FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RAPPEL MAUI, ANSWERED
If you’re the curious type, but aren’t ready to call us with your specific questions, we’ve put together this unabridged list of facts to help you understand the nature of a Rappel Maui tour. This list serves as an addendum or the extended dance remix of the original, much shorter FAQ that we’ve put together. Thanks for being thorough!
WHAT IS YOUR TOUR LIKE?
The Rappel Maui tour is a fun and active experience for anyone over 10 who wants to experience the excitement and beauty of Maui’s rainforest and waterfalls through the sport of canyoneering. Please see the other considerations and restrictions for tour participants. It’s a recreational tour that requires no previous climbing or rappelling experience. Follow these links for more about what it’s like, who can join us, when tours run, and how to book. Of course, you can always call with your questions about Rappel Maui at 808-270-1500 between 7 AM and 7 PM, every day of the year.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAKING MY RESERVATION ONLINE OR OVER THE PHONE?
The only difference in making your reservation online vs. over the phone is that you can make an online reservation any time of the day or night. Check availability or make a reservation now. Our reservation phone hours are 7 AM to 7 PM Hawaii time, 7 days. Call 808-270-1500 to make a phone reservation.
HOW MUCH DOES A RAPPEL MAUI TOUR COST?
The classic tour costs $196.88 per person. That includes tax, all gear (with special footwear), and snacks/bottled water. The extended tour, the Extreme Zip Rappel Tour, is $259.37 per person.
WHAT IS CANYONEERING? WHAT IS RAPPELLING?
Simply put, canyoneering is the exploration of canyons. Some necessary activities associated with exploring and traveling through canyons are hiking, scrambling, jumping, sliding, rappelling, and swimming. Rappelling is the practice of using ropes, anchors and other equipment to descend (and sometimes ascend) a vertical or nearly vertical surface. When we conduct our rappelling tours, we use harnesses, ropes, and a redundant system of anchors to descend natural wet and dry jungle walls.
SHOULD I REMOVE ALL MY JEWELRY BEFORE RAPPELLING?
Out on the pitches and trails, it’s best to keep things simple and un-blingy. Remove any pieces of exposed jewelry that might catch on equipment or rocks. You will also be using your hands quite a bit, and they will likely contact hard, rough and muddy surfaces, so if you’re worried about damaging rings with or without stones, we do recommend removing them. We don’t, however, recommend leaving any valuables in your car. Either leave jewelry in your hotel safe, or bring it with you so that you can keep it in the dry keg in your backpack.
WHEN DO YOU OFFER TOURS?
We operate tours daily, with a maximum of four tour times per day, depending on seasonal demand. Look online or call to ask about availability for any particular days or time slots. Classic tour times are at 8:00, 10:30, and 1:00 PM. The Extreme Zip Rappel Tour time is 8:30 AM, and operates 1 to 3 days per week. Note that these times are the meeting times at the activity site on the Road to Hana. Just call, chat or email us to ask questions about Rappel Maui or the tour details.
HOW MANY RAPPELS WILL I DO DURING THE TOUR?
Usually 3 on the classic tour, 4 or more on the extended tour. The format may be different if you’re taking a custom private tour. Call to ask us about custom private tours for small or larger groups.
I’M CONSIDERING A RAPPELLING TOUR, BUT I’M SCUBA DIVING FIRST. WHAT’S THE MAXIMUM ELEVATION DURING THE TOUR?
The maximum elevation between Kahului and the activity is encountered in Haiku, during the drive from Kahului to the rappelling site, and is about 750 feet above sea level. There are higher elevations between the activity site and Hana Town. Once you enter the rappelling site, there’s no more elevation gain, as you’ll descend first, and walk back up to the beginning elevation at the end. If you’re continuing on your own to Hana after your rappel tour, please note that you may encounter elevations of 1,000 feet above sea or higher during the drive.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN A GROUP?
There are two guides assigned to a maximum of eight participants. When making a tour reservation, your group may include other parties. To make a reservation exclusively for your party of one or more people, call to ask about a private tour. Please call us to ask about parties larger than 8.
CAN I TAKE PHOTOS OR VIDEO DURING THE TOUR?
Yes. There are lots of opportunities to capture your memories on a still or video camera, but you won’t be able to hold a camera or selfie stick while rappelling. Likewise, your guides will not be able to take photos during a rappel. You can keep your small camera or other small, non-waterproof or fragile items in the dry keg, such as car keys and watches. Pro tip: Place water-sensitive items in a sealed plastic bag before putting them into your dry keg, as it’s possible for them to break or leak.
WHERE DO I GO TO MEET YOU?
Your guides will meet you at the activity site, located at The Garden of Eden, 10600 Hana Highway in Haiku. Google Map to the location. Please arrive 10 minutes before your tour time. The activity site is about 1 hour from Kahului, 1.5 hours from Lahaina, and 1.75 hours from Kapalua. Please check your map before leaving your accommodations, and call our offices if you’re running late. Cell phone reception past Paia (approximately 45 minutes from the site) can be unreliable. Once you arrive at the Garden of Eden gate, you’ll proceed about 100 yards to Rappel Maui’s designated parking area. You’re guides will meet you there. Please note that guides begin tours promptly, and Garden of Eden employees are unable to help you join the tour if you arrive late.
HOW MUCH DOES THE TOUR COST?
The 3-hour tour costs $196.88 per person, including tax. The extended tour costs $59.37 per person, including tax. Price includes, equipment (including footwear) and lunch, snacks and water. You can book online anytime or by calling 808.270.1500 7AM-7PM, 7 days. South Maui hotel transportation is available for $25 per person; $35 per person from the west side. Ask about pickup and return times, and booking your reservation with hotel transportation.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
There’s hand sanitizer and cold running water at the rainforest site, but no shower. There are changing rooms & bathrooms for you to use after your tour. Bring a cloth mask (as opposed to a paper one), clothing to change into after the tour, and a towel. We give you a dry box with your backpack to keep your non-waterproof items dry during the tour, but bring your non-waterpoof items in a seal-able plastic bag. If you like to keep it neat, bring a separate or plastic bag to stash your wet swimsuit and clothing after you’ve changed.
WHAT IS THE DRIVE LIKE TO THE SITE?
You’ll take the scenic Hana Highway to the activity location. There are bathrooms along the way, in Kahului and in Paia (about 40 minutes from the activity location.) There are also facilities at the rappelling site, along with private changing rooms. On the ride to Hana, you’ll travel past charming North Shore towns like Paia and surfer-approved beaches like Ho’okipa. As you go, the road becomes a little less straight, and the roadside vegetation a little more green and lush. You’ll see waterfalls on one side of the road, and the infinite sea on the other. It’s some of the best sightseeing in the world.
WHERE DOES THE RAPPELLING TAKE PLACE?
The canyon where we rappel is located in the Puohokamoa Valley, located on the Hana Highway, approximately halfway to Hana. It’s about 1 hour from Kahului, and 1 hour 15 minutes from Hana Town. We’ll send you specific directions about where to meet us at the site once you make your reservation.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M TOO SCARED TO MAKE THAT FIRST STEP?
It’s normal and natural to feel nervous about making your first descent–we welcome beginners and experts alike. Your guides have accompanied all kinds of guests, from children to seniors and beginners to seasoned canyoneers; they’re great at helping adventurers face the challenge of doing something as unusual as walking down a waterfall–and doing it safely. Listen to your guide’s instructions and tips–they know some great techniques for minimizing nervousness and maximizing enjoyment. And if you decide that making one or more rappels isn’t for you, there are hiking trails to the bottom of each descent. You can stay with your party and enjoy the waterfall pools and scenery without making that step over the edge. If you know that you want to accompany the tour, but don’t want to rappel, you can make a reservation as an observer.
IS RAPPELLING SAFE?
Although a rappel tour is full of excitement and thrills, your guides’ first priority is safety. That’s why your tour group size is small (maximum size of 8, or smaller, based on COVID-related mandates), with two guides assigned to each group. Your guides are highly-trained in canyoneering techniques, first aid, swift water rescue and wilderness rescue. They receive ongoing training during the year, and maintain certification in Red Cross CPR. Our courses and equipment are monitored daily and equipment is carefully evaluated and retired when appropriate. When heavy rains and severe weather cause the streams to flood, we use the rappel stations that are a safe distance from the water. And everyone wears a helmet from the tour’s start to finish. These are a few of the precautions that make a Rappel Maui tour safer than a day at the beach. Read these related posts on questions about Rappel Maui, why the tour is safe, how we keep it safe, and what kind of excitement you can expect from a day in the rainforest.
DO I NEED TO BE SUPER ATHLETIC TO DO THE RAPPELLING TOUR?
The most important skills in having a great day of rappelling are listening and attentiveness, with the most physical exertion happening at the end of the tour. After the three descents, you’ll hike a well maintained trail under the cool forest canopy back up the 300 vertical feet to the top–it’s like walking up multiple flights of stairs (an estimated 15 flights or so). At the supply shed, you’ll be able to change clothing in one of the private changing rooms.
WHAT IF I’VE NEVER BEEN RAPPELLING BEFORE?
You’re in good company. Most of our guests are first-timers or are new to the sport and skill of canyoneering. If you’re interested in learning the how-tos of canyoneering, or further skills you’ve already developed, there are a number of classes offered from beginning to advanced/specialty.
WHAT ARE YOUR RESTRICTIONS AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS?
You must weight between 70 and 250 lbs to participate in the Classic Tour, and you must weigh between 90 and 230 lbs to participate in the Extreme Zip Rappel Tour. All participants must measure between 22 and 48 inches around the waist. The minimum age is 10 for the Classic Tour, and 14 for the Zip Rappel Tour. You must be in good general health, and have no neck or back issues. You must be able to hike/walk for 1/2 to 1 mile on uneven, loose, or slippery terrain unassisted. The activity (including the observer/hiking option) is not appropriate for people with some medical or physical conditions or for pregnant women. You must also be able to speak and understand spoken English well, and without an interpreter or translator. This is not a safe activity for those using some medical devices or medications, for those with neck, back or hip injuries, or for those with a heart condition. Please ask us before making a reservation if your condition precludes your participation.
IS IT COMMON PRACTICE TO TIP THE GUIDES?
If you feel that the service your guides provided was exemplary, tipping them is one way to express your appreciation. You can bring cash with you to the tour, or you can call the reservations line to authorize a charge to your credit card for any amount. You can also email us about your experience with your guides, or use a social site like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, TripAdvisor, Yelp and others.
Thanks for checking out some frequently asked questions, Rappel Maui style. Please call, email or chat with us for further assistance.