Nakalele Blowhole, Maui

Nakalele Blowhole, Maui

Shaka Guide's West Maui Coastline Tour Itinerary

Shaka Guide

Please Note: MAUI WILDFIRE UPDATE: West Maui has reopened but Lahaina remains closed. Our West Maui Tour has been updated to reflect this. Please be respectful on your visit and mindful of the devastation caused by the fires. 

Go on a scenic drive around the western coast of Maui.

You’ll visit the historic Iao Valley and some of the island’s famed beaches, check out an awesome blowhole, and go on a scenic coastal hike.

Then, you’ll wind along the high sea cliff roads, finishing the tour in the lush Iao Valley.

Along the way, we’ll tell you stories about Hawaii’s history and culture.

This tour has 79 audio points and 17 stops. You can start from three different points on the island:

  • Kahului near the airport and
  • Kaanapali and Kapalua in West Maui

No matter where you start, the tour travels in a clockwise loop around the island, ending near where you began.

west maui tour map

*This itinerary starts in Kahului near the airport*

Safety Information

This tour travels along winding coastal cliffs without guardrails.

The roads are completely paved and it is safe to drive — locals do it every day — 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, and then turn around.

We'll provide this turnaround option on the tour and will guide you back with directions and audio narration. 


Begin your day early, around 9:00 a.m. The tour takes between 6-8 hours to complete.

Maui Ocean Center

Approximate time: 1 hour

family seeing aquatic animalsMaui Ocean Center, Photo by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Daeja Fallas

Start your day at Maui Ocean Center, one of the most popular attractions on the island.

You may be thinking, but I have the real ocean all around me. Trust us, it’s worth it.

You can get up close and personal with tropical fish, sea turtles, stingrays, and even sharks.

This spot was named one of the top 15 aquariums in the nation by TripAdvisor.

While you’re there, you’ll see ocean creatures not found anywhere else in the world.

The best part? You’ll leave with a deeper understanding of the relationship between Hawaiian culture and Pacific marine life.

Depending on your schedule, you may wish to visit another day when you can spend more time at the center.

NOTE: There is an entrance fee for Maui Ocean Center.

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Olowalu Petroglyphs

Approximate time: 20 minutes

Along an unassuming dirt path, you’ll find giant boulders inscribed with carved images.

These petroglyphs were a form of communication for native Hawaiians.

Instead of developing a writing system, ancient Polynesians used hula, oral accounts of events, and carved images like the petroglyphs you’ll see to tell stories.

The Hawaiian name for these images is “Ki’i Pohaku”, or stone images.

NOTE: This is an important cultural spot for Hawaiians and should be respected and treated as such. Stay behind marked areas.

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop & Olowalu General Store

Approximate time: 20-45 minutes

Make a quick stop for some snacks. If you’re looking for some ono mini pies with Hawaiian flavors like coconut cream or macadamia nut with pineapple, check out Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop.

This spot also has sandwiches, salads, and burgers as well.

Next to Leoda’s is the Olowalu general store which has

  • snacks
  • drinks
  • shaved ice, and
  • local-style plate lunches made to go

Wo Hing Museum

Approximate time: 30 minutes

This museum was built in 1912 by the many Chinese immigrants to the state.

Today, it’s a fully restored museum, the museum and gift shop are located on the first floor and you’ll find an altar and temple on the second.

It’s a cool spot if you like history.

NOTE: There is an entrance fee per person.

west maui coastline tour

Kaanapali Beach

Approximate time: 30 minutes

Kaanapali Beach is touted as one of Maui’s best beaches and is an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling.

Kaanapali’s shores stretch 3 miles and feature a resort, a shopping center, lots of restaurants, and a scenic boardwalk.

Visitors and locals like to jump off the rock and the end of the beach called Black Rock Beach.

Be sure to check the ocean tide depth before jumping.

Dragon Tooth Trail at Kapalua

Approximate time: 30 minutes

Located near the Kapalua resort area, this half-mile hike follows the rocky shoreline and offers beautiful views of the bay.

It is named Dragon’s Tooth Trail after the jagged rocks near the shoreline that, from a distance, look like the teeth of a dragon.

Near the end of the trail, there is also a prayer labyrinth that you can walk through.

DT Fleming Beach

Approximate time: 20 minutes

white sand beachDT Fleming Beach Park, Photo by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Vincent Lim

Maui is known for its beaches and we’ll visit three in this area.

The first is DT Fleming, a place that’s popular with locals and visitors alike.

The beach has restrooms, picnic tables, and showers with a lifeguard on duty during daylight hours.

Behind the beach here is the Honokahua burial site as well as the Dragon Tooth Trail.

Slaughterhouse Beach

Approximate time: 20 minutes

This beach was named after the Old Honolua Ranch Slaughterhouse that used to be on the cliff next to the beach.

The slaughterhouse is long gone now, but the name stuck and it is still called that today.

If you can’t find any parking, go ahead and continue down the road to our next stop, Honolua Bay.

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Honolua Bay View & Hike

Approximate time: 30 minutes

During the summer months, divers and snorkelers enjoy this marine-life conservation district where tropical fish and turtles flock to the warm waters.

There are two parking areas for this beach and each requires a short hike before you can access the bay.

We recommend driving down to the second parking area, which is larger.

You’ll see porta-potties in the lot; don’t let that discourage you.

The walk to the water takes you through a beautiful jungle trail.

The waves can get rough in the winter so we recommend only snorkeling and swimming in the summer months.

IMPORTANT: These porta-potties are the last restroom stop for about two hours.

Nakalele Blowhole

Approximate time: 40 minutes

blowholeNakalele Blowhole, a featured stop on Shaka Guide's West Maui Coastline Tour

The Nakalele Blowhole can shoot water as high as 50 feet into the air. Here, you can take a mini hike down towards the blowhole.

Be careful though, you don’t want to get too close.

When you’re there you might feel the ground shake beneath your feet as the waves crash towards the blowhole, dramatically shooting water into the sky. 

DRIVING NOTICE: After you’ve visited Nakalele Blowhole, the road begins to wind along coastal cliffs without guardrails. At some points the road is one lane and there are no pullover spots sometimes along cliffs. This means you or the other driver will have to reverse to find a pullover spot.

If you’re not a confident driver, scared of heights, or get motion sickness easily, we recommend you turn around at this point. In addition, there are no bathrooms until you reach the Old Bailey House Museum which is at least an hour and a half away, without stops.

We provide this turnaround option on the tour and will guide you back with audio narration and directions.

Ohai Trail

Approximate time: 30 minutes

The Ohai Trail is a 30-minute loop walk where you can see an endangered native plant called the Ohai plant, giving the trail its name.

Besides this endangered plant, the trail also has some nice ocean views and interesting rock formations.

Olivine Pool & Bellstone Rock

olivine poolImage from Flickr by 

Approximate time: 40 minutes

The Olivine Pools are large tidepools right by the ocean’s edge.

The name comes from the pool’s greenish turquoise tint that results from the deposits of the mineral olivine here, commonly found near volcanic eruptions.

You can swim and snorkel in the pools during certain times of the year.

However, during Oct - April when the waves are rough, we highly recommend you skip swimming in the pools.

As the waves rise it becomes easier to get swept out to sea (something that has sadly happened before).

Please use proper judgment in a spot like this. Located near the parking lot for Olivine Pools is the giant ‘Bellstone Rock’ which supposedly makes a noise like a bell when struck in the right place.

Kahakuloa Town Food Stops

Approximate time: 20 minutes

At this point, you might be ready for a snack. There are a couple of food options here in the little town of Kahakuloa.

If you’re craving a smoothie, oftentimes the Bruddah Chic food stand is open.

It’s a great local spot with a killer view of Kahakuloa Head, the town, and the bay.

A little further down the road, you can also check out Julia’s, with her legendary banana bread.

You also don’t want to pass up Lorraine’s Shave Ice either!

This is a nice place for a refreshing pitstop and a snack.

This is a quick grab-and-go spot, you won’t find any sit-down spots or restrooms.

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Windy Road through Green Meadows

Approximate time: 1 hour

From here just relax and drive carefully as we tell you some stories about the area while you meander down country roads through beautiful green pasture land with occasional cliff views.

Enjoy the drive and take it slow.

Old Bailey House Museum

Approximate time: 30 minutes

The Bailey House was built on the site where Kahekili, the last ruling chief of Maui, had his royal compound.

In 1833 one of the first western-style houses in Wailuku was built here with koa wood and lava rock.

The museum houses over 100 landscape oil paintings that Edward Bailey became known for.

There are also ancient Hawaiian tools and weapons, and a carved statue of the demi-god Kamapua’a that was recovered from an upcountry cave where it was hidden for well over a century.

There is even a replica of the Hokule’a, the Polynesian-style sailing canoe that made a voyage around the world, navigating by the stars.

The gift shop is full of handcrafted artisan items, and books on Hawaii’s history. It’s a great place to pick up unique gifts or souvenirs.

NOTE: There is an entrance fee to enter the museum and it closes at 4:00 p.m.

Iao Valley

Approximate time: 1+ hour

moutnainsIao Valle State Park in Maui, Photo by Bernard Spragg. NZ CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Iao Valley State Park is a lush valley in the central highlands of Western Maui.

The valley lies 750 miles above sea level and stretches for 10 miles, making it nearly 4,000 acres.

Clouds rising from the valley shroud the top of the iconic 2250-foot rock pinnacle known as the Iao Needle.

Iao Valley is a great place for a dip in the stream, a stroll through its botanical gardens, or even a picnic with its lush green valley backdrop.

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 reservations here

Maui Plantation

Approximate time: 1 hour

The Maui plantation was once a bustling sugar cane plantation, but now, the property has 500 acres of diversified agricultural land and offers:

  • an educational tram
  • a self-guided walking tour
  • a coffee roaster and cafe
  • retail shopping, and
  • the farm-driven millhouse restaurant and bar

Admission to the gardens is free but there are paid activities like a tram tour and a zip line.

Drive back to your Hotel

After you’ve visited the Maui Plantation, you’ll make your way back towards the resort areas in West Maui or you can turn around and head towards the airport in Kahului.

PLEASE NOTE, that we do not guide you to the resorts or back to the airport. You’ll have to enter your final location into your phone’s GPS.

When you’re in Hawaii, we ask that you act respectfully toward the locals, land, and wildlife. 

Please pick up your trash; never touch any marine life, plants, or other animals; and avoid unsafe spots.

Hawaii’s natural resources are precious, it’s up to all of us to help preserve these resources.

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Ready to take the tour? Check out Shaka Guide's West Maui Coastline Tour!

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 aloha@shakaguide.com.

Ready to take the West Maui Coastline Tour? Here's everything you need to know before you go! 

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