RESERVATIONS - (808) 667-6165

Hawaii Ocean Project Blog

Subscribe to our weekly blog that covers topics including ocean research, fun marine life facts, island events, special boating excursions, Eco-friendly tips, environmental concerns and more!

Best Horseback Riding Tours on Maui

If you've seen the island by car, helicopter, and boat, maybe it's time to see it by horse!
September 09, 2017


Best Horseback Riding Tours on Maui

Riding can be a lot of fun for the whole family, if you're adventurous and looking for unique perspectives on Maui sightseeing. Most sightseeing is done via car, or helicopter, or boat (in our case). Each option has its own enticing qualities. What makes horseback riding unique is the natural feel that you get from your exploration, along with the engine-free quiet that brings the subtler sounds of nature to the forefront of your senses. Take it from us, when we arrive at our Maui snorkel tour destinations and turn off the engine, a whole new level of tranquility sets into the experience. Whereas our guests get to enjoy the soothing sound of the water gently lapping against our hulls, Maui horseback riding tours take you through lush landscapes where you get to listen to the whisper of the balmy island breezes rustling through the leaves. We hope you'll get to experience both! So, here are Maui's favorite horseback riding tours.


Mendes Ranch – This ranch is celebrated most for its beloved tour guides and stunning ocean views along the Kahakuloa trail. You'll find yourself surrounded by rich greenery at every turn, but with the sapphire blue of the ocean always in the distance. Unlike the other tours on our list, this one introduces you to the north-facing ocean, which is wilder and greener than locations in South and West Maui. In fact, it might feel like a totally different island! Their tours even include the option of a terrific barbecue lunch. Another stand-out feature of this ranch is the amazing care that the horses receive. You'll find that they are healthy, happy, and in good form.
Website: Mendes Ranch – Location: Wailuku

Ironwood Ranch – If you want to opt for a ranch where the staff is extra patient with beginners and safety conscious, this is the ranch for you. Their tours take you out into the gorgeous West Maui landscape, up on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, where the temperatures are comfortably cooler than sea level. The sunset tour is breathtaking and takes advantage of the amazing sunset views that you get from this part of the island. The guides are knowledgeable, and a lot of fun. (They name all their horses after celebrities.) The horses are responsive, well-trained, and in excellent condition.
Website: Ironwood Ranch – Location: Kapalua

Piiholo Ranch – When it comes to this ranch, the private tours are an especially enjoyable option, and you'll find yourself surrounded by the cool, soothing forests and emerald green fields that blanket the slopes of the mountain in Upcountry Maui. The majesty and expanse of Haleakala is really felt here as you roam the gentle hills overlooking the ocean and the better part of the island. If tranquil forests and sprawling vistas appeal to you, this may be the perfect option for your tastes. The horses are in great condition, too!
Website: Piiholo Ranch – Location: Makawao

Thompson Ranch – If you're an animal lover and you enjoy unobstructed views from the mountainside, this ranch is the way to go. It's not just horses here. There are also cows, goats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, and more, so it's the favorite ranch for kids and those who love animals as much as the owners do. They give all their resident creatures plenty of TLC. For example, they only hold one horseback riding tour per day, so the horses get just the healthy exercise they need. Conveniently, you can still choose from three time slots, and they also keep their groups small for a more personal experience. As for the views, you get bi-coastal views, and you can easily see both the neighboring island of Kaho'olawe and Molokini Crater off Maui's mesmerizing south shore. At this location up on the slopes of Haleakala, you often get cooling mists and clouds rolling down the mountainside, depending on the time of day.
Website: Thompson Ranch – Location: Kula

Lahaina Stables – At this ranch, the sunset rides are breathtaking, while the guides are personable, knowledgeable and friendly. This part of the island tends to be warm and dry, with a rugged beauty that many riders enjoy. The location couldn't be more convenient if you're staying in West Maui. They offer morning, lunch and sunset rides, and the latter is particularly beautiful.
Website: Lahaina Stables – Location: Lahaina


We hope you enjoy your horseback riding experience, and when you're ready for a fantastic Maui boat tour, we look forward to being your guides on the dazzling Hawaiian ocean. Mahalo!

Blogs for September 2017

10 Fun Facts About Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

Posted on September 30, 2017


10 Fun Facts About Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

The scientific name for the green sea turtle is Chelonia mydas, but the Hawaiian name is simply: "Honu." For many snorkelers, these fascinating marine reptiles become the highlight of a good outing. Despite their status as an endangered species, there are… Continue Reading

Best Vegetarian Food Cafes on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 29, 2017

From the cheapest dives to five-star restaurants, most places on Maui have a nice selection of vegetarian dishes. In fact, over the years, we've found Maui to be one of the more vegetarian-friendly islands in Hawaii. To be sure, we can eat unhealthy here on Maui (hello loco… Continue Reading

Five Turtles You Could See on Maui

Posted on September 28, 2017

Turtles are the rare creature you can see both underwater and on shore. While you're more likely to spot turtles, on Maui at least, in the water, if you know where to look, you can see the largest of them, green sea turtles, resting on the beach. Hawai'i… Continue Reading

Best Breakfast on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 26, 2017


They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Is that why people are willing to stand in line for hours to have it? It's a phenomenon we truly don't don't understand. But if you like to stand in line for breakfast, we have some… Continue Reading

Best Fish and Chips on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 25, 2017

Maui has many excellent fish and chips spots. This is a statement of fact. Whether at high-end restaurants or small shacks, you're bound to find fresh fish, fried perfectly. When putting this list together, we came to the realization that Kihei may be one of the best towns… Continue Reading

Common Sea Urchins of Hawaii Reefs and Tide Pools

Posted on September 23, 2017

Common Sea Urchins of Hawaii Reefs and Tide Pools

If you love exploring tide pools and coral reefs to discover the many fascinating inhabitants, Maui is a great place to be. Whether you join us aboard a Molokini Snorkel Boat Tour, or you opt to stick to Maui's coastlines,… Continue Reading

Fish Guide for Snorkeling Maui

Posted on September 21, 2017


 

Achilles Tang
These black fish have a distinctive orange patch near the tail and some seriously beautiful orange, white, and blue stripes that look like they were painted on. Growing to 10 inches long, the Achilles Tang can be found in… Continue Reading

Fun Beach Movies

Posted on September 20, 2017


Let's be clear, this is not a Best Beach Movies list. Nope. Not even close. This list is all about fun. None of these movies will make you use your brain, but when you sit down to watch them, you'll probably keep a stupid grin plastered on… Continue Reading

Best Casual Restaurants with Outdoor Seating on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 18, 2017

Casual outdoor dining and Maui go hand-in-hand. Even the nicest places on Maui seem "casual" compared to mainland dining. We can't remember the last time we saw someone wearing a tie at dinner. But for our purposes, we split "fine dining" from "casual" using the old standby... with… Continue Reading

Best Fine Dining Restaurants with Outdoor Seating on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 18, 2017

This might be the hardest list we've written due to the overwhelming number of fine dining restaurants with outdoor dining on Maui. Almost every restaurant on Maui has outdoor seating! For a romantic evening, there are few things better than dinner under the stars. n the meantime, here's… Continue Reading

10 Fun Facts About Octopuses

Posted on September 16, 2017

10 Fun Facts About Octopuses

The waters off Hawaii's coastlines are full of fascinating marine animals, but few have as many surprising qualities as the octopus. As researchers continue to discover incredible things about the capabilities of these remarkable invertebrates, they continue to grow in popularity. You'll need sharp… Continue Reading

Best Plate Lunches on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 14, 2017


Generally speaking, a plate lunch consists of two scoops of rice, mac (macaroni) salad and an entree. Historians believe plate lunches started when pineapple and sugar cane plantation workers would bring bento boxes, made up of rice and a main course, to work for lunch. Later, food… Continue Reading

Best Gluten-Free Casual Dining on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 13, 2017


Being gluten-free on Maui does not need to be a burden. Over the last five years, we've seen an influx of gluten-free options entering our restaurants. While the fine dining options are plentiful, there are also many casual restaurants and markets that cater to gluten-free diets. And… Continue Reading

Best Gluten-Free Sit-Down Restaurants on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 13, 2017


A member of our family was diagnosed with gluten issues about seven years ago. Since then, she's been on a gluten-free diet. At the time of the diagnosis, finding a great gluten-free meal on Maui was tough. Nowadays, finding a restaurant without gluten-free options is a rarity.… Continue Reading

A Brief History of Poke in Hawaii

Posted on September 11, 2017


Poke (pronounced poh-kay, rhymes with okay) literally means "to cut crosswise into pieces." It's a simple dish, made of chopped seafood, generally tuna, marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, and mixed with onion. But, you'll find many variations of this when you visit poke shops, and… Continue Reading

Best Poke in Grocery Stores and Shops on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 11, 2017


Poke, on Maui, is like coffee, in Seattle, or pizza, in Manhattan... it can be found everywhere. From that dingy looking gas station to the highest end restaurants, you don't have to look far to find it. But, where should you go for the best poke, on… Continue Reading

Best Horseback Riding Tours on Maui

Posted on September 09, 2017


Best Horseback Riding Tours on Maui

Riding can be a lot of fun for the whole family, if you're adventurous and looking for unique perspectives on Maui sightseeing. Most sightseeing is done via car, or helicopter, or boat (in our case). Each option has its own enticing qualities.… Continue Reading

Maui Hiking Guide

Posted on September 07, 2017


Maui, the Valley Isle, is blessed with many great hiking opportunities. Whether you've never hiked in your life, you're hiking with small children, or you're a seasoned hiker, Maui has you covered. Going from easiest to hardest, here is a list of hikes that we recommend to… Continue Reading

Best Coffee Ice Cream on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 06, 2017


Hawaii is the only state in the country that commercially grows coffee. As a result, we have actual, locally sourced coffee around these parts. Most of the coffee goes for drinking, but it sure makes for some good ice creams and gelatos. Here are our favorites...

Lappert's (Wailea… Continue Reading

Best Pizza on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 05, 2017


To be honest, there aren't a lot of great pizza places on Maui. But the places on this list are truly top-notch. Unique to Maui pizzas are the local ingredients and toppings you can generally only find here. Step outside of your normal pizza zone and try… Continue Reading

Six Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Released into Maui Waters

Posted on September 02, 2017

Six Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Released into Maui Waters

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (honu) is one of the most the most beloved native species that you can find here on Maui. They show up in a seemingly endless array of artwork, jewelry, gifts, film, photographs, and the list… Continue Reading

Navigation

Home
Dinner Cruise
Lanai Snorkel
Molokini Snorkel
Boat Tours
About HOP
Site Map
Join Newsletter

certificate

certificate

award

Our Latest Blogs

A Brief History of the Shaka sign
  (Posted: November 13, 2017)

Get to Know Maui with Our Free Quarterly Newsletter
  (Posted: November 11, 2017)

Top Five Things to do with Children on Maui - HOP to it
  (Posted: November 10, 2017)

Social Networks

Reviews

© Copyright 2015 - Hawaii Ocean Project
Lahaina Harbor, Loading Dock Main Booth, 675 Wharf Street, Lahaina, Hawaii 96761

Hawaii Ocean Project Main Logo Graphic