One of the simple joys of life is watching a breathtaking sunrise as the world around you begins to wake up. Many people take the sunrise for granted. Some don’t even have the time or convenience to watch the sunrise, thus sadly missing out on one of the most sublime experiences that nature delivers to mankind. We feel that anyone who truly appreciates life should always cherish the opportunity to catch a breathtaking sunrise. That’s why we have decided to present a few of the most amazing sunrise tours, at some of the most spectacular locales on the planet, to those who are fortunate enough to plan a vacation trip around experiencing this universal marvel. If ever there were tickets to an event that gave you an experience that rose above & beyond the price of admission, then a reservation to Haleakala National Park is certainly one of those tickets.
These a.m sunrise tours are located around the legendary “House of the Sun” – the summit of the Haleakala Crater in Haleakala National Park (a dormant volcano where Maui’s highest peak is located). After all, if you’re going to be a visitor to one of the most beautiful places in the world, why would you miss out on the rare opportunity to catch a breathtaking sunrise that many consider to be one of the most marvelous spectacles to ever grace their presence. Hawaiian legend speaks of the demigod, Maui, lassoing the sun during it’s heavenly journey in the sky to slow down its rising and descending path and shorten the passage of time. That “slowing of time” (and a warm heart) is exactly the experience one gets when captivated by an early morning sunrise!
The Haleakalā Crater is home to Hawaii’s third largest peak (reaching a toweringly high altitude of 10,023 feet above sea level) A force of nature by any stretch of imagination, this giant shield volcano (also known as the East Maui Volcano) at Haleakala National Park, is the perfect spot to witness a Maui sunrise unlike any on Earth. From the summit you’ll observe an amazing view of a churning kaleidoscope of soft, radiant colors as they reflect off the clouds, ocean, and lush valley landscape beneath your feet.
It must go without saying that Haleakala National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hawaii, and catching a sunrise (or sunset) at 10,023 feet from the Haleakala Summit is one of Maui’s greatest attractions.
So it’s time to consider an Haleakala Sunrise Tour as a perfect way to begin your unforgettable visit to Maui. Whether it’s a trek to the crater summit, or choosing to sip some coffee from the observation point at the Haleakala Visitor Center, you’ll undoubtedly experience something that must only be seen to be believed!
Which Haleakala Sunrise Tour is right for me?
You may be inundated with seemingly identical advertisements for different Maui tours when you decide to plan your next trip. Each one has their pros and cons, but it can be hard to compare each of their positive and negative aspects. The good news is that each of the Haleakala summit a.m sunrise tours don’t just end after sunrise (or sunset). You and your family’s reservations will include up to 1/2 a day of sightseeing so you and your family can safely descend from high elevation and explore the surrounding environment, possibly encounter endangered species, and visit cultural landmarks which have been cherished by the local population for centuries.
Having said that, the team at Live Your Aloha is always dedicated to making your next vacation to the Hawaiian Islands a truly memorable one! So here are our top three tours for your amazing trip to the summit of Haleakala, at the “House of the Sun”, on the fabulous island of Maui. Keep in mind that advance reservations are required for most Haleakala sunrise tours, so don’t hesitate to create your travel account, book your reservation, and purchase your tickets as soon as possible.
“Wake up to beauty like you’ve never seen before when you experience a Haleakala Sunrise Tour!”
Here’s an overview of the reservation policy, highlights, and activities for each tour:
1. Haleakala Sunrise Tour
Are you looking for a sunrise experience that won’t break the bank? Look no further than the Haleakalā Sunrise Tour!
This 8-hour tour takes you to some of the most beautiful spots on the Hawaiian Island, including “upcountry” Maui, Haleakala National Park and the historic town of Makawao (both in the district of Kula), Kula Lodge, and Hali’imaile (the heart of Maui’s agricultural industry).
Your epic sunrise experience will start with a bus ride, around 7:00 a.m, through the green pastures of rural Maui where you will see and smell the lavender flowers growing. Once you reach the Haleakala Crater National Park, you’ll have the opportunity to stand atop the summit of Haleakala and sip coffee as the much anticipated sun begins to rise above the highest peak in Maui and warm your body & spirit!
After watching Hawaii wake up from a high altitude of at least 9,740 ft., you will dine at Casanova’s near Pulakani, a favorite eatery among Haleakala locals since 1986, for an all-inclusive breakfast before you head back out for the rest of the tour. Located in Makawao, the “biggest little town” in “upcountry” Maui (and famous for the paniolos), you’ll dine in a spot that showcases the unique history of the Hawaiian Islands.
After a warm breakfast you will continue on for a scenic drive among the fruit fields of Maui’s agricultural center. The intoxicating scent of pineapples, sugar cane, and other tropical crops in the misty morning will be enough to make your head spin! Just pray that no inclement weather disrupts the whole event (as Maui does rain quite a lot).
This Haleakalā tour is a great option for the intrepid, yet dilly-dallying, visitor to make a last minute reservation at a lower price point. This sunrise tour can be booked up to 4:00 p.m. the day before the excursion, and costs $187 per person, so make your reservation today! The only downside, for some, is that you have to wake up early (around 7:00 a.m) in order to catch a ride on a crowded tour bus filled with inquisitive sightseers like yourself.
Let’s review the pros and cons of this summit and “upcountry” trip:
Great for a last minute reservations
Cheapest tour on the list with tickets arounds $187/person
8-hour tour with breakfast and snacks included (7:00 a.m start time)
Visit the Haleakala National Park entrance & visitor center at off-tourist hours
Explore Maui’s “upcountry” agricultural sites, valley lowlands, & local attractions like Kula Lodge
Safety is a top priority
Bigger tour bus with possibly more travelers
May get cold atop the summit (so dress warmly & take account of inclement weather)!
2. Haleakala Sunrise Spectacular
Are you looking for something a little more intimate than a large tour bus? Then the Haleakala Sunrise Spectacular is probably just right for you (and your beloved).
Spend 8 hours in a private group of only 6-8 people in a luxurious limousine van and explore the wonders of Maui’s Upcountry. With a tour guide certified by the State of Hawaii narrating the adventure, your small group will be sure to get a truly unique experience as you revel in the sight of the Haleakala Summit and surrounding valley!
After a complimentary early morning pick-up from your hotel (around 7:00 a.m), you will make your way to Haleakala National Park entrance and towards the fabled East Maui Volcano. You’ll wind your way through the majestic park to the summit of Haleakalā, an arm’s reach from the clouds, where you will enjoy a light, complimentary breakfast snack while the first rays of sunlight begin to bathe the island landscape in a swirl of soft pastel color.
Only then do you get to enjoy a complete early morning breakfast, after being rejuvenated by the glory of the “House of the Sun”, for which you get to choose between a meat, vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free meal. What an amazing luxury!
This 8 hour tour also covers the Maui Upcountry region, where you’ll see the amazing sites of this culturally significant area and its rustic residential areas (like Kula Lodge and Pulakani). A historical region known for its cultural blending, you will learn all about how the island of Maui retains its local heritage while also thriving in the modern era. As a reminder, dress warmly and pray to the sun gods that weather conditions remain favorable. Inclement weather is the only thing that will spoil this wonderful trip.
This tour is the most expensive at $225 per person, but for that price you get a private bus and tour guide, included breakfast, and complimentary hotel pickup. Additionally, the guides go the extra mile to make sure that your experience is unforgettable, as expressed by TripAdvisor reviews:
To review the features of this tour:
Private bus with small group of 6-8 people
Private tour guide
Complimentary hotel pickup
Breakfast and refreshments included
Most expensive tour on this list ($225/person)
Strict cancellation policy
If a smaller environment is what you are looking for, we’d highly recommend this tour. Please keep in mind that Covid 19 is still a global safety concern in 2021. It would be wise to follow up on the tour’s mask and vaccination policy regarding Covid 19.
3. Haleakala Sunrise Downhill
If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, we have just the tour for you! See the sunrise and adventure through the beautiful Hawaiian landscape on mountain bikes with the Haleakala Sunrise Downhill tour!
This tour begins with a 1.5-hour van ride to Haleakala National Park, in view of the surrounding valley, and takes you to the crater and summit of Haleakala, at least 9-10,000 feet above sea level, to catch the sunrise from the highest peak on the island. After the summit leg of the journey is imprinted in your mind forever, you’ll be taken back to a bike shop located just beyond the Haleakala park entrance. This is when an amazing (mostly downhill) bike ride will continue to prolong your pleasure until you get figuratively (or literally) lost within the majesty of the national park.
The rest of your scheduled reservation can be spent riding your bike at your discretion. The company will provide you with a bike, helmet, backpack, gloves, map, and safety briefing. Then you’re off to go explore the many points of interest that Haleakala National Park has to offer! This self-guided tour gives you the chance to pedal through 23 miles of breathtaking trails in an incredibly diverse landscape filled with lush valley lowlands, subalpine desert, and Mars-like rock formations. You’ll probably want to spend another 24 hours at Haleakala National Park and never go back to your hotel!
This Haleakala Summit tour is a great option for the independent and adventurous spirit. The bikes are yours until 4:00 p.m, if you drive to the location in your own vehicle, or until 11:00 a.m if you choose to accept the complimentary hotel pickup. Here is another positive review about this epic experience:
If you’re concerned about the physicality of the trip, don’t worry! This downhill bike ride is perfect for the entire family to enjoy.
If you want an adventure that you design yourself, this tour is the best option for you. At $134.99 per person, it’s also affordable! Always remember to account for the possibility of inclement weather at least 24 hours in advance (especially around Haleakala). Unfortunately, the clouds above you don’t care whether you catch the sunrise or not.
Choose-your-own-adventure style tour of Haleakala National Park and Summit
Flexible reservations (choose the perfect date)
Choose the length of time you want hang out (but you should return to the hotel at some point!)
Optional hotel pickup for additional $25
Relatively light on the pocketbook at $134.99/person
Safety is a top priority
Inclement weather is always a risk around Haleakala National Park
Are you ready to watch Maui wake up?
A Haleakala National Park Sunrise tour is one of the best ways to see Maui from a spectacular perspective. This island is truly one of the most beautiful locales in the world. And if visiting Maui wasn’t enough, you get to make an incredibly unique reservation for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, in a national park, to witness a sunrise (or sunset) beyond your wildest imagination!
Moreover, you will experience the breathtaking sight of the sun slowly rising above the summit from the third highest elevation in the State of Hawaii, before continuing on an exciting tour of the diverse surrounding landscape. We guarantee that you, your friends, and family will be utterly satisfied with this early morning reservation! Besides, there are countless reviews that will agree with ours.
There aren’t many event tickets in this world that justify their price in the way that these tours can. Just as inclement weather is something every hiker should take account of during any high-elevation summit trip, making reservations for the right hotel & lodging accommodations (on the right date), can be nearly as important. Hotel & lodging is quite sparse in and around the National Park & Summit, so we recommend making reservations at sea level for one of the warm hotel resorts located around Wailea (facing Maalaea Bay) by the West Coast. However, there does exist a few quaint lodging options for travelers who want a more immersive experience closer to the heart of the island or nearer to the summit:
- Kula Lodge (a famous upscale mountainside lodge w/ dining) located dead-center in the Maui “upcountry”, near the western slopes of the Haleakala Summit
- Shaloha Bed & Breakfast and Ha’le Kiana are located just northwest of Kula Lodge near the Enchanted Floral Gardens of Kula
- Keokea Ranch Estate is located off Kula Highway by the western slope of Haleakela
- Holua Cabin is the option that’s closest to the summit on Haleakala’s northern downslope (located off the Halemau’u hiking trail next to the Holua Campground)
We hope their are open reservations at one of these interior lodging accommodations if that’s what you prefer. You may only need set your alarm for 6:30 a.m instead of 5:30 a.m to get ready for the day’s adventure if you shack up at one of the prime locations! Soon enough, the unforgettable tour that awaits you (and your family) will surely be at the forefront of your mind once you’ve secured your reservation and account for any logistical, weather, and safety concerns.
Lastly, we hope this tour guide has inspired you to take your soul to a higher elevation. We’re just sorry we can’t throw in a complimentary scuba diving lesson along the way.
Are you finally ready to get intimate with the clouds? Choose your date & make reservations today!