When it comes to finding an active adventure on Maui, there is no shortage of options. From hikes over wobbly suspended bridges to surfing lessons in the Pacific Ocean, you are bound to stumble upon a memorable adventure.
Here is my list of top recommendations (in no particular order):
Haleakala Bike Ride: Where else on the planet can you bike down the side of a volcano? Hundreds of tourists on Maui wake up extra early each morning on Maui to be bused to the top of Haleakala volcano to watch the sunrise over the Valley Island. After the cameras are put back in their protective cases, the tourists strap on their helmets and begin the descent down the volcano into the surf town of Paia on bikes. For those worried about traffic, the road the tour takes is actually a background that does not see too many vehicles. The sunrise bike ride tour will cost you about $100, but I can’t think of a better way to travel 10 miles and descend over 3000 vertical feet!
Surf Lessons: If you come to an island, expect to get wet! There are plenty of surf companies (an now stand up surf companies) that offer lessons in Kihei and Lahaina. A popular beach for lessons in Kihei is Cove Park (right along South Kihei Road). You will see a collection of surf company vans parked at Cove’s parking lot, with information on how to sign up for lessons. In Lahaina, your best bet for lessons would be just to left of Lahaina Harbor. Both surf spots are very “beginner friendly”, with a collection of newbies in waste deep water. Most all the surf companies also guarantee that you stand up and catch a wave, or the lesson is free!
Zipline Adventures: Most tourists are surprised to learn that the first zipline tour in America was opened up on Maui. The Maui Skyline Eco Adventures has been sending tourists screaming down wires for 10 years now. There are two sets of zipline courses that the tour company operates (one on each side of the island). I have personally experienced the Haleakala zipline location, and it was absolutely worth the fee.
Cave Spelunking: OK, the title of this active adventure is a little deceiving. You won’t actually need to repel any walls or worry about getting lost in a labyrinth of pits and chasms. The Hana Lava Tube is an underground natural cave that lava used flow through many many years ago. The tube runs through private property and the owner has been capitalizing off the geographic wonder ever since discovering it. For about $11 you will be given a flashlight and hard hat and pointed toward the entrance of the cave. As you go deeper and deeper into the cave it literally becomes pitch black and is actually quite cool!
Swinging Bridges Hike: A collection of rickety old suspension bridges can be found along a hike in Waihe’e Valley. The hike used to be little known ten years ago, but word-of-mouth and the internet have put this hidden gem of a hike on the map. Parking is limited to about 10 cars and there is a small toll booth that charges hikers around $5 to $10 each. I would recommend getting to the trail before noon to assure that you are able find parking. Bring your swimsuit because there is a great watering hole at the end of the trail!
[Image source: Big Kahuna Adventures Maui]