The Top 10 Things to do
in Maui for Adventure

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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!

In a hurry? Use the Quick Links below to skip ahead to what interests you most.

Or scroll down and read through the whole list!

1) Go Snorkel! 

man snorkeling in Hawaii

The best thing about snorkeling is that it will fit into ANY budget.  

Free Snorkeling

Snorkel right off the beach for free at these 3 spots that are great for any skill level:

hawaiian sea turtle honu

1) Turtle Town

Honolua Bay, Maui

2) Honolua Bay

Black Rock, Maui

3) Black Rock

Are you an experienced snorkeler?

The Dumps at Ahihi Kinau Marine Preserve, Maui

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.

Snorkel Tours

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.

Molokini Marine Preserve

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! 

Island of Lanai rocky coastline

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.)

2) The Hana Lava Tube - Yours to Discover

Kaeleku Caverns Hana Lava Tube

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!

3) Jungle Hikes and Secret Waterfalls!

Picture of Waimoku Falls from our hike in the Maui jungle on the Pipiwai Trail.

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!

Hike for Free

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.)

Guided Hikes

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.

4) Delve into the Ancient Forests of Iao Valley

things to do in maui hiking iao valley

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. 

Free Self-Guided Hikes

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!)

Guided Hikes

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.)

5) World-Class Scuba Diving

scuba diver

Scuba diving is yet another popular activity off Maui's shores.

Scuba Diving on a Tight Budget

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.

scuba diver looking at coral in Hawaii

Scuba Diving Charters

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.

Book Your Dive

Want to become a certified diver?  There's no better place to do it than Maui!

Scuba certification class on Maui

Padi or SDI Referral - Complete Your Certification

6) An Unforgettable Ride in a Submarine!

Picture of the Atlantis Submarin in Hawaii

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)

7) Haleakala Volcano - Experience the Summit!

haleakala volcano crater

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!

Drive Yourself to the Summit

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

Go on a Guided Tour

Would you prefer to have someone else do the driving?

Then consider booking a tour with my fave booking company - 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.

8) The Famous Road to Hana

cool bridge on the Hana Highway

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.

Drive Yourself to Hana

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: 

Hana Guided Tours

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)

9) Fly Above the Treetops... on a Zipline!

Skyline Eco-Adventures zipline on Haleakala, Maui

You can choose from several zipline experiences on Maui.

  • go Upcountry and fly through old forests on the slopes of Haleakala Volcano (read my Maui Zipline review)
  • check out the longest zipline in the state of Hawaii: a 3600 foot-long zipline in Waikapu Valley
  • try zipping over the jungles of the West Maui Mountains 

See all the zipline options here. 

10) A Helicopter Tour - THE Best Way to See the Island

Maui helicopter tours

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.

Where Should You Book Your Activities?

Things to do in Maui include hiking and snorkeling

Personally, I love Barefoot Tours for this.  Whether I want to go to a luau, whale watch, sunset cruise, or tour the island, they always have something that suits me.

Here are a few of the reasons why I like them, and why I recommend you book through them too:

  • they have a low-price guarantee, so if you find a lower price (before you book obviously), just let them know and they'll match it
  • booking everything in one place means if you have any questions, there is only 1 company that you ever need to call or e-mail about it - this is one of my favourite things about booking with them - it simplifies my life!
  • they're a company I trust to treat you right, a local company that's been in business for over 40 years

And I'm not gonna lie - 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.  

Check out available activities here.

Your Maui Adventures!

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!

And of course, since everyone LOVES photos, feel free to share a photo from your Maui adventure too!

Haven't been to Maui yet? Then bookmark this page and tell us all about your experiences when you return from your Maui vacation!

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