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Is the Maui Chocolate Tour Worth It?

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Are you looking for an amazing chocolate tour in Hawaii? Keep scrolling for my honest review of the Maui Chocolate Tour in Lahaina.

While I’m not a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I do enjoy learning about (and tasting) chocolate. I’ve been to a bunch of Hawaii chocolate farms and it’s always a cool experience.

So, when I heard that the Maui chocolate tour in Lahaina was re-opening the same week I was on island, I knew I needed to check it out.

Keep scrolling for my honest review and to see whether or not it’s worth adding to your Maui itinerary.


Where is the Maui Chocolate Tour?

The Maui Chocolate Tour takes place at the Ku’ia Estate in Lahaina. The address is 78 Ulupono St, Lahaina, HI 96761.

You’ll turn off the main area and start to drive in an industrial area. You are in the right place!

Brief Ku’ia Estate History

In 2013, Dr. Gunars Valkirs started a cacao farm on leased farmland, which is now known as the Maui Ku’ia Estate cacao farm.

Image of red cacao pods on a Maui cacao farm.
Ku’ia Estate is one of the few chocolate farms in Hawaii. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The farm began with the planting of special hybrid cacao trees on the winter solstice. As the farm expanded to 20 acres, the focus shifted from just growing cacao to making and selling chocolate to sustain the business economically.

The farm and the chocolate factory, which is solar-powered and uses eco-friendly materials, are part of a larger mission to contribute positively to the community and environment.

What to Know about this Maui Chocolate Tour Before You Go:

They Make Award-Winning Chocolate

Despite facing many challenges, they have succeeded in making some of the world’s finest cacao and award-winning chocolate.

This success is shown by their wins, including the 2021 Cocoa of Excellence Gold Award for the Asia Pacific region and the 2022 Good Food Award.

How to Visit Ku’ia Estate

There are several ways to visit the Ku’ia Estate. You can take a factory or farm tour or simply stop by their shop.

You’ll definitely want to book your Maui Chocolate Tour tickets before you go. There are limited tickets available for each tour, and they do fill up quickly.

Where to Park

No matter which tour you choose, you’ll want to park at their shop in Lahaina. They have a bunch of covered parking as well as street parking.


As soon as you park, you’ll want to head into the shop and check in for your tour with the staff at the counter.

Image of Marcie Cheung wearing a hairnet at the Maui chocolate factory tour.
Here’s my lovely hairnet! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

If you’re taking the factory tour, you’ll be given a hairnet to wear for the entire time you’re there.

There are some chairs set up where you can hang out until your tour guide arrives.

If you’re doing the farm tour, you’ll still check in and meet in the same area before loading into their air-conditioned van to go to the farm.

I actually arrived an hour before my scheduled tour and they were able to get me on the earlier tour!

Maui Chocolate Factory Tour

This was the first time I’d done a factory tour and it was absolutely fascinating! It was led by their CEO Dr. Gunars Valkirs who was very passionate.

Image of solar panels at Ku'ia Estate on Maui
The parking lot is covered with solar panels which power the factory. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The factory itself runs completely on solar energy, which is why it didn’t lose power during and after the Maui fires (and also didn’t lose any product).

We got to see cacao beans that they grow on the farm as well as ones they import from a farm in Central America.

Gunnars showed us several different machines they use in the chocolate process.

Image of a machine at the Maui chocolate factory tour
Gunnars showed us how they use this machine in the chocolate-making process. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

What stood out the most to me is that they have separate machines for dark chocolate and dark milk chocolate. This is perfect for people with dairy allergies as the dark chocolate doesn’t even have traces of milk in it.

Another cool thing was getting to see the machines they use to pour the chocolates into the molds. We got to see both sets of molds they use and how they go into a cooling area to solidify.

Image of a chocolate packaging machine at Kuia Estate on Maui
It was cool to see the assembly line! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

But, I think my favorite part was seeing the packaging machines. It was seriously mesmerizing to see the little gold foil being wrapped around each piece of chocolate with a label on top.

It was like watching an episode of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood!

Image of a cube of chocolate
I’ve never tasted chocolate at this stage before! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The extra cool thing about the factory tour is that we got to taste the cacao beans as well as the chocolate at different stages in the process. It was enlightening!

Chocolate Tastings

Of course, is it really a chocolate tour without a chocolate tasting?

We headed upstairs to their open-air roof-top patio to sample the goods.

Image of cacao fruit sorbet
The sorbet was light and refreshing! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

It started off with cacao fruit sorbet which was super flavorful! I’d tried cacao fruit before but never in a sorbet.

The first flight was 3 pieces of their signature Ku’ia Estate chocolate. Each one was super tasty!

Image of 3 squares of Kuia Estate chocolate
Here’s some of their award-winning chocolate. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Then, we got to choose 4 pieces from a selection of flavored chocolates to try.

I chose the yuzu, OMG (orange mango guava), mango, and calamansi lime. These flavors were INCREDIBLE. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is some of the best flavored chocolate I’ve tasted.

The patio also has a full bar so you can order drinks to pair with your chocolate. And there was live music when we were there.

Gift Shop

With the factory tour, we each got a $25 gift card to use in their shop. Of course, I ended up spending WAY more than that to stock up on my favorites.

Image of a stack of colorful chocolate bars at Kuia Estate on Maui
I grabbed this pack to share with friends. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

You can buy an insulated bag and ice pack, which is the way to go if you’re worried about the chocolate melting.

Maui Chocolate Factory Tour vs Maui Chocolate Farm Tour

So, I wanted to highlight that there are TWO different tours you can take. I did the factory tour but there’s also the farm tour.

I got a sneak peek of the farm tour and it’s super cool and similar to other Hawaii chocolate farm tours.

Image of jars of cacao beans at the Kuia Estate on Maui
Here’s where you can see cacao beans on the farm tour. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

You get to go into the cacao fields, see how it’s grown, and learn a ton about how cacao grows in Hawaii.

Then, you get to climb up into one of their treehouses where you’ll get to enjoy a 9-piece chocolate tasting.

Image of a treehouse at Kuia Estate on Maui
Here’s one of their treehouses where they do chocolate tastings. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The treehouses were really cool and offered great views of the farm and Lahaina.

Oh and they have the coolest on-site bathroom! It has a one-way window so you can enjoy a cool farm view!

So, deciding which tour to take can be hard. Basically, if you want to learn more about cacao, pick the farm tour. Or if you’re more curious about chocolate production, pick the factory tour.

Maui Chocolate Tour Tips for Families

Factory Tour is 8+ (but farm tour is 3+)

Families with younger kids will want to do the farm tour. In all honesty, I think both my 7yo and 10yo would enjoy the farm tour more than the factory tour.

But my youngest would probably be fascinated with the machines and production line so I’ll take him when he’s old enough.

What to Wear

No matter which tours you take, you’ll need closed-toe shoes. For the farm tour, I’d also suggest a sun hat and wearing lots of sunscreen.

For the factory tour, you can really wear whatever you are comfortable in. The temperature was great.

Farm is Not ADA-Accessible

Don’t plan on bringing a stroller for the farm tour. Your family will need to be able to walk on a mulch path as well as climb stairs to get to the treehouse.

Factory is ADA-Accessible

If you have someone with a walker or who needs assistance, they can totally do the factory tour.

The Patio is Kid-Friendly

The upstairs patio has some kids toys and coloring activities available to keep kids occupied while you partake in an adult beverage.

Image of coloring sheets and magnatiles at Kuia Estate on Maui
Here are the kid activities up on the patio. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The patio also has a unique view of Lahaina.

How Much Does it Cost and Where is it Located?

The Maui chocolate factory tour is 1.5 hours long. It costs $125 for people ages 8+. Check availability.

The Maui chocolate farm tour is 1.5 hours long. It costs $85 for adults (ages 13+) and $75 for kids ages 3-12. The farm is a short drive away from the factory. Check availability.

Hawaii Chocolate Farms FAQ

Where is chocolate grown in Hawaii?

Hawaii is a great place to grow chocolate! You can find chocolate farms on the Big Island and Oahu, and also on Kauai and Maui. Every year, Hawaii grows more and more cacao.

Is Hawaii famous for chocolate?

Yes, kind of! Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. where cacao can be grown, so that’s pretty special. Also, the chocolate from Hawaii is really tasty! Most of the chocolate farms there use top-notch ingredients to make chocolate that’s known around the world.

What type of cacao is grown in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, the most common type of cacao grown is called Theobroma cacao. These cacao plants mix together and take in flavors from their surroundings, which makes each cacao tree special.

So, is the Maui Chocolate Tour Worth It?

I had a LOT more fun on this tour than I expected! It was really cool to learn about how chocolate is made and to taste the beans and products at the different stages.

If you’re looking for a way to support Lahaina, this is a great way to do it!

I’m also really excited to try the farm tour next time we visit Maui!

Looking for more things to do in Maui? Check out my Old Lahaina Luau review, NorthShore Ziplining review, and Feast at Mokapu review.