Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and, after California, hosts the largest number of marine reserves and protected areas in the United States. The island has won numerous travel industry awards as the “Best Island in the World” and welcomes millions of visitors a year. In order to maintain the very thing that makes the island such a destination, its gorgeous landscape, and blissful atmosphere, locals keep conscious in reducing their environmental footprint and encourage visitors to do the same. While visiting the paradise that is Maui, enjoy your stay with eco-friendly activities whether it’s beach bumming or hiking volcanos.
Haleakalā National Park
If you manage to get tired of beaches, change it up with a hike from one side of a volcanic crater to the other, traversing down through the crater floor. Visit Haleakalā National Park and explore a dormant volcano. Pass by loose lava rock and native flora on either an intense 14.2-mile hike or easy 2.2-mile round trip hike. Make sure to stick to marked trails to ensure you don’t disturb the delicate ecosystem.
The national park is also a sacred place for Hawaii natives and an interesting place to experience the local culture. Visit important sites and learn the legends of the demigod Maui. Camping facilities are also available for those interested in spending more time in the wilderness.
It would be sacrilegious not to spend time on one of Maui’s idyllic beaches as part of an eco-tour of the Hawaiian Islands. Once voted as America’s Best Beach, the sheltered white sand of Kapalua Beach has an incredible coastline view overflowing with marine life, sunbathers, and watersports. Snorkel in crystal clear water and see a variety of fish such as boxfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, and perch. Have fun boogie boarding, surfing, diving, or kayaking. Just make sure you spend some time in the year-round warm water.
Those looking for a more chill beach vibe without the active water sports should look no further than Hamoa Beach. Its long, protected stretch of sand with clear blue water and tranquil, sunny vibes are sure to keep you relaxed. Take in sea cliff views and hide under the shade of lush trees to escape the heat and sun. Speaking of sun, when using sunscreen be sure to select eco-friendly and reef-safe brands. Note that since the beach is unprotected by outlying reefs large surf conditions can occur in winter months.
Kapalua Coastal Trail
Take in the breathtaking views of Maui on a relaxing hike along the Kapalua Coastal Trail. One of the island’s most tourist-friendly trails, the approximately 2-mile hike is suitable for all levels of experience and takes you through stunning scenery: the sea, lava formations, picturesque beaches, and rich greenery. The trail begins and ends on a beach, so after your hike, you can relax in the sun, dip your feet in the water and lay in the soft sand.
Hana Lava Tube (Ka’eleku Cavern)
Have an entirely different island experience and head underground into the Hana Lava Tube, also known as the Ka’eleku Cavern. Explore the subterranean cave trails and see interesting rock and mineral formations. Witness how underground lava flows created this natural wonder and be impressed by the many stalactites and stalagmites.
Sustainable Dining on Maui
If you are looking for a bit of healthy eating on your sunny getaway, there are plenty of good biodynamic, certified natural, and vegetarian options available. From establishments that push for zero-waste in their methods, to sourcing ingredients locally, farm-to-table restaurants are dotted all over the island. Those interested in seafood can also enjoy eating at a selection of ocean-friendly restaurants that seek to reduce plastic waste.