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What is Maui, Hawaii Famous for? Valley Isle Facts, History, Legends & Sailing Tours!
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Maui is 727.7 square miles (48 miles long and 26 miles across at its widest point) and is the 17th largest island in the United States. The relative central location of Maui played a pivotal role in the history of the Hawaiian Islands. The Polynesians are said to be the earliest settlers of Maui. They are responsible for establishing the traditional culture of Maui; the language, religion, economy and the hereditary class system along with the land tenure and the kapu system. The kapu system was the religious law system that rules over almost every act of Hawaiian life. It was based on beliefs about spiritual power.
Legends of Maui
Ancient Hawaiian legends are very important pieces of culture that are passed down from one generation to the next. It is done through storytelling and highlights the important tales of how the Hawaiian Islands were formed, how they got their names and what each should be remembered for. Ancient Hawaiians have a deep connection to nature and use myths and legends to explain them. According to legends, a demigod Maui pulled the Hawaiian Islands from the sea and lassoed the sun atop Haleakala, the island’s highest peak. Maui was named after this mythological being, maybe because the shape of the island resembles that of what his head and body looked like. Paddling outrigger canoes, the first ancestor of the Hawaiian Islands followed the stars and birds across the sea to Hawaii. They called it “the land of raging fire”. Maui’s history, like the other Hawaiian Islands, is one of wars and conquests where one king would take over another king’s land.
More Facts about Maui
• The first western contact with Hawaii reported was James Cook in 1778
• Maui’s nickname is the “Valley Isle”
• Maui has more miles of accessible beaches than any of the other islands that include white, black and red sand beaches
• The Hawaiian alphabet has 13 letters, with 5 vowels and 8 consonants
• Lahaina was the first capital of Hawaii until 1850 when it was changed to Honolulu
• The Hawaii Islands have 11 of the world’s 13 climates zones
• The West Maui Mountains get 365 inches of rain a year
• Haleakala is the world’s largest dormant volcano. It is 10,023 feet from sea level and the crater summit is 21 miles across
• Honokohau Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the world-it plunges 1,100 feet
• Maui has sixteen golf courses. Some of these courses hold professional tournaments.
• 4,000 to 10,000 humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii every year-making Hawaii one of the best places to whale watch in the world. There are only 18,000 Northern Pacific humpback whales surviving today.
Sailing Tours in Honolua Bay, Lahaina, Ka’anapali Beach, Turtle Town in Olowalu, Molokai, Lanai, & West Maui, Hawaii
Maui is a favorite among vacationers and residents, not to mention an amazing place for ocean tours. Hawaii is also one of the best whale watching destinations around the world. In fact, it’s number three. Gemini Sailing Tours offers many sailing tours to explore the beautiful island of Maui. To learn more, contact us today!