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The 5 Best Boat & Snorkel Tours from Lahaina, Maui [2022 Reviews]

Lahaina is one of the top tourist spots in Hawaii, and for good reason! Beautiful scenery, delicious food, great shopping and a small-town vibe that never stops are just a few of the reasons why Lahaina is always a solid choice.

However, this means there is a ton to do and if you want to fit in as much as possible it’s important to prioritize. Boat and snorkel tours are always recommended, though there are also a lot of tours out there that can make it hard to choose.

We’ve done the hard work for you to bring you the top Lahaina boat and snorkel tours available!

Best Boat & Snorkel Tours from Lahaina, Maui

 From Lahaina: Lana'i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel TripFrom Lahaina: Lana'i Snorkel and Dolphin Adventure CruiseMaui: Snorkeling and Dolphin Sightseeing to Lana'i Island
editors choice
Departure Point:Lahaina Harbor, 675 Wharf St. Lahaina, HI 96761Lahaina Harbor, 675 Wharf St. Lahaina, HI 96761Slip #16, Lahaina Harbor, 675 Wharf St. Lahaina, HI 96761
Departure Time:MorningMorning7:30 am
Duration:5 hours5 hours6 hours
Includes:Snorkel gear, continental breakfast, deli-style lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, champagne, wine, beer, cocktails, sunscreenCaptain, crew, continental breakfast, deli sandwich lunch, soft drinks, juice, water, snorkeling gear, lifeguard, jump platform, slideFreshwater shower, onboard bathroom, guide, lunch, drinks, snorkeling gear

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Boat & Snorkel Tours from Lahaina, Maui

  1. From Lahaina: Lana’i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip
  2. From Lahaina: Lana’i Snorkel and Dolphin Adventure Cruise
  3. Maui: Snorkeling and Dolphin Sightseeing to Lana’i Island
  4. Lahaina: Afternoon Turtle Town Snorkel Cruise
  5. Maui: 2.5 Hour Eco-Raft Turtle Snorkel Tour

Best Boat & Snorkel Tours from Lahaina, Maui Reviews

#1 From Lahaina: Lana’i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Departure: Lahaina Harbor, 675 Wharf St. Lahaina, HI 96761
  • Departure Time: Morning
  • Includes: Snorkel gear, continental breakfast, deli-style lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, champagne, wine, beer, cocktails, sunscreen
Let’s start things off on the right foot with the Lana’I Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip Tour. Lasting 5 hours, you’ll have a live tour guide to take you around the breathtaking cliffs of Lana’i on a luxe boat while enjoying all kinds of delicious food and drinks. The Hawaiian lifestyle involves a lot of relaxation and appreciating nature, and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing here.

Meet up with your guide at the main loading dock at Lahaina Harbor in the morning, to make sure you avoid crowds and avoid the hottest part of the day. If you’re looking for the perfect activity for the entire family, this is it. You get to choose if you want to hang out on the deck and enjoy the food and drinks, or take a dip in the water!

Hop on board a luxury catamaran, and start diving in to a delicious continental breakfast consisting of fresh local fruit, banana bread, and locally-roasted coffee. Enjoy the panoramic views of Lana’i’s south shore but keep an eye out for the pristine reefs around this area. Your guides will take you to an amazing spot free of crowds, where you’ll get the chance to don snorkeling gear and explore the depths below the surface!

Don’t worry if you’ve never been snorkeling before! The guides do an amazing job at showing you how to use the gear and best practices. If you have time, you can check out multiple snorkeling spots if weather allows! After swimming around, head back to the catamaran to enjoy a drink and full lunch while keeping your eyes peeled for spinner dolphins!

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#2 From Lahaina: Lana’i Snorkel and Dolphin Adventure Cruise

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Departure: Lahaina Harbor, 675 Wharf St. Lahaina, HI 96761
  • Departure Time: Morning
  • Includes: Captain, crew, continental breakfast, deli sandwich lunch, soft drinks, juice, water, snorkeling gear, lifeguard, jump platform, slide
Next up, we have yet another 5-hour boat and snorkel tour for you! This highly-rated tour also takes place on a catamaran and if you love splashing around in the water you’ll love this one. The Lana’i Snorkel and Dolphin Adventure Cruise is perfect for learning about Hawaii’s history and local wildlife, while enjoying music, drinks, good food, and of course, the warm water!

Once you meet up with your crew, you’ll get on the new catamaran, which is perfect for smaller groups! It has both an interior and deck area so you can sun yourself or stay inside and watch from behind the large windows. Their deck is placed perfectly for spotting spinner dolphins, sea turtles, and other beautiful marine animals. The captain will tell you all about them, some personal anecdotes, and interesting facts about the island and sea.

There’s always some entertaining music being played on board, so kick your feet up and listen while enjoying a delicious continental breakfast and fresh juice. Once you arrive close to the coastline, you’ll stop and be accompanied by a crew member as you get on your snorkeling gear and learn how to use it.

Experience this vast underwater world of beauty, seeing all kinds of marine life as you swim under huge cliffsides. There are no crowds to get in your way so you have this place all to yourselves. The captain will find areas with excellent visibility, like the legendary Shark Fin Rock and Manele Bay. Once you’re tired out, hop on board and enjoy a full lunch, refreshing beverages, and music.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Other Experiences You May Enjoy:


#3 Maui: Snorkeling and Dolphin Sightseeing to Lana’i Island

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Departure: Slip #16, Lahaina Harbor, 675 Wharf St. Lahaina, HI 96761
  • Departure Time: 7:30 am
  • Includes: Freshwater shower, onboard bathroom, guide, lunch, drinks, snorkeling gear
This next tour is a little bit longer, clocking in at 6 hours of fun and adventure. The Maui: Snorkeling and Dolphin Sightseeing to Lana’i Island instead will take you on a speedboat to snorkel around this rich underwater world. Not only that, but you’ll be riding in comfort, while enjoying a delicious lunch.

Meet up at the Makai Adventures located at Slip #16 in Lahauina Harbor, which is very convenient and easy to get to. Make sure you’re there at 7 am – even though it’s early in the morning you’ll avoid the majority of crowds and the hottest part of the day.

The speed boat is a really nice ride, and will get you to all the best snorkeling spots quickly. There are padded seats aplenty, ample seating, an onboard bathroom, and freshwater shower! Not to mention, the captain and crew are so friendly, it feels like family welcoming you onboard. Once out on the water, keep an eye out for dolphins and whales as they live in the ‘Au’Au Channel towards Lana’i and love to put on a show!

Depending on the weather and sea conditions, you’ll make various snorkeling stops so you’ll get to see different environments and sea life like corral, fish, turtles, and more. If it’s your first time snorkeling, the crew will help you get acquainted and make sure you’re comfortable and safe.

Once you get to the island, you’ll have more time to check out its sea caves and enjoy a delicious lunch onboard. It’s always a good idea to take advantage of the freshwater shower as well, so the salt from the ocean doesn’t dry on your skin or clothes.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#4 Lahaina: Afternoon Turtle Town Snorkel Cruise

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Departure: Main Dock, Lahaina Harbor, 675 Wharf St. Lahaina, HI 96761
  • Departure Time: 1pm
  • Includes: Lunch, captain, crew, snorkel gear, flotation devices, water, soda, juice, coffee, tea, restrooms, freshwater showers, 2nd-deck jumping platform, whale watch (seasonally)
Perhaps you’re looking for a fun snorkel and boat tour but the ones we’ve covered so far are too long for what your schedule allows. If that sounds like you, then check out the Lahaina: Afternoon Turtle Town Snorkel Cruise. This 3.5-hour cruise offers some of the best views around, with an incredible snorkeling adventure that all experience levels will enjoy.

Despite being shorter than the others we’ve covered so far, it’s actually one of the most complete experiences. Meet the captain and crew at 12:30 PM, which gives you time to sleep in while still enjoying the afternoon.

Hop on the beautiful charter that will take you to the popular Lahaina Turtle Town, known as one of the best snorkeling spots not only in Maui but in the world. Its artificial reef is definitely something special, comprised of remains of the Mala Wharf. As you tour around, the captain will offer informative, historical narration.

With the crystal-clear blue waters, you’ll see sea life like never before. If you have any questions or hesitation with snorkeling, the crew is there to help ensure you’re using the gear properly and are staying safe. They provide top-notch snorkeling gear and flotation devices, making it great for the entire family.

As the reef is now home to Green Sea Turtles, Goatfish, Nenue, octopi, Black Durgeon, Frogfish, Parrotfish, and more, you’re sure to encounter brightly-colored sea creatures! If you go after December 1st, you’ll have the chance to go whale watching, as well! Humpback whales come to the islands every year, and these gentle giants are fascinating to see! If you dare, there’s even a 2nd-deck jumping platform available for doing cannon balls off of!

After you’re done, get back on board for a delicious lunch, refreshing drinks, and more. There are 2 freshwater showers and restrooms available for your convenience.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#5 Maui: 2.5 Hour Eco-Raft Turtle Snorkel Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Departure: Hawaii Ocean Rafting, Lahaina Harbor
  • Departure Time: Varies
  • Includes: Captain, Marine Naturalist, snorkel gear, floatation devices, sunscreen, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages
Maybe you like the sound of the last tour, but need an even shorter tour to accommodate your plans. If so, then here’s the shortest snorkel and boat tour we’ve found that’s worth the money. The Maui: 2.5 Hour Eco-Raft Turtle Snorkel Tour is perfect for all ages and experience levels and will have you literally swimming around with sea critters of all kinds!

You’ll board an eco-raft that’s perfect for small group tours so you have personalized attention from not only the captain, but from the marine naturalist who will also accompany you on your tour! They’ll tell you all about the area, the oceans, and the creatures you’re going to see.

As you begin the cruise, they will offer you banana bread, beverages, and other treats to make sure you’re fueled up and well-hydrated. They’ll also provide you with reef-safe sunscreen if you don’t have any. They take the health of their local reefs very seriously, as they should – the marine naturalist will talk more about this as well.

The snorkeling sight(s) they take you to are ideal for all levels of snorkelers, and if you’d like, take advantage of the one-on-one snorkel instruction that they offer. As you swim around, they’ll help identify different kinds of species and make sure you’re staying safe and having fun. If you need them, there are floatation devices they keep handy, too.

Once you’re done, hop back on the raft and enjoy Maui-style snacks and more refreshing beverages while heading back to shore!

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Maui Travel Guide

When Polynesian adventurers found and settled the previously uninhabited island of Maui, they thought they had found Paradise.

You will too! There is so much to see and do on this compact island that you are spoiled for choice. You can go whale watching, climb a volcano, hike through tropical rainforest, and learn how to hula dance from professionals.

5 Best Kayaking Tours in Maui

Before you go, it is in your interest to fully research the accommodations, transport arrangements, local foods, and attractions to ensure you get the most out of your visit. This guide is designed to help you on your way.

Airports & Entry

Most visitors to Maui arrive on an airplane or a cruise liner. Using either method, you’ll most likely arrive in Kahului.

Kahului is the main settlement on Maui, hosting its commercial shopping centers, light industrial areas, a deep-draft harbor for cruise liners, and Kahului Airport.

Although Maui only boasts a population of 155 thousand, over 5 million passengers pass through Kahului Airport every year. Many flights from the mainland involve a layover in Honolulu, but there are direct flights.

When booking, try to get a direct flight to save time. There is only one terminal building at Kahului, but you can find all the usual amenities on the second floor.

The Visitor Information Office in the central building is open from 7:45am to 9:45pm, and there are information desks throughout the airport. ATMs and internet stations are found throughout the second floor.

The airport shops—a DFS, gift store, jewelers, and newsstand—open at times varying from 6am for the newsstand to 8:45am.

All the shops close around 9pm. While the earliest of the 9 food outlets—Starbucks—opens at 5:30am, they are all closed by 10:30pm.

There are 8 car rental companies operating from the airport, but it’s a good idea to book in advance to save time at the airport and ensure that there’s a vehicle available.

A convenient and affordable shuttle service connects the airport to the main tourist accommodation locations on the island, including Wailea, Napili, Makena, Lahaina, Kihei, Kahana, Ka’anapali, Honokawai, and, of course, Kahului’s commercial center.

The Maui Airport Shuttle Service desk can be found in the Baggage Claim area, and no reservations are required. The desk opens at 5:30am and closes after the last flight arrival of the day.

If you are traveling light, the local public transportation system is an affordable option. Cash fares on the Maui Bus service are $2 per person for a single ride or $4 for a day pass.

Route 35 (Haiku) and Route 40 (Upcountry) operate every 90 minutes from 5:30am and 6:00am to 9:40pm and 10:11pm respectively.

However, the public bus has a strict luggage policy, so only one suitcase or carry-on bag is allowed and must fit on the passenger’s lap or under their seat. So, Maui Bus is only an option if you are a “hand luggage only” kind of flyer.

Taxis pick up from the front of the baggage claim area, but they are expensive. The metered rate is $3:00 per mile. That means it would cost you approximately $65 to Makena, $78 to Lahaina, and $105 to Kapalua.

Cruise ships moor at Pier 1 in Kahului Deep Draft Harbor. Maui Bus operates a service that stops at the harbor, and taxis are an option. It is a 25-minute walk from Pier 1 to the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, Kahului’s main commercial center and transport hub.

Traveling in the time of Covid

Like many other destinations worldwide, tours and visitor attractions in Maui have adopted special procedures.

Wearing a mask in mandatory in many locations. You will be expected to supply your own mask and wear it when you enter public buildings.

Keep your distance from other visitors who are not in your family group or bubble. You will be expected to keep your distance inside minibuses and other vehicles and when seated in restaurants.

At the time of writing, the State of Hawaii welcomes visitors but requires pre-travel testing for Covid-19. You can obtain the most up-to-date information directly from the State of Hawaii Portal.

Eco-Tourism and Sustainability in Maui

The Hawaiian Archipelago offers many areas of outstanding natural beauty and protected wildlife areas you can explore. In order to maintain this wonderful place for future generations, many of the local tour companies operate eco-friendly tours.

When considering the tours we review on the World Travel Guides website, note that there are often eco-friendly options that empower you to become a more sustainable traveler. This is especially true around the islands of Hawaii. Take care of our world and it will take care of our children.

Kayaking & Watersports in Hawaii

Best kayaking tours Oahu
Outrigger canoes are an important part of Polynesian culture and history

Outrigger canoes are an important part of the local culture in Hawaii. The Hawaiian Islands are among the last habitable places on Earth to be colonized by humankind.

It is believed the Polynesian colonists first came to the islands aboard outrigger boats during the 13th century CE. Once settled, they used outrigger canoes both for fishing and for commuting between the various islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago.

The rivers and coastal waters of Maui are perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding. In many places, coral reefs create calm areas where it is safe to kayak.

There are many fascinating islands a mile or so off the coast of Maui that make perfect kayaking excursion destinations. Plus, the warm tropical water and fine weather make kayaking in Hawaii a pleasurable experience.

In some of the protected natural parks, kayaking is the only way to access areas of natural beauty and locations where you can observe some of Hawaii’s amazing wildlife. Kayaking is an eco-friendly way to explore Maui’s pristine waters. It doesn’t hurt the wildlife or pollute the ocean.

Planning Tips

It’s always best to be prepared. Here are 5 tips to help you make the most of your stay on Maui.

Tip #1: If you want to see whales, go in winter

During the summer, humpback whales feed and congregate around Alaska. In winter, they migrate south to mate and calve. From mid-December to mid-April, there are an abundance of whale sightings in Maui.

Between 10 and 12 thousand whales congregate in these tropical waters. Whales are often visible at a distance from the beaches and will circle any small boats that approach their pods. Winter is the best time to whale watch in Maui.

Tip #2: Take your time to appreciate all that Maui has to offer

Perhaps you only want to see the whales or surf in the sunshine, but there’s a lot more to see and do in Maui.

Don’t miss the opportunity to climb a volcano, explore inside a lava tube, experience a traditional luau, and visit the historical royal town of Lahaina. See the information on Nightlife and Attractions below.

Tip #3: Book Maui tours in advance, especially during winter

Maui is a popular destination for tourists, so tours quickly sell out. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. You wouldn’t be able to forgive yourself if you went all that way only to miss your opportunity to whale watch because the tours were full.

Since many tours offer free refunds up to 24 hours before the activity begins, you’re not taking a risk if you book before you go. Just check the refund policy of each tour before you book.

Tip #4: Take summer clothes and raincoats

Because Maui is tropical, you need to pack summer clothes. However, don’t forget it also rains a lot on the island. Light raincoats are an excellent idea.

If you intend to see the sunrise or sunset from the top of Haleakalā, you will definitely need a jacket. And if you plan to visit a plush Martini lounge or attend a luau, you should bring something a bit smarter for those special occasions.

Tip #5: Buy traditional local craft souvenirs

If you want to take home something unique, check out the Maui Crafts Guild in Paia, a small settlement a little east of Kahului just off the Hāna Highway.

This store is a member owned and operated cooperative where you will find the actual artists inside the store eager to speak to you about their arts and crafts.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Maui not only has a unique ecosystem with plants not found in the other 49 States, but it also boasts an uninterrupted cultural history.

That means during your stay you have the unique opportunity to taste genuine Polynesian food untainted by European colonial influences.

Because Maui is an island surrounded by abundant marine life, it’s no surprise many restaurants feature seafood on their menus.

A popular dish is Opakapaka, which is crimson snapper either steamed, baked or grilled. Monchong is a deep-water fish marinaded and grilled.

Raw tuna is a favorite with the locals and is found in traditional foods like Poke. Poke is like Japanese Sashimi but with the raw fish served in hearty chunks rather than thin slices.

Something unique to the Hawaiian Islands is luau food cooked in an earth oven called an imu. A tasty example of luau food is Laulau, made with pork, chicken, or fish.

The selected meat is wrapped in taro leaves and then cooked inside the imu for hours until it grows soft with a smoky taste. Delicious!

While many North Americans might consider either bread or potato to be their staple food during meals, on Maui taro is the staple root crop.

Taro is most often consumed as Poi, a thick paste that is either baked or steamed. Poi is slightly sour due to fermentation during its preparation.

And for dessert, why not try some Banana-Apple Fruit, Breadfruit, or Kulolo. Banana-Apple is a common fruit eaten cold or hot.

Breadfruit is melon-sized and is served boiled, deep-fried, baked, or steamed. Kulolo is steamed taro pudding. Yes! Taro is a versatile root.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Despite Maui’s small size, you will find a good selection of venues to let your hair down.

The island offers something for everybody’s taste, from a plush Martini lounge to a rowdy beach watering hole where locals play pool and watch the big game live. But something truly special only experienced in the Hawaiian Islands is a luau.

If you want to dress up and drink in style, you could head to the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua and visit the Alaloa Lounge.

They offer outdoor or indoor seating and live entertainment Thursday through Monday. The Kapalua Martini is a local specialty you should try.

At the other end of the scale is Life’s A Beach in Kihei, a beach lounge frequented by locals.

As well as the football and pool tables you’d expect from a popular watering hole, they also have regular evening entertainment. They offer everything from open mic nights to live reggae bands.

But for a fun-packed evening of traditional songs, stories, food, and drink, you won’t do better than an organized traditional luau.

For around $130, you can experience Lei Greetings, observe the Imu Ceremony (cooking a pig in an earth oven), Hula Dance, and play Hawaiian games.

The highlight is a performance by locals telling the story of how their ancestors first discovered and populated Maui, aided by the gods.

Getting Around

If you want to explore the Hāna Highway with the flexibility to stop wherever and whenever you choose, your best option is to rent a car.

However, if you don’t want to do this, you can get around by public transportation, shuttle bus, on a tour, or by taxi. Maui Bus, the public bus service, is an extremely efficient and cheap way of getting around the island.

But Maui Bus’ focus is on getting the locals where they need to go, which might not be what you want to see.

A tour bus will take you exactly where you need to go, but on their schedule, not yours. Taxis are an option for nearby attractions, but at $3 per mile, they are expensive for long journeys.

Accommodations

Most visitors to Maui stay near one of the larger settlements along the coast, but not Kahului, which is relatively industrial and less touristy than other towns.

Popular locations include Kā’anapali, Kapalua, Kihei, Lahaina, Mākena, and Kapalua. There are also hotels and resorts in the Up Country area around Kula.

When deciding where you want to stay, think about what you most want to see and do while you’re on the island.

Bear in mind that towns like Kā’anapali, Kapalua, and Lahaina on the leeward, west coast will be a lot drier and a little warmer than towns like Hāna on the windward, east coast.

Also remember that although the island is small and settlements close to one another, the roads meander, and there are mountains in the way. If you decide to stay in Hāna but intend to visit Lahaina, allow 3 hours each way for the drive.

When you’ve chosen your target location, you will find lots of resorts, hotels, hostels, and B&Bs to choose from. Tourism is big business in Maui, so there are rooms available to suit any budget.

Weather

Although Maui is a small island, you will experience several distinctly different climates while traveling around. This is a product of the island’s unique geography.

There are two important variables: elevation above sea level and position in relation to the two mountainous regions.

If you are on one of the whale tours in Maui, your boat will be at an elevation of 0 feet, but if you are admiring the view from atop Haleakalā, your elevation is 10,000 feet.

The higher you climb, the cooler the air temperature will be. As a rough guide, every 1,000 feet you rise above sea level, the temperature will drop 3.20F.

This means that when the beach is 700F, the summit is 380F! Although Maui’s climate is tropical, snow sometimes appears at the summit. If you decide to climb Haleakalā, make sure you take warm clothing in your backpack.

You may begin your ascent in the tropics, but you’ll arrive to weather more like the Arctic. Up Country Maui is wetter and cooler than neighboring South Maui because it sits at a higher elevation.

The low-lying central valley, where the airport is situated along with Kahului and Maalaea, is windy but dry and usually sunnier than other areas.

The trade winds hit the windward, eastern shores of the island, bringing moist air. As that air climbs the mountains, it releases the moisture as rain.

This leads to a lot of rain on the east side of the island, hence the rainforests.

The leeward, western shores, because they are sheltered from the wind by the mountains, only get a remnant of the rain. This makes the western shores relatively dry, especially where sheltered by Haleakalā.

The average temperatures on Maui don’t change too much from the winter to the summer. Because the island is in the tropics, it’s almost always warm.

In the coolest winter months, the average high is 800F and the low 650F, but around 10F cooler along the Hāna Highway.

If you want to snorkel, the ocean temperature is a pleasant 750F. Winter is the season that sees the most rainfall. In the warmest summer months, the average high is 840F and the low 700F but 830F-690F around Hāna. The ocean temperature rises to around 800F in summer.

Attractions

Maui is an island steeped in natural beauty and cultural history. There are many interesting places to visit and activities to enjoy. You can hike through the rainforest, snorkel in the crystal-clear water offshore, watch whales in the Pacific, or attend an authentic luau.

Maui is volcanic in origin, created by lava flows from two volcanoes. Haleakalā is the larger of the two volcanoes, responsible for over 75% of Maui’s landmass. You can find Haleakalā at the heart of Haleakalā National Park, which is a popular destination for tourists.

If you enjoy photography, you’ll love the sunset over the Pacific Ocean viewed from the summit of Haleakalā. And once the sun has gone down, Haleakalā is also a fantastic place to stargaze, when it is not cloudy.

At 10,000 feet elevation and with no light pollution, you get an uninterrupted view of the cosmos. The main feature of the park is the volcano’s crater. It is 7 miles long, 2 wide, and approximately 2,600 feet deep.

Another popular attraction inside the park is Hosmer’s Grove. This is an unusual collection of invasive trees from all around the world, including eucalyptus from Australia and pine from North America.

Visitors love to explore the Hāna Highway—Hawaii Routes 36 and 360. The highway winds along the North Shore between Kahului in Central Maui and Hāna in East Maui. Built by King Pi’ilani in the 16th century, this ancient road has a longer history than the Union.

It is only 64½ miles long but features 59 bridges, most only one lane wide, and many sharp bends. Driving along the highway, you will frequently stop to photograph the lush tropical rainforest.

You can also visit waterfalls, walk along stunning black-sand beaches, and view scenic mountains. However, if you decide to travel this route, expect delays. Even without stopping, the drive between the two towns takes 2½ hours.

Over in West Maui, the most popular destination for hikers is Iao Valley State Park. This is a stream-cut valley within the tropical rainforest, which features a distinctive natural landmark. Rising 1,200 feet from its base, the Iao Needle is a stunning basalt formation.

Not far away, on the north coast, you can find Nakalele Point. This scenic area of cliffs is famous for its blowhole, which spouts jets of seawater 100 feet into the air like a geyser.

Tourists fascinated by the cultural history of Maui flock to Lahaina, the largest settlement in West Maui. Once the residence of the royal family, Lahaina was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845.

Here is where you’ll find the oldest buildings and learn about local history. Lahaina still projects the ambiance of a 19th-century whaler’s seaport. The settlement’s historic district boasts 9 important historical buildings built between 1823 and 1901.

The 1859 Court House was constructed over the site of the royal palace, and the United States Marine Hospital dates to 1842. Banyan Tree Park occupies the site of the 1831 Lahaina Fort and features the largest banyan tree in Hawaii planted in 1873.

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We chose the Molokini And Turtle Town Snorkel w/ Lunch Buffet as our Editor's Choice for The Best Boat & Snorkel Tours from Lahaina, Maui

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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