Looking for the best things to do in Maui for adventure? Everything you need to know is here, including reviews and where to book your tickets. Plus, there are lots of FREE top 10 activities that will be easy on your budget!
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The best thing about snorkeling is that it will fit into ANY budget.
Snorkel right off the beach for free at these 3 spots that are great for any skill level:
Are you an experienced snorkeler?
Then be sure to check out the Ahihi Kinau Marine Preserve - entry here is also free.
At one particularly special snorkel site, we saw a wall of fish that stretched as far as the eye could see - we were in AWE! Want to see it for yourself?
Read everything you need to know about this special spot in: the Ahihi Kinau Marine Preserve.
Got a bigger snorkeling budget? Then one of the more popular things to do in Maui is to book yourself onto a snorkel charter.
These excursions are well-suited for any skill level. Plus, you get to see beautiful sites that you'd otherwise miss out on, like Molokini and the Island of Lanai.
For Molokini, you can spend as little as $40 per person for an afternoon group trip, or spend a few hundred dollars for a private charter.
Find out what 40 bucks will buy you - read my Molokini Crater snorkeling trip review.
And don't miss these 7 Tips to Get the MOST out of your snorkel at Molokini Crater!
For Lanai, you may spend a bit more for a fully organized tour, but it is SO worth it!
Wild dolphins tend to hang out in the channel between the islands, so if you're lucky, your snorkel trip to Lanai might just double as a dolphin watch! (Read our Island of Lanai wild dolphin and snorkeling adventure review.)
One of the coolest things to do in Maui, hands down, is the self-guided tour of the Hana Lava Tube. It's easy on the budget, suitable for explorers of any age, plus free of bats and bugs!
Here's everything you need to know for your Maui Adventure in the Hana Lava Tube!
There are many fantastic choices available to you if you want to experience the beauty of Maui from the ground. This is yet another one of those things to do in Maui that you can do for free, making it a very cost-effective way to add some adventure to your trip!
If money is tight, save some cash and go hiking without a guide. There are countless well-marked trails on the island to choose from. Too many for me to write about, in fact.
Luckily, author Sarah Benson put together everything you need to know in this extremely valuable resource from an award-winning series. (I have this book and it really is fantastic.)
There are some hikes that are only accessible if you take a guide with you. But if you ask me, any hike on the island will be made so much better by the presence of an experienced guide.
One particularly incredible hike winds for 2 miles through the jungle on the eastern side of the island, through a bamboo forest, and ends at the base of a spectacular 400 foot waterfall. If you go with an experienced guide like we did, they can show you wild fruits, hidden waterfalls, and point out things you'd never see on your own!
Want to know exactly what you'll get for your money? Read my review of our waterfall adventure with Hike Maui.
Another one of the best things to do in Maui is hiking through the
ancient forests of Iao Valley. This is the site of the bloody Battle of
Kepaniwai where over ten thousand warriors of King Kamehameha I fought
for control of the island.
If you drive to the end of Iao Valley Road, you'll come to the state park botanical gardens. Entrance is free. You'll find a few easy short trails, historical information on the area, plus a steep climb to the look-out for Iao Needle (totally worth the effort though!)
By far the BEST way to see this verdant oasis is to take a guided hike. You'll see untouched wilderness, unlike what the public sees in the self-guided tour section of the park.
And you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the famous Iao Needle from a secret vantage point that most tourists never see. (Read my review of our Iao Valley State Park hiking tour.)
Scuba diving is yet another popular activity off Maui's shores.
If you're on a tight budget, there some nice dive spots you can explore right off the beach for free. To find these spots, go into any Maui Dive Shop location and pick up a free copy of their "Maui Dive and Surf Magazine."
Give the Maui Dive Shop a call once you're on the island, and they'll direct you to the nearest location: 808-879-1775.
If you can, then go on a dive charter to extra special spots that are only accessible by boat. There are charters available for all skill levels, ranging from fully certified divers to complete beginners.
Want to become a certified diver? There's no better place to do it than Maui!
Have you ever been on a submarine cruising along the ocean floor?
This family-friendly adventure excursion is great if you want to see what's going on down there without getting wet! (Read my review of the Atlantis Submarine)
If you are looking for things to do in Maui that are unique and different, then you simply MUST check out the "Mt" Haleakala Volcano Summit.
The landscape up there is stunning, and the barren rocky landscape makes you feel like you're on the moon... minus the spacesuits of course!
IF you can get yourself out of bed in time, many people say the best time to go is at sunrise - it's supposed to be spectacular!
If you drive yourself, this excursion is dirt cheap, making it one of the best bargains of this list.
Everything you need to know: Haleakala Highway Summit Drive Guide
Would you prefer to have someone else do the driving?
Then consider booking a tour - there's a perfect tour for everyone.
You can leave bright and early to witness a spectacular sunrise from the summit, or you can skip the early morning and head up there a bit later when the crowds have thinned out.
This is one of those top 10 things to do in Maui that is a classic adventure. If you want to see countless tropical waterfalls, this is the easiest way to do it. You'll also feast your eyes on exotic sites like rainbow eucalytus trees, bamboo forests, thick jungle with wild fruits, towering cliffs and crashing surf - be sure not to miss out!
Now you've got two options for this one: drive yourself, or luxury tour.
If you drive yourself, the only cost to you is the gas for your rental car (you do know why you should get a rental car, right?) But to get the most out of the trip you need to know where all the good stops are.
Everything you need to know:
If you can't, or don't want to drive yourself, then a great option is to treat yourself to the luxury of a guided Hana Tour - this is the way to go if you want a 100% worry-free experience! (read my Hana Tour review)
You can choose from several zipline experiences on Maui.
See all the zipline options here. (2014 update: I just booked a zipline tour for myself through that link I gave you - I'll be zipping with Flyin' Hawaiian in July - stay tuned for the review!)
Since most of the island is only accessible via the air, you've got the perfect excuse to treat yourself to the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Our Maui helicopter tour was every bit as wonderful as we had hoped, making the trip well-worth the price and totally deserving of its spot on my list of "Top 10 Things to Do in Maui for Adventure. Try it, and you'll see what I mean!
Prices range from $125-$345 per person.
Whenever possible, I buy my own tickets from Barefoot Tours.
Here are a few of the reasons why I like them, and why I recommend you book through them too:
I do make a small commission if you use one of my links to book through them - it's not a lot, but it helps to pay for the expenses of running this site, and doesn't cost you anything extra. So if you use one of my links to book through them, thank-you SOOO much - I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support!
I think pretty much everyone who's been to Maui has an adventure tale or two to tell! This is the perfect place to share your funny story, interesting anecdote, or review!
Or maybe you think my top 10 list is missing something! If so, please share!
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