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Ziplining on Your Maui Vacation
The top three zipline companies on Maui.
September 19, 2014
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Ziplining on Your Maui Vacation

Kaanapali Vacation RentalsOne of the most exhilarating experiences that you can have in a Maui vacation activity is ziplining. Imagine soaring through the air surrounded by a panorama of stunning mountains and brilliant ocean. It also doesn't require much physical exertion to get from one leg of the course or another, depending on where you go. For many, it's the perfect blend of adventure and simplicity that you can enjoy at any time of the year, unlike the seasonal activities like whale watching or parasailing, which are mutually exclusive. You will also find that there's an extremely broad age range in those who can safely participate in ziplining. If this is something you're interested in trying, your next step is choosing the best company for your tastes and needs.

Here are the choices:

Skyline Eco-Adventures, which is the first zipline company in the U.S., will provide you with an experienced crew. As the ultimate veterans in the business, it's a lucky thing that they happen to be here on Maui, so you can make the most of your vacation as far as this activity is concerned. Conveniently, while their first course is located in Upcountry on Haleakala Ranch, they also have a course near our Kaanapali vacation rentals in the beautiful, green West Maui Mountains.

Pi'iholo Ranch Zipline is another Upcountry location on the majestic mountain of Haleakala. As with any Upcountry course, the elevation opens up bigger views, although the ocean will be further away. At one point in the course, you'll be 700 feet above the ground, which is a perspective that's tough to find without obstruction in any other situation. This location is a much longer drive if you're staying in West Maui, but if you want to spend part of your day exploring the Upcountry area, then this activity may be a nice complement. Pi'iholo Ranch also offers horseback riding lessons and trail rides.

Flyin Hawaiian Zipline is the longest, fastest and highest zipline course on the island, and they are located in Wailuku at the Maui Tropical Plantation. It's not as close as the Kaanapali courses, but not as far away as the Upcountry courses.

Kapalua Adventures zipline course is another one that's located conveniently near the accommodations of West Maui, and the course starts at Kapalua Adventures Mountain Outpost where they have a climbing tower and giant swing. At this zipline course, the perk is that it's one of the biggest zipline courses in the country.

A quick Google search will help you compare them, based on their informative websites. Hopefully this is enough to get you started in deciding which one you are likely to enjoy the most. It should be a very memorable experience!

We hope you've enjoyed this blog! If you need assistance with your accommodations, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

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Maui Snorkeling Spots
The best places on Maui for your snorkeling experience.
September 12, 2014
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Maui Snorkeling Spots

West Maui AccommodationsRenting snorkeling gear is affordable, and the experience can be downright transformative if you've never done it before. The reefs surrounding Maui are stunning and full of brilliantly colored fish. It's a great activity to share if you're on a romantic Maui getaway, and you'd be surprised at how much fun kids can have with it, provided they are comfortable in water. To preserve your memories, there are inexpensive underwater cameras, or you could invest in a GoPro to film your experience. The possibilities are endless, especially if you know where the best spots are.

Our West Maui accommodations just so happen to be located on the stunning Kaanapali beach. At the north end you will find Black Rock, which provides a sheltered anchor for a myriad of corals, which in turn house a wealth of fish and other marine life. You may even see some turtles. This is a great spot for snorkeling, and when you've had your fill, you can refresh yourself at one of the restaurants perched at the edge of the sand.

Drive south past Lahaina to Olowalu for another great experience. Here, the water tends to be shallower, and the reefs are much closer to the surface, providing extra protection from wave action. It might feel like a maze in certain places, but there are sand channels that lead back to the beach.

Make the journey out to South Maui's La Peruse Bay, tucked into the lava fields, and you'll discover a stony beach where corals are everywhere, as are their many inhabitants. It can be a bit more challenging to get in and out of the water thanks to the rocky landscape, or seascape, but those rocks are the perfect home for the reefs, and the experience is stunning.

These three spots are all fantastic, but to have the best experience possible, there are some things to keep in mind. First, if you slack on the sunscreen, you will regret it. The sun's rays are more intense here than in the rest of the U.S. because we are closer to the equator. That means you will burn faster. No matter what you're doing, be diligent with your sunscreen, or it could put a serious damper on your entire vacation experience. Second, conditions are best in the morning, and the earlier the better. The wind and waves kick up during the day and calm down in the late night, unless there's a storm mucking things up. Don't snorkel or swim in choppy conditions when the water is murky. Wait for that perfect early morning when the water looks like blue glass with just a few ripples. You'll be glad you did, because you'll be safer, and underwater visibility will be vastly clearer. Lastly, keep in mind that even on those perfect mornings, the conditions can change pretty quickly. If the waves start to kick up, go back in to shore.

We hope that you have found this blog informative, and that you have an amazing snorkeling experience! As always, if you need assistance with your accommodations, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo! - by Ken Rothman

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Touring Maui Waterfalls in Hana
Tranquil pools, cascading waterfalls and vibrant jungle scenery.
September 05, 2014
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Touring Maui Waterfalls in Hana

West Maui AccommodationsIf you're staying at one of our stunning beachfront Kaanapali condos, you've already gotten to dive into those postcard beach settings that Maui is so famous for, but what about those glorious white waterfalls splashing around in the green, tropical jungles? The most impressive experience on that score can be found in Hana, located way out in East Maui, on the opposite side of the island from your West Maui accommodations. If you're comfortable dedicating a full day to the trip through Hana, and you're not discouraged by carsickness on winding roads, then you should definitely strike out on this adventure. Just be sure to fill your gas tank before you set out.

If you haven't been to Hana before, keep in mind that the trip is more about the journey than the destination. It's mostly sight-seeing from your car, and trust us when we say that there's plenty to see. In fact, you'll have a hard time counting the amazing waterfalls right next to the road. They come in all shapes and sizes, with no two alike. On one side of the car, you'll have your jungle and waterfalls, while on the other, you'll have sprawling vistas of the gorgeous blue Pacific Ocean. The photo opportunities are truly endless. While most of the trip involves driving, there are a few places that are worth stopping to see, and there are great hiking trails to be found at some of them.

Seven Sacred Pools - Also known as the Pools at Ohe'o Gulch, this is a gentle cascade of water that falls from one pool into the next, like a terraced fountain. This place was shaped by nature, but so conveniently that it almost seems man made. You'll find this gem at mile marker 42 on Hana Highway.

Wailua Falls - Stop here to be impressed by towering cascades that plunge two hundred feet down a sheer, lush cliff face. Thanks to the majestic height of Wailua Falls, rainbows abound when the sunlight hits the mist just right, which is usually in the morning. This incredible site is located at mile marker 45.

Waianapanapa State Park - Next on the list is this fascinating spot, which features partially submerged lava tubes, ocean caves and black-sand beaches. You won't find any place quite like this in the world. The geological oddities make it something of a treasure, and a visually striking place. You'll find this one at mile marker 32.

The Hana Lava Tube - This isn't a waterfall site, but it's interesting enough that we had to include it. This lava tube isn't much different from a big cave, aside from the forces that shaped it. This particular lava tube has been fitted with railings and stairs to help explorers stay safe, and it's an easy self-guided tour. There's a $12 entry fee that comes with a flashlight that you can use for your exploration. Happy speklunking! This one is after mile marker 31, if you make a right on Ulaino road. You will see their sign.

We hope you enjoy your travels through Hana, and that you get plenty of wonderful pictures and memories from whichever site you choose to visit! Mahalo for reading this week! - by Ken Rothman

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Turtle Mania at the Maui Ocean Center
Events that the whole family will enjoy.
August 29, 2014
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Turtle Mania at the Maui Ocean Center

Maui VacationSea turtles are some of the most amazing marine animals on Earth, and it's no wonder so many people adore them. These fascinating creatures can often be spotted in the waters all around Maui if you're snorkeling, scuba diving, or even watching the water from the beach or from a boat. Unfortunately, many of those visiting on a Maui vacation aren't able or interested in snorkeling and scuba diving, but for them, distant glimpses of them aren't enough. That's why the Maui Ocean Center is such a lure to visitors. Not only do guests get to tour countless colorful exhibits full of beautiful marine species, but there is also a fantastic sea turtle exhibit. The MOC is always raising and rehabilitating turtles to ensure their future, and lucky for you turtle enthusiasts, September is their "Turtle Mania" month.

 Here are some of the highlights of the month:

  • Sea Turtle Tour Package Upgrade - Swing by any Tuesday in September at 11:30am and get a special behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium, along with food from the Reef Café. The cost is $15, in addition to the regular admission price. You should reserve your spot ahead of time.
  • Fins & Flippers Tour Upgrade - For those of you who are interested in both turtles and sharks, this will be your preferred tour upgrade. This one is offered on any Friday in September at 11:30am and 1:30pm. You'll also get a behind-the-scenes look at the aquarium, including a supervised feeding observation at Hammerhead Harbor and Turtle Lagoon. The cost is $10 per person plus aquarium admission.
  • Turtle-rrific Thursday - Learn about Hawaii's green sea turtles in an up-close and personal setting on September 4th and 18th at 2pm. Guests will learn about the biology, behavior and diet of green sea turtles from the team that cares for them. Try coming up with a question related to these animals that the team can't answer! Conveniently, this one is included with admission price.
  • Turtle Tracks: Two Years at a Time - Experience the debut of a new film in the Undersea Cave, which documents the lives of Hawaiian green sea turtles at the aquarium from the time they are introduced as young hatchlings to their release back into the wild. Viewers will learn why the efforts of the MOC are beneficial for the turtle population. This film will be playing every day in September, with no additional fee.

We hope these events are enough to satisfy your desire to observe and learn about sea turtles on your Maui vacation. As always, if you need assistance with your accommodations, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo! - by Ken Rothman

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Explore Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm
A soothing visit with stunning views of Maui.
August 22, 2014
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Explore Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

Maui Vacation RentalsFor the romantic Maui vacation, there are some relaxing attractions that emphasize natural beauty and tranquility with a splash of vibrant flavor, like the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm (AKL). This expansive but hidden gem is perched high up Haleakala in Kula, where temperatures are comfortably cool, and the views are stunning.

AKL sprawls over 10.5 acres of beautiful land about 4,000 feet above sea level. This is about an hour and ten minutes from our West Maui vacation rentals, but well worth the trip. There are 45 different varieties of lavender, hydrangea, protea and olive trees growing here, thanks to the combined benefits of steady temperatures, morning mists and expert growers. The lavender is the real star of the show, and because it's such a pleasant and useful plant, it is used in aromatherapy scents, soaps, lotions, shampoos and even food products like tea, scones, honey and chocolate. You'll find all of these products at the AKL Gallery Giftshop, which is stocked with products made from their own lavender. It's open from 9am-4pm.

There's more to AKL than the views and the shop. You can also take a tour of the marvelous grounds and learn all about the art of cultivating lavender. There are several tour options:

Daily Guided Walking Tours - Your guide will take you on all the special paths throughout the farm and share the story of AKL along with their plans for the future. This tour is $12/person or $10 if you make reservations in advance. Tour times are 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm.

Lavender Treasure Hunt - This is a free activity for kids and adults alike. No reservations are necessary, and you can take part in it at any time between 9am and 4pm. If you complete the treasure hunt, you get a prize.

Guided Cart Tours - If you prefer a brisk ride in an open cart, your driver/guide will bring you out on an extended journey in a five-passenger vehicle. Tour times are 10:30am and 2pm at a cost of $25/person. You'll need to make advanced reservations for this one.

Gourmet Picnic Lunch - You will get a lunch basket tailored to your food preferences, with several choices. You can take your basket and enjoy it on the beautiful grounds, or at the AKL tables. This costs $25 per person, and you need to make your reservations 24 hours in advance.

Lastly, there are also craft classes offered throughout the year, depending on the season. You can try making anything from an herb wreath to a living container garden. To get the details on what craft sessions are available, or to make reservations and get more information, call (808) 878-3004. We hope you have a great experience! Mahalo for reading this week! - by Ken Rothman

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Blogs for September 2014
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