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Adult males range from 40 to 52 feet and can weigh up to 45 tons. Despite their size, humpback whales are graceful acrobats. Keep your eye on the ocean and you might see one breach, propelling up to 40 percent of its body out of the water and landing on its side with a spectacular splash.
Whales have great cultural significance for Native Hawaiians. They play a large role in Hawaiian legend—including one creation story—and appear in ancient petroglyphs on several islands. The return of the kohola (humpback whale) is considered more of a homecoming than a visit. Humpback whales are born in Hawaiian waters, making them kamaaina (native born). Some Native Hawaiians also believe the whales are aumakua (family guardians), so these gentle giants are treated with great respect.
Cultural Significance of Whales in Hawaii
Although humpback whales can be seen from all of the Hawaiian Islands, the shallow Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai and Lanai is one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world.
What's the Best Way to See Whales?
You may also spot kohola from the southern shores of Oahu, especially at Makapuu Lighthouse and along the seaside overlooks near Leahi (Diamond Head).
Kauai offers a range of whale-viewing opportunities, including Poipu Beach on the South Shore, Kilauea Lighthouse on the North Shore and Kapaa Overlook on the island’s Coconut Coast.
On the island of Hawaii, whales are often seen along the shores of the Kohala Coast, as well as Hilo Bay on the east side of the island. The Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site is another great viewing spot, with its sweeping, elevated views near Kawaihae Harbor. In fact, Puukohola literally means “hill of the whale” in Hawaiian.
Boat tours may be your best option for viewing whales up close. Hawaii has dozens of tour operators, including a few that lead kayak excursions—a thrilling way to experience these majestic mammals.
In respect for the kohola and the safety of sightseers, all watercraft must stay a minimum of 100 yards from the whales, but you'll be surprised how close you feel when a 45-ton behemoth lunges out of the sea. If a boat tour is not for you, the whales’ impressive acrobatic displays are often visible from miles away. If you're on land, keep a pair of binoculars handy because you never know when you'll see a humpback’s spout (which can be 10–20 feet tall).
We offer guided ATV tours ranging from an hour and a half to three hours. Our native guides will share Hawaiian history while the group explores spectacular scenery of the Hawaiian coastline, two beautiful waterfalls, and an old tropical rainforest.
Maui’s only oceanfront spa is the Kamaha'o, Marilyn Monroe Spa at the Hyatt Regency Maui. Located on the white sand of Ka’anapali Beach, the spa features cabanas for oceanside massages, facials and body treatments, as well as a Glamour Room where you’ll find fabulous hair, makeup and nail services.
The Spa at THE MODERN HONOLULU offers massage, body treatments and facials – including signatures from advanced-technology oxygen infusions to the ancient Polynesian tradition of Lomi Lomi Massage – in addition to nail and waxing services.
Offering treatments from massages to facials performed by licensed estheticians and therapists, many designed uniquely for the Kea Lani. Massages are offered in different styles from Swedish to Shiatsu to Hawaiian Lomi Lomi. MAE# 2125
Anara Spa offers treatments in private rooms or bungalows, each opening to its own tropical garden. An abundance of treatments rooted in traditional healing customs and island-fresh botanicals may be found here. Anara Spa provides a Hawaiian spa experience like no other.
Taverna Restaurant is located in the heart of the Kapalua Resort. We are the gathering place for locals & visitors alike, enjoying our rustic Italian menu along with our craft cocktails & craft tap beer selection. Our Italian inspired wines by glass offerings compliment the menu as well explores the many exciting wine regions of Italy. Ciao!