A Thrill Seekers Guide to Maui
For some just stepping foot on Maui is a thrill all in of itself, for others the true excitement won’t begin until their adrenaline starts pumping. This article is for the latter group, those that truly want to push their comfort zone to its boundaries during their visit to the island. And luckily for thrill seekers everywhere, Maui has more than its fair share of thrilling diversions. From diving with sharks to hiking the rim of a volcano, Maui has it all and then some. Below we will look at some of the top activities the island has to offer that are guaranteed to get your blood pumping.
Take a Dive with Hammerheads
We might be biased, but in our book, it doesn’t get more thrilling than diving with sharks. Besides offering a true thrill, scuba diving with Hammerhead sharks is a great way to see one of nature’s greatest apex predators in their natural element and up close and personal. And Hammerheads are some of the most unique sharks the ocean has to offer thanks in part to their distinctive cephalofoil (or hammer shaped) head, which allows the sharks to see 360 degrees both above and below them.
Not advanced enough of a diver to start with our Hammerhead tour? No problem, we also offer a discovery diver package that is perfect for those that are just getting their feet wet in the world of scuba. This package is perfect for beginners looking to experience the thrill and freedom of underwater exploration that only scuba diving can provide.
Bike Down Haleakala
Haleakala is the name early Hawaiians gave East Maui Volcano—which is the volcano that is responsible for 75% of Maui’s land mass. The name in Hawaiian means “house of the sun” and it should come as no surprise that this long dormant volcano is the perfect place for thrill seekers. One of the best ways to experience the sheer size of Haleakala (over 10,000 feet at its highest point) is to bike down it.
While few commercial biking companies are allowed to offer tours within the National Park that contains Haleakala, there are still a few that offer bike rentals so that you can give it a go yourself or with a guide. And why not give it a try? Doing so will allow you to say that you’ve biked down one of the country’s 10 most prominent peaks.
Try Windsurfing at Ho’okipa Beach Park
Windsurfing (for the uninitiated) is basically just like the standard surfing you are more familiar with, just with most of the paddling removed thanks to the board being powered by the wind. Sounds great, right? Well, that’s because it is, and windsurfers come from all over the world to enjoy Ho’okipa Beach (one of the windiest places in the world). However, for a true beginner, the windsurfing available at Ho’okipa Beach Park is probably too advanced and dangerous for most. This is because—during the winter months especially—waves can reach up to 30-feet in height.
This means even expert windsurfers have to be willing to ditch their gear to preserve their personal safety. But for those willing to risk it, Ho’okipa offers an opportunity for some awesome windsurfing and the ability to try to pull off tricks like you’ll see here.
Hike Haleakala Rim to Rim
What if you’re not a big biker but still want to take a stab at conquering Haleakala? Well, for the brave there are a series of often challenging trails that allow you to hike around Haleakala and enjoy its varied and beautiful landscape on your own two feet. For those that worry hiking rim to rim at Haleakala will be a proverbial walk in the park, nothing can be further from the truth. If the punishing changes in elevation don’t get you, the unpredictable weather patterns just might. That is why it is best to be prepared for chilly and even cold weather if you plan to try for a hike from the summit. And be sure to bring plenty of food and water for your hike as you won’t encounter any within the park’s bounds. There are many crater trails for hiking, but one of the most popular trails is the 11-mile Keonehe’ehe’e (Sliding Sands) Trail. Doing the whole trek requires a full-day of hiking and will take you from the trailhead down to the valley floor and up to Halemau’u—which has a 7,990 ft elevation.
Whale Watch from a Kayak
Whale watching is one of Maui’s favorite pastimes, and (if you’re reasonably advanced) one of the best ways to go whale watching is by kayak. Doing a whale watching tour by kayak is certainly more strenuous, but the reward is all the greater, as you most likely will be able to get closer to whales in a kayak than you would on a larger boat. You’ll have to start your day early if you want the best chance of catching a glimpse of a Humpback in its natural splendor. And be sure not to bring anything with you that can’t get wet, as the chances of flipping your kayak over in choppy surf aren’t zero. Not sure you have the stamina for kayaking? If whale watching is something you still want to do during your visit to Maui, consider a more conventional boat based whale watching tour. While not as extreme as kayaking next to one of the largest mammals on the planet, the majesty of a whale is still awe inspiring, even when viewed from the deck of a boat.
So, there you have it, five activities guaranteed to get even the most jaded adrenaline junky’s heart racing. As you can see, the opportunities that Maui contains is nearly limitless, with something for everyone. But when undertaking such risky activities, make sure to head the warnings of all posted signs and the instruction of your guides. And if you are looking for a local dive shop that cares as much about your own experience and protecting the ecology of the Hawaiian Islands as much as you do, please consider us at Dive Maui for all of your scuba diving, snorkeling and whale watching needs.