Dolphin & Whale Watching Tours#3 in Best Things To Do in Lanai
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Humpback whales can be seen from all of the Hawaiian islands (the region's warm, shallow waters attract humpback whales), but the Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai and Lanai is one of the world's best whale-watching destinations. You may be able to spot these majestic creatures from the shore if you plan your visit between December and May, but for the best views, you'll want to sign up for a tour.
Your hotel may offer a whale-watching excursion, but there are also several tour companies that depart from Maui. This will require you to take the ferry over to Maui, but according to past visitors, it's an experience you won't want to miss. Ultimate Whale Watch & Snorkel, Hawaii Ocean Rafting and Sail Trilogy all receive high marks from travelers. Tours, which typically depart from Lahaina Harbor in Maui, last around two hours. Prices vary by company, but you can expect to pay at least $50 per adult. Some tour boats also come equipped with a hydrophone, which allows guests to hear the whales underwater.
Keep in mind: Whale-watching tours are only offered from December to May. Visit each company's website for more information on pricing and booking.
More Best Things To Do in Lanai
#1 Hulopoe Bay
Hulopoe Bay is one of Lanai's most popular spots. Sunbathers like the wide stretch of sand, while snorkelers revel in the vibrant reefs filled with fish and native plant life. This is one of the few beaches on Lanai where swimming is safe, but only in the summer; the waves in the winter are too dangerous. If you're in Lanai during the winter months, a stop at Hulopoe Bay is still worthwhile as you can sometimes spot dolphins and humpback whales from the shore (they pass through the bay every winter).
Recent travelers recommend that you uncover the sea stars and hermit crabs in the bay's eastern side tide pools, and that you picnic in the shady areas behind the beach. If you get antsy sunbathing, lace up your hiking shoes and take a 15- to 20-minute walk along the cliffs just southeast of the tide pools to catch a glimpse of Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock. According to Hawaiian legend, a grief-stricken warrior jumped from this 80-foot rock after learning of his wife's passing.
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