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To make the most of Maui‘s natural splendor, consider taking a guided tour of the island. Analyzing both traveler sentiment and expert opinion, U.S. News determined the following 14 excursions to be the best available. Whether you want to watch the sunrise at Haleakala National Park, go snorkeling around Molokini, take to the water on a whale watching adventure, experience the island from above in a helicopter, or sample some of the Hawaiian island’s best pineapple, there’s a tour on this list that fits your interests and budgets. Each one of these Maui tours features experienced guides eager to share their insights about the Valley Isle’s scenery, cuisine, history and culture.
Hike Maui – Waterfall and Rainforest Hiking Adventure
Price: From $155
Duration: 5 hours
See waterfalls measuring up to 40 feet on this five-hour hike through a valley in East Maui that’s located off the Hana Highway. You’ll also have the option to swim and jump into the large pools beneath several of the falls. Along with the spectacular rainforest scenery, you’ll enjoy commentary from your naturalist tour guide, as well as snacks and lunch. Tours are capped at 12 people. According to reviewers, the hike is suitable for all fitness levels and the guide is excellent. Travelers describe the experience as memorable and a must-do in Maui.
Tours, which are generally available daily starting at 9:30 a.m., cost about $155 per person. Note: Hikers must be at least 6 years old. The company also conducts a hike along the Haleakala Crater.
Air Maui – West Maui and Molokai Tour
Price: From $420
Duration: 1 hour
West Maui and Molokai boast some of the island’s most stunning waterfalls, along with tall sea cliffs and mountains. Helicopter tours provide an excellent vantage point from which to admire these natural wonders. From Air Maui’s six-passenger helicopter, tourgoers might also glimpse humpback whales during wintertime. Two-way headsets are used onboard so flyers won’t miss a word from their pilot/guide. In addition to marveling at the amazing views, passengers consistently note the pilots’ skill and good humor, and many recommend booking the doors off option.
Tickets cost around $420 per person for the 60-minute trip. Air Maui operates several other helicopter tours of the region, including shorter 45-minute flights. Departure times may vary and weight restrictions apply.
Bike Maui – Sunrise Guided Tour
Price: From $270
Duration: 8 hours
The sunrise lures many visitors to the summit of Haleakala National Park’s namesake peak, but this tour stands out for blending a dawn-of-day viewing with a 23-mile bike ride down Haleakala and through the park’s volcanic landscape to Haiku (where Bike Maui is based). You won’t have to worry about biking up the mountain: Bike Maui will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the summit. Early morning bicyclists cheer the beauty of the sunrise and also praise the knowledgeable, helpful ride leaders. The eight-hour tour usually begins between 3 and 4 a.m., depending on the time of year.
It costs approximately $270 to take this ride, and that includes round-trip transportation, use of mountain bikes and helmets and access to rain gear. Self-guided bike tours are also an option. For those who’d rather skip the sunrise, Bike Maui offers the same ride with a slightly later departure at 8 a.m.
Temptation Tours – Hana Ultimate Tour
Price: From $250
Duration: 11 hours
If you don’t want to navigate the hairpin turns of the Road to Hana yourself, consider this full-day tour. You and up to seven other travelers will board a luxury van to begin your journey on the legendary highway. Along the way, you’ll stop at Kaumahina State Park, Waianapanapa State Park (home to a stunning black sand beach), Waikani Falls and Hookipa – a world-class windsurfing beach. Reviewers say this is a great way to see the sights along the Road to Hana thanks to the experienced drivers, who also double as guides. Travelers are also complimentary of the food stops and the comfortable vans.
The approximately $250 price covers transportation (including round-trip hotel transportation) as well as breakfast and lunch. Tours generally depart Tuesday through Saturday at 7 a.m. and return at 6 p.m. Temptation Tours also offers private charters, as well as a Road to Hana tour that includes a helicopter ride.
Skyline Hawaii – Kaanapali 8-Line Adventure
Price: From $190
Duration: 3 hours
Soar up to 150 feet above the Kaanapali Resort area on this three-hour zip line tour. As you glide down the zip lines, you’ll be treated to views of the ocean and the Iao Valley’s West Maui Mountains. Guides will also share information about Hawaiian culture and history. Reviewers praise the entertaining, safety-conscious guides and say the views are beautiful.
Ticket prices start at approximately $190 per person; participants must be at least 10 years old. Tours are generally available Monday through Friday four times a day starting at 8 a.m., though availability may vary by month. Skyline Hawaii also offers tours that combine a visit to Haleakala National Park with zip lining.
Maui Pineapple Tours – Pineapple Farm Tour
Price: Adults from $75; kids from $65
Duration: 1.5 hours
Pineapple is one of the must-sample fruits in Hawaii, so why not see where they’re grown? During the 90-minute walk through Maui Gold’s fields and facilities, guides impart facts about the crop’s cultivation and production, which participants find both informative and entertaining.
The tour costs approximately $75 for adults and $65 for kids ages 3 to 12; prices include a pineapple for each participant to take home. Tours are offered daily at 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. You can opt to combine your farm tour with the tour of a distillery that uses Maui Gold’s pineapples in its spirits.
Maui Easy Riders – The Original Haleakala Downhill Bike Ride – Group Tour
Price: From $225
Duration: 5 hours
This small-group tour is designed to be virtually effortless. The cycling portion of the tour starts at about 6,500 feet above sea level just outside Haleakala National Park. From there, a maximum of eight cyclists coast downhill on single-speed cruisers with wide seats. A van follows behind to ensure protection from motor vehicles – a feature many riders greatly appreciate. Tours start and end at the beach in Paia and cyclists are driven to the ride’s starting point. The 25-mile route passes cattle ranches and pineapple farms, with stops in a few small towns like Makawao and Paia. Tours generally depart every day at 9 a.m. and last four to five hours.
Tickets cost approximately $225 per person; riders must be at least 12 years old. Maui Easy Riders also offers a private version of this tour.
Redline Rafting – Molokini Crater and South Maui Coast Snorkel Tour
Price: From $200
Duration: 5 hours
On this five-hour snorkel tour, you’ll visit La Perouse Bay for a chance to see the bay’s resident spinner dolphins and Molokini. Crescent-shaped Molokini Crater, a partially submerged volcanic caldera, is regarded as one of the best Maui snorkeling spots because it’s sheltered from powerful currents and waves. Snorkelers may also spot sea turtles and (in winter) humpback whales The crew consistently wins high marks for being helpful, personable and entertaining. Reviewers also appreciate the chance to see the crater before the afternoon crowds, and the manageable group size (up to 24 participants are welcome in each tour).
Tours take place daily from 7 a.m. to noon. The approximately $200 fee includes the boat ride, use of snorkeling equipment, a light breakfast and lunch. Be aware that this tour is not suited for pregnant women or kids younger than 8 years old. Kihei-based Redline Rafting also provides a two-hour snorkeling tour, seasonal whale watching tours and private boat tours.
Pride of Maui – Maui Sunset Luau Dinner Cruise
Price: Adults from $180; kids from $120
Duration: 2 hours
This single cruise checks several items off a traveler’s Maui to-do list. During the two-hour cruise, you’ll see traditional Polynesian dancing, enjoy a luau dinner and watch a beautiful sunset over the ocean. As an added bonus, the outing may also double as a whale watching tour from December through March (when whales are present in Maui’s waters). Trip-takers typically describe this tour as a great value with tasty fare, excellent views and an adept crew. Boats depart from Maalaea Harbor at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, though exact availability may vary by month.
Tickets, which cover dinner and access to an open bar, start at approximately $180 for adults and $120 for kids ages 6 to 12. Children 4 and younger sail for free. Pride of Maui offers a snorkeling excursion to Turtle Town and private charters.
Four Winds II – Morning Snorkel to Molokini Crater
Price: Adults from $160; kids from $125
Duration: 5 hours
Aboard the Four Winds II catamaran, you’ll sail 3 miles to Molokini Crater where you’ll have time to snorkel and see ample marine life, including turtles. As an added bonus, from December through March, humpback whales may be glimpsed too. Reviewers often call this trip one of the best snorkeling tours they’ve taken and praise the crew for their insight and professionalism. However, others warn of rough waters and a lackluster breakfast selection.
Maui Bombers – Cycle to the Sea
Price: From $225
Duration: 4.5 hours
Biking enthusiasts appreciate the ride leaders’ energy and passion for this 30-mile downhill ride. The Cycle to the Sea ride starts on the Haleakala volcano at 6,700 feet above sea level, then rides down the mountain along hairpin turns and winding roads. You’ll pass by pineapple and sugar cane fields and through towns, such as Kula, Makawao (where the group stops for lunch) and Paia. The trip concludes at the beach at Lower Paia Park.
The $225 price includes transportation to the Haleakala Ranch and use of bikes, as well as lunch. Rides are generally offered daily beginning at 8 a.m. and end around 12:30 p.m. (availability may vary by month). Know that Maui Bombers caters its tours to experienced bikers. Maui Bombers also offers an unguided version of this tour, as well as a 40-mile ride called Cycle Supreme.
Alii Nui Maui – Royal Sunset Sail
Price: From $230
Duration: 2.5 hours
Alii Nui Maui’s Royal Sunset Sail is an adults-only affair. The 2 1/2-hour sailboat ride features a buffet dinner and an open bar. The highlight, however, is watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. The crew, the meal, the boat and the sunset views all receive plaudits from passengers. Sailings depart each evening at 5:15 p.m.
Tickets cost about $230; the price includes food and drinks and optional round-trip transportation to area hotels. Alii Nui Maui also offers several other sailing excursions and private charters, as well as non-boating Maui activities like horseback rides and luaus.
Kapalua Ziplines – 6 Dual Zip Line Tour
Price: From $220
Duration: 3 hours
Despite its name, the 6 Dual Zip Line Tour entails more than zip lines. While the roughly three-hour activity does involve nearly 8,500 feet of travel via zip lines, it also incorporates a walk across a 360-foot suspension bridge and all-terrain vehicle rides through the West Maui mountains. Along the way, guides share information about local plants and animals. Tour-takers invariably describe the excursion as great fun and the staff as highly professional.
Tickets start at around $220; participants must be at least 10 years old. Tours are offered Monday through Friday multiple times a day starting at 7:30 a.m. Kapalua Ziplines also offers shorter tours that traverse four zip lines.
PacWhale Eco-Adventures – Molokini and Turtle Arches Snorkeling Trip
Price: Adults from $160; kids from $110
Duration: 5 hours
This tour combines a visit to the clear waters of the Molokini conservation area with an additional stop at Turtle Arches for more snorkeling and a chance to spot sea turtles. You’ll also get plenty of fuel throughout the day as a continental breakfast and barbecue lunch are included. Naturalists serve as guides and are generally deemed friendly and helpful. Travelers also say this outing is great for novice snorkelers.
Fees for this five-hour tour start at approximately $160 for participants 13 and older and $110 for kids ages 5 to 12. Boats depart daily at 7 and 8 a.m.; there’s an additional tour at 8:30 a.m. during the summer. PacWhale also offers a dolphin-watching snorkel excursion along Lanai‘s coastline and a seasonal whale watching trip.