Experience Maui In 30 Hours Or Less

Experience Maui In 30 Hours Or Less
Former Amazing Race contestant, American Airline Flight Attendant and Travel Bag contributor Nici Porter spends 30 hours in fabulous Maui.


I’m sure you’re asking yourself who would go all the way to Maui for only 30 hours? And who would write a blog about that 30 hour trip to boot? Well perhaps you’re a workaholic and don’t want to take a week off from work to travel. Or maybe your job (like mine) sends you to exotic places like Maui on short “teaser trips”. Whatever the reason you’re spending only 30 hours in Maui, it is possible to have a great trip there. Here is how you can do it.

Pick a hotel near Maui’s Black Rock. Black Rock is a mating and feeding location for sea turtles. Unfortunately for safety reasons the area where the turtles actually mate is restricted to visitors. But while at Black Rock you are able to enter the water near the turtle mating and feeding site; and once in the water there, you can swim with the turtles. Yep, that’s right. You can actually swim with the turtles. And the best part is, you can swim with them for gratis. FREE!! This is because the turtle mating area is near a public beach. So visiting the beach costs nothing. Now that’s awesome!! That means that you don’t have to stay at one of the nearby pricey beachfront resorts to spend some quality time with the turtles. Just drive on over to Black Rock, visit the public beach and jump into the water. Your new found shelled friends will swim with you, under you, over you and at you. Sometimes in their excitement, they will even touch you! In fact, once you’re in the water with the turtles, you might as well consider yourself to be one of them. Because that’s how they will treat you. Like one of the guys (or gals). And consider bringing a waterproof camera to Black Rock with you so that you can get some shots with the turtles. They will make for some exciting conversation pieces later.

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“Nici The Turtle”

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Nici in the waters of Black Rock

After you’ve had a fantastic time being wowed by the turtles of Black Rock there is only one thing left to do. And that is to jump off of Black Rock!!! Yep, you heard me right. You can climb the 20 feet up to the top of Black Rock. And from there, you can jump. So after swimming with the turtles that’s just what I did. I climbed up Black Rock and I jumped. I did find it a little bit nerve racking to jump off of “the summit”, but the opportunity to do so was just something that I couldn’t let pass me by. Plus I figured, if I did dive off of Black Rock, I would be able to not only brag about having gone “cliff diving in Hawaii”; which is a BIG deal in and of itself. But I would also be able to brag about having gone diving from a cliff in Hawaii where scenes from the classic movie “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” staring Elvis Presley was filmed!! Elvis Presley!! “The King”!!! So you know I was diving.

Another activity you can easily complete during a 30 hour visit to Maui is a sunrise bike tour of the Haleakala Volcano. These tours involve downhill rather than uphill bike riding from the summit. These tours begin insanely early in the morning when the air is still quite brisk. But don’t be too worried about the cold air. The tour operators typically provide riders with coats and gloves, so they’ve got you covered. The two companies that I recommend for the Haleakala Volcano tours are Mountain Riders and Maui Downhill Bicycle Tours. I like these two tour operators because they are the only two that will take you all the way down the volcano from the summit to the beach below. Make sure to book your volcano tours online as both tour operators provide extra discounts when excursions are booked online. Both tour companies are also military friendly and offer extra military discounts. Spaces are limited though, so to ensure a spot on the tour of your choice, make your reservation at least one week in advance.

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Say “hello to my little friends”

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Lets do some tricks!!!

Now when I say that these early morning volcano tours start insanely early in the morning, I do mean that they start insanely early in the morning. Typically, your tour guides will pick you up from your hotel between 2:00-3:00 a.m.! Don’t worry about being fully awake right way though. The ride to the summit typically takes about an hour, so this allows you a little bit more snooze time before your ride begins. Around 5:30 a.m. you will reach the nearly 10,000 foot high summit. Being that high up, don’t be surprised if the temperature is near freezing. On the day of my tour at a very balmy 30 degrees when including the wind chill, conditions were actually below freezing! Again not to worry though; your tour company will have warm clothing for those who packed for Maui instead of Alaska. After taking in the breathtaking views of the sun rising over the Haleakala Volcano, it’s time to race!!! The trip down Haleakala takes you down the winding and weaving roads that hug the volcano. Not to worry though. Bikes that are specially designed for both speed and stability are provided. The increasing momentum you gain from rolling downhill makes the ride largely effortless. And with the wind whipping across your face and through your hair, in no time you will forget how tired you thought you were. Instead, you will fell free and as you’ve become one with the road. Biking down Haleakala was an exciting, exhilarating and unforgettable ride. But it is one of those things that you have to experience to really understand. So do 30 hours in Maui and take the tour yourself.

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Lets ride through the clouds!!!

For those who are not adrenaline junkies you can consider taking a Pineapple Tour or visiting the Hali’imaile Distillery. During pineapple tours, visitors are allowed to tour pineapple fields, to taste pineapples at various states of maturity and to tour a pineapple packing facility. Bookings for both tours can be done over the phone or online. Adults 21 and over may sample beverages seen on the Hali’imaile tour.

Bike Tour: $120-$140 per person
Hali’imaile Distillery: $10 per person
Pinneapple Tour: $70 per person
Swim With Turtles: FREE!!!!

What To Bring:
Camera (cell phone, fancy camera or waterproof camera), cash, a hat, hiking shoes (running shoes work well too), shorts, snorkel gear, sunscreen, sunglasses, swimsuit.

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