Our Favorite Maui Activities

Our Favorite Maui Activities

Visiting the beautiful island of Maui soon? This wonderful Valley Isle holds so many treasures, it may be hard to narrow it down to which Maui activities you can fit into your trip here. So we’ve made a list of some of our favorite Maui activities – in addition to the volcano bike ride of course – that are sure to offer a memorable time.

Snorkel Molokini

snorkeling mauiWhen you see the amazing beauty of Maui’s mountains, beaches, and rainforests you may think: “Wow, it can’t get more gorgeous than this.” But a whole other world of unseen splendor that’s equally, if not more amazing, lies below the waters of Maui. Molokini is a small, moon-shaped island about three miles off the southwest coast of Maui. This crescent-shaped island is actually a partially-submerged volcanic crater that was named a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District. Molokini Crater is home to an abundant array of colorful coral reefs and more than 250 species of tropical fish and marine life including manta rays and whitetip reef sharks, making it one of the best snorkeling and diving destinations in Maui. The clear, calm waters of Molokini make for a great day of snorkeling with visibility of up to 150 feet. Because of the incredible marine life you’ll see around this gorgeous island crater, snorkeling Molokini is definitely a must on your Maui activities list!

Road to Hana

road to hanaThen you’ll want to spend a day on the famous Road to Hana. This rugged, white-knuckle drive from Kahului to the little town of Hana is one of the most beautiful scenic drives you’ll ever take, in addition to your Maui volcano tour down Haleakalā.

Not for the faint of heart to drive (there are van tours available) with its seemingly endless curves and one-lane bridges, the Road to Hana offers a ride into another world through captivating rainforests where you can stop and hike to unbelievable waterfalls and magnificent pools.

On this world-famous drive, you’ll see spectacular views of the ocean, its coastlines, and beaches, all from breathtaking cliffs. Stop along the way at a local fruit stand for a snack. Take your time at each scenic spot to take in the awe-inspiring beauty, but be sure to keep track of the time if you’re not staying in Hana so that you don’t have to drive this winding road at night. So if you’re up for even more adventure after your Maui bike tour, plan a day to travel the Road to Hana. 

Dinner and Shopping on Front Street

Near the Lahaina Harbor sits delightful Front Street – a quaint assortment of restaurants, charming boutiques, art galleries, jewelry shops and the ambiance of historic Old Town Lahaina. There’s also many historical buildings in this area of Lahaina including the Old Courthouse with its famously large banyan tree planted in the town square known as Banyan Tree Park. Eat dinner with a panoramic oceanfront view of the sunset at the Lahaina Fish Co. There’s so much to see and do in this historic whaling village. No vacation to Maui is complete without an afternoon of shopping and dining in this picturesque part of Lahaina on the west coast of Maui.

Whale Watching

whale watching mauiFrom the Lahaina Harbor you can take a whale watching tour to see one of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures, the humpback whale. These amazing mammals make Maui their home during the winter months, from December to May with the peak season from January through March.

During this time there are a number of Maui whale watching tours available including passenger rafts, charter boats, and catamarans that offer guided tours. Seeing these amazing creatures in person is another Maui activity that should not be missed.

Maui Volcano Bike Tour

maui bike rideThe Haleakalā Downhill bike tour is definitely a not-to-be-missed Maui activity. Viewing the the bi-coastal views on Haleakalā volcano is indescribable. It’s truly mesmerizing. Our self-paced Maui volcano bike tour is a great way to bike down Haleakalā and see all the beautiful sights of Upcountry Maui.

Go at your own pace from 6500′ onHaleakalā volcano all the way to the sea to the little town of Paia. Along the way you can stop at charming restaurants and shops, see protea farms, paniolo cowboys, and breathtaking views stretching out over the hills out to the sea. The Haleakalā Downhill bike tour is one of the most memorable things you can do in Maui.

 

Best Maui Bike Rides

Best Maui Bike Rides

Biking enthusiasts love Maui for its beautiful and yet diverse scenery. Maui biking trails can vary, from peaceful rides by the beach to challenging singletracks up Maui’s majestic mountains. No matter which Maui biking trail you take, you’re sure to see some amazingly beautiful sights. So if you’re planning a visit to the island soon, schedule some time to take a ride in this biker’s paradise and test your Maui mountain bike skills on the roads and trails below.

Haleakalā Bike Tour

Of course, every cyclist should bike Haleakalā at least once. Our Haleakalā Downhill bike tour starts at 6500′ feet where all bike tours are permitted on Maui to begin their rides. Wind downhill through the beautiful Upcountry of Maui and stop at little shops and towns along the way down to the sea. Our downhill Haleakalā bike tours are self-guided and allow you to explore around at your own pace.

The most advanced cyclists may want to traverse Haleakalā uphill, or maybe just part of it. Biking all the way up Haleakalā has been called “one of the most difficult bike climbs in the world” with gradients reaching up to 18% over 36 miles. Every year the toughest of cyclists climb Haleakalā in a race known as the Cycle to the Sun on the “longest, steepest paved road on the planet.”

But for most of us, biking down Haleakalā is the best choice for a Maui bike ride. The downhill Haleakalā bike tour is unquestionably an absolute must-do bike ride for those who want to see all the unique beauty Upcountry Maui has to offer.

Kahakapao Loop

For mountain bikers who want a more rigorous Maui bike ride, Kahakapao Loop is the trail to take. This singletrack bike ride in the Makawao Forest winds through “stands of eucalyptus, cook pines, and tropical ash,” the Maui Mountain Bike Coalition noted. Starting on the east side loop and riding clockwise, this steady climb has an average grade of 7.7%. “As a climb, the trail can be easy or challenging depending on the pace at which you ride,” the Coalition said. “As a descent, this trail gives cyclists speed and flow.” This singletrack through dense forests has roots and tight corners to look out for, and it’s not recommended to ride in wet conditions as it can get very slick.

West Maui Loop

west maui bike rideThe West Maui Loop bike ride is another awesome Maui bike ride to take on your vacation. Along with the Haleakalā bike tour and Hana Highway, West Maui is one of the most scenic bike rides in Maui. This challenging ride runs along the beautiful shorelines of northwest Maui. Because it is a loop, you can start and stop almost at any point along the bike ride. If you did ride the entire West Maui Loop, it would be about 60 miles. On the northern side of the loop, the road turns from a two-lane paved road into a one-lane winding road along cliffs, so great caution is needed. Because it gets windier as the day goes on, it’s best to start out early, but be careful because the roads can also be slick from dew or rain.

Along your bike through West Maui, you’ll see beautiful Honolua Bay, which is a great surfing break where many professional surfers come to test their skills. Then stop to see the Nakalele Blowhole just outside Honokohau Bay. Further on at the Kahakuloa Village, you can stop and have a bite to eat at the local banana bread stand before you continue on the meandering path. With its picturesque stops at every turn, the West Maui Loop is definitely another can’t-miss Maui bike ride.

If you love biking and want to explore Maui a little further, we offer bike rentals in Maui in addition to our self-paced bike tours. With our daily Maui bike rentals, you can rent the bike and equipment, along with a vehicle bike rack, and then the bike is yours to enjoy for the day. Call for more details.

Experience some of the most thrilling and enjoyable mountain bike rides on earth by taking one of these amazing Maui bike rides through this gorgeous island.

That Small Town Feeling can be Found in Makawao

That Small Town Feeling can be Found in Makawao

makawao-sidewalk-shadow-guy

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 Haleakalā. The Nearest town to Makawao is Pukalani. About 6 miles down Baldwin from Makawao is the small town of Paia.hitchingpost

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 Haleakalā 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.

makawao-town-skyview

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 an upcountry flair.

T Komoda Store and Bakery

Hours vary so check the day before to be sure it’s open when you’re in town. Komodas is well know locally because it’s been around forever (since 1916, really). The fresh baked goodies are amazing, especially the donuts on a stick!

Makawao Sushi and Deli

This is a small family-run purveyor of hand-made sushi and much more. Everybody in Hawaii has two jobs, and this sushi-deli combination definitely has a small town feel!

Makawao Steak House

No doubt about it this is a dinner steak house. You will always have the answer to “where’s the beef” after eating here.

History and More

makawao-history

Makawao has history. Best place to find out more is at the Makawao History Museum right in town. Walking around Makawao you’ll be immersed in a sense of history. Everywhere you look there are hints a how things used to be. In the meantime, here’s an article we wrote about Makawao that shares some of the history and more – https://mauisunriders.com/exploring-makawao-town/

Websites to find out more information about Makawao and the surrounding area

Walking around Makawao – https://www.mauihawaii.org/makawao-tour/

5 Reasons to Love Upcountry Maui – http://www.amauiblog.com/visit-upcountry-maui/

In the event you’re heading down the hill for lunch, we’ve written an article that will give you insight into what you’ll find in Paia – https://mauisunriders.com/lunch-in-paia/

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Love and Good Vibes in Haleakala Volcano

Love and Good Vibes in Haleakala Volcano

What is something that Machu Picchu, The Stonehenge and Haleakalā Volcano have in common? They are considered to be three of the top spiritual places in the world for having the strongest energy fields. What does it mean to be classified in such a category? Let’s put it this way: there are places in the world where you feel just that much closer to “The Divine”. Places where you find answers to unresolved questions or and tap into your more sensitive side as a reaction to those-called “energetic vibrations”. According to the Schumann Resonance Haleakalā Volcano matches at 7.8 cycles per second, the same resonance of our hearts and the natural state of Earth. It brings comfort and enables the feeling of love when spending time there. It’s no wonder an uncountable number of newly weds choose to take a trip up top while on their honeymoon. Pretty neat, huh?

We won’t bore you anymore with the “hippy-dippy” stuff but whether or not you’re in search of a spiritual journey, a check off the bucket list or simply some good ol’ vacation fun we’re pretty sure it’ll still change your life!

Photo by Dave Barnum

Photo by Maria Caridad

What Should I Wear On a Haleakala Bike Tour?

What Should I Wear On a Haleakala Bike Tour?

We often hear this question when visitors book their Haleakalā bike tour. And it is good that people ask because the answer may be different than some might expect. Our bike rides begin at 6500′ and isn’t quite as cold as the Summit of Haleakala.

halealala summitWe recommend that Haleakalā bike riders wear layers of clothing that can be taken off as they make their way down the mountain into warmer temperatures. When you get all the way down to Paia, you’ll probably only need a T-shirt and shorts. Long pants and a jacket are provided with the rain/wind gear included in the biking equipment and sometimes that is all people need. Of course, closed-toe shoes are recommended for all of the Haleakalā bike rides. You may be thinking, ‘where will I put all these clothes as I ride down the volcano?’ Well, for that very reason, we provide backpacks for our Haleakalā bike riders to carry their clothes. 

If your planning on catching a Haleakala Sunrise or sunset on your own, don’t forget to pack a sweatshirt and warm layers! At 10,000 feet above sea level, the temperature can get pretty cold and windy. At sunrise, temperatures generally are in the 40-degree range. On the peak of this Maui volcano, the weather can be unpredictable too. We generally recommend that visitors wear the warmest clothes they have with them, especially during the winter months. But it will be pretty cold even in summer. Some also bring hats, scarves, and even blankets, but make sure you bring a hat that won’t easily be blown off. It’s recommended that those at high altitudes such as at the summit, drink plenty of fluids, basically doubling their intake of water, refueling their electrolytes and eating plenty of carbohydrates to avoid altitude sickness.

The sunrise above the clouds at Haleakalā’s 10,000 ft. summit has been said to be one of the most memorable things you can experience, and we would have to agree. But just remember that at sunrise, the summit will be cold. It will be beautiful and worth the chilly temperatures, but bring warm clothes, particularly layers of clothes for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

First image courtesy of M – Pics at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

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 Haleakalā 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 even have a favorite restaurant they have booked for the group to eat at during a specific time. There are those who enjoy these more structured tours. But for those who like to explore on their own, a self-paced bike tour affords a more refreshing, personalized experience. On these bike tours, you can stop and go as you please on the route, on your timetable and at your pace. If you see an unusual photo op spot or want to just rest for a while and take in the amazing scenery, then you’re free to stop. You can check out any number of tiny shops, art galleries, and restaurants in the quaint towns along the way. It’s your day. You’re in control and have the peace and quiet to explore at your own pace.

Will you know where the scenic points on the route are though? Yes. On the Maui Sunriders’ downhill bike tour, you’re given a narrated tour of the route by an experienced tour guide as you’re driven up Haleakalā. This narrated tour will provide detailed information about the scenic points of interest on the route, great photo ops, history of the area, Hawaiian culture, and dining options. This is the same route you’ll bike down, so you’ll know exactly where to stop to see the major tourist sights and great places to stop and eat along the route.

Pretend you’re a local. Some visitors to Maui never leave their resort areas nestled along the beach, but in doing so, they miss a very different side of Maui, one equally beautiful and intriguing – Upcountry. This more rural area of Maui is where many of the locals call home. On our self-paced downhill bike tours of Haleakalā you’ll get to explore the many small towns and their charming shops, all at your own pace. One of these quaint towns is Makawao in the heart of what is called Paniolo Country. This rustic little town carries on the traditions of the paniolo or Hawaiian cowboy and here you can get a taste of small town country life by stopping in the many boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries in this historic town.

Bike all the way down to sea level. While some guided downhill bike tours take a detour before reaching sea level and take you back to your hotel, our self-paced bike tours allow you to ride from the mountain all the way down to sea level, back to our shop in Paia. This gives you a chance to see more of Maui and explore this laid back small town. This historic town has numerous colorful shops, art galleries, and a variety of restaurants. Paia, the heart of the North Shore, is also home to some of Maui’s most beautiful beaches, including the Ho’okipa Beach, known as the “windsurfing capital of the world.” With our self-paced bike tours, you can unwind at the beach at the end of the day or continue sightseeing through Paia.

A self-paced downhill bike tour through Upcountry Maui is an experience you’ll talk about for years to come, and our self-paced bike tour provides the freedom and flexibility to make your tour relaxing, enjoyable, and truly unforgettable.