Insider Luxury Travel Blog urn:uuid:4df7d76d-3dc2-b154-6923-c8f606ebb9bc 2018-05-04T13:25:05-07:00 Exotic Estates International Cinco De Mayo - History, Facts, and Where to Celebrate urn:uuid:cf6e909e-a950-8118-b87c-fbb0e09dd091 2018-05-04T13:25:05-07:00 Cinco De Mayo is widely celebrated and commemorates the victory of the Mexican Army against the French on May 5th, 1862.

Initially becoming popular thanks to promotions by US liquor and beer companies in the 1980’s, some mistake this fun holiday as Mexican Independence Day (which is actually September 16th). However, no matter where you might be celebrating, Cinco De Mayo is a wonderful day to gather with friends and family and enjoy Mexican cuisine and libations!

Cinco de Mayo Exotic EstatesPhotography by Nura-Nal Coons

History Lesson

If you are celebrating Cinco De Mayo while staying in one of our fabulous Cabo Villas, impress your friends with your newfound knowledge of the holiday’s history.

Even though May 5th is not a national holiday in Mexico, it’s an official holiday in the state of Puebla where the actual battle took place. This was a violent and chaotic time in Mexico’s history, occurring after Mexico had gained independence from Spain in 1821.

During this period of battle, Mexico had accumulated massive debt to several nations. In 1861, Benito Juarez was elected as the president of Mexico and in response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz demanding their repayment. Although Spain and Britain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew forces, France was ruled by Napoleon III who used this as an opportunity to take over Mexico.

In late 1861, a well-manned French army stormed Veracruz, driving President Juarez and his command into withdrawal. The battle was essentially fought between 6,000 French troops and an unkempt force of 2,000 of Juarez’s men who were poorly supplied and outnumbered. Regardless, the battle lasted from daybreak to evening and the French eventually retreated, having lost nearly 500 soldiers while fewer than 100 Mexicans were killed.

Although this isn’t known as a major strategic win, the Battle of Puebla on May 5th represented a symbolic victory for the Mexican government.

Majority of the Cinco De Mayo traditions are normally celebrated in Mexican American populations, though you may also find various traditions celebrated throughout other parts of the world as well.

The United States, celebrates the Mexican culture and heritage with parades, parties, Mexican folk dancing, mariachi music, decorations, and traditional food such as tacos, enchiladas, tortilla chips and salsa!

Now that you know what you are celebrating, here’s a guide on where to observe this holiday!

San Jose Del Cabo Art Walk

This popular weekly event is held every Thursday evening from 5 to 9 PM from November through June. The Art walk was created by the Gallery District Association, allowing tourists and locals to explore the colorful and artistic filled streets of San Jose Del Cabo. The main street will be closed off from vehicles, allowing everyone to walk and enjoy an evening stroll through the area while they visit art galleries and experience wine and cuisine from local restaurants. This is a great way to kick-off May 5 celebrations!

13th Annual Cinco De Mayo Block Party in Cabo San Lucas

Join the continuation of Cinco De Mayo traditions and celebrate the biggest Cinco De Mayo event in Los Cabos! Los Cabos Mexican Grill & Cantina restaurant locations will be hosting their 13th Annual All Fiesta No Siesta Block Party! The celebration starts on Saturday May 5th, 2018 from 11AM – 12AM. During this event, you will be able to enjoy outdoor dining, cabana bars, and a wide variety of live events! It is the perfect celebration for families and friends!

Cabo San Lucas Bar Hopping

Cinco de Mayo Exotic Estates

What a better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than by enjoying drinks in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico?!

Latitude 22 – this fun bar features a Los Cabos history lesson, and is decorated with old photos of old fishing contests and gigantic catches. The walls are also adorned with life preservers from old vessels giving it an old-time nautical ambience and celebrating what Los Cabos is known for, deep sea fishing!  Offering amazing views of Land’s End, take a seat at the bar or choose an old-fashioned booth where you can enjoy breakfast lunch or dinner.

Baja Brewing Company – Baja California Sur’s first brewery features an amazing view of Land’s End from Medano Beach. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style with a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with menu options ranging from hamburgers to filet-mignon.  Don’t forget to grab one of their delicious beers on tap, we suggest ordering a flight, so you can try them all!

Slims Elbow Room – as you can tell by the name, this fun little dive is known as the “world’s smallest bar.”  There are only four seats at the bar, and two standing room spots at the front window. Enjoy country music and a shot of tequila while you tell your friends what you learned about Cinco de Mayo. Due to limited space, we usually just grab a drink and take a photo before heading out to the next stop!

Cabo Wabo – one of Cabo’s most famous bars, Cabo Wabo Cantina has been around for 20 years and comes with a Rock-n-Rock pedigree, originally started by Sammy Hagar. Stop by and enjoying live music, food and drinks.   There’s also a patio where you can enjoy burgers and cocktails. In honor of the holiday, we suggest a traditional margarita!

35th Annual Cinco De Mayo Celebration in Breck, CO

Kick off your Cinco De Mayo celebration in Breckenridge, Colorado and enjoy fantastic traditional Mexican food and drinks at Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Cantina! This year’s menu will feature lobster & shrimp ceviche, variety of delicious tacos such as mango braised duck or steak chimichurri, along with more unique dishes!

The event starts off with a Silent Auction from 5:00PM to 8:30PM. Attending guests will also have the opportunity to win fun giveaway prizes throughout the evening, including a $400 Travel Package grand prize!

Live music will start at 8:00PM to 12:00AM with a $5 entrance fee after 8:00PM.

Tickets may be purchased at Mi Casa in Breckenridge, CO. Admission for adults $25 and kids $12 under twelve years, all proceeds will be going to the BOEC Willie Whalen Memorial Fund. Those who purchase their tickets in advance will receive a free House Margarita or Draft Beer!

Cinco De Mayo ‘Celebrate Culture’ Festival in Denver

In celebration of the 31st anniversary, Denver’s Cinco De Mayo ‘Celebrate Culture’ Festival takes place on May 5th through 6th, 2018 at the Civic Center Park. This event attracts attendees from all over the world and boasts two large stages with live entertainment featuring many different types of genres of Latino music and dance.

This event is great for families traveling with children! The fun and festive children’s carnival features hands-on activities, fuzzy animals and rides that children will love!

What is Cinco De Mayo without Traditional Mexican food?! At this event, you can enjoy more than 350 food vendors serving up tacos, enchiladas, burritos and more of Colorado’s best Mexican cuisines. Other events during this festival include a Saturday-morning parade, taco-eating contest, Green Chili Cook-Off, low-rider car show and Chihuahua race!

There is no better way than to celebrate Cinco De Mayo in Denver, Colorado!

As always, celebrate this holiday safely and download Uber or Lyft or designate a sober driver. Have fun!


A Little Piece of France in Breckenridge urn:uuid:5dc3698e-6eed-f976-5abb-ea67ae28f5ee 2018-04-30T11:29:13-07:00 La Francaise

The smell of fresh baked bread and croissants emanates from downtown Breckenridge every morning.  Follow your nose and you will find tucked away on Main Street in the heart of this humble resort-town, a little French bakery intoxicating the streets with the smell of freshly baked goods.

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La Francaise briefly takes you away from the snow peaks of Colorado and into the South of France, as this authentic French bakery makes all their goods in-house. From sweet and savory crepes to fluffy omelets, you will find a wide variety of delicious options to get you fueled for a day on the slopes.

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La Francaise was founded in 2004 by a French couple from Provence, France.  Their focus and commitment were for authentic quality pastry, food, and desserts. With their dedication, the Bakery started to grow. In 2012, new owners took over the careful commitment to authenticity and quality and expanded the menu items to keep a wide variety for happy patrons.  

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The independently owned Bakery continues to enjoy growth and a steady base of repeat customers from all over the world.  Unlike many other bakeries to claim French histories, La Francaise’s French-trained Chef hand-crafts the goods on-site. Handcrafted each day, you will find fresh baked breads, pastries and mousses, tarts, and many other treats! These delicious treats are baked fresh everyday using only the purest quality ingredients such as pure butter, high quality bread flour, cream, and farm fresh eggs. 

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The delightful French-style crepes are freshly made to order in both sweet and savory variations. The baristas are trained to create the finest espresso and coffee drinks while the hot chocolate is made the European way - from melted dark chocolate in fresh cream and milk topped with homemade whipped cream (trust us, it is delectable)! One of our favorite warm treats after a busy day in the mountains. 

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For special occasions, La Francaise will create a larger sized dessert or tray of treats to put a true memory on the table.  Impress the family with an afternoon break full of warm drinks and sweet treats! They also feature mini sized pastries or sandwiches for a pre-wedding snack or birthday celebration. In summertime, you will find a beautiful outdoor patio space that looks over the Blue River with incredible views of the Ten Mile Mountains. In the wintertime, sneak into the shop early and bring back a box of goodies to your Breckenridge vacation rental!

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If you are planning an outing before you hit the lifts, be sure to arrive early as you will not be the only one craving these delicious home-made delights! We arrived at the shop at around 8 AM during the week and I was surprised at the line, almost reaching the door. You will not regret it, though! The smells will entice you from around the block and you will be delighted when you open the door!


Earth Day with Exotic Estates urn:uuid:deeeb54e-7f9f-ce56-e453-cf84c99f8cd4 2018-04-22T10:38:37-07:00 What is Earth Day and Why Do We Celebrate It?

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Unless you live under a rock, then you already know that today is Earth Day! Earth Day was created and dedicated to help spread awareness to preserve Earth’s life and natural beauty.

In the year 1969, there was a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA. According to the Earth Day Network, after seeing the amount of damage to our oceans and land the U.S. Senator and Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson, decided to create a National Holiday to focus on the ongoing environmental issues and spread awareness to help preserve our lands. Earth Day has been celebrated in more than a 100 countries and has a specific focus each year, bringing everyone together to help clean up earth.

This year on the Hawaiian Islands, Earth Day will be dedicated to ending the plastic pollution!

The Importance of Earth Day on the Hawaiian Islands

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Earth Day is very important day to the natives and local residents in Hawaii; it is a special day to help spread awareness of the ongoing pollution issue, which has been causing harm to our oceans, lands, marine life, and affecting our overall health. For several decades the Native Hawaiians have fought to preserve the lands in Hawaii. The islands provided the residents with food, shelter, and the Hawaiians believed that if you preserve the land, the land would give back to you.

Environmental Issues in Hawaii – Cause and Effect

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The native Hawaiians way of life and culture has always revolved around the ocean and land, with a time-old goal of preserving the native Hawaiian animals that live on the islands. The ancient Hawaiians lived off the land & sea long before tourists visited the islands. They would use nets to catch fish or harvest fruits and veggies from the land. Wild boars can also be found deep in the lush tropical forests of Hawaii and is still a favorite locals’ dish. Living off of the land and sea was more of a spiritual connection between the natives and their land. The islanders would pray to the gods to help protect and give them strength before they would venture out to sea in search of their next meal.

Those who are visiting the Hawaiian Islands may not notice any real threats, as you are rightfully enjoying the island’s natural beauty or aiming on having a fun time. However, there are many environmental threats to the Hawaiian Islands that you can be aware of. 

Today, pollution has increased at an alarming rate, becoming a major threat to our ocean by adding toxic waste and causing harm to the marine life and their habitat. According to statewide reports, there is an average of 15-20 tons of trash that builds up on the Hawaiian beaches each year. Many residents and nature conservation programs have come together to help save many of the endangered species and help clean the polluted areas. Tip: Opt for fitting as many of your group in one car as possible, or take an uber to your vacation rental to reduce the amount of cars on the road. 

The number one highest concern to our ocean is plastic pollution. Marine animals, such as the endangered green sea turtle, involuntarily consume the plastic waste found in the ocean. They do this thinking mistaking the trash for food, which causes them to suffocate or choke. Other animals such as birds and hump back whales are also consuming plastic thinking it is food, making it impossible for them to digest and causing the plastic to build up in their stomach. Tip: Travel with reusable water bottles and bring along your cloth grocery bags. 

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Another rising concern in Hawaii is the drastic decrease in shoreline near the beaches. Many scientists agree that global warming is causing a rapid increase in sea level, causing the shoreline to erode. Storm waves also play a big part in the decreasing shoreline. This issue has become a major concern for most coastal residents and hotels, as well as endangered marine life. As the shoreline decreases, many plants and animals also lose their habitats. The two endangered species you will often see in Hawaii, are the green sea turtle and the monk seal. Both species use the shore to either lay eggs or give birth and nurse on the beach.

Other unique concerns for Hawaii are the threats caused by alien species, both plant and animal. For example,  the bird speciece Honeycreepers were once a growing species of more than 50 but now there are only 18 remaining. Conservation methods help protects the birds and other endangered forest birds, providing them with a threat-free habitat. Tip: Decide which issues are most imporant to you and find a way you can help the cause! 

What You Can Do to Help

Earth Day Exotic Estates

Although our earth is in trouble there are many different ways you can help, it’s not too late! You can reduce plastic pollution by using reusable bags and water bottles. You can invest in solar panels (or research if your state aids). You can carpool to reduce pollution in the air and choose paperless to reduce tree consumption. There are so many small changes you can make that don’t have a large effect on your daily life.

If you are looking to make a difference and want to lend a helping hand while visiting the islands, there are volunteer opportunities such as beach cleanups and free events that offer many activities to help spread awareness for future generations.

See you at the beach!



April 21st, 2018

Connect with the community and lend a helping hand by volunteering with Malama Maunalua in honor of Earth Day. On Saturday, April 21st, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM HST, you will get a chance to help remove invasive algae and clean the Maunalua Bay on the island of Oahu, HI. By helping remove the invasive alien algae, it allows native algae to grow which is essential to marine life and humans.

April 22nd, 2018

Enjoy live music, food, and games at the Waimanalo Coastline Earth Day Fair at Waimanalo Beach Park on Oahu, HI! Sustainable Coastlines will be hosting a beach cleanup and festival, starting at 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM. Transportation will be provided to the cleanup area and area of your choosing—Makapu’u, Kaopo, Sherwoods, Bellows, or an underwater part at Makai Pier. Waimanalo Beach Park 41-741 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795

April 29th, 2018

In honor of Earth Day, on April 29th, 2018, visit the 21st Annual Maui Earth Day Festival and enjoy live music, local dishes, speakers, children activities and more! This event is located in Kihei, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars and near the beach road behind Azeka Shopping Center. Entrance fee is $8 for adults and free for children. Doors open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Address: 1136 Uluniu Rd, Kihei, HI 96753


April 25th, 2018

Head to UH Maui College to celebrate Earth Day! The Earth Day Festival is located on the Great Lawn, featuring booths, food, music, EV ride and test-drive, and a special presentation about the Net Zero Energy Project.From 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM the community organizations and campus clubs will be showcasing their talents and services. Electric Vehicle ride and test-drive will take place 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Hawaiian Superstitions urn:uuid:d033d8e8-3196-4d10-463f-9fc5979b3f1e 2018-04-13T11:37:02-07:00 A Rich History of Folklore

When it comes to folklore and superstitions, the people of Hawaii have a rich history and it's good for visitors to know a little bit about them.

Long before hotels, condos, and tourists roamed these blessed islands, Hawaii was its own nation, a Kingdom, home to a rich culture filled with unique traditions and beliefs. This culture lives on today of course, but modern Hawaii’s traditions also reflect the multicultural heritage of the islands, with each immigrant group adding their own beliefs to the rich human tapestry and traditions.

In contemporary Hawaiian culture, local superstitions go much further than black cats or having seven years of bad luck from breaking a mirror, and often tie into the unique flora and fauna of the islands.

According to Hawaii Magazine “there isn’t a single culture that has immigrated to Hawaii that has not also brought with it the spiritual folklore of their origin.” Though there may be different superstitions intertwined with the Hawaii’s native beliefs, we thought it would be both fun and informative to share just a few of Hawaii’s Cultural do’s and don’ts. Some of these will be interesting and other will help you to be a more sensitive visitor to this unique and wonderful cultural melting pot.

Don’t take a lava rock from the volcano, or sand/rock from the beaches in Hawaii—you will be cursed by the fire goddess Pele!

Legends say Pele is a beautiful fire goddess known for her power, passion, hot-temper, jealousy, and, for being the creator of the Hawaiian Islands themselves! She usually appears as a woman with long hair wearing red, or an older woman with long, white hair, holding a cane.

Kilauea Volcano - by Shanon Searls

It has been said that if you take something natural from the Islands, such as a rock or sand, Pele will put a curse on you. Pele believed in spreading ‘Aloha’, she rewarded those who practiced the spirit of Aloha and those who are selfish were to be ultimately punished.

There are many stories told about the fire goddess’s wrath.  Some visitors’ claim to have seen a woman in red dancing by the crater at Kilauea National Park, which is her home.

If you want to get on Pele’s good side, pay your respect to the fire goddess by greeting her and the who you meet on the Island’s with Aloha.

Extra Credit - those who would like to really get on her good side, pay a visit to the Halema’uma’u crater and offer food or gin—its her favorite!

Don’t take pork on the Pali Highway—it will upset Pele!

According to the ancient Hawaiian legends, Pele fell in love with Kamapua’a, the Lord of Pigs. Kamapua’a is known to be a sensual hog spirit, a half-pig/half-man demi-god who lives in the swampy parts of Hawaii.

Pali Lookout Oahu - by John Di Rienzo

Although his epic battle over the land and romance with the fire goddess was well known, Pele was not his only lover. Kamapua’a also had a romantic connection with the snow goddess, Poliahu—it’s no wonder these two goddesses can’t stand each other! So, it follows, he is Pele’s rival, ally, lover and enemy.

Eventually the two agreed not to visit each other or cross over each other’s land, however taking pork over the Pali on Oahu means taking a form of Kamapua’a from his wet side of the island into Pele’s dry side. So, the story goes that if you do not want your rental car to break down, it is probably best to keep pork far from the Pali Highway and if you absolutely have to travel with pork, wrap it in ti leaf to keep you protected.

Don’t bring bananas onto a boat—it’s bad luck!

Those in Hawaii who fish regularly have perhaps heard about this superstition. However, it is thought that this belief goes back to simpler times in Hawaii, before motors and fiberglass bottoms. Ancient Hawaiian fishermen did not have maps or boats to navigate; they mainly used dugout canoes to voyage to other lands or fish at sea. Boats and canoes transporting bananas needed to move quickly to avoid the fruit from going bad, leaving fishermen no time to fish at sea. Hence…no fish = bad luck!

Big Island Fishing - by Shanon Searls

Do not whistle at night—it will attract the Night Marchers!

Who are the Night Marchers? The night marchers are known to be the spirits of the ancient Hawaiian warriors that moved with purpose to the sound of the drums, as they head out to battle. According to Hawaiian legends, some say these restless souls are looking for a way to reclaim their rightful territory or searching for a way to enter the new world.

It has been said that if you whistle at night, you are summoning the Hukai’po, aka the Night Marchers, and if you hear their drums—HIDE!

Hawaiian Fire Dancers - Exotic Estates

Night marchers are most active at night and said to march on certain nights, depending on the rise of the moon. It is considered an evil omen to look directly at the night marchers. If you hear the sounds of drums in the distance growing louder and see approaching torchlights heading in your direction, as a sign of respect you must lay facedown on the ground—this will keep you protected!

Picking the Red Lehua Blossom is a bad idea!

It has been said that Ohia and Lehua were young lovers, but one day Pele came across the handsome Ohia and wanted him for herself. When he refused Pele, she became angry and turned him into a warped tree. The beautiful Lehua begged to the gods to help turn him back, but the gods were unable to reverse Pele’s curse, instead they decided to turn Lehua into a stunning red flower and placed her on the tree so that the two young lovers would never be separated.Lihua Blossom - Exotic Estates

According to the legend, as long as the blossoms remain on the tree, the weather will stay fine and fair. However, once the flower is taken from the tree, rain will fall like hot tears since Lehua cannot bear to be parted from her lover Ohia. They are Hawaii’s very own Romeo and Juliet who live on in the most romantic and poetic natural way.

Beware of the Menehunes!

Legends say the Menehune are tiny mischievous people who lived deep in the valleys and forests of Hawaii, way before the settlers arrived. They were said to be two feet tall and enjoyed dancing, singing and archery.

West Maui Mountains - Exotic Estates

However, the Menehune are also known to use magic arrows to pierce the heart of angry people, igniting feelings of love instead. Local lore says they are smart, strong and excellent craftsman. It is said that the Menehunes used their great strength to build temples, fishponds, and the Menehune ditch on Kauai!

These are just a sampling of the Hawaiian folklore that exists in Hawaii. They are interesting, romantic and, in some cases, serve as a warning and guide for respectful behavior for visitors to the islands.

A wonderful place to learn about the history of the Hawaiian people is the Bishop Museum on Oahu. Also, the If you would like to learn about Hawaii’s royal family, a visit to Iolani Palace is also a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.


Planning a Hawaiian Wedding urn:uuid:5987318d-20e3-129a-df95-76b602b18c80 2018-04-30T11:28:58-07:00 Congratulations on your engagement! Now, it is time to start the wonderful (and stressful) journey of planning your special day. Dreaming of having a romantic destination wedding in Hawaii? Let us take the some of the stress and questions away. Here are a few things you may need to know…

Hawaii is known for its natural beauty, intimate beaches, amazing year-round weather, and friendly aloha spirit. The Hawaiian Islands consists of several smaller islets and six major islands that you can visit: Big island (Hawai’i), Maui, Oahu, Kaua’i, Moloka’i, and Lana’i.

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When visiting the Hawaiian Islands, you will have the opportunity to experience different climates, such as tropical rainforests, dry desert areas, cool mountain regions, and sunny beaches,  all within a few miles. Whether you are searching for an intimate wedding on the beach or an adventurous wedding in the rainforest with gorgeous waterfall as your backdrop, the Hawaiian Islands are the perfect destination for a wedding!

Choosing the Best Hawaiian Island for Your Destination Wedding

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When choosing the perfect Hawaiian location for your wedding, start planning your ideal wedding date and research the historical weather data for that time of year.  Although the weather in Hawaii is gorgeous most of the year, there are certain times of year when the weather does not always cooperate.  Fortunately, the Hawaiian Islands receive only two seasons: summer, and winter.

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The summer season starts from June through the end of August and is known to be the driest season, with temperatures reaching high 90’s and low 80’s. Because most public schools offer spring and summer breaks, those traveling with families usually travel to Hawaii during these months. If you do not mind the crowd and you are willing to travel during the peak season, this is a gorgeous time of year to be in Hawaii.  We suggest that you try to plan this trip in advance in order to get the best deals on airfare.

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If you’re planning your Hawaiian wedding on a budget, it is best to travel in the off-season between the months of November to March. Once the peak season ends, those able to visit during the off-season will get to experience lower airfare, gas, and hotel rates, not to mention less people on the islands!

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Once you have chosen the time of year you would like to visit, it is time to think about which island is the best location for your destination wedding. When deciding between the four major Hawaiian Islands that you can visit, the island of Oahu is the most popular island and known to be the “heart of Hawaii”. Oahu, also known as Honolulu or ‘The Gathering Place,” offers the bustling the city along with laidback surf towns. Here, you will find a variety of beautiful beaches and plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. There is also amazing shopping, which is great for out-of-town guests! Oahu is also the third largest island and home to most of the population in Hawaii.

The second largest (but equally as gorgeous) island is Maui, also known as ‘The Valley Isle.” Maui is best-known for its famous beaches, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and incredible views of the migrating humpback whales. The biggest, yet youngest island of them all, Maui offers four different climate zones and an active Volcano, the Haleakala Crater.

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Kauai is known as “The Garden Isle”, home of some of the most dramatic views and lush tropical plantation. Here you will find rich culture, tropical rainforests, rivers and many waterfalls throughout.

The smaller islands include Kauai, Molokai and Lanai. Both Molokai and Lanai stay true to their Hawaiian roots by continuing to preserve their land. No matter which of the major four islands you hold your wedding on, a visit to these smaller islands will give you a glimpse of Hawaiian history where you can enjoy the Hawaiian culture and locals.

Finding The Right Venue

Once you have found the time of year and perfect island for your Hawaiian wedding, you will want to starting thinking about where to host your ceremony and reception.

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Like most, you are planning to take advantage of the natural beauty from the islands. Between all four islands, there are so many options where you can have an intimate wedding on the beach with a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, or exchange vows on the countryside, while dancing under the stars.

While it is common for most brides to investigate the possibility of getting married at a luxury vacation rental, the reality is that most homeowners and city regulations will not allow it. Reason being, most of our gorgeous vacation homes are in quiet neighborhoods, where it is understandable why wedding noise would not be welcomed. Instead, book the vacation home for family and friends over opting for the expensive hotel block. Weddings are a family celebration, and nothing brings family closer than spending quality time in a vacation rental.

Our Favorite Venues

Beach weddings are the most popular on Maui and are often ideal for small, intimate weddings. In Maui some of our favorite beaches are: Secret Cove, Maluaka Beach, Kapalua Bay, Ironwood Beach, and Waianapanapa in Hana (perfect for a sunrise wedding)! Note that you cannot have chairs or alcohol during a beach wedding on Maui, so be sure all your guests will be able to stand.

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Although a beach wedding can be beautiful, they are not ideal for those who are looking to host a larger wedding with food, drinks, and music.

Another amazing location is the Olowalu Sugar Plantation. This oceanfront home was once part of the old Olowalu Sugar Plantation, and looks out toward the island of Lāna‘I, perfect for weddings at sunset.

Keawalai Church is perfect for exchanging your vows in a more traditional setting. Founded in 1832, this historical chapel offers an authentic scene in Maui to exchange your vows in front of loved ones!

Happy Planning!

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Planning a wedding is not simple and can be very stressful, especially if you are looking to have a destination wedding. Avoid the stress and hire a local wedding planner, this will allow you to have added time for other wedding tasks. We suggest White Orchid Weddings, who specialize in giving unique island weddings and receptions from simple to lavish!

While you are working on your guest list, your on-island wedding planner can aid with meeting the vendors, selecting the flowers, and help with setting up and touring the venue.

When looking for accommodations for your family and guests, leave that to Exotic Estates. We can help you find the best Hawaiian vacation rental close to your wedding venue where you can relax and prepare for your big day in the comfort of your own, private villa.

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Call our Hawaiian Villa Specialists today to find the ideal accommodations for you and your family to retreat during your wedding festivities!


Exotic Estates Features Telluride, Colorado urn:uuid:bd2a1244-08e4-675b-abd5-3194b1994f0a 2018-04-05T16:28:56-07:00 Tucked in among the vast canyons of the San Juan Mountains, you will find the charming mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. We invite you to take a moment out of your busy schedule to go on a tour of this legendary mountain town with us. It's a place that is definitely a little fabulous, but also helps you connect with the sights and sounds of Mother Nature. 

Exotic Estates, Telluride vacation rental, Telluride vacation homes

Telluride is in the southwestern region of the Rocky Mountains, offering unparalleled views of the 13,000+ ft. peaks. A town with a rich history, founded by explorers in 1878, Telluride was a former silver mining camp. The town was originally named “Colombia,” but due to the confusion between similar names in California, the post office renamed the town to “Telluride” in 1887.

Telluride Offers Year Round Activities

Telluride, Colorado, offers a wide variety of outdoor activities throughout the entire year. During the winter, Telluride receives over 200 inches of snowfall! Those who are planning on visiting during the winter season will have the opportunity to experience some of Colorado’s finest skiing, boasting over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain.

Exotic Estates, Telluride vacation rental, Telluride vacation homes

Guests can experience the variety of activities and unique events that Telluride has to offer. As the winter season ends and the snow begins to melt, the summer season will soon fill Telluride with visitors from all over the world.  With its stunning landscape, each season has its own charm. 

A-List Celebrity Neighbors

Telluride is a wonderful place for families and friends looking for a quaint, but undeniably cool, mountain retreat. While undertstated, a measure of this town's beauty and charm is the number of A-list celebrities who have had homes in Telluride. Stars including Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Seinfeld have chosen Telluride for their mountain mansion.

Adventures in Telluride

Hiking Telluride

If you are into hiking, biking or rock climbing, you will love the summer season in Telluride. Hiking in the Rocky Mountains is by far the most popular activity during the warmer months and the sights here in Telluride are second to none.  With the wide variety of hiking trails and terrain in the Telluride area, you have the ability to explore many trails, ensuring that you can accommodate your group's skill level. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Bear Creek Trail. Bear Creek is an easy scenic hike located in the box canyon of Falls Park. This amazing trail is only a five-mile round-trip hike and leads you to a gorgeous waterfall at the end. A hike during the winter season will give you views of a gorgeous frozen waterfall and snowcapped mountains, a perfect opportunity for a photo with family and friends! Although its beauty may be breathtaking during the winter season it is highly recommended to be aware of your surroundings as surfaces can be slippery.
  • The Jud Wiebe Trail. Take a walk through the thick aspen forest on this moderately challenging hike. The climb up may be a workout but the outstanding view at the end will make it worth it. This hike can range from 1-3 hours, depending on ability and the number of selfie-stops.
  • Bridal Veil Falls Trail: If you are looking for a very challenging, yet rewarding hike, we recommend Bridal Veil Falls trail. This trail is well-developed and can be accessed by vehicle or walking. Bridal Veil Falls sits above the town of Telluride and splits into a river, which gently flows through the town. During this hike, you can also learn about the mining history and enjoy views of the mountains. Bridal Veil Falls is a 1-3-hour round-trip hike.

Be Prepared for Hiking in Telluride

For those looking to hike in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, we recommended to come prepared with the essentials such as water, bug spray, sunscreen, a first aid kit, extra layers, hiking shoes, and proper trail maps.

Rock Climbing, Fishing and Rafting

Other outdoor activities for adventure seekers include: rock climbing and bouldering the peaks of San Juan Mountains, camping and backpacking, and river sports such as fly fishing or water rafting.

If you are looking for a motor-sports adventure, you can enjoy an off-road experience through some of the area’s highest mountain passes on a 4x4, ATV, or motorcycle. The Telluride region offers plenty of terrain for power-sports fans to explore!

Mellow Family Fun in Telluride

Although outdoor activities may not be for everyone, Telluride also offers a number of family-friendly recreational activities as well. In Colorado, you can make the most out of your stay by creating unforgettable memories while horseback riding through the beautiful San Juan Mountains. The spectacular views will surely take your breath away! If you are looking for something a little more relaxing, pack up some goodies from the local market and enjoy picnicking outdoors with family.

The Town of Telluride

Head into town and you will find many shops, galleries, and local restaurants that will satisfy a variety of palates. In the town of Telluride, you will also notice there are no chain restaurants or shops nearby, helping to support thriving, local businesses.

Exotic Estates, Telluride vacation rental, Telluride vacation homes

While you are in Telluride, don’t miss out on some of the top recommended restaurants and local cuisines in town!

Experience an American contemporary dining experience with breathtaking panoramic views at Allred’s Restaurant. The restaurant is located in the Telluride Ski Resort, nestled at the base of the mountain near the gondola. Allred’s Restaurant overlooks the mountain peaks and town of Telluride, offering an enjoyable evening of hand crafted cocktails, fine wines, and an unforgettable open-space dining experience. The menu offers a wide variety of decadent meals from wild-caught Alaskan halibut to cinder brined Berkshire pork chops. They also offer vegetarian and vegan dishes as well!

If you are searching for the perfect date night plans, visit the charming 221 South Oak found in downtown Telluride. This charming restaurant offers an extensive list of wine, delicious food, friendly staff and has been renowned for its intimate atmosphere. At 221 South Oak, you can choose from beef, poultry, seafood, and freshly caught game. For those of you that do not eat meat, there is a full vegetarian menu.

About 11,966 feet above sea level, you will find Alpino Vino, the highest-altitude restaurant in North America. Aplino Vino can only seat up to 26 guests and offers a five-course dinner. The current menu is impeccable, and features porcini consommé with mushroom biscotti and a ricotta & spinach ravioli with fresh pea pesto and carbonara. Yum! During lunch, this ski-in/ski-out restaurant also offers the best grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. After you indulge, enjoy the outdoors by the wood-burning fire pit or if you feel up to it, take another ride on the slopes!

Finding a Telluride Vacation Rental

Searching for the perfect Telluride vacation home is easy with the helping hand of an Exotic Estates Villa Specialist. We have many homes throughout Telluride and whether you are looking for a ski-in/ski-out condo or a large private home, we can help you find the perfect option for your Telluride retreat.

Telluride Majesty is a cozy condo located on the second story of the San Sophia building, offering guests a spectacular view of Telluride. This ranch-style vacation home has a one-level floor plan that features two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and a spacious main living area. With the ability to accommodate up to four guests, Telluride Majesty is perfect for a small family vacation, couple's retreat, or a group of friends looking to getaway.

Exotic Estates, Telluride vacation rental, Telluride vacation homes

Telluride Peaks Penthouse is a gorgeous vacation rental offering breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. This three-bedroom and three-and-a-half bathroom penthouse is the perfect place for an intimate vacation, with space for up to six guests. All of the bedrooms at Telluride Peaks Penthouse feature high ceilings and a carefully selected décor, inspired by the beauty of Colorado.

Exotic Estates, Telluride vacation rental, Telluride vacation homes

Looking for a ski-in/ski-out experience? Then you will love our Telluride Galloping Goose Villa.  This spacious 3,400 sq. ft. cabin-style home is ideal for families and can accommodate up to eight people. Offering three floors, a stay at this Telluride vacation rental will have you feeling right at home with its rustic and charming interior.

Exotic Estates, Telluride vacation rental, Telluride vacation homes

Offering incredible views, many activities, and a rich history, Telluride Colorado will have you feeling refreshed and truly in touch with the outdoors.

Contact an Exotic Estates Villa Specialist today for more details. 

Merrie Monarch Festival urn:uuid:07605d7e-b335-796d-988f-5337996235ab 2018-03-26T16:43:44-07:00 Merrie Monarch Festival

April in Hawaii is a locals and tourists' favorite, as guests visiting the island will get to experience beautiful weather, lower airfares, and fun upcoming events such as the well-known Merrie Monarch Festival!

The Merrie Monarch Festival is a free, non-profit organization honoring the legacy of King David Kalakaua, a fun-loving king who truly took pride believing in the Hawaiian culture and traditions, including the craft of art, music, medicine, and dance.

King David is known to be the last king and the second to last monarch of the Kingdom in Hawai’i. The name ‘Merrie Monarch’ was inspired by the king’s love for music, parties, fire-dances, and delicious food and drinks. King David is remembered for being the king who brought pride back to the Hawaiian people after being suppressed for many years.

As April quickly approaches, the locals are beginning their quest to set up for the 55th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, a weeklong celebration filled with music, Hula shows, dance competitions, a Hawaiian arts fair, and a grand parade to celebrate the loving memory of King David La’amea Kalakaua.


To understand a little more about the Merrie Monarch Festival, we will give you a quick history lesson!

Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo Hawaii, Big Island, Big Island Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates

Photo courtesy of our favorite Big Island videographers and photographers, Techy3 Design Studios. 


In 1963, the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, began to struggle economically, due to the devastation of the tsunami and the decline of sugar plantations. The Merrie Monarch Festival was created not only to honor what the king believed, but to also boost Hawaii’s economy through tourism, while continuing to educate locals and tourists about Hawaiian culture. The festival looked to strengthen Hawaii’s people through art, music, and literature practices and to ensure the vibrancy of the Hawaiian culture for future generations.


This one-week festival takes place on April 1st through 7th, 2018. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, the festival kicks-off with a Ho’olaule’a (celebration) starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo, HI.  The local halau (hula group) will put on a spectacular performance for all of the locals and visiting guests to watch!

Photo courtesy of our favorite Big Island videographers and photographers, Techy3 Design Studios

On the following Monday through Friday, there will be a free entertainment at the Grand Naniloa Hotel starting at noon, followed by more exciting events and entertainment at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel at 1p.m.

The Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair is an annual favorite, featuring local artists, crafters and more entertainment. Guests can start off their stay on the island by exploring the Hawaiian Arts Fair, where you can find fun, handcrafted souvenirs, or a beautiful art painting for your home. The art fair begins on Wednesday, April 4th through Friday, April 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 7th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Shortly after the art fair, experience the wonderful Ho’ike Performances on Wednesday, April 4th starting 6:00 p.m. at the Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium. At this exhibition you will enjoy a night of hula and folk dance, influenced from around the Pacific.

On Thursday, April 5th at 6:00 p.m. the doors to the Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium will open to host the annual Miss Aloha Hula, where guests from all over watch the top individual hula dancers from each halau compete for the title of Miss Aloha Hula of 2018 and the contestants performing the hula kahiko, hula’auana and oli (chant).

The Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium also hosts the Group Hula Kahiko on Friday April 6th at 6:00 p.m. performing an ancient style dance and Group Hula ‘Auana & Awards on Saturday April 7th at 6:00 p.m., performing a modern style dance and an award presentation for the winners.

If you are looking for a fun and entertaining event for the entire family, visit the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade! The parade starts on Saturday, April 7th at 10:30 a.m. beginning and ending on Pauahi Street, traveling through the heart of downtown Hilo. During this year’s parade performance, there will be 800 marchers, 50 vehicles, two floats and five bands!

Do not miss out your chance to experience a truly traditional Hawaiian festival! Plan your getaway to the Big Island of Hawaii and soak in the beautiful traditions, culture, and music of the Hawaiian people.

Inspected Maui Villas by Team Exotic Estates urn:uuid:ca8d4f7a-caf4-9e89-fabd-7a563d8d3ea0 2018-02-21T11:09:43-07:00 Maui Villa Inspections

Exotic Estates Villa Specialists are required to visit the company’s core destinations and tour its vacation homes and villas a regular basis. When travelers call Exotic Estates about a Maui villa in Hawaii, Colorado vacation rental or Cabo villa, they will have access to a collective pool of destination and specific home knowledge.

On a recent site inspection of our homes across the Hawaiian Islands, the team toured through some of Exotic Estates’ most popular villa rentals and even brought some new ones to the collection.

Maui Vacation Rental - Pool View

The team hails from diverse time zones to better serve our guests from the East and West Coasts and come with an incredible knowledge of destinations.

Maui was the first stop on a three-island tour. The team started in and around Lahaina, touring beachfront Maui villas and luxurious condo residences on Kapalua resorts.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Exotic Estates

Lahaina Vacation Rentals

The team started with visits to several gorgeous luxury vacation rentals in Lahaina, where many beachfront and hillside homes are located. The properties are in highest demand by Maui villa renters, who often return year after year to the island.

Truuli Maui Villa

Truuli Maui is an all-time favorite villa. This home is typical in the photos cannot give its size and beauty justice. It's set in a gorgeous and private location. The team loved it for the views, quiet and general creature comforts that it affords guests. For those who are looking for the best, this home is a winner.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Truuli Maui Villa

Exotic Estates Villa Specialist Danielle checking out the water pressure in one of the en-suite baths. 

Maui Vacation Rentals - Villa Inspection

Maui Royal Shores Villa

A standout home that the team found particularly special was the Maui Royal Shores Villa, located in a quiet area in Olowalu. This home is new, but has a wonderfully classic feel to it, and would fit in perfectly in the Hamptons or a refined New England beach town.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Royal Shores Villa

There is a formal living area with a soaring ceiling, along with comfy bedrooms, a stunning pool and separate cottage with gym.  

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Royal Shores Villa Living Room

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Royal Shores Villa Porch

Villa Specialist Todd Tolson is checking out the equipment!

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Royal Shores Villa Gym

The home has incredible views of the ocean just beyond and sunsets are gorgeous.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Royal Shores Villa

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Royal Shores Villa Pool

Lahaina Oceanfront Estate

Another favorite home is the Lahaina Oceanfront Estate. This property is spacious and capable of hosting large groups. As its name suggests, it sits on the ocean in Lahaina, with incredible views of the water, the island of Lanai and the boats swaying in the harbor.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Lahaina Oceanfront Estate View

It’s more a family-friendly home than glamourous villa, but it has a wonderful old-school charm, with a sweeping staircase that creates a standout feature in the living room and a way to make a grand entrance on a special night!

Maui Vacation Rentals - Lahaina Oceanfront Estate Stairs

Maui Vacation Rentals - Lahaina Oceanfront Estate Casual Dining

Imagine serving up Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family on this table, with the boats of Lahaina Harbor and Lanai as a backdrop!

Maui Vacation Rentals - Lahaina Oceanfront Estate Dining Room

Todd and Danielle, two of our amazing Villa Specialists, taking in the view!

Maui Vacation Rentals - Lahaina Oceanfront Estate Danielle & Todd

Lahaina Palms Villa

Lahaina Palms is a unique Maui vacation home because it offers guests so much land and privacy. The house itself is family-friendly, which means it's a nice, comfortable vacation home that invites families and friends to kick back, turn on the watefall and soak in the green swaying palms and pretty mountain and ocean views. It's not too fancy, but it's a perfect oasis for a rambling family that needs lots of grass for games and a private pool and spa tub for soaking up Maui's famous stary nights. 

Maui Vacation Rental - Lahaina Palms Waterfall

Here's Shanon just taking in the view by the pool waterfall. Hawaii calls!

Maui Vacation Rentals - Lahaina Palms Villa shanon Pool

Kapalua Luxury Condos

Up the coast about twenty minutes from Lahaina is the storied golfer destination of Kapalua. This beautiful resort community boasts a PGA golf course and several 5-star spas.

Below, Danielle is taking a snapshot of the incredible view of Molokai and the grounds below one of the luxurious residences we offer in our collection.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Kapalua Condo Rental Danielle

The team toured the luxury residences located on the grounds of one of the nicest resort properties on Maui, allowing for the perfect blend of private vacation rental and villa living.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Kapalua Condo Rental Kitchen

Maui Vacation Rentals - Kapalua Condo Rental Kitchen

These 3,000 sq. ft. luxury Maui condos offer three bedrooms, huge bathrooms, gorgeous views and access to the many resort features.

Here is Tyler, Todd and Danielle with their Excellence Standard Inspection booklets in hand!

Kapalua Vacation Rentals - Exotic Estates Team

The beach in Kapalua is right across the lawn and offers snorkeling and views of the outer islands.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Kapalua Beach

Napili Cove Villa

The Napili Cove Villa was a standout for the team, with its charming interior design, quite location and unobstructed views of Hawaiian green sea turtles feeding in clear waters of the bay below.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Napili Cove Villa View

Maui Vacation Rentals - Napili Cove Villa Deck

Maui Vacation Rentals - Napili Cove Villa Living Room

The views from this home are stunning from all levels. Walking into the home, you are struck by the view outside of the wall of windows and the deck that wraps around. The upstairs adds another great perspective and the two bedrooms upstairs each feature the same stunning vistas. 

Maui Vacation Rentals - Napili Cove Villa Living Room Reflections

Maui Surf Villa

Another standout was a fabulous home in the hills overlooking the beaches of the West Maui, near Lahaina.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Surf Villa Views

The Maui Surf Villa is a newly constructed home with a contemporary surf-culture interior design motif that incorporates beachy colors and imagery.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Surf Villa Dining Table

The home’s unobstructed views of the outer island of Lanai blew away our touring Villa Specialists, as did its spacious rooms, clean surfaces and the indoor-outdoor living.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Surf Villa Living Room

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Surf Villa Living Room

Maui Vacation Rentals - Maui Surf Villa Ocean View

Kihei Vacation Home and Bungalow

The team made their way down to Kihei and Wailea to tour some of the company’s homes there. Kihei is less of a tourist mecca as Lahaina, however, it’s got a fun local flavor, with lots of fun restaurants and bars. Kihei and Wailea are also home to some of Maui’s favorite beaches.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Kihei Maui Rentals

Of course there is the beach at the Wailea Beach Villas but then there are all the Kamaole or “Kam” beaches by Kihei.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Kihei Beach Cove

Here's Shanon on one of the famous Kam beaches, with the gorgeous views of the West Maui Mouintains behind.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Kihei Kam Beach Shanon

A great house is the South Maui Park Side Villa, which is family friendly and sits adjacent to a large oceanfront park with tennis courts and plenty of room for kids to play.

Maui Vacation Rentals - South Maui Park Side Villa

The home also has a private pool area in the backyard, so there is lots of fun to be had in and around the property. A favorite feature is the large living space upstairs with the billiards room, which is perfect for family fun in the evening.

Maui Vacation Rentals - Kihei Bungalow Views

While these homes and bungalows are on quiet streets, they are also walking distance from stores, restaurants and bars. You have the best of private Hawaiian vacation home living and being a “local” in one of Maui’s most authentic towns.

The long day of touring was capped off with a favorite Hawaiian treats – shave ice. Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice serves up the best on the islands many say, and the team agrees!

Maui Vacation Rentals - Ululani Maui Shave Ice

When you work with Exotic Estates, you will be paired up with a Villa Specialist who knows not only the destination, but the homes as well. They’ve walked it, turned on the faucets, checked out the closets, looked in kitchen corners and checked bed linens. They can advise you on how to live local in a setting that meets your unique needs.

Connect with a Villa Specialist today at!
Best Local Maui Hikes urn:uuid:f3f592b3-ba54-f14f-23be-0d31f6c01661 2018-04-05T15:28:14-07:00 Although taking a hike might be one of the last things on your vacation to-do list, we suggest you take at least one day to take a hike around the island of Maui. Experience tropical paradise from a breathtaking perspective where you will find an abundance of flora and fauna along with towering waterfalls. Whether you need a challenging workout or a relaxing breath of fresh air, we have and outstanding list of hike around Maui.

Maui Local Hikes, Maui Experts, Hiking in Maui, Exotic Estates, Luxury Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy Holo Holo Maui Tours 

We recently collaborated with Holo Holo Maui Tours to bring you the most exclusive list of fun and gorgeous hikes on the island of Maui. Broken down by category from family-friendly hikes to hard core, you will find the best option for your excursion.

Gather everyone from your Maui vacation rental and head to the trails today!

Regular Hike for Everyone – Kids, Adults & the Elderly

Twin Falls

What we love about it: This trail is easy to navigate on your own and it is the closest waterfall hike from the “resort side.” The entire trail is 1.5 miles in & out. There are several gorgeous falls & multiple pools along the way, perfect photo opportunities for your Instagram pic! There is an abundance of tropical flora & fauna such as hibiscus, banana, bamboo, ginger, etc. (try and pick out as many as you can name)! The maintained trail is found on the grounds of Waiale Farms, who offers guided tours. The Farm personnel monitors rainfall & water level in the streams and Ute is one of the farm owners. She often offers frees rides nearing the end of the trail aboard her Mule for the elderly & Kupuna only (perfect for older generations of the group). The property is also fronted by a farm-stand that offers many delicious local treats

Local Tips:

  • Park in the lot next to the entrance (the lot past the bridge is known for break-ins) where there is security
  • Always check the weather before heading out to the rainforest
  • Never enter streams or pools that have rushing water
  • Bring a towel & mosquito repellent
  • Water shoes are nice to