Sightseeing in Maui, the Valley Isle

Japanese Tea Set

According to native Hawaiian lore, the name of the so-called "Magic Isle" has its origin in the story of Polynesian navigator Hawai'iloa, who is credited with discovering the Hawaiian Islands. According to tradition, Hawai'iloa named the island after his son, who was in turn named after the demi-god Maui. Helicopter tours with Blue Hawaii are the only way to fully take in this demi-god's work. The legend holds that Maui created the Hawaiian Islands by raising them up from the sea.

The youngest in the Hawaiian Archipelago, this volcanic island last erupted around 1790 from Haleakala's Southwest Rift Zone, which visitors can view while sightseeing in Maui by air. The lava flows that resulted from that eruption can be spotted at Cape Kinau between Ahihi Bay and La Perouse Bay on the eastern side of the island and at Makaluapuna Point on Honokuhua Bay on the west side. Though long dormant, Haleakala is considered by some volcanologists to be capable of future eruptions.

Maui helicopter rides fly over agriculture

During your sightseeing in Maui, you will quickly discover why the "Magic Isle" also bears the nickname of the "Valley Isle." Nestled between the volcanic peaks is a large fertile isthmus, which is known as the wettest place on Earth with an average rainfall of about 450 inches annually. This central valley is home to 37,000 acres of sugar cane fields owned by the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S). This HC&S plantation is the largest sugarcane business still operating in Hawaii and is one of the sights guests can view during a typical Maui helicopter ride.