Friday, August 2, 2013

Fun and Adventure on Maui

Most Maui tours feature the incredible beauty of the island by taking you through it on the ground, or helping you explore its surrounding waters. Few of them, however, put you a few hundred feet above the island in order to discover it from a unique, aerial vantage point. On this two-hour helicopter tour, however, that’s exactly what you’ll get—and then some! You see, the best tour of Maui is actually a two-pronged getaway, wherein you’ll not only see Maui’s finest sights, but those of the neighboring Big Island, as well.

This helicopter tour, then, begins when you take off from Kahului. Once you’ve ascended, you’ll find virtually endless panoramic viewing, thanks to the helicopter’s wraparound glass; in other words, every seat is a window seat! At that point, you’ll race off to Haleakala National Park for a glimpse at the more famous and larger of Maui’s two mountains. After all, Haleakala makes up three-quarters of the island’s total surface area; and at its 10,000-ft.-tall apex, Puu Ulaula, it is almost twice the height of the highest peak of the West Maui Mountains, Puu Kukui. Hovering above the summit of Haleakala, you’ll gaze down into its steep, deep, and barren caldera, which will make you feel as though you’re on Mars. It covers above 14 square miles, and maxes out at 2,600. ft. deep!

What once began as a strict tour of Maui, however, will soon change as you make your way south to the Big Island. You’ll fly over the Alenuihaha Channel, and appreciate the glistening azure waters of the Pacific Ocean en route to the largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Upon arriving at the Big Island, you’ll visit Kohala, the northernmost and oldest of the five shield volcanoes that comprise the Big Island’s land mass.

Then you’ll fly eastward toward the rainier half of the island, and there discover lush landscapes, dense rainforests, and spectacular valleys. You’ll even streak over the famous Road to Hana, which cuts through over 50 miles of glorious tropical terrain on its way to the remote town of Hana. As you do, you’ll get to see some of the Big Island’s black sand beaches and even more rugged parts of its coastline. In other words, this excursion, which is technically a tour of Maui, is better than most formal Big Island tours!

After seeing the eastern end of the Big Island, your pilot will fly you back over the Alenuihaha Channel toward Maui, at which point you’ll get one last look at its sandy beaches and countless acres of rainforest prior to landing. Speaking of the pilot, we almost forgot to mention that you’ll be wearing a two-way headset for the entire journey, which means that the lines of communication are always open. The result is that you’ll not only view Maui and the Big Island, but be able to listen to expert commentary on them, and ask questions if anything’s unclear.

Sure, there are a lot of claimants to the title of “best tour” on Hawaii. But in our opinion, this one, with so many features, is easily the greatest of the Maui tours.

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