The first stop on this unforgettable excursion is a visit to the Maui Tropical Plantation, a 60-acre working plantation where you'll discover Hawaii's rich agricultural history. Enjoy a fully-narrated, 40-minute tram ride that takes you through breathtaking scenery and explores where many of the plantation's crops are cultivated. You'll learn all about coconuts and witness a coconut-husking demonstration. You'll also see where sugarcane, coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, papaya, mango, guava and bananas are grown. There are plenty of samples for tasting and a gift shop selling a wide variety of Maui-grown goodies.
No tour of Maui highlights would be complete without a visit to Iao Needle, the straight-up pinnacle at the heart of the Valley Island's western range. This iconic, green-mantled rock outcropping is one of Maui's most recognizable landmarks. The Needle is located in the 4,000-acre Iao Valley State Park in Central Maui, just west of Wailuku. There is a well-marked, paved pedestrian path leading from the parking lot to view Iao Needle, and the ridge-top lookout provides incredible views of the valley.
You will then extend your adventure down to the sea at the Maui Ocean Center (Zagat Survey's top-ranked family attraction), where you will learn more about the underwater world around Maui through The Living Reef, Turtle Lagoon, Hammerhead Harbor and other unique exhibits.
Please Note: The Iao Valley State Monument is closed while a slope stabilization project takes place in response to flood damage. During this time, Iao Valley will be replaced by a drive through Up Country, Makawao Town, and Hookipa Beach.
The Valley opened just for us--not really, but we lucked out. As we were the only two in the group going to the Ocean Center, the guide dropped us off and collected us two hours later. Nice.
Chyanne the guide was great. Not only did she know her material but she was personalbe and very likable.