One question I am frequently asked when people are trying to decide whether to do our Lanai Dolphin Adventure or our Lanai Landing Adventure is…
…”If I choose the Lanai Landing Adventure, what is there to do with 3+ hours on the island?”
Good question. If you’re unfamiliar with the island of Lanai, it is located 9 miles off the coast of Maui and is the smallest, least populated, and therefore one of the most untouched of the inhabited islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. It boasts 2 world-class resorts, with all the luxury and decadence you’d expect from the Four Seasons, but set in the midst of the rugged beauty of Lanai’s sea cliffs, and long, deserted stretches of beach.
Lanai is home to bottlenose and spinner dolphins and your chances of seeing them from our Explorer Super Rafts are really good, we encounter these guys at least 85% of the time. Spinner dolphins are friendly and playful and love to ‘surf’ in the wake of our boats. Snorkel gear and instruction, as well as snacks and beverages, are provided throughout the trip.
Once you reach Lanai, there are so many activities that your question will change from “What is there to do?” to “Can we have more time please?”.
Below are a few of my favorite recommendations:
Snorkel the Marine Preserve
It’s a short, 10-minute walk from where we drop you at Manele Harbor to Hulopo’e Bay, also known as Manele Bay. Once you arrive, you’ll discover the long, crescent-shaped stretch of beautiful beach which borders a Marine Preserve which prohibits boating and fishing in these waters. What this means to you is that snorkeling here is some of the best you will find in Hawaii because it is so protected and the only way you get to snorkel is from shore. Dolphin sightings here are common too as they love the calm, sheltered waters of the bay.
Explore Lava Rock Tide Pools
The tide pools! I’ve seen a lot of tide pools in my time, but these are absolutely spectacular. There are dozens of them, and they range in size from small rocky depressions to pools large enough for you to swim in. Peering inside each one, you’ll discover your very own aquarium where you can examine all of the sea creatures and flora that are living inside.
Walking Trails to Stunning Lookouts
There are some trails that run along the coast which are really easy to “hike” and lead you to some stunning viewpoints, like “Sweetheart Rock”, for some breathtaking photo opportunities.
Picnic Lunch in the Shade on one of “America’s Best Beaches”*
(*as voted by Travel+Leisure)
We provide a picnic lunch and beverages for you to enjoy during your time on the island. Hulopo’e Bay is lined with palm trees so there is tons of shade. Picnic tables, public restrooms, fresh water showers, and enough space to find your very own patch of serenity away from the crowds of some of Maui’s busier beaches. If you’re like me, then this in itself is the perfect way to enjoy a few hours.
Maui Adventure Cruises is one of only a handful of companies with a permit to drop guests off here, and we’re the ONLY one who offers you the Lanai Landing Adventure on an Explorer Super Raft.
This means that you get the best of both worlds; the adventure of zipping past the stunning sea cliffs, sea caves, and blowholes, to your first snorkel spot from our boat, and the freedom to get off and explore on your own.
Rest assured that whichever trip you decide to do, there is no wrong choice. Both offer excellent snorkel sites at pristine coral reefs, snorkel gear, and instruction, attentive and knowledgeable crew, as well as tasty food and beverages.
If you have any further questions regarding our trips and to reserve your spot, please feel free to contact our office and speak to our friendly staff at 808.661.5550. Aloha!