Maui's abundance of natural beauty invites exploration. Among the diverse landscapes lie some of the more rare ecosystems found anywhere in the world, which have inspired a wide spectrum of eco tours in Maui. Visitors have the chance to try a fun, memorable experience, all while keeping the environment in mind.
Haleakala National Park, a favorite place for an eco tour in Maui, stretches from the sea to the freshwater pools of Oheo Gulch. Located in the Kipahulu region, this out-of-the-way destination can be reached after a scenic ride along the Hana Highway. Once visitors arrive at the 30,000-acre natural wonderland, they will find an array of interesting things to do, including hiking and exploring a bamboo grove. The hike to Waimoku Falls winds along a stream and includes two bridges spanning gorgeous canyons. The park is home to an amazing array of life, including many endangered species. It has been designated as an International Biosphere Reserve for the efforts to preserve native plants and animals.
Maui Eco Tours
The park wraps around the crater of a dormant volcano, and visitors can join park rangers on distinctive Maui eco tours to learn the story of the volcano and the surrounding wilderness. In addition, park guides also lead hikes through the Waikamoi Preserve, a cloud forest, home to rare plants and beautiful birds. Guides from the Nature Conservancy also lead hikes here, in addition to other eco tours in Maui.
In Central Maui near Wailuku, visitors can embark on Maui eco tours in sight of an amazing natural landmark—the Iao Needle. This 1,200-foot rock and the steep-walled Iao Valley, both carved over time, comprise one of the best-known scenic sites on the island. Eco tourists can hike the lush valley on their own or with a guide from the Hawaii Nature Center. A visit to the interactive nature museum is also likely to be of interest to nature buffs. Another center of environmental education, the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens in Kahului, provide a place to connect with the islands' living heritage. Several events are hosted at the gardens throughout the year, including a grand celebration on Earth Day in April.
Throughout the island, local outfitters offer a variety of eco tours in Maui, and the guides share their expertise and provide access to some rarely visited areas. Some tours include hikes through rain forests and by waterfalls, and with access to privately owned sites, travelers can visit scenic sights they wouldn't be able to see on their own. There is also a variety of activities that can be part of an eco tour in Maui, such as a combination kayaking and hiking trip of West Maui or spending time on the Haleakala Crater with a chef and an excellent meal.
Not all Maui eco tours take place on land. Once vacationers have left the shore, they will find an array of interesting places to explore, including sea caves created from cooling lava, sparkling blue waters, and reefs teeming with a rainbow of marine life. Dolphin swims, whale watching tours, and guided snorkeling expeditions provide access to the amazing diversity of life found off the shores of the island and are a fine complement to taking an eco tour in Maui on land. More active travelers can go diving, parasailing, wakeboarding, and water-skiing.