The beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui is known for its wild, volcanic interior, lush rainforests and the popular Road to Hana, a winding narrow road passing numerous waterfalls and natural features. The combination of tropical jungle and high volcanoes means that there is often plenty of rainfall on certain sections of Maui. This is especially true during the rainy season from November to March. The East and South of the island are generally the best places to find waterfalls and some, like Wailua, are major attractions in their own right.
Hikes into the forest to see the tall cascades of water falling down through the trees are a great way to experience the island’s natural environment. Most tours depart from a designated spot in Kahukui or Paia, so it’s worth considering this before booking. Here are five of the best Maui hiking and waterfall tours, taking into account factors such as the itinerary, value for money, health and safety features and, given the physical demands, the provision of food and water on the tour.
From $145/per person
This popular tour in Eastern Maui does exactly what you’d expect and then some. Follow the streams uphill from the trailhead to a series of waterfalls between 10 and 40 feet high (3-12m). While the hike is not particularly difficult, everything is provided here, including backpacks, snacks, bottled water and ponchos in case of rain. Your guide will unwrap the natural world for you, pointing out flora and even fresh fruit that can be eaten, provided that you’re there in the right season. Have lunch by a waterfall and even take a dip in a refreshing plunge pool.
From $179/ per person
A similar tour departing from Paia adds a little more adventure into the mix, with an energetic hike followed by waterfall swimming and even some cliff jumping if you feel comfortable with it. Along the way, your guide will point out plants such as taro and explain their significance to Hawaiian culture. Eco-friendly, reusable water bottles are provided and you’ll be given some complementary Go-Pro photos at the end of the tour. Previous guests really rave about this tour.
From $181/ per person
If you don’t have your own vehicle on Maui, this waterfall and hiking tour offers pick-up and drop-off from the island’s major resorts, such as Wailea and Kapalua, among others. Follow part of the Road to Hana to a valley in East Maui where you’ll then hit the trails. This tour involves only a 2.5-mile (4-km) hike, which should be suitable for any reasonably healthy person. Along the way you’ll see numerous waterfalls and take a swim in a hidden pool. Lunch is provided.
From $187/ per person
Many visitors to Maui are keen to add even more outdoor experiences to their tour itinerary and this one offers an excellent combination of salt and freshwater activities. Start out in a kayak at Makena Landing Beach Park, a pretty little cove where the paddling is not challenging. Find a calm spot to dive in and snorkel in the clear water, looking out for green turtles. Finally, you’ll head inland into the rainforest in search of waterfalls and plunge pools where you can get into the water once more.
From $239/ per person
Another popular combination tour includes a drive along the Road to Hana to a verdant valley, where you’ll get to trek to two different waterfalls, swim in a plunge pool and have a lunch surrounded by gorgeous nature. You’ll then drive for a while along winding roads to the Haleakala Zipline, which includes five different ziplines through the forest and a wobbly, Indiana Jones-style bridge section. This tour lasts around six hours and runs on Mon, Weds and Fri each week.