Explore the Beauty of Maui Through a Downhill Bike Tour of Upcountry

  If you’re trying to plan an unforgettable vacation, Maui is the perfect destination. Stunningly unique beaches, intriguing rainforests, majestic mountains, and picturesque green hillsides with views down to the ocean, beautiful waterfalls, and a dormant volcano with a massive cinder crater are just some of the breathtaking sights you can see in Maui. Come during the winter, and you could also see whales! What more could you ask for? Well, those who want the full Maui experience may opt to see many of these wonders on an exhilarating bike tour.   While several companies offer van tours of Upcountry Maui, a downhill bike tour of the area offers a truly unique perspective that should not be missed. Why do we say that?   Be a part of the scenery. On a van tour, the beauty of Maui is seen mostly from a window, albeit possibly a large window, but still a window. You miss some of the experience like feeling the cool and refreshing mountain air, smelling the eucalyptus and jarcaranda trees, or hearing the rare birds of the region. Taking a downhill bike tour of Maui lets you be a part of the scenery and really take in the landscape from a new perspective. A bike tour of Haleakala and Upcountry is a uniquely peaceful, inspiring, and at the same time, exhilarating way to discover this part of Maui.   Stop where you like. Van tours of Maui and even guided bike tours have scheduled stops along the route. Of course, these will take you to the major tourist spots that everyone gathers at, and they may...

The Enchantment That Only Haleakala National Park Offers

In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated 100 years of preserving the natural beauty of the country’s national parks. During last year, some set out to visit most, if not all, of these parks. When people think of visiting America’s national parks though, they may not immediately think of Hawaii, but Haleakala National Park is one of the most unique parks in America’s park system and definitely not one to miss.   The enchantment of Haleakala National Park begins with its unique range of ecosystems and geographic features. “Haleakalā, rising from the sea to a 10,023-foot summit, and exposed to both the windward moist tradewinds and leeward drying air, has a variety of natural ecosystems. Wind, rain, temperature and altitude all play a role in shaping each zone, as well as bringing plants and animals here,” the NPS noted. The variety of different ecosystems you can see in this national park makes it an exceptional place to visit.   When you add the experience of biking down the volcano through this national park, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip. Taking a Haleakala bike tour down the mountain allows you to be in the scenery, not just see it through a car window. But what unique sights does Haleakala National Park offer?   On our Maui sunrise volcano tour, you’ll be driven up to the summit of Haleakala to witness the sun rise over the rolling clouds, creating a wondrous display of majestic colors. Then, you can explore the alpine cinder landscape of Haleakala Crater. This dry aeolian desert is home to a variety of high-elevation ecosystems and rare species....

How a Self-Paced Haleakala Bike Tour Compares to Guided Tours

Most Haleakala bike tour companies here on Maui offer only guided bike tours, and at first glance, a guided tour might seem like a better option, but there are numerous reasons why a self-paced bike tour is ultimately the best choice. Let’s compare some of the different features of these tours, and see why we refer to our tour as “self-paced” instead of “self-guided.”   Large guided groups. On average, the guided biking tours of other companies will have about 13 people in each group. The guide, of course, should take into consideration the biking pace of the group, but this can differ greatly from the pace at which you personally like to bike. Thus, this could cause you either frustration if they go too slow or unnecessary stress in trying to keep up. Biking at the pace of the guide could be especially difficult for families with children. While the roads are safe to bike on, large biking groups do create an unpopular hindrance for local traffic and thus could pose a greater risk of an accident.   Small ‘ride at your own pace’ groups. We started Maui Sunriders with the goal of offering a biking experience that was more accessible to families. Our family has always been active, and we loved biking down Haleakala with our children. So, we decided to offer a bike tour with greater freedom – one where you can ‘ride at your own pace,’ as we like to say. Whether you want to bike down with your family or with a small group of friends, our self-paced bike tours provide visitors with a...

Experience a Multitude of Microclimates on the Maui Sunrise Volcano Tour

While renowned for its gorgeous beaches, the majestic island of Maui is also known as one of the most beautiful places on earth because of its unique geographic features. What do we mean? Well, as you drive along the coast, you see a stunning ocean on one side and impressive mountains standing regally on the other. The striking beauty of these opposing landscapes is truly breathtaking.   And these divergent geo-features are what create a multitude of distinct microclimates that can best be seen on our Maui sunrise volcano tour of Haleakala. Only on this bike tour will you get to experience the full range of climates that make up Maui as you start at the top of the Haleakala volcano and ride all the way down to the sea. But are these climates that diverse? What are some of the different microclimates you bike through on the Maui sunrise volcano tour?   A volcanic desert retreat. On the sunrise bike tour, you will be driven up to the summit of the Haleakala volcano, which sits at an elevation of 10,023. There, above the clouds, you’ll watch the sun come up over the distinctive cinder landscape of the dormant volcano. At this elevation and with clear skies, the weather often offers excellent viewing conditions but is also windy and can get pretty cold at sunrise with the dry desert air.   From here, you can also see the crater of the volcano, an eroded volcanic depression that is 7 miles long, 2 miles wide, and 2,600 ft. deep and containing many brown and red volcanic cones from past eruptions....

Breakfast Options On Your Way Down from a Haleakala Sunrise

We receive a lot of positive feedback from our guests, including favorite breakfast spots they’ve discovered. We’d like to share some of the awesome breakfast options for those seeking a hot cup of coffee and tasty breakfast food that you can explore after your next Haleakala Sunrise experience. These selected breakfast spots are in and around Makawao and Paia towns here on Maui. Makawao Breakfast Spots   SipMe This little gem is a crowd favorite for tasty treats that are gluten free and healthy barista creations with wifi and a big smile early in the morning. Open Monday-Saturday: 6am-5pm and Sunday: 7am – 4pm. Website: http://www.sipmemaui.com/ Phone: 808-573-2340 Address: 3617 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, Hawaii Google Map Link   Casanova Deli This is a little local-style express breakfast place with limited seating, friendly staff and a host of local regular characters that make the place a warm down-to-earth must visit. Hours: Opens at 7:30am Open Daily 7:30AM -11:30am, Sundays 8:30-11:30am. Website: http://casanovamaui.com/bc/casanova-makawao/deli/ Google Map Link   Komoda Store and Bakery Been around since the early 1900s and has some not so consistent hours, but the donuts on a stick are world renown! Closed Wednesday and Sunday, but open 7am to 4pm except Saturday they’re open till 2pm. Address: 3674 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768 Phone: 808-572-7261 Google Map Link   Market Fresh Bistro Open later than the others we’ve presented here, but you never know when the need for coffee will present itself. If you happen to be in Makawao around 9am add this option to your list! They’re closed Mondays but open for breakfast Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00am –...

Word of Mouth is important to Maui Sunriders!

One of the most rewarding aspects of working at Maui Sunriders is the tremendous sense of accomplishment we enjoy when our guests recommend our services to others. That word of mouth and reviews are the cornerstone of our success here at Maui Sunriders. Word of Mouth is a critically important factor that differentiates us from our competition. And our reviews give our potential customers a glimpse of what to expect. Here are some recent reviews: “Unique outdoor fun at our own pace!” 5-stars on TripAdvisor This was a great way to spend a morning on Maui, and a full-featured tour, beginning with a narrated tour up the mountain in a van with other guests (I think there were 8 in our group, all couples), and then the view of the sun rising above the clouds, followed by a looonnnggg bike ride down the mountain, at your own pace. We were very happy with our tour guide, Nikota, who shared his local perspective and stories about places on the way up. He also provided a safety briefing and we were supplied with a backpack with bike lock, and lightweight waterproof pants and jackets. On the way up, he gave suggestions of places we might like to stop on the way back down, for breakfast, coffee, or a souvenir – very helpful. At the mountain top, we were a bit surprised by the number of people there – this is a popular sight to see, and there is a park ranger there to explain the setting, and even an artist who performed a native chant at sunrise. We had to jostle...

Mana Foods is a must-experience local store in Paia

If you are anywhere near Paia and you’ve never experienced Mana Foods Grocery Store, then you absolutely MUST spend time in this uniquely awesome place. Mana is a one-of-a-kind, definitely Paia, iconic local place to shop for everything that is largely organic, locally-sourced produce, rare finds in foods like buffalo, venison, chocolate, Jack and Dragon Fruit, with a complete hot and cold food deli, bulk coffee, grains, pasta and on-site bakery. The “chocolate wall” is a chocolate lovers dream come true! You’ll also find home-remedy supplies, health and beauty items and much more in this labyrinth of pure community-driven, health-conscious grocery store. The most important and best reason to visit Mana Foods is the people. The local and surprisingly international patrons are decidedly people-watch worthy. The natural diversity and mix of cultures browsing the aisles are a remarkable sampling of the local flavors including what some might describe as “hippy” or “counter-culture” but they’re just people who live the “Northshore” health-conscious (seemingly laid back) lifestyle. But the Mana crowd is not just the youthful first impression; all walks of local Maui life frequent the place. The conversations and friendly folks that you’ll meet are sure to be one of the highlights of your Maui experience. Mana Foods is open daily from 8am to 8:30pm, located on Baldwin Ave in Paia at 49 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779 | website Unique Finds Maui Chocolate Avocado Local Produce Wow Chocolate Health & Beauty Rare Finds Dragon Fruit Hot Food Wild Boar More Chocolate Figs Tasty Treats Elk This is Mana Venison Chocolate Wall Buffalo Jack Fruit Shallots, Tumeric, etc...

Understanding Maui

Maui is a special place filled with real magic that some people have experienced daily for their entire life. To them Maui has it’s own time separate from the rest of the world and that clock comes from within. So don’t be surprised if you notice that this isn’t Kansas anymore. Maui No Ka Oi You’ll hear people from all the different Islands of Hawaii say, “Maui No Ka Oi” when they are describing the island of Maui. It means, “Maui is the best”. And it’s true. They say so because Maui has it’s own energy and vibe. It’s laidback but not boring. There’s always something going on when you are seeking an adventure or entertainment, but there are just as many opportunities for seclusion and relaxation here on Maui. If you are blessed with an abundance of time to explore Maui, you’ll start to understand Maui better if you begin at an unhurried pace. Aloha Friday Every Friday is affectionately called, “Aloha Friday”, and for good reason. It is for all intents and purposes a holiday that is celebrated once a week. Because these are the “islands of Aloha” we embrace and practice Aloha here 24 hours a day, all year long. In fact, Maui doesn’t have a “happy hour”, some claim we have one “ok hour” and 23 happy hours every day. Aloha means so much more then we can share here in this article. You’ll see and experience it for yourself no matter how long you are here. We Celebrate at the drop of a hat There’s always a celebration somewhere on Maui for some reason....

That Small Town Feeling can be Found in Makawao

This little upcountry town is sure to be the most charming small town you’ll experience on Maui. Don’t be surprised to see people walking around town with cowboy boots on, or even riding horses. This is Paniolo country after all. Makawao is located at the intersection of Makawao Avenue and Baldwin Avenue on the Northwest side of Haleakala. The Nearest town to Makawao is Pukalani. About 6 miles down Baldwin from Makawao is the small town of Paia. Depending on what time and how you arrive in Makawao, parking could be a challenge, so if you arrive by bicycle you’re in luck! There’s even a historic hitching post that reminds us that horses used to line these streets back in the day. If you just rode down the Haleakala on a bike, this is the first town you come to. If you arrive in the morning you might be ready for a hot cup of coffee or even breakfast. Here’s a short list of places to get food and tasty Makawao goodness. Cassanova Italian Restaurant and Deli Express Casanova has a little “deli express” that’s open most mornings. The lunch and dinner part of the restaurant opens midday. You might find nightly entertainment here as well. Makawao Rodeo General Store The Makawao General Store is also open early and offers coffee and more. SipMe Coffee Shop One of my favorite places is SipMe Coffee Shop. It’s open all week and has fresh coffee, locally sourced treats and Wifi. Polly’s Mexican Restaurant If you’re ready for lunch or dinner, this is the place to get affordable Mexican food made with...

Cool Stuff on your Ride Down a Volcano on the Island of Maui

There’s an incredible amount of awesome stuff to see and experience on your way down from atop Haleakala.  Let’s start with the view! From the moment you embark on your journey up Haleakala, you’ll begin to see glimpses of the majesty that is Maui; vistas and valleys, green rolling hills and so much more… Once you’re near the top you’ll mount your bike for the trip back down. From here on it’s an at-your-own-pace adventure. Don’t forget to stop and snap a few pictures of yourself, and of course the views. The twisting and turning of the road reveals endless opportunities for selfies and staged shots with your friends. On the way up the mountain your guide will show you where to turn on your way back down. The first right on your way down is where the long zig-zag Crater Road runs into Kekaulike Ave (hwy 377) better known as Haleakala Highway. Much of this area is upcountry residential neighborhoods. Soon after your first right you will see Kula Lodge and Restaurant on your left (Check their hours to see if they will be open during your ride). The next few miles is some of Maui’s most incredible rolling hills and countryside. You’ll see endless views of farms and ranches; Eucalyptus and Jacaranda trees surrounded by vibrant green meadows. There’s just no chance you’ll not stop to take a few pictures in this area. Next up you might see a herd of goats mowing the tall grass on either side of the highway. And often there are beautiful horses standing near the fence just waiting for you to...

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