Road to Hana Maui Travel Itinerary
A trip to Maui isn’t complete without traversing the enchanting Road to Hana, a mesmerizing 64.4-mile long stretch that coils along the island’s northeastern coastline. Its azure seas, lush rainforests, and breathtaking waterfalls have mesmerized visitors for decades. This article curates a definitive travel itinerary for navigating the Hana Highway, promising an unforgettable exploration of Maui’s hidden treasures.
Preparation Before the Trip
Preparation is essential for the Road to Hana adventure. Ensure your vehicle’s tank is full as gas stations are scarce. Pack food, water, and snacks since eateries are few and far between. Wear comfortable shoes for exploring and carry a swimsuit for impromptu dips. Don’t forget your camera – you’ll need it!
Start Early: Paia Town
Begin your journey at the crack of dawn from the charming town of Paia. An early start lets you beat the crowd and leisurely enjoy the spots on the way. This historic plantation town is a perfect place for a hearty breakfast at one of its quaint cafes. Do take a moment to explore the boutique shops before hitting the road.
First Stop: Twin Falls (Mile Marker 2)
Just a short drive from Paia, Twin Falls is the first waterfall on the journey. An easily accessible trail leads you to this cascading wonder, providing a perfect opportunity to stretch your legs. Dip in the natural pool or explore the charming fruit stand near the entrance.
Next Up: Garden of Eden Arboretum (Mile Marker 10)
The Garden of Eden Arboretum is a 26-acre paradise filled with botanical gardens, picnic spots, and walking trails. Don’t miss the Puohokamoa Falls view from the garden and the iconic coastal vista featured in Jurassic Park.
Take a Break: Ke’anae Peninsula (Mile Marker 16.8)
The Ke’anae Peninsula offers a scenic detour with a rugged coastline and panoramic views of the Pacific. It’s an ideal place for a picnic lunch. Try the famous banana bread from Aunty Sandy’s while enjoying the sea spray.
Spectacular Vistas: Wailua Valley State Wayside (Mile Marker 18)
The Wailua Valley State Wayside offers a glimpse into the Hawaiian countryside with expansive views of the valley, taro fields, and the Wailua Village. A short trek up the stairs is rewarded with a panoramic vista.
Refreshing Stop: Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park (Mile Marker 22)
This state park is home to a waterfall and a natural pool. Take a break here, enjoy a quick swim or a relaxing picnic amidst the lush greenery.
Discover History: Wai’anapanapa State Park (Mile Marker 32)
Your next stop is Wai’anapanapa State Park, known for its striking black sand beach. Explore sea caves, lava tubes, and a blowhole. The park also has ancient Hawaiian sites to discover.
Finally, Hana Town
Upon reaching Hana town, bask in the tranquillity of this serene place. Hasegawa General Store is an excellent place for souvenirs. Visit the Hana Cultural Center to understand the town’s history, and don’t miss the Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu Beach), a hidden gem that’s worth the tricky hike.
Winding Down: Hamoa Beach and Koki Beach
Post-Hana, unwind at Hamoa Beach or Koki Beach, both known for their beautiful seascapes and serene environments. Take a dip in the sea or simply enjoy the stunning scenery, allowing the rhythm of the waves to lull you into peaceful relaxation.
Stay Overnight: Travaasa Hana Hotel
After a long day of exploring, you’ve earned a night of rest. Travaasa Hana is a luxury hotel offering spacious suites, cottages, and private bungalows with spectacular ocean and garden views. Experience the essence of old Hawaii and indulge in a rejuvenating spa service or immerse yourself in cultural and outdoor activities offered by the resort.
Journey Further: The Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe’o (Mile Marker 42)
If you’re feeling adventurous, proceed 10 miles past Hana to the Haleakala National Park, home to the Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe’o. This string of stunning waterfalls and pools cascading down to the sea is an excellent spot for swimming when conditions are safe.
The Final Adventure: Pipiwai Trail
End your adventure with a hike on the Pipiwai Trail, one of the best hikes in Maui. This 4-mile round trip hike will take you through lush bamboo forests and past cascading waterfalls, finally leading you to the majestic 400-foot Waimoku Falls.
Returning to Paia
The drive back to Paia will be just as breathtaking, with the opportunity to stop at any spots you may have missed on your way to Hana.
Tips for the Journey
Stay Safe: The Road to Hana is famous for its 600+ curves and 59 bridges, many of which are one-lane. Drive slowly and responsibly.
Respect the Land: Remember, many areas on the Road to Hana are sacred to the Hawaiian people. Stay on marked paths, don’t leave any trash behind, and be respectful of the land.
Plan for the Whole Day: The journey is an all-day event if you want to truly experience the beauty and diversity the road has to offer.
The Road to Hana is more than a scenic drive; it’s a journey that takes you through the heart of Maui’s lush landscapes and rich history. With stunning vistas at every turn and an array of attractions to explore, this magical path offers the trip of a lifetime for intrepid travelers. Whether you’re in search of adrenaline-fueled hikes, tranquil beach lounges, or cultural learning experiences, the Road to Hana delivers an unforgettable Hawaiian adventure.