Zip-Lining in Maui with Skyline Eco-Adventures

by  Jeremy Schug | Mar 29, 2012
Zipline / Pramote2015/iStock

I wish I were the type of traveler who could lounge by the beach or pool for seven days and love every minute of it. However, I need a bit of excitement on my vacations or I get bored. When I heard about a zip-line experience in Maui, I was excited to try it for the first time. Even before I left on my trip, I had visions of that zip-lining pig with a pinwheel in the Geico commercial yelling “Mauiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”

The Skyline Eco-Adventures rendezvous spot was within walking distance of my hotel, the Westin Maui, which is offering great rates through June. Somehow I was the first one there, which never happens. I naturally didn’t read the release I signed, despite being a former attorney. I was also weighed on the spot, because if you aren’t heavy enough you won’t get enough speed to make it all the way across the zip-line. (Don’t worry, their scale is at least 10 pounds light because there is no way I lost weight after eating so much on my trip.)

The group was comprised of a brother and sister from Toronto, a couple from Chicago, two related families from Saskatchewan, and me. We all piled into a van and drove a quick ten minutes up the road to the base. After a brief intro (no 30-minute lectures on this tour; they explain it all as you go) and an awkward moment stepping into a harness while the guide held it, we all grabbed a helmet and piled back into the van for a bumpy, fun ride up to the side of the mountain.

This is not a “tree-top” tour; these zip-lines zigzag down a ravine facing the ocean. It's a breathtaking view, though the waterfalls that normally appear must have been dry when I was there. Our guides were young, laid-back jokers, exactly what you’d expect. I admit that despite the jokes being directed at the wives and children, I was thoroughly entertained the entire time. (In case they use the same jokes on every tour, I won’t repeat them.) The “eco” part of the tour was minimal, but interesting: some reading material on a plaque at each of the lines and a bit of commentary from the guides.

Even though it was my first zip down a line – and I had a blast – this tour felt on the tamer side. I didn’t get “chicken skin” (as Hawaiians say instead of goosebumps), but the tour is perfect for beginners and children (over 80 pounds, of course). It's an excellent option if you need a break from all of that arduous beach and pool time.

For general trip-planning information, see our Maui destination guide.

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