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