Know Before You Go, Shaka Guide's West Maui Coastline Tour
MAUI WILDFIRE UPDATE 8/10/23: Visitors who are on non-essential travel are being asked to leave Maui, and non-essential travel to Maui is strongly discouraged at this time. Visitors who have upcoming travel plans to West Maui in the coming weeks are encouraged to consider rescheduling their travel plans for a later time.
You’re about to go on an awesome adventure circling the western coastline of Maui, but there are a few things you should know about the tour before you get started.
- The tour has three starting points Kahului, Kaanapali and Kapalua and travels in a clockwise loop.
- Expect to spend about 6-8 hours on the tour if you plan on doing all the activities.
- We recommend starting around 9 a.m.
- Maui Ocean Center, Wo Hing Museum, Bailey House Museum, and Iao Valley all have entrance fees, see below for more information on budgeting.
- Advance reservations are now required at Iao Valley. Make your reservation here.
- Bailey House Museum is open from 10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- There are limited restroom stops on this tour, we’ll let you know when the last bathroom break is for a while.
- Please Note: Advance Reservations are now required to visit Iao Valley. There is a $5 entrance fee per visitor in addition to a $10 parking fee per car. You can make advance reservations here.
This tour travels along winding coastal cliffs without guardrails. The roads are completely paved and it is safe to drive -- locals do it everyday -- but it is all about what you’re comfortable with. If you are not a confident driver, afraid of heights, or get motion sickness easily, we recommend you drive about halfway to the Nakalele Blowhole, then turn around. We'll provide this turnaround option on the tour and will guide you back with directions and audio narration.
What to Expect
To Get An Early Start
We recommend starting the tour around 9:00 a.m. If you’re staying in West Maui in Kaanapali or Lahaina, there is a starting point in Kaanapali. Again, this drive has lots of twists and turns. If you start too late you’ll risk driving the road at night which we do not recommend.
To Spend 6-8 Hours Exploring
This tour has 79 audio points and 16 stops. For a about an hour of the trip, you’ll drive along scenic roads listening to stories about Hawaii. The total drive time is about 2 and a half hours, without any stops, but plan on most of the day so you can enjoy the sights..
To Be Active
There are two official hikes on this tour -- Dragon Tooth and Ohai Trails -- but you’ll also go on a scenic walk to Honolua Bay and trek down a rocky slope to the Nakalele Blowhole.
West Maui is home to some of Maui’s most breathtaking beaches and they’re perfect for swimming! Here are the beaches you’ll visit:
- D.T. Fleming Beach
- Slaughterhouse Beach
- Honolua Bay
- Kaanapali Beach
All of these beaches are great to take a dip in the summer months. In winter, we recommend only swimming at D.T. Fleming Beach because there is parking and there are lifeguards on duty.
This tour takes you along the rarely traveled western coast of Maui. As you drive we’ll tell you loads of stories about Hawaii’s past and present!
How much you spend truly depends on what you do along the tour route, but here’s a breakdown of some costs: $29.00 (adult)/ $19.00 (child) per person: Maui Ocean Center
- $7.00 per person: Wo Hing Museum
- $10.00 per car and $5 per person: Iao Valley State Park
- $7.00 (adult)/ $2.00 (child) per person: Bailey House Museum
- $15.00 per person: Lunch
- $5.00-$10.00 per person: local snack like pie or shave ice 3
Here’s our packing list for this tour. It may seem a little long, but remember, what you bring depends on the activities you choose to do for the day.
- Hiking Clothes
- Water Bottle
- Bug Spray
- Bathing Suit
- Sun Glasses and/or Hat
- Car Charger *Very Important*
- Phone Mount
Road to Hana vs. West Maui Coastline Tour
Many people who have traveled to Maui have done the Road to Hana. If you have, you know that it’s full of twists and turns, one-land bridges, and narrow roads. If you thought the Road to Hana was a breeze, you should have no problem with the West Maui Coastline Tour. However, in our opinion, this drive is slightly more difficult than the Road to Hana (even the backside).
The backside of the Road to Hana has dirt roads and some coastal cliffs with rusty guardrails, but you’re only on this road for a short period of time. Alternatively, on the West Maui Coastline tour, the roads are paved, but you’ll travel along one-lane roads, cliffs with no shoulder to pullover and no guardrail, and you’ll be driving on this road for about two hours. Please keep this in mind as you embark on the adventure.
In Hawaiian the word malama means “to take care” and the word aina means “land.” When you’re in Hawaii, we ask that you practice this and pick up your trash; respect the marine life, plants, and animals; and avoid spots that are unsafe. Hawaii’s natural resources are precious, it’s up to all of us to help preserve these resources for generations by respecting the aina when you visit.
We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more help planning your day check out our West Maui Coastline Tour suggested itinerary.
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