MAUI'S NATURAL ATTRACTIONS

 
 

A sensory overload...    

 
         
     

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands behind the Big Island and the second most visited island behind Oahu. The peanut-shaped island is also called "The Valley Isle" for its large fertile valley between its two volcanoes. It is centrally located among the principal Hawaiian Islands. Maui has abundant recreational opportunities for everyone.

Some of Hawaii’s most spectacular scenery can be seen Maui’s "Road to Hana". Now, The Road to Hana is not for everybody. If you’re traveling with children who tend to be unimpressed with magnificent scenery or anybody in your party is prone to carsickness... then the Road to Hana is not for you. This narrow road winds 52 miles between the quaint historic town of Paia and the sleepy, isolated, distinctively Hawaiian village of Hana. It twists along the mountainous coast through over 600 hairpin turns and switchbacks through coastal valleys and gulches, 54 one-lane bridges and many more sections of one lane roadway with frequent elevation changes. The drive is not easy. However, the strong of stomach are richly rewarded with breathtaking beauty unspoiled by development. Countless waterfalls tower above and cascade beneath the aging one-lane bridges. Tulip trees, mango, passion-fruit and papaya trees, rainbow eucalyptus and other colorful rainforest foliage lines the road. Sea cliffs and crashing waves are visible below. There’s even a black sand beach near Hana. The endpoint of the journey (as far a most rental car contracts permit) is Oheo Gulch, also known as the Seven Sacred Pools. Although the name would seem to indicate otherwise, there are actually dozens of pools and waterfalls within the area... eventually pouring into the sea. Despite the peril, visitors are permitted to jump from the cliffs, swim in the pools and climb into the waterfalls. Facilities along the road to Hana are limited. There are no corporate icons, no towering hotels and very few dining options. The tradeoff is unspoiled, exotic beauty.

Oheo Gulch marks the eastern tip of Maui’s Haleakala National Park, named after the 10,000 tall Haleakala volcano which forms Maui’s eastern side. A 5-hour drive back along the Hana Highway and up the Haleakala Highway will bring you to the park’s western entrance, a decidedly different landscape. Haleakala Highway ascends the mountain offering gorgeous views of central and western Maui. The10,023 foot summit overlooks the colorful, but barren Haleakala Crater. From the summit, visitors can see the neighboring islands of Molokai, Kahoolawe and Lanai as well as the sometimes-snowcapped peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii. Maui Sunriders is a company offering self-guided downhill bicycle tours. From the park entrance you’ll ride 32 miles down the lava fields and through Maui’s Upcountry filled with shops, restaurants galleries and flower farms.

Like the other principal Hawaiian Islands, Maui has plenty of sand beaches, great snorkeling areas and surfing opportunities. For the beginning surfer, a great place to learn is the Maui Surf Clinic in Lahaina. Welcoming novice surfers of all ages, Maui Surf Clinic teaches the basics of surfing as well as etiquette and ocean awareness. Typically, first-time surfers are on their feet riding waves by the end of their two-hour lesson. Maui is home to many great golf courses. Kapalua Resort hosts the annual Mercedes-Benz Championship on the PGA Tour.

         
           
    WELCOME TO HANA   BLACK SAND BEACH NEAR HANA   NEAR HANA   ROAD TO HANA   SEVEN SACRED POOLS
                     
           
    ROAD TO HANA   SEVEN SACRED POOLS   SEVEN SACRED POOLS   ROAD TO HANA   ROAD TO HANA
                     
           
    ROAD TO HANA   HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK   HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK   HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK   HALEAKALA CRATER
                     
             
    MAUNA LOA AND MAUNA KEA FROM HALEAKALA   HALEAKALA SUMMIT   HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK   MAUI SURF CLINIC