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On Maui, you can get into an equine state of mind by becoming a cowboy for a day

On Maui, you can get into an equine state of mind by becoming a cowboy for a day
At Piiholo Ranch, guests can ride horses through Maui's upcountry as they help wrangle cattle. (Lumeria Maui)

Visitors can swap sand for the tall grasses of Maui's upcountry as they help real cowboys herd cattle.

Tourists often pass by the towns that dot the slopes of the Haleakala volcano as they head toward the summit inside the national park of the same name.

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But a short detour leads to the heart of Maui's cowboy country in the village of Makawao, where a wrangler is probably better known as a paniolo, Hawaiian for "cowboy."

(Scribble Maps)

Besides horseback rides with drop-dead gorgeous views, Makawao's Piiholo Ranch also provides what it calls the Cowboy for a Day tour. During this three-hour experience, guests ride through open pastures while rounding up cattle. The package, priced at $349 per person, is offered at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In conjunction with Lumeria Maui, a wellness retreat in Makawao, the ranch also offers the stress-relieving Equine for the Mind package.

The experience incorporates not only a three-hour private horse ride but also well-being techniques such as centering, mindfulness and yoga.

The package, available only to Lumeria Maui guests, includes a stopover at a private, upcountry cabin for a picnic lunch. It costs $349 per person.

Lumeria Maui, a small wellness retreat in Makawao, began more than 100 years ago as a home to aging workers from the area's sugar cane fields.
Lumeria Maui, a small wellness retreat in Makawao, began more than 100 years ago as a home to aging workers from the area's sugar cane fields. (Lumeria Maui)

The historic 24-room lodge, the oldest wooden building on Maui, was built in 1910 by the Baldwin family, whose riches came from sugar.

Horses await guests who will ride them through Maui's upcountry as they help wrangle cattle.
Horses await guests who will ride them through Maui's upcountry as they help wrangle cattle. (Lumeria Maui)

Lumeria Maui initially served as housing for aging laborers who had spent much of their lives working in the cane fields. Now it's described as a sanctuary for "transformational travel," with doubles from $249 a night.

Info: Lumeria Maui, (808) 579-8877

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