This wonderful jaunt into Maui's western countryside hits highlights like Iao Valley and still leaves plenty of time afterwards to further explore Lahaina on your own.
Depart from the pier for an inspired driving tour of western Maui. Leaving Lahaina, once an important whaling village and the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom in the early 19th century, you will immediately be struck by the beauty outside of town.
Traveling south along the coast, you will have views of sandy beaches, sparkling turquoise waters and the islands of Lanai and Kahoolawe which lie not too far off shore. You will then head inland, marveling at breathtaking vistas of the West Maui Mountains on one side and the majestic Haleakala Crater on the other, while en route to the phenomenal Iao Valley. The Hawaiian word "Iao" means "cloud supreme," a reference to the white puffs of clouds that often linger about the valley, bringing rain and nourishing the lush, bright green landscape. The valley has always been considered sacred, and Hawaii's high chiefs were buried here in secret hiding places. It's also historically significant as the site of a watershed battle in 1790, when King Kamehameha I defeated an opposing army and unified the Hawaiian Islands.
The most iconic of all the sights here is the Iao Needle, which rises majestically from the valley floor. It is often visible throughout the valley and, during times of war, was used as a lookout.
After completing your scenic loop of Iao Valley, you will travel back to the pier in Lahaina where your tour concludes.
Please note: There is a limited amount of walking on this tour at the Iao Valley to get a better of view of the Iao Needle; however, this is optional. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, can make their own way on and off the coach and have a companion to assist them. Casual clothing and flat, comfortable shoes are suggested.