This week Aloha Outdoors had the pleasure of joining the HikeMaui Rainforest guided tour.
Article and Photography by Jenn
As a “local” for several years now, the idea of paying to hike seemed strange. But after spending the day with our guide, this tour definitely proved its worth to anyone visiting Maui looking to see the best waterfalls and learn something real about the Hawaiian culture.
The tour begins with a shuttle ride. Hotel pick up and drop off are available. By 9:30 a.m., lunch is already packed and the shuttle van is on its way to Twin Falls. Our guide, Sarah, starts by giving an introduction to help break the ice. Born and raised on the island of Maui, Sarah was an ideal source to explain the island culture, language, and best pizza ovens. Her effort to make the group come together as ‘ohana (family) was successful by the time we arrived at the falls.
Below are photos and a video compilation of the hike. If you’re looking to spend the day on a slow-paced, yet satisfying and educational adventure, then make room in your life for this six-hour rainforest tour.
Tour: Waterfalls & Rainforest Hike
Destination: East Maui
Duration: 5-6 hours
Description: A waterfall playground in an exclusive valley
- Follow two streams to three to five breathtaking waterfalls
- Swim and jump into large pools under several of the falls.
- Climb volcanic shelves to leap 10 to 15 feet off rock ledges.
- Private trails situated along the Hana Highway.
- Lunch and snacks included.
The Canoe Plants and Animals
One of the most fascinating things you’ll learn on this tour is that although Hawai’i is full of many types of tropical fruits and plants, the majority of these have been brought here by foreigners in more recent times. The indigenous people of Hawai’i arrived on this island by sea. The space limitations of their canoes meant they had to choose wisely what they brought with them, which was only three types of animals and a handful of plants.
‘Ohe (bamboo) , Eucalyptus, Coconut, Ha-hibiscus, ti leaves and bananas are among a few examples of the plants that came with voyaging Polynesians. Add in a few pigs, chickens and dogs and they had everything they needed to survive on Maui’s lush lands.
Leave your Selfie Sticks at home.
An added benefit of joining a group tour is having a trusted ‘ohana around to take your photos.
At each waterfall stop our tour guide, made sure to snap a shot for each of us before moving on to the next spot.
Behind the Scenes on Private Property
Hike Maui is the only company hosting private tours in the Twin Falls Rainforest.
The relationship they have with the landowners is based on trust and respect of the ‘āina (land).
This allows them to take you deeper into the forest on private trails to secluded waterfalls.
On your own you are not permitted to explore these areas.