West Maui is a beautiful region on the Hawaiian island of Maui, known for its stunning beaches, scenic drives, and amazing attractions. From relaxing on the beach to exploring the island's natural beauty, West Maui offers a range of activities and experiences that are sure to satisfy any traveler. Here are nine amazing things to do in West Maui.

Visit Lahaina

Lahaina is a historic town located in West Maui that offers a glimpse into Hawaii's past. The town is home to many shops, restaurants, and art galleries, making it a great place to explore. Some of the top attractions in Lahaina include the Lahaina Banyan Court, the Baldwin House Museum, and the Lahaina Historic Trail.

Take a Drive on the West Maui Loo

The West Maui Loop is one of the most scenic drives on the island, offering stunning views of the ocean and the island's lush rainforest. The drive takes you through a wonderful discovery of the western coast, including the small towns and cultural sites, making it a must-do activity for any visitor to Maui.

Visit the Nakalele Blowhole

The Nakalele Blowhole is a natural wonder located on the northern coast of West Maui. The blowhole shoots water high into the air, creating a dramatic and exciting sight. Visitors can also explore nearby tide pools and enjoy the beautiful views of the coastline.

Explore the Iao Valley State Park

The Iao Valley State Park is a beautiful natural park located just on the other side of the West Maui Mountains. The park is home to the iconic Iao Needle, a towering rock formation that is a popular spot for photos. Visitors can also explore the park's trails and enjoy the lush, tropical scenery.

Relax on Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach is one of the most popular beaches in West Maui, known for its crystal-clear water and soft sand. The beach offers a range of activities, including swimming, a Maui snorkeling tour, and surfing, making it a great place to spend a day in the sun.

Visit the Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center is a state-of-the-art aquarium that showcases the diverse marine life of Hawaii. Visitors can see everything from sharks and sea turtles to tropical fish and coral reefs, making it a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in marine biology.

Take a Helicopter Tour

A helicopter tour is a great way to see the beauty of West Maui from above. The tours take you over the island's stunning coastline, lush rainforests, and volcanic peaks, offering a unique and unforgettable perspective on the island's natural beauty.

Whale Watching

When humpback whales migrate to the region each year from December to May, West Maui is one of the best places to see them in Hawaii. Maui whale watching tours take visitors out to sea, where they can see these magnificent creatures up close and learn about their behavior and biology.

Visit the Olowalu Fruit Stand and Butterfly Farm

It has become a custom in West Maui to stop by Olowalu Fruit Stand. Visitors go here to shop for different tropical fruits and souvenirs, as well as enjoy some refreshments. Meanwhile, the Butterfly Farm offers unique experiences for kids and adults. It features a wide variety of tropical fruits and a butterfly garden filled with colorful and unique species. Visitors can also take part in educational tours, learn about the local flora and fauna, and enjoy a variety of activities such as yoga, art classes, and more.

West Maui is a beautiful and diverse region that offers a range of activities and experiences for visitors. From exploring the island's natural beauty to learning about its history and culture, there is something for everyone in West Maui. Whether you prefer to relax on the beach or go on an adventure, West Maui has plenty of options to keep you entertained. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and unique culture, West Maui is truly a paradise that should be on every traveler's bucket list. So, if you're planning a trip to Maui, be sure to add these amazing things to do in West Maui to your itinerary and make the most of your Hawaiian vacation.

Hawaii is a paradise destination with so much to offer, from pristine beaches and turquoise waters to lush rainforests and volcanic landscapes. If you're planning a trip to Hawaii with your friends and family, there are many amazing places to visit that will create unforgettable memories. Here are some of the best places to visit in Hawaii with your loved ones:

Waikiki, Oahu

Waikiki is one of the most famous destinations in Hawaii and for good reason. This vibrant neighborhood is known for its iconic beach, high-end shopping, and lively nightlife. With a range of activities for all ages, Waikiki is the perfect place for families and friends to enjoy together. You can take surf lessons, go on a sunset sail, or simply relax on the beach.

Haleakala National Park, Maui

Haleakala National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Maui. The park is home to the world's largest dormant volcano, which rises more than 10,000 feet above sea level. Visitors can hike the trails, watch the sunrise or sunset from the summit, or go stargazing at night. The park also offers camping facilities for those who want to spend the night.

Napali Coast, Kauai

The Napali Coast is a breathtakingly beautiful stretch of coastline on Kauai's north shore. Visitors can take a boat tour along the coast, hike the Kalalau Trail, or enjoy a scenic helicopter tour. The Napali Coast is a great place to take photos and enjoy stunning natural scenery.

Honalua Bay, Maui

The bay is home to a variety of colorful fish and coral, making it a popular spot for Maui snorkeling tours, swimming, diving, and kayaking. You can expect to see turtles, rays, spinner dolphins, and more on your snorkeling or diving activity.

Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island

Volcanoes National Park is located on Hawaii Island and is home to two of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Visitors can explore the park's trails, take a scenic drive along the Chain of Craters Road, or attend a ranger-led program. The park also features a museum, a gift shop, and a restaurant.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

Lanikai Beach is a picturesque beach on Oahu's windward coast. With its soft white sand and clear blue water, it's a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and kayaking. Visitors can also hike the nearby Lanikai Pillboxes Trail, which offers stunning views of the ocean and surrounding islands.

Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Hawaiian culture. Visitors can explore the six island villages, watch cultural performances, and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian feast. The center also offers canoe rides, lei-making, and other interactive activities.

Ke'e Beach, Kauai

Ke'e Beach is a beautiful and secluded beach located at the end of the road on Kauai's north shore. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and offers excellent snorkeling and swimming. Visitors can also hike the nearby Kalalau Trail, which is a strenuous but rewarding hike that offers stunning views of the Napali Coast.

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, Hawaii Island

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park is a sacred site on Hawaii Island that was once a place of refuge for those who broke the ancient Hawaiian laws. Visitors can explore the restored royal grounds, temples, and thatched huts. The park also offers cultural demonstrations and educational programs.

Hawaii is a destination that offers something for everyone. From the bustling streets of Waikiki to Lanai snorkel & dolphin watch tours, there are many amazing places to visit with your friends and family. Whether you're interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply relaxing on the beach, Hawaii has it all. So, start planning your trip to paradise and discover the best places to visit in Hawaii.

When planning a trip to Maui, choosing between West Maui vs South Maui can be a tough decision. Both areas have their own unique charm and attractions. West Maui is known for its historical landmarks, cultural entertainment and surf, while South Maui offers a more transient casual vibe, both with luxury resorts and pristine beaches. Each area also has its own distinct weather patterns and natural scenery. In this article, we'll dive deeper into the differences between West Maui and South Maui to help you decide which area is the best fit for your next vacation.

West Maui Has More Towns to Explore

West Maui is home to several vibrant towns, each with its unique charm and character. Lahaina is one of the most popular and historic towns in West Maui, known for its bustling waterfront, trendy shops, art galleries, and world-class restaurants. Just north of Lahaina is Kaanapali, which offers visitors an abundance of shopping and dining options, along with beautiful white sand beaches.

Further north, the charming town of Kapalua offers stunning ocean views, world-class golf courses, and a more relaxed vibe. Visitors can explore these towns and their many attractions and activities while enjoying the beautiful scenery and tropical ambiance of West Maui.

West Maui Offers More Entertainment Activities

If you're looking for a more active and lively vacation, West Maui is the perfect destination for you. From exploring the historic whaling town of Lahaina to enjoying the bustling nightlife in Kaanapali, West Maui has a variety of entertainment options to keep you engaged.

You can attend a traditional Hawaiian luau, catch a live music show, or go shopping at the many boutiques and galleries. West Maui is also home to many popular beaches for surfing and other water activities. Whether you're seeking adventure or relaxation, West Maui has something for everyone.

South Maui Is Casual

If you're looking for a more casual and spread out town, then South Maui is the perfect destination for you. Unlike the bustling West Maui, South Maui boasts a more simple ambiance that is separated into Kihei proper and Wailea which is south of Kihei. While Kihei is residential and has casual family atmosphere, Waile is home to resorts and luxury shops.

There are many beaches in South Maui making it a great spot for sunning, snorkeling and swmming. Many of the resorts and accommodations in South Maui are also more exclusive, making it an ideal destination for couples and honeymooners.

South Maui is Typically Breezier

West Maui, specifically Lahaina, is known for having a drier climate and more sunshine than South Maui. This is due to the fact that the mountains on the west side of the island create a lee from the weather, making wind more mild. Kihei and Wailea typically have incoming wind after 11am every day because they do not have any mountains protecting them from weather crossing the island. North of Lahaina in Kaanapali and Kapalua the weather is cooler and rainer because the west Maui mountains are not blocking the weather patterns.

This sunny weather makes Lahaina and Kihei ideal destinations for beachgoers and sun seekers, as well as those who want to take advantage of outdoor activities like hiking, snorkeling, and golfing. Both locations have consistent sunshine, making either the perfect spot for a tropical getaway.

We are proud to have received numerous awards and certifications for our excellence, including our outstanding reputation for customer service. At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, we offer dolphin and whale watching tours as well as fabulous snorkeling adventures  in Maui's crystal-clear waters. Book your adventure with us today and discover the magic of Maui with a company that values adventure, excellence, and customer satisfaction.

Are you ready to embark on the ultimate romantic adventure with your significant other? Look no further than Maui, the perfect destination for a dreamy honeymoon. This tropical paradise offers endless opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and romance. From breathtaking sunsets to pristine beaches, from luxurious resorts to exhilarating activities, Maui has it all. In this ultimate Maui honeymoon guide, we'll help you plan the perfect getaway for you and your loved one, so keep reading to find out more.

Visit West Maui

If you're planning a trip to Maui, be sure to include West Maui in your itinerary. This region is packed with a diverse range of activities and attractions that cater to all types of travelers. With its gorgeous beaches, pristine waters, and picturesque sunsets, West Maui is truly a gem.

Take a leisurely walk down Front Street and discover the charming shops, art galleries, and eateries that line the way. If you're an adventure seeker or honeymooner, you'll have plenty of options to choose from.

See the Haleakala Volcano

Haleakala, also known as the "House of the Sun," is an active volcano that offers a breathtaking sight that can't be missed. It's a must-see for anyone visiting Maui, especially honeymooners. You can take a scenic drive to the summit, where you can witness a spectacular sunrise or sunset.

Imagine standing atop the world, looking out over the stunning panoramic views of the island, and watching as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in a stunning array of colors. Just remember because of the elevation it can be 30 degrees, so bring a cozy jacket or better yet snuggle up with your special someone.

Stay at the Hotel Wailea

Hotel Wailea is a luxurious resort situated on a hilltop in Wailea, Maui, offering breathtaking ocean views and a serene atmosphere perfect for honeymooners. The resort features 72 spacious one-bedroom suites, each equipped with a private outdoor lanai and an oversized marble bathroom with a soaking tub.

Guests can enjoy the resort's exclusive amenities such as a private beach club, a fitness center, and an infinity pool with stunning views. Additionally, the resort's award-winning restaurant, The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea, offers farm-to-table cuisine using locally sourced ingredients, making for an unforgettable dining experience.

Watch the Whales

Maui is renowned for its whale watching opportunities, and it is one of the top activities for honeymooners. Every year, between December and April, thousands of humpback whales migrate to the waters surrounding Maui, making it one of the best places in the world to see them up close.

Couples can take a boat tour or a scenic helicopter ride to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The experience is unforgettable, with the whales often displaying acrobatic feats such as breaching, tail slapping, and fin waving

At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, we offer private charters in Maui and provide you a unique and customized experience for groups of all sizes. Our experienced and knowledgeable guides will work with you to create a tailored itinerary, allowing you to explore the remote areas and hidden gems along Maui's coastline. Our private charters are ideal for families, friends, and corporate groups looking for a personalized and exclusive adventure. Contact us for more details!

At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, we know that no Hawaii trip is complete without enjoying the local cuisine. Maui is famous for its delicious food, which reflects the island's diverse cultures and rich history. Whether you're a seafood lover or a dessert enthusiast, Maui has something for everyone to enjoy. In this article, we will explore the most popular food in Maui and four dishes that you must try during your visit. From savory to sweet, these dishes will give you a taste of Maui's culinary delights and leave you craving for more.

A Mix of Delicious Fresh Seafood

Fresh seafood is abundant in Maui, and visitors can expect to indulge in a mix of mouth-watering dishes. Some of the most popular options include poke, which is typically made with raw fish and seasoned with soy sauce and other spices, and ahi tuna, which is often served seared and accompanied by wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger.

Other seafood delicacies to try in Maui include shrimp scampi, lobster tail, and mahi-mahi, which can be prepared in a variety of ways such as grilled, baked, or blackened. Whether you're looking for a casual seafood shack or an upscale restaurant, Maui has plenty of options to satisfy your seafood cravings.

Hawaii Homemade Pies

Hawaii is famous for its delicious pies, with a unique blend of tropical flavors and ingredients. Hawaii tourists rave about the fresh, flaky crusts and the generous fillings of the pies, which range from traditional flavors like apple and pumpkin to more unique options like macadamia nut and haupia. Each pie is made with locally-sourced ingredients and crafted with care, resulting in a true taste of Hawaii.

Appetizing Malasadas

Malasadas are a must-try dessert in Maui, Hawaii. These sweet, deep-fried pastries are Portuguese in origin and have become a beloved treat in Hawaii. Made with a simple dough of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and yeast, they are fried until golden brown and then rolled in granulated sugar.

Some variations include filling the malasadas with haupia (coconut pudding) or custard. Many local bakeries, food trucks, and restaurants offer malasadas, making it easy to find them and try them. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, malasadas are a treat you shouldn't miss while in Maui.

Various Types of SPAM

SPAM, a canned meat product made by Hormel Foods Corporation, has become a staple food in Hawaii due to its long shelf life and affordable price. It is often used as an ingredient in local dishes, such as SPAM musubi, a popular snack made with grilled SPAM, rice, and nori seaweed.

Other SPAM-based dishes include SPAM fried rice, SPAM and eggs, and SPAM sliders. While some may scoff at the idea of consuming canned meat, SPAM has become a beloved food in Hawaii and has even inspired festivals and cook-offs dedicated to the versatile ingredient.

For those seeking a secure and exhilarating ocean adventure in Maui, Hawaii Ocean Rafting is your ideal choice. We prioritize safety and provide our guests with all the necessary safety equipment, including life jackets and flotation devices. Our experienced guides are lifeguard certified and strictly adhere to safety protocols to ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Relax and appreciate the voyage knowing that your safety is our primary concern!

If you’re wondering and comparing Lanai vs Molokini snorkeling then you are not alone. Many tourists ask this question every year. Hawaii is known for its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and numerous snorkeling destinations. Two of the most popular spots for snorkeling are Lanai and Molokini, both offering unparalleled underwater experiences.

However, when planning a snorkeling trip to Hawaii, the question arises: which one is better for you? Lanai is famous for its remote and pristine snorkeling spots, while Molokini is renowned for its unique geographical structure. In this article, we'll explore the differences between Lanai and Molokini and help you decide which one is the perfect fit for your snorkeling adventure.

Both Are Ideal Snorkeling Locations

Both Lanai and Molokini offer excellent snorkeling opportunities for visitors to Maui.

Lanai is home to several prime snorkeling spots with crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life. Some of the top spots include Club Lanai, SweetHeart Rock, Shark Fin Cove, and Manele Bay.

Molokini, on the other hand, is a crescent-shaped volcanic crater that provides a unique snorkeling experience. The clear, calm waters inside the crater are home to over many species of fish and offer visibility of up to 150 feet.

Lanai is Preferred by Most People

The island is surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters teeming with colorful marine life, making it an ideal snorkeling location. Lanai's Club, Manele Bay and Sweetheart rock are must-visit spots, boasting some of the best snorkeling on the island. These spots are snorkeled on days with gentle currents and no crowds, making them suitable for all levels of snorkelers, and it's also home to a vibrant coral reef and a wide variety of sea creatures.

Lanai's secluded beaches and unspoiled landscapes make it a popular destination for those seeking a more tranquil and intimate snorkeling experience compared to the crowded Molokini crater.

Molokini Can Get a Bit Crowded

Molokini is undoubtedly a beautiful location for snorkeling. However, due to the popular press it has received for it’s geographical structure and small area for snorkeling, it can get crowded with boats and people. The limited space can make it challenging to find a spot to enjoy the underwater scenery without bumping into other snorkelers.

Additionally, the high number of boats can cause disturbances in the water, affecting the visibility and overall experience. It is essential to keep in mind that Molokini's popularity may impact the quality of the snorkeling experience.

Molokini Might Be Less Expensive

Compared to Lanai, Molokini snorkeling tours may be less expensive. This is because Molokini is closer to the mainland making it a shorter boat ride and there are more tour operators offering trips there, resulting in higher competition and lower prices. Both Lanai and Molokini snorkeling take you to other snorkel locations along the coast of Maui, one of the Turtle Town spots are popular stops. Molokini weather is typically less consistent than going to Lanai, which is another variable  to consider when booking your snorkel tour. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preferences, budget and where you are staying on Maui.

At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, we are proud to offer outstanding adventures on the water. Our knowledgeable and experienced guides provide personalized tours of Maui's breathtaking coastline, showcasing the island's stunning beauty and unique wildlife. Whether you're looking for an exciting dolphin or whale watching tour, a thrilling snorkeling experience, or a private charter to create your own adventure, we have something for everyone. Book your adventure with us today!

Maui snorkeling is the focus of our tours and for good reason. The waters surrounding Maui are crystal clear and usually calm. The reefs below are breath-taking and home to colors that are beyond imagination. Maui has such variety available when looking for a snorkeling tour. There are large group tours aboard huge vessels, which may be a bargain. Often these larger tours lack the intimacy and off the beaten path aspect that makes a snorkeling adventure magical. Hawaii Ocean rafting will take you on a small group tour aboard a speedy eco raft. When the weather is nice, we head for Lana'i!

Find The Time To Snorkel Lanai

If you visit the island of Maui, you really must find the time to snorkel at Lanai and its many pristine underwater treasures. We leave daily to provide snorkeling from Lahaina harbor on Maui's majestic West side. Hop aboard one of our high-speed ocean rafts for the experience of a lifetime. Snorkeling around the island of Lanai is unlike anything you will find while venturing around Maui's road system. We set out from Lahaina harbor and head out across the channel to the island of Lanai. It pays to plan ahead, save 15% when you book directly at from us!

Why Lana'i?

The volcanic formations below allow for a kind of visual drama found nowhere else on earth. Lana'i is a sparsely inhabited and privately owned island. There is no real road system to speak of, so a boat is the best way to check it out. The journey from Maui to Lanai is sometimes half the fun. The waters there are home to many different species of dolphin, all of which enjoy frolicking in our wake. On our full day snorkeling trips, we circumnavigate the entire island. This trip offers sights unseen by the vast majority of visitors. There is a giant shipwreck towering above the surface on the backside of the island.

Check Out The Wildlife

Lanai is home to several different species of dolphin which usually greet us upon our arrival to the shores of Lanai. There is something about our quick rafts and their wake that the dolphins find irresistible. They jump, spin and surf alongside us as we approach our first snorkeling spot. When you snorkel Lanai you will discover a snorkelers paradise. Not only is lanai home to 3 species of dolphins, but there are also Hawaiian green sea turtles. If you join us between December and May you will also be able to enjoy some whale watching. Our snorkeling tours travel right through Maui's best whale watching territory. We also offer exclusive whale watching tours, most folks book a snorkeling tour and a whale watching tour in the end.

The Sightseeing Is Spectacular

With so many wonderful rock lava formations all around the island there is a spot for each type of wind. There are pinnacles rising to just below the surface in sixty feet of water and outcroppings reaching out of the sea in the middle of calm little bays. Snorkel Lanai and find such diverse experience all in one trip. One of the great things about our small group snorkeling tours is that you can avoid the crowds. When you snorkel Maui's road system you are often in the water with many  other snorkelers. The road system is easy and therefore often a bit crowded. When you hop on your own boat you can find your own private spots. If you join us for our full day snorkel Lanai tour, you will see the giant shipwreck towering from Lanai's shallow coastal waters.

A Glimpse of Our Favorite Spot!

One of our favorite spots is just along the coast of the neighboring island of Lana'i. As we approach this spot, it appears to be an impossible snorkeling spot because we are in nearly 60 feet of water. There is a secret pinnacle here that reaches from the sea floor to just mere feet below the surface. You can snorkel right over the top or venture down along the sides. As you venture down to the sides of the pinnacle, you will see how the reef inhabitants change with the decrease in sunlight. As if this weren't amazing enough, listen closely and you will probably hear the clicks and whistles of the dolphins that greet us upon our arrival to magical Lanai. Maui snorkeling is also a way to see the Hawaiian green sea turtles from a different perspective. While it is never alright to touch a sea turtle, you can get pretty close. Join us, snorkeling is a magical way to spend the day!

Hawaii Ocean Rafting has been in business for more than 30 years. When asked why we started, Mark would probably say that he has always been mechanically inclined and developed a love for boats and the natural beauty surrounding Maui. It all started small and became a way to share this passion with locals and visitors alike.

The Mission

The highlight of a small company like ours is the intimate experience that small group tours with great Captains and crew can provide. We make a point to find and retain Captains and crew that love their jobs and believe in the mission of our company. They are always happy to answer questions you may have about the ins and outs of snorkeling, the wildlife, and the islands. If you have a question, you can always feel comfortable asking on our tours. Our Captain and crew are all experts and will do whatever necessary to make sure you are comfortable both on board and in the water. Most folks come away from our activity feeling a bit more connected to Maui. We love to show our tours several different snorkeling spots that highlight the diverse geology of the island. The Marine life surrounding a lava cave is much different than that surrounding a shallow reef. Our guests that join us between December and May will undoubtedly say, "The whales!"

What makes Hawaii Ocean Rafting Different

What sets us apart is probably our value. We specialize in taking small groups far from the beaten path. Our rafts are fast which means we can spend a lot more time snorkeling and whale watching and less time travelling. Some of the most interesting times aboard our tours happen when the wildlife decides to check us out and reverse the roles a bit. During humpback season, there have been a few very special days when a small group of whales basically held us hostage. When a whale decides to approach our raft and swim back and forth right below, we have been unable to start our engines or move for more than an hour.

What Our Snorkeling Trips Look Like

On our half day snorkeling trip, we will depart at 8:00 am for the neighbor island of Lanai. Lanai offers some of the most pristine snorkeling around and is also home to spotted, spinner, and bottlenose dolphins. On this 4.5-hour trip we will visit (at least) 2-3 different and unique snorkel spots as well as dolphin watching opportunities. This experience will be aboard our ocean raft with our knowledgeable captain and crew. They are happy to answer questions and make sure you are comfortable before you hop in the water. The trip includes a continental breakfast, snacks, water, juice, and soda. We also provide all the gear and instruction you will need, including snorkels, fins and flotation (boogie boards, waist belts, and noodles). There are waterproof cameras for purchase at our booth before departure. Best of all you will have a full snorkeling and dolphin/ turtle watching adventure and be back in time for lunch on historic Front Street in Lahaina. The half day snorkeling tour is also part whale watch if you are booking between December and May!

Here What Our Customers Have to Say

“We have done other snorkeling trips, but this was the best one we’ve experienced on Maui. We enjoyed running with a pod of Spinner dolphins, saw a lot of colorful fish and a turtle. Snacks on board were plentiful and good. Crew were very efficient, pleasant and knowledgeable.

I took the family out to Lanai to snorkel and maybe see dolphins and turtles. Lydia, our Captain, showed us all (including my teens and little ones) a great time. They explained everything and took us to their favorite spots. We went to three different spots and saw Spinner dolphins. While we were in the water, Bottle nose dolphins swam next to us for a few moments. We got very lucky because since it’s a small group, they spoil you and take their time with you. We will take them again over the bigger boats.” Check out other reviews here.

One More Thing

Because of our adventurous excursions and faster vessels, we do not recommend our tours for pregnant women, people with back problems or small children (under 5 for snorkeling). We can be more flexible on our whale watches because nobody is getting in the water. One word.... adventure.   We provide safe family friendly adventures.

Hawaii Ocean Rafting offers Private Whale Watching trips and exclusive Maui rafting tours for you, your family and friends. Don't have a group to go with? Per person rates are also available. Enjoy comfortable seating for up to 16 passengers and spectacular views of Maui's gentle giants from the best seats in town. Choose from a per person outing or a 2-hour private whale watch. The guarantee the best seats in town! Avoid the crowds on a Maui rafting trip aboard Hawaii Ocean Rafting's 30-feet hard-bottom inflatable raft. Unlike larger vessels our raft allows you to get that up close and eye level photo you wish for.

While there is an endless list of possibilities for fun things to do on Maui, nothing compares to getting up close and personal with the largest mammal in the Pacific. Whale watching is a wholly unique and magical experience. When the humpback whales arrive to Maui from the cold waters of the Northern Pacific to birth and raise their young, visitors and locals alike are treated day and night to tail slaps, pec fins waving, and full breaches.

If you are looking to cross not just one, but many, marine experiences off your bucket list, come to Hawaii and book the best Maui whale watching tour today!

What to Expect From a Maui Whale Watching Tour

When you book a small group intimate raft tour to go whale watching you are able to closely interact and pick the brain of a seasoned captain and marine naturalist who are well educated in the diverse sea life in the channels separating the islands of Maui County.

While snorkeling with whales is prohibited-- you have the ability with a small boat and crew to experience these mammals safely, respectably, and sometimes up close (if the whale chooses to come to the boat!).

Many people make the mistake of trying to track down or approach humpback whales on their own. Since the reopening of the island there have been reports of paddle boarders and kayakers from the coastline resorts embarking out and getting within arm’s reach of these creatures. This is illegal and unsafe. While whales are considered gentle, they are giants, and like most mammals they are protective over their young; it is not your fault if you look down and happen to notice one of these 100+ foot beings gliding under you but we advise you try and get away to avoid being accidentally trapped under a breach or arm slap. If you are intentionally approaching whales closer than 100 yards you could face fines and jail time for breaking this federal law that protects humpback whales.

An intimate whale watching tour booked to embark from Lahaina town is our favorite option. You not only are able to get out on the water fast but you can experience whales safely and respectfully as well as intimately because of the small group of guests on the boat and the low to water style vessel, providing eye-level encounters with whales.

Other Maui whale watching tours, like those that leave from Maalaea, are typically larger vessels and groups of people. They draw in crowds that are looking for larger, slower boats. While they are still a great option for those that prefer a cruise-like option or are traveling with a bigger party they may not allot much exposure to these whales existing in their natural habitats.

When to Book a Maui Whale Watching Tour

The whales travel to warmer waters of Maui during the mid fall to late spring months; the peak of whale season occurs from January to March. However, whales have been known to be spotted off Maui’s coasts months before or after this projected timeline; in fact, the first whale of this years (‘22-’23) season was just spotted in September! We start whale watching tours December 1st and typically end around the 15th of April. Whale watching during Christmas vacation on Maui is a popular activity!

While pretty much everywhere else in the United States experiences torrential downfalls or snow during these months, Maui’s waters stay seemingly bath-like. So, if you book your Maui vacation for this winter you not only are able to experience the joys of whale watching but swim the same warm waters that all of the unique sea life does.

How to Prepare for Your Maui Whale Watching Tour

There are a few things you must keep in mind when booking and potentially embarking on a whale watching tour in Maui. Firstly, make sure that you book your tour for the highs of whale watching season to ensure you are able to see plenty of whale activity, book early as this experience is one of the most sought after and tickets sell out fast, and make sure that you are aware of all the safety rules that encompass a trip to Maui as well as a trip out on its waters.

There is a phrase that is commonly said amongst the communities across the islands that make up Maui’s county “Respect the 'Aina”. This encompasses more than just respecting the people and the land of Maui. It also implies respecting the ocean and animal life. Listen to your boat crew, residents, and advisors on your Maui vacation to keep you and the 'Aina safe and sharing aloha.

Whale watching is the most anticipated activity to do in Maui in December, January, February and March every winter!

There are some things that you need to know when booking your whale watching tour here in Maui to ensure that your tour is enjoyable, safe, and respectful to those creatures that have chosen to visit.

Where to See Whales on Maui

The best place to book a whale watching tour in Maui is from Lahaina’s harbor. Lahaina is the former capital of Hawaii located on the west side of Maui at the base of the West Maui Mountains.

Just off of the bustling Front Street (the go-to place for a bite to eat or some great shopping after your tour concludes) is the harbor. Leaving from Lahaina aboard one of the award-winning tour boats means just a five-minute journey to the waters where the mother and baby whales are working on the skills and strength to make their journey back to Alaska.

If you are looking for an immersive and all-encompassing whale watching experience make sure to leave from Lahaina harbor aboard an intimate boat like those we have at Hawaii Ocean Rafting— the most up close, eye level and personal experience you can get while still having a safe and respectful distance from the marine creatures.

What You’ll See on a Maui Whale Watching Tour

Whale watching tours on Maui are special because they can encompass much more than just seeing a couple whales tail slapping and breaching in the distance. If you have booked a tour with an expert like the captains we have staffed at Hawaii Ocean Rafting, you are in for an educational, and maybe even an up-close experience that feels like you are almost in the water with those whales (the encounter is really up to the whales!). The low-to-water style rafting vessels put you right at the water’s edge for an eye level whale experience.

More than that, if you are booking a whale watching tour in Maui you are almost guaranteed an extra show. Whether you are on the boat for two hours or six there is so much more to see in the tropical waters. You may encounter a pod of dolphins skimming alongside the boat or a Honu (turtle) poking their head above water.

If you are looking for the most inclusive and immersive experience in Maui, make sure to book your whale watching tor today!

Where to Book Your Maui Whale Watching Tour

There are many ways to book your Maui whale watching tour this winter. If you are staying at one of the great resorts along the West and South coasts— you may be able to talk with your concierge who has recommendations and potentially partners with one of the many great tour companies.

If you are staying in an Air BnB or establishment that may not have one of these connections you can always quickly search “Maui Whale Watching Tour” or “Best Whale Watching Tour on Maui” and find some amazing options.

Many tour companies have online booking features that make the reservations and payment easy; all you have to do is read through the guidelines and show up! But, you better act fast!

Whale watching is the most popular thing to do for tourists visiting Maui from December to March, so make sure that you book ASAP to reserve a spot for this once in a lifetime event.

Are you heading to Maui for whale watching but don’t know which of the many tours to choose from? Well, fret not because it isn’t as overwhelming as it may seem. Here is how to choose the best Maui whale watching tour for you and your loved ones, which will hopefully make it one of the most memorable and out-of-this-world experiences you will have.


Cost is always an important factor when going on tours. It is important to ensure your tour is not too costly, neither is it too cheap. It can be weighed out alongside other factors like your choice of boats etc. You never know, what if you miss the sighting of a whale when queuing up for food or enjoying performances? That would not be ideal.

It is also good to take recommendations from locals, they have insight and know the area, the wildlife and operators. You can always compare prices online and refer to reviews by visitors. When reading reviews look for consistency, if there are lots of great reviews, the not-so-great ones may have been an anomaly.

Company Image

Definitely beware of companies that promise you the ‘closest’ view of the whale possible. Besides it being a sign that they are breaching safety guidelines and laws, it is just too good to be true. On top of that, many unreputable companies operate tours in a more corporate style, with larger groups or not locally owned. Choose a tour by a reputable company that sees you as a person not just a number. Companies where the team loves what they do will give you the best whale watching experience. When reading reviews, look at what it says about the crew. Evaluating a company's image can help you book a more positive experience.

Tour Focus

Many companies run seasonal whale watches, on top of other activities such as snorkeling or diving.  Ensure that the tour you choose focuses on whale watching, whereby the activities are just an add-on, or to be conducted after you have seen the majestic creatures, and not solely a glimpse before taking off into the horizon. Read up on their websites and reviews to know exactly what the tour includes, how the time is designated for activities and where the tour will be hosted.

Whale Sighting Guarantee

Sometimes, nature does its own thing and  you may be unable to spot a whale on your tour. Don’t worry, most companies will book you on another tour for free (sometimes within a specific time frame such as a year or that season) if you do not get to see the whales. Some companies will even refund your trip if there are no whale sightings. This is most likely to happen at the very beginning or end of whale season when there are fewer whales on Maui. But do note, it only applies to certain companies, so do your research to see which tours provide this guarantee.

Choose the Best Tour

Maui is considerably one of the best places to whale watch. While you choose a tour, always remember to prioritize visitor satisfaction. Don’t opt for cheap tours just to save on cost. Ensure your safety is top-notch as well. Only this way can you enjoy whale watching without worry. Book your tour today and enjoy the best whale watching experience of your life!

Now that you know how to choose the best whale-watching tours, here are some of the best whale-watching tours in Maui for you to book today!

Hawaii Ocean Rafting

Rafts are the best way to whale watch for two reasons. The first is the low-to-water style of a vessel. Instead of looking over a railing down at the whale, you are at eye-level with the whale. The opportunities to be up close and personal will surely make you admire the beauty of humpback whales. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera because you are likely going to get splashed with ocean spray!

The second reason rafts are so popular is the small group size. Each accommodates less than 16 guests which makes it a more intimate and casual setting. Getting to know the people you are rafting with as well as the local crew will make the experience so much more memorable.

Whale Watch and Snorkel

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience because you get to whale watch and snorkel. Guaranteed a sighting of a whale, you will be with a small group of about 16 people. You will be onboarding a rafting vessel, which has a hydrophone so you can listen to whales. You also get to listen to talks by onboard marine naturalists. Since it is closer to the water, you get the best view possible. Snorkel instruction is included and you’ll be snorkeling along the shallow reef of Lanai or Maui with tropical fish and turtles.

Many people rate a tour like this highly. Tours are available daily from December to April but remember, if your child is below three years of age, they aren’t permitted.

Whale Watch Sail

Set sail to spot the majestic humpback whales off the coast of Maui. Being able to hold up to 50 passengers, it is also equipped with hydrophones for you to hear the whales. Having the tour led by onboard marine naturalists, you will gain new knowledge about whales that you never knew. People recommend the tour mainly because of how good the tour guides are, and of course, being able to see many whales.

Trilogy – Kaanapali Whale Watch

For this tour, you will be aboard a luxury catamaran and set sail from Kaanapali Beach. Learning about whales from the naturalist onboard, you can also enjoy snacks. Tours are available on most days from December to April. If you want to enhance the entire Maui experience, you can also opt for other activities snorkeling, dinner sails as well as scuba cruises.

Making Maui Memorable

Maui is considerably one of the best places to whale watch. It will be something you remember for a lifetime, alongside the beautiful ocean view you have. At sunset, everything is so much more magical and breathtaking. If you are worried about safety, don’t be. This is all thanks to the friendly crew you will be with throughout the tour making it really safe. So, book your tour today and make Maui the most memorable trip you’ve been on!