worth it to pack up your own bike and risk it getting lost or damaged, so rent a bike for a couple days of fun while you’re here. Take a break from biking and go hiking instead.

Get Your Adrenaline Fix on Maui: The Most Popular Adventure Activities

With its stunning beaches, lush tropical rainforests, and majestic mountains, Maui is the perfect destination for an adrenaline-filled adventure. From zip-lining over the rainforest to snorkeling with sea turtles, there’s an adventure activity for everyone.

Top Adventure Activities to Enjoy on Maui

Here are some of the most popular ways to get your adrenaline fix on the island.

Haleakala crater. Desolate. Cold at night. Challenging hike.
Haleakala crater. Desolate. Cold at night. Challenging hike.

Hiking Maui Mountains

Maui is home to some of the world’s most stunning hikes, ranging from short, easy strolls to multi-day treks.

Some popular hikes include the Waihe’e Ridge Trail, the Pipiwai Trail, and the Haleakala Summit Trail. Depending on the trail you choose, you may see lush rainforest, cascading waterfalls, awe-inspiring views of the ocean, and stunning vistas of Haleakala volcano.

There are several challenging and unusual hikes on Maui that may be of interest to adventure seekers. Some options include:

  1. The Waihee Ridge Trail: This hike takes you through a dense rainforest and along a ridgeline with panoramic views of West Maui. It is a strenuous hike with a moderate level of difficulty.
  2. The Sliding Sands Trail: This hike takes you through the Kipahulu section of Haleakala National Park and into the crater. It is a challenging hike with a steep descent and ascent, but the views of the crater and surrounding areas are well worth it.
  3. The Halemauu Trail: This hike takes you through the rugged backcountry of Haleakala National Park, with a mix of challenging terrain and steep inclines. The views from the top are breathtaking, but this hike is not for the faint of heart.
  4. The Kapalua Coastal Trail: This hike takes you along the coast of West Maui, with stunning views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. The trail is challenging in places but mostly a nice stroll, with some steep inclines and rocky terrain.
  5. The Pipiwai Trail: This hike takes you through a dense rainforest and past several waterfalls, including the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. The trail is challenging, with a steep ascent and rocky terrain, but the views of the falls and surrounding areas are worth the effort.

Zip-Lining Across Maui

Ziplining dual lines on Maui
Kapalua Ziplines

For a truly unique view of Maui, take a zip-line tour. You’ll soar through lush rainforests, above waterfalls, and across canyons while enjoying panoramic views of the island.

Maui has several zipline tours, including the Skyline Eco-Adventures on Maui and the Haleakala Skyline Tour. On these tours, you’ll soar through the air and get stunning views of the island and its lush landscapes. Some lines offer panoramic views of Maui and the sunrise, depending on your chosen tour.

Maui has several zipline courses and tours, including

  • the Skyline Eco-Adventures in Kapalua:
    • Skyline Hawaii – Haleakala, Haleakalā Sunrise & Zip; a Sunrise, Downhill Bike & Zip, and a Waterfall, Hike & Zip Tour
  • Kapalua Ziplines: panoramic views on Maui’s only all-dual zipline course

For the thrill-seekers out there, zip-lining is a must. On Maui, you can soar over the tropical rainforest on one of the longest zip-line courses in Hawaii. Experienced guides will lead you through this thrilling experience as you zip through the forest in a safe and controlled environment.

Horseback riding on Maui

Maui horseback riding in the valley.
Experience Maui on horseback.

One of the most popular ways to experience the island’s beauty in a serene and non-intrusive way is through horseback riding. Maui’s many trails offer riders the chance to explore the island’s mountains, jungles, and beaches while taking in the breathtaking views.

Maui’s horseback riding tours are available for all levels of skill. Professional guides will provide instruction and help you find the perfect horse to fit your riding abilities. From guided group rides to private rides, Maui has something to offer everyone.

Riding through Maui’s lush forests and valleys provides a unique perspective of the island. You’ll have the chance to explore areas inaccessible by car and experience the beauty of Maui from the saddle. There are a variety of trails to choose from, from the easy to the challenging. Many of the trails offer riders a chance to see some of the island’s wildlife. You may spot wild horses, deer, and even wild turkeys as you traverse the trails. You may also come across ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs and ruins.

There are several stables on Maui offering horseback riding tours, including Makani Olu Ranch in Lahaina, and the Ironwood Ranch in Waikapu.

woman riding horse on beach
Riding your horse on the beach in Maui. Doesn’t get any more “bucket list-y” than that.

When it comes to beach riding, Maui has some of the best in the world. The beaches along the Hana Highway offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and are a great spot for a leisurely ride. You’ll also have the chance to take a swim on the beach with your horse.

No matter what your skill level, horseback riding on Maui is an experience you won’t soon forget. You’ll get to explore the island’s hidden gems, take in the stunning views, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, saddle up and explore Maui by horseback – you won’t regret it!

Kayaking on Maui

kayaking on Maui
Photo from Kelii’s Kayak Tours in West Maui.

Explore Maui’s beautiful coastline from the seat of a kayak. Paddle through crystal-clear waters, spot dolphins, and take in the spectacular scenery along Maui’s stunning coastline. From exploring the calm waters of Makena and Kahana Bay to paddling the waves of Ho’okipa, there’s something for everyone.

Maui has several kayaking spots, including the Molokini Crater, the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve, and the Makena Beach State Park.

Stand-up paddleboarding: tours and solo adventures

Man SUP in Maui
SUP Maui

Stand-up paddleboarding is a popular activity on Maui, with calm waters in places like Kahului Harbor and Lahaina Harbor, and more challenging conditions in spots like Ho’okipa Beach.

Adventure stand-up paddleboarding on Maui is the perfect way to experience the beauty and thrill of the Hawaiian Islands. One of the best parts of stand-up paddleboarding on Maui is the variety of activities you can do while out on the water. You can combine your board with snorkeling, swimming, or simply leisurely paddleboard around the coastline.

There are also a number of boat tours and charters available to add excitement to your Maui adventure. They offer the opportunity to explore the more remote and pristine areas of the island, as well as access to the many amazing sea life, coral reefs, and colorful fish.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed paddleboarding experience, you can take a sunset or sunrise tour. These take you along the tranquil coastline, allowing you to take in the beauty of the island while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the evening or morning. You’ll be able to watch the sun set or rise over the horizon, with nothing but the sound of the waves crashing against the shore to keep you company.

No matter your skill level, stand-up paddleboarding on Maui is an unforgettable experience.

Snorkeling around Maui: day and night

snorkelingmaui 1
Snorkeling at Black Rock Beach, Ka’anapali

Maui is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world. With its colorful coral reefs, abundant marine life, and crystal-clear waters, it’s a snorkeler’s paradise.

Even beginners can go snorkeling with sea turtles. On Maui, you can swim with colorful fish and explore vibrant coral reefs.

Maui is home to some of the best snorkeling spots in the world. From the crystal-clear waters of Molokini and La Perouse Bay to the diverse marine life of Honolua Bay, Maui offers snorkelers an abundance of incredible sites to explore. On a snorkeling excursion, you can expect to see colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, dolphins, and even whales (during whale season).

Adventure snorkeling on Maui is a great way to experience the beauty and excitement of the island’s marine life. The best places for snorkeling on Maui are off the coast of Olowalu or Makena. Olowalu and Makena offer some of the best visibility and most abundant marine life on the island. Both of these areas are protected marine life sanctuaries, so you can be sure that you’ll be able to admire the vibrant colors and patterns of the coral and sea life without disturbing them.

For a unique snorkeling experience, try night snorkeling. This is a great way to see a different side of the sea life, as many nocturnal creatures come out to feed after dark. You can find experienced guides who offer night snorkeling trips on Maui. If you’re looking for a truly adventurous snorkeling experience, try exploring the underwater lava tubes off the coast of Maui. These subterranean tunnels are filled with interesting creatures, and you might even be lucky enough to spot an octopus or a giant sea turtle.

Surfing: the typical Maui adventure sport

Surfing Maui near rocks
Surfing Maui is great even on cloudy days.

Get your adrenaline pumping with a surf lesson. With its consistent waves and warm waters, Maui is a great place to learn how to surf.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there’s a spot for you. The best spots include Honolua Bay, Ho’okipa Beach Park, and Ka’anapali Beach.

One of the most popular spots for surfers on Maui is Honolua Bay. It is one of the most well-known beaches on the island and is often frequented by both locals and visitors alike. The bay is home to some of the most legendary waves in the world and offers everything from beginner-friendly waves to advanced surfers.

For those looking for a more adventurous type of surfing, the North Shore of Maui is the place to be. This part of the island is known for its big waves and is home to some of the most challenging breaks in the world. If you’re looking for a thrill, this is the place to go.

The waves on Maui can be intimidating, but with the right knowledge and skills, you’ll be sure to have a great time.

Scuba diving around Maui

two scuba divers off Maui coast
Shallow dives with Viator Tours

Maui is known for its clear waters and abundant marine life and is home to a number of scuba diving spots, including Molokini Crater, the Molokini Back Wall, and the Turtle Arches.

The reefs provide a variety of depths, making them perfect for all levels of divers. The best way to experience Maui’s underwater world is to take a guided tour. These tours offer experienced instructors who can help you get the most out of your dive. They will also provide you with all the necessary gear, including wetsuits, fins, and tanks.

For experienced divers, Maui has some of the best drift diving in the world. With strong currents, the reefs offer a thrilling ride as divers drift over them. Experienced divers may also want to explore the deeper waters, where they can find wrecks, caves, and marine life that can’t be found in the shallower areas.

For those who are just starting out, Maui also has some great beginner dives. These dives are shallow and have plenty of marine life to explore. The calm waters make it a great spot for first-time divers to get comfortable with the gear and learn the basics of scuba diving.

There are a variety of dive sites around Maui. Popular sites include:

  • Molokini, an islet off Maui’s southeastern shore, and
  • La Perouse Bay, near the town of Kihei.

There are also many sites closer to shore, including

  • Ulua Beach,
  • Kahekili Beach, and
  • Honolua Bay.

Each site has its own unique features, making them great for all levels of divers.

Mountain Biking on Maui

Mountain biking Haleakala crater on Maui
Mountain biking Haleakala crater

Mountain biking is a great way to explore Maui’s stunning landscapes. With trails ranging from beginner to expert, there’s something for everyone. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can tackle the Haleakala Downhill Bike Ride, which takes you from the summit of Haleakala all the way down to sea level. For a less intense ride, the West Maui Mountains offer some great trails for all skill levels.

For those looking for a more challenging ride, there are several off-road trails that will test your skill level. These trails often feature rocks, roots, and tight turns that require precise maneuvering. Many of these trails also have some steep ascents and descents, so be prepared for a workout.

Maui has a number of trails for mountain biking, but most are road biking tours including the Skyline Eco-Adventures in Kapalua, the West Maui Mountain Bike Tour, and the Upcountry Maui Mountain Bike Tour.

The East Maui Mountains are a great place to explore on your mountain bike. You can take your bike up the winding road to the summit, or take a number of different trails that wind their way through the rainforest and up the mountain. The terrain on these trails varies from easy to challenging and can provide an unforgettable experience. Whether you are looking for a leisurely ride on a dirt road, a technical single track run, or a thrilling downhill ride, Maui has something for everyone.

ATV and off-road tours around Maui

4 vehicles off-roading in Maui
Off-roading in Maui

If you’re looking for a little more speed and less effort, you can take a ride on a Maui off-road ATV tour. You’ll be guided through the rugged terrain of the island, exploring hidden trails and waterfalls most can’t access. You’ll also get a chance to take in yet more stunning views of the island from the top of the mountains. So many stunning views you’ll start to take it all for granted.

For an adrenaline-pumping experience, an ATV tour on Maui is the perfect outdoor adventure for those who need to work on their cardio. From the lush tropical rainforests to the majestic Haleakala volcano and the stunning coastline, Maui offers the ultimate off-road experience.

A variety of adventure ATV tours on Maui are available; most ATV tours on Maui will take you through some of the island’s most breathtaking trails, giving you the opportunity to explore the rich landscape and unique terrain. Depending on the tour you choose, you can expect to traverse a range of difficulty levels, from easygoing trails to rugged and challenging hills.

Many of the tours will also take you up to the top of Haleakala volcano, offering spectacular views of the island and the surrounding ocean. Fresh air and fun, all while sitting down — can’t beat that!

Unless you want to fly through the air for the views…

Paragliding — or parasailing, too — on Maui

paraglide in Maui
Photo from

Are you looking for an adventure like no other? Then you should definitely try paragliding on Maui! This incredible Hawaiian island offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and lush tropical forests. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced paraglider, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Maui is a great place to go paragliding, with several companies offering tandem flights so you can enjoy the experience with a friend — or a special friend, as the old folks say. Some popular companies include the Hang Gliding Maui in Kahului and the Skyline Eco-Adventures in Kapalua.

The best place to go paragliding on Maui is from the West Maui Mountains and by the airport — the windiest spot on the Island (at least it feels like that when you’re coming in for a landing). You can choose from several different glides that range from short and easy to longer and more challenging. Paragliding on Maui is a unique adventure for most that will give you memories to last a lifetime.

These are just a few of the many adventure activities to enjoy on Maui.

Adventure Activities on Maui Good for Families with Kids

kid surfing in Maui
Family surfing fun! Photo from

Some popular adventure activities that are good for families with kids on Maui include most of the above. Just use your discretion and assess what your children are capable of and interested in:

  1. Hiking: With trails ranging from easy to challenging, families can find a hike suitable for their skill level.
  2. Zip lining: Many zip lining courses on Maui have courses suitable for children and families.
  3. Snorkeling: With clear waters and abundant marine life, snorkeling is a fun and educational activity for families.
  4. Horseback riding: Many ranches on Maui offer guided horseback riding tours suitable for children and families.
  5. Surfing: Many surf schools on Maui offer lessons for beginner surfers, including children and families.
  6. Kayaking: There are many kayaking options for families on Maui, including guided tours and rentals.
  7. Stand-up paddleboarding: Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun and easy water activity that families can enjoy together.
  8. Whalewatching: From December to April, families can go on a whalewatching tour to see humpback whales in their natural habitat.

Maui, Hawaii is a beautiful, tropical paradise and a great vacation spot for families with kids. Aside from the stunning beaches, there are plenty of exciting adventure activities to enjoy and to provide an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Wherever you go, you’ll have fun if you’re with good people spreading Aloha.

Ho’okipa Beach Park: A Must-Visit Destination on the Island of Maui

Hookipa Beach Park is a popular beach located on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii. It is known for its great surfing conditions and picturesque scenery. It is a popular spot for windsurfers and kiteboarders, as the strong winds make for great conditions in the afternoon.

Ho’okipa Beach Park is a popular beach park located in Haiku, on the island of Maui in Hawaii. The park is known for its beautiful white sand beach and its excellent conditions for windsurfing, surfing, and kitesurfing. Ho’okipa Beach Park is also a popular spot for whale watching (during whale season) and for viewing the beautiful Maui sunsets.

Ho'okipa Beach Park view
Ho’okipa Beach Park

Activities at Ho’okipa Beach Park

Located between Pa’ia and Ha’iku, the beach park is a popular spot for surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. The beach is also home to a variety of sea life, including turtles and dolphins, making it a great spot for snorkeling or simply watching the wildlife.

Ho’okipa Beach Park is a great spot for a day at the beach but be cautious when swimming and snorkeling unless you are prepared for the conditions.

The waves at Ho’okipa are some of the best on the island, making it a great spot for surfing. The waves can be challenging for experienced surfers, but there are also plenty of beginner-friendly spots with gentle waves.

The beach park also offers plenty of other activities, from beach volleyball to picnicking. There are several picnic tables and grills available for visitors to use, and beach umbrellas and chairs are available for rent.

In addition to its sandy beach, Ho’okipa Beach Park also features picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and a lifeguard tower at each end. The area is also home to a variety of sea life, including turtles and dolphins.

Ho’okipa Beach Park is open to the public and is free to enter. It can get quite crowded during peak tourist seasons, so it is a good idea to arrive early if you want to secure a good spot. The park is also a good place to watch the sunset, with some of the best views on the island.

  • has a large grassy area with picnic tables and barbecue grills, making it a popular spot for picnics and outdoor gatherings.
  • The park also has restrooms and outdoor showers.

Overall, Ho’okipa Beach Park is a beautiful and popular destination on Maui that offers a variety of recreational activities and stunning views.

No visit to Ho’okipa Beach Park is complete without a visit to the nearby Maui Ocean Center. The center offers a variety of displays and activities about the ocean, including touch tanks and a giant aquarium. Ho’okipa Beach Park is an ideal spot for a day of relaxation and fun. Whether you’re looking to surf, swim, or just take in the beauty of the island, Ho’okipa Beach Park is the perfect family-friendly destination.

Summary of Ho’okipa Beach Park

  • Ho’okipa Beach Park is a world-famous beach on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii, known for its excellent surfing and windsurfing conditions.
  • The name “Ho’okipa” is derived from the Hawaiian word “ho’okipa”, meaning “to entertain”.
  • The beach park is home to a variety of wildlife, including green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles, monk seals, and humpback whales.
  • The beach park is well known for its unique and breathtaking sunsets, making it a popular spot for photographers.
  • Ho’okipa Beach Park is a popular spot for bodyboarding, kitesurfing, and surfing.

Best time to see Ho’okipa Beach Turtles

Ho’okipa Beach is a good turtle-sighting spot for visitors to Maui who are looking to see some (honu) turtles in the wild. Turtles can often be spotted basking in the sun or swimming in the shallow waters of the beach near the rocks.

The best time to see the turtles at Ho’okipa Beach is usually early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is because the sea turtles come out of the water during these times to bask in the sun on the beach. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see them swimming around in the ocean. Just remember to stay at least 10 feet away from them and never touch them. Enjoy!

If you are continuing on the Road to Hana, keep to the higher Lookout parking lot or you will be facing the wrong direction to getting back on the highway.

Ho’okipa Lookout

Ho’okipa Lookout is a must-see spot for those looking for a stunning view of the surfers and the ocean. If you’re looking for a great way to spend the day, or want to stop and watch some surfers on your way to Hana, check out Ho’okipa Lookout. Located on the north shore of Maui, it’s one of the best spots for whale watching in the winter, as well as taking in some of the most spectacular views in all of Hawaii.

It’s conveniently located with a large parking lot for those continuing on towards Hana. If you are continuing to Hana, you should park at the main parking lot at Ho’okipa Beach Park. This parking lot is located on the east side of the beach, near the entrance to the park. It is open from sunrise to sunset and offers plenty of parking spots for visitors. Wherever you decide to park, come for the incredible view of nature’s epic spectacle. Don’t miss out!

hookipabeachparkview 1
At mile marker 9 on the Road to Hana (Hana Highway)

Maui’s Sport Fishing Cruises and Charters

Are you looking for an unforgettable adventure? Join a sport fishing charter for a day of fun and excitement on a private boat charter, or go for one of their many group fishing trips.

Maui’s experienced captains and deckhands will take you to some of the best fishing spots in the area so you can bring home a prize catch.

They offer a variety of packages to suit your needs, from beginner-friendly cruises to all-out fishing tournaments for the experienced angler. Keep in mind that for the best fishing spots in the deeper water that are most likely to land you a bigger catch, choose the full-day 8- or 10-hour tours.

Maui fishing charter catch

With top-notch equipment, knowledgeable staff, and unbeatable views, even if you don’t catch anything you’ll have a good time. So, check out the options and make some amazing memories!

Who is deep-sea fishing for?

In general, sport fishing charters are a popular activity for those looking for a unique and exciting way to experience the ocean and marine life around Maui. They are suitable for families, couples and groups of friends. It is always recommended to check the company’s website, or contact them directly for the most recent information on prices, schedules and amenities.

Where to board deep-sea sportfishing charters?

Deep-sea sportfishing charters on Maui typically depart from the main marinas and harbors around the island. Some popular departure locations include:

  • Lahaina Harbor: Located on the west side of Maui in the historic town of Lahaina, this is one of the main departure points for sportfishing charters on the island.
  • Maalaea Harbor: Located on the southwest coast of Maui, this harbor is a popular departure point for sportfishing charters, as well as other ocean activities such as snorkeling and dolphin watching.
  • Kihei Boat Ramp: Located on the south coast of Maui, this boat ramp is a popular departure point for sportfishing charters.
  • Kaanapali Beach: Located on the west side of Maui, this beach is a popular departure point for sportfishing charters, as well as other ocean activities such as snorkeling and dolphin watching.

What fish can you catch deep-sea fishing off Maui?

The types of fish that can be caught on a sport fishing cruise in Maui include:

  • Blue Marlin,
  • Striped Marlin,
  • Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna),
  • Mahi-Mahi (Dorado),
  • Ono (Wahoo),
  • and many other species.
mahi-mahi caught while sport fishing in maui
Mahi-mahi going for a ride.

The time of year and the location of the trip will determine the type of fish you’re more likely to catch, and if there is a fish you want to target, ask before you book; some captains have preferences for fish to go after, too.

Choose full-day and half-day trips, as well as private charters for individuals or groups. The boats used for these cruises are typically large and well-equipped, with amenities such as air-conditioned cabins, bathrooms, and kitchens. Some boats also have fighting chairs and outriggers for trolling.

Is equipment provided?

Sport fishing cruises on Maui are typically led by experienced captains and crew members who have a wealth of knowledge about the local waters and the best fishing spots.

They will provide all the necessary equipment, including rods, reels, bait, and tackle, and they will also clean and fillet the fish caught and share with you what you can reasonably eat on your stay. All you have to do is catch the fish!

What are the top-rated fishing charters?

Maui has many sport fishing charters, and the top-rated ones may vary depending on the source of the review and the personal experience of the reviewers. However, some sport fishing cruises that have generally received positive reviews from visitors include:

  • Hinatea Sport Fishing: Fish caught aboard Hinatea Sport Fishing include striped and blue marlin, mahi mahi (dorado/dolphin fish), ono (wahoo), ahi (yellowfin tuna), big-eye, and aku (skipjack tuna). Rates.
  • Die Hard: If you’re serious about fishing, and don’t mind leaving in the middle of the night, then Die Hard’s for you. Rates.
  • Rascal Charters: One of the few South Maui charter companies offering both share and private charters. Rates.
  • Start Me Up Sport Fishing operates two trolling boats out of Lahaina Harbor. 4-6 hour trips are most common. Rates on the sidebar.
  • Maui Fun Charters: Maui bottom fishing charters near Kihei, Wailea and Lahaina. Private whale watches during whale season.

Dinner & Adventure Cruises on Maui: Fresh Sea Air and Seafood

Maui is synonymous with beaches, romance and beauty; so, while you’re here, enjoy a pampered experience and feast on the total sensory indulgence offered by the many cruises around Maui.

As a popular tourist destination, Maui offers something for almost everyone, so choose from several types of cruises that depart from the island:

  • Sunset cruises: These cruises typically depart in the late afternoon or early evening and offer visitors the chance to watch the sun set over the ocean while enjoying dinner and live entertainment.
  • Snorkeling and diving cruises: These cruises take visitors to some of the best snorkeling and diving spots around Maui, where they can see a variety of tropical fish and other marine life.
  • Whale-watching cruises: During the winter months, humpback whales migrate to the waters around Maui to mate and calve. These cruises take visitors out to see these magnificent creatures up close.
  • Sport fishing cruises: For those who want to try their hand at deep-sea fishing, these cruises and private charters take visitors out to catch a variety of game fish, such as marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi.
  • Cultural cruises: These cruises focus on the history and culture of Maui and Hawaii, and often include live music and hula performances, as well as information on Hawaiian legends and customs.
  • Luxury cruises: These cruises are operated by large luxury liners and they will take you to other islands in Hawaii and even to other countries. They offer a wide range of amenities, such as spas, casinos, and fine dining.
  • Catamaran cruises: These cruises are operated by large or small catamarans, they are known for their spacious and comfortable decks, and they offer a variety of activities such as snorkeling, whale watching, and sunset cruises.

Not all cruises may be available year-round (whale watching, for example), and the type of cruises will vary depending on the company or operator. Here’s an overview of Maui cruises:

Catamaran snorkeling cruises in Maui
Catamaran snorkeling cruise in Maui on the Calypso, the island’s only triple decker catamaran

Guest-Recommended Cruises from Maui

Snorkeling and diving cruises:

  • Maui Dive Shop’s Molokini & Turtle Arches Snorkel & Dive Trip
  • Pacific Whale Foundation’s Molokini Snorkel and Turtle Town Adventure
  • Calypso

Sunset cruises:

  • Alii Nui Dinner Sail
  • Lahaina Sunset Sail

Whale-watching cruises:

  • Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ultimate Whale Watch
  • Maui Classic Charters’ Whale Watch Adventure

Cultural cruises:

  • Hula Girl Sunset Sail
  • Pride of Maui

Sport fishing cruises:

  • Marlin Magic Sport Fishing
  • Fish Maui Sportfishing

Luxury cruises:

  • Norwegian Cruise Line’s Seven-Day Hawaiian Islands Cruise
  • Holland America Line’s 14-Day Hawaiian Explorer Cruise

Catamaran cruises:

  • Teralani Sailing Adventures
  • Trilogy Excursions
  • Hula Girl
  • Alii Nui

Cruise departure locations from Maui

The departure location for cruises from Maui will vary depending on the type of cruise and the company or operator. Generally, if you are in the south or west Maui region, you will have a cruise or boat launch nearby. Kahului harbor is where the luxury liners dock.

Departure locations for each type of cruise:

  • Sunset cruises: These cruises typically depart from marinas and harbors around Maui, such as Lahaina Harbor, Maalaea Harbor, and Kaanapali Beach.
  • Whale-watching cruises: These cruises typically depart from marinas and harbors around Maui, such as Lahaina Harbor, Maalaea Harbor, and Kaanapali Beach.
  • Cultural cruises: These cruises typically depart from marinas and harbors around Maui, such as Lahaina Harbor, Maalaea Harbor, and Kaanapali Beach.
  • Sport fishing cruises: These cruises typically depart from marinas and harbors around Maui, such as Lahaina Harbor, Maalaea Harbor, and Kihei Boat Ramp.
  • Luxury cruises: These cruises typically depart from Kahului Harbor, which is located on the north coast of Maui.
  • Snorkeling and diving cruises: These cruises typically depart in the morning from the main marinas and harbors around Maui, such as Maalaea Harbor, Lahaina Harbor, and Kihei Boat Ramp.
  • Catamaran cruises: These cruises typically depart from marinas and harbors around Maui, such as Lahaina Harbor, Maalaea Harbor, and Kaanapali Beach.
Most cruises depart from Lahaina in the west, and Maalaea in the south of Maui.

It’s important to double-check the departure location with the company or operator before booking your cruise, as some companies may offer pick-up service from your hotel or other locations. The departure location may vary depending on the season, weather conditions, and other factors, so keep your plans flexible the day-of.

Romantic sunset dinner cruises on Maui

Sunset cruises are typically focused on providing a romantic and intimate setting, with stunning views of the sunset and live music or dancing.

Dinner cruises on Maui typically include buffet-style or a la carte plated offerings, dancing, and breathtaking views of the sunset. If you’re looking for something different, specialty dinner cruises also offer activities such as snorkeling, whale watching, or luau cultural demonstrations.


Guest suggestions: Don’t do a dinner cruise, but opt for a sunset cocktail cruise. Have a nice meal on the mainland and then go out on the water. Very windy, however, so don’t wear a dress!


There are several companies that offer sunset dinner cruises on Maui that may be suitable for couples looking for a romantic experience. Some popular options include the Alii Nui Dinner Sail, Hula Girl, and the Pacific Whale Foundation Dinner Cruise (PacWhale Eco-Adventures). These cruises typically depart from Maalaea Harbor or Lahaina Harbor and last for several hours.

Catamaran dinner or cocktail cruises in Maui
Catamaran dinner or cocktail cruises in Maui

Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise – Pacific Whale Foundation: This two-hour cruise departs from Lahaina Harbor and offers amazing views of the Maui coastline. During the trip, guests can enjoy a delicious buffet-style meal, live music, and a chance to spot dolphins, whales, and other marine life. This cruise has received high user ratings for its excellent service and stunning views of the island.

As of this writing in Jan 2023, the price for the cruise is $129.95-$149.95 per person. Guests have rated the cruise highly for its delicious food, stunning views, and friendly staff.

The Pacific Whale Foundation’s Sunset Cocktail Cruise in Maalaea, Hawaii, is a two-hour cruise that offers guests the opportunity to relax, sip on a cocktail and watch the sun go down. The cruise includes a welcome drink, snacks, a tour of the harbor, and a lively commentary about the island’s history and marine life. Guests can also enjoy the sights of the nearby islands and enjoy the sounds of Hawaiian music. The cruise is perfect for a romantic date night or a special occasion.

Pricing: The Sunset Cocktail Cruise prices start at $79.95 per adult and $59.95 per child. More about the cruise here.

Snorkeling breakfast cruises on Maui

Pride of Maui, Maui's only luau on the water
Pride of Maui, Maui’s only luau on the water

Snorkeling cruises include a snorkeling excursion and usually breakfast and lunch as part of the experience. These cruises offer the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal while exploring the underwater world of Maui’s reefs. Snorkeling catamaran cruises typically depart from Maalaea Harbor or Lahaina Harbor and last for several hours.

Snorkeling equipment is usually provided, but it is a good idea to check with the specific cruise company to confirm what is included. Some cruises may also offer wetsuits or other gear for an additional fee.

snorkeling maui

Prices for snorkeling cruises on Maui can vary, but they generally range from $100 to $200 or more per person. It is a good idea to check with the specific cruise company for more information on pricing, departure times, and other details.

Catamaran dinner cruises from Maui

Catamaran dinner cruises are a type of dinner cruise on Maui that are conducted on a catamaran, a type of sailing vessel. Catamarans are known for their stability and spacious decks, which can make them a comfortable and enjoyable choice for a dinner cruise.

Several snorkeling and cocktail cruises are on catamaran vessels, including Hula girl and the Alii Nui Dinner Sail. Participants rave about the beautiful views, delicious food and drinks, and the overall atmosphere of these types of sails. They often comment on the friendly and professional crew and the live music and entertainment. Many users also mention that the sail is a great way to experience a sunset and great way to do something special and romantic with a partner.

Some guests also mention that the sail is a great way to see the coast of Maui and the neighboring islands from a different perspective, and the opportunity to see whales, dolphins and other marine life.

On the other hand, some guests have said that the cost of the sail can be a bit high, but they think it is worth the cost for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Overall, guest reviews tend to be very positive and recommend a cocktail catamaran cruise as a must-do activity while visiting Maui.

What is the best sunset dinner cruise on Maui?

Hula Girl a la carte food gets rave reviews from guests.
Hula Girl cruises offer a la carte Chef-made items.

It is difficult to determine the “best” sunset dinner cruise on Maui based on reviews, as different people may have different preferences and expectations. That being said, several sunset dinner cruises on Maui have received positive reviews from past customers, including the Alii Nui Dinner Sail, the Hula Girl cruises (they have great food), and the Pacific Whale Foundation Dinner Cruise.

Hula Girl is the only Maui Dinner Cruise where you pay for food and drinks on board. Because of this, the “admission” price is less than most Luxury Cruises. Despite the extra food costs, guests recommend and rave about the entrees on board, as the food is prepared by a Gourmet Chef and items are reasonably priced.

Before you choose your cruise, peruse reviews (ha) on aggregators like TripAdvisor or Yelp, and compare the different options to find the sunset dinner cruise that best meets your needs and preferences. If you’re having trouble narrowing it down, some considerations when choosing a sunset dinner cruise may include the price, if the sailing is adult only, how accessible the vessel, the type of vessel, the amenities and activities offered, and the duration of the cruise.

It is also a good idea to check with the specific cruise company to ask any questions about cruise before booking.

Cultural dinner cruises from Maui

These cruises often include a focus on Hawaiian culture, with activities such as hula dancing, cultural demonstrations, and traditional Hawaiian music.

Pride of Maui, Maui's only luau on the water
Pride of Maui dinner cruise, Maui’s only luau on the water

Most dinner cruises will incorporate aspects of Hawaiian culture into their program and food offerings, and a few offer specific cultural events like luaus or hula dancing. For example, the Pride of Maui catamaran offers a well-reviewed sunset cruise near the Molokini crater, which includes open bar, a “generous buffet featuring barbecued ribs, honey-glazed chicken, stir fried vegetables, and more. Watch the sun set, take in a live hula show and if you’re lucky, you may even see humpback whales during mating season.”

Multi-day cruises on larger cruise ships from Maui

If you are looking for a longer cruise around the Hawaiian Islands, luxury liners depart Kahului and offer vacations spanning several days.

The Pride of America by Norwegian Cruise Line offers a 7-day cruise around the stunning Hawaiian Islands. Guests get to visit four different islands including Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island of Hawaii. On board the ship, there are a variety of activities, including live music, karaoke, and a nightclub. There are also a wide range of dining options to choose from. Reviews of the Pride of America are generally positive, with many praising the quality of the food and the friendly staff.

Atlantis Adventures Atlantis Adventures offers a variety of different cruises around the Hawaiian Islands, including a Maui cruise. This cruise takes passengers on a journey to some of the most beautiful and breathtaking sites in Maui, including Molokini Crater, the Pailolo Channel, and the Hulopo’e Bay Marine Reserve. The crew on board the boat are friendly and informative and the scenery and wildlife is said to be stunning. Reviews of the cruise are generally positive, with many praising the crew, the views, and the quality of the food.

Star of Honolulu Star of Honolulu offers a luxurious cruise around the Hawaiian Islands, including Maui. The cruise visits some of the most beautiful sites in the area, including Lahaina Harbor, Molokini Crater, and the Hana Coast. On board the ship, there are a variety of activities, including live music, a dance floor, and a casino. Reviews of the cruise are generally positive, with many praising the quality of the food, the friendly staff, and the stunning views.

Type of food served on Maui cruises

Maui dinner cruises typically offer a wide variety of delicious meals and snacks, from traditional Hawaiian favorites to international cuisine, often buffet-style.

Pride of Maui cruise buffet
Pride of Maui buffet

Sample menus may include fresh island fish, tender steak, succulent seafood, savory pastas, and vegetarian options.

Appetizers, salads and desserts are also usually included.

Drinks, including beer and wine, are often available for purchase separately.

Hula Girl cruises cost of admission do not include food, however they do offer a la carte items that rival or surpass mainland restaurant offerings.


If your top concern is the food, then hands-down Hula Girl is the best option for a dinner cruise. The food is outstanding; think of it as a floating restaurant a la carte. You order from a menu and pay by item, so the cruise cost is just to gain entrance on the boat. Service is excellent also and the boat is much nicer than the others. You get what you pay for, as it were.


What to wear to a dinner cruise

The dress code for dinner cruises on Maui can vary depending on the specific cruise and the type of atmosphere, but in general, smart casual attire is usually appropriate. Think of items such as slacks and collared shirts. You may want to skip wearing a dress as sailing can be a windy experience. It is usually not necessary to wear formal attire such as evening gowns or tuxedos, unless the cruise is specifically advertised as a formal event, and will be inside the ship.

Consider the weather and the type of vessel that the cruise will be conducted on. Some dinner cruises may take place on an open-air catamaran, while others may be conducted on a larger vessel with indoor seating. If the cruise will be conducted on an open-air vessel or if the weather is expected to be cooler or at night for a star-gazing cruise, it may be a good idea to bring a jacket or sweater. Layer-up.

As always, if you have specific needs, check with the specific cruise company for more information on the dress code and any other recommendations or requirements.