IAO VALLEY EXCURSION

HISTORIC SITES, LUSH VALLEYS, COOL STREAMS

 
 
 
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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sacrificial Temple
  • Sunken Caldera
  • Heritage Gardens
  • ʻĪao Stream
  • ʻĪao Needle

PRICING

  • 1 Guest: $500.00

  • 2-3 Guests: $250.00 / Person

  • 4-10 Guests: $165.00 / Person

WHEN

  • Flexible Departure Time
  • ~3 Hrs Duration

ʻĪao Valley is the deepest valley in the West Maui Mountains, making the ʻĪao River the largest watershed from these wet verdant slopes.  This allows the valleys and thick kukui nut trees to keep their vibrant green hues.  In Maui, the kukui nut is a symbol of enlightenment, protection and peace.  So, it would only make sense that this 8,661-acre land is preserved and protected by Maui Land & Pineapple Company, with the partnership of The Nature Conservancy and the State Natural Area Partnership.  This means you will get a peak at pristine, untouched land while on our tour.

Our tour begins with a visit to the ruins of a luakini heiau, which is a sacrificial temple.  With views of the ʻĪao Stream, Kahului Bay, Wailuku Plain and Paukukalo Hawaiian Homestead, this site is the home of two heiau.  According to historical references, they were built in a single night using rocks from Paukukalo Beach.  It has been said that human sacrifices were offered at these temples, as a way to honor royalty.  As we visit these cultural landmarks, we can observe Maui’s geology and industry while making connections to the history and mythology of Hawaii.

Our next stop takes us deep into Maui’s western volcano.  Because of the last eruption 320,000 years ago, substantial stream erosion has created one of the deepest valleys known as ‘Iao Valley.  The valley walls are covered in dense rainforest, and the average 386 inches that flow onto the ‘Iao Stream!  We take a trail running along the ʻĪao Stream, which is overflowing with tropical flowers, guava fruit and native fauna.  We then make our way to the base of the ʻĪao Needle, which is 1,200 foot basalt tower that was once used as a watchtower during wartimes.  You will then be given the opportunity to bath or wade in the healing waters of the ʻĪao Stream, which is our island’s largest river.

Our tour completes with a visit to the cultural heritage gardens.  These gardens feature scale models of traditional homes, native gardens and cultural totems that represent the immigration of Hawaiian, American missionaries, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean and Filipino cultures.  These restored gardens have recently been expanded to include taro patches and examples of Hawaiian farming techniques.  The Hawaii Nature Center is located just outside the gardens and provides access to a museum and children’s education about Hawaii and conservation.