Survive The Road to Hana
Maui Tour Road Map
Those who are unfamiliar with the Hana Highway (aka: the “Road to Hana”) will look at their map and say, “Oh, it’s only 52 miles. We can make it to Hana in about an hour.” Well, not unless you’re flying… literally. Aptly dubbed “The Divorce Highway”, the Road to Hana has an exhausting, and many times harrowing, 617 hairpin curves and 59 unforgiving one-lane bridges, not to mention an incredible number of blind spots along the way. And, since the speed limit is 25 mph or less the entire way, that puts the drive time, (with few to no stops), averaging about 2.5 hours — and that’s without encountering any traffic or other diversions.
Oh, and there are more obstacles to making it there “on time”, like being mesmerized by all of the incredibly beautiful waterfalls, local handmade jewelry, fragrant flowers and leis, fresh pineapple, banana bread and a host of other Hawaiian culinary delights to be discovered at the roadside stands. You decide what you want to focus on and just let us take care of the rest.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to be delayed by traffic due to accidents, construction, landslides or other issues. After all, the Hana Highway is about a century old so it’s under a constant state of repair. Luckily, when delays happen it’s always a photo op in our Custom Cruisers!
Almost everyday, to our amazement, we see tourists behind the wheel who think they’re going slow enough to take pictures while driving, or just get caught up in the scenery and forget they’re supposed to be driving and either cause, or nearly cause a serious accident. Sadly, there have been numerous deaths over the years on the road to Hana because of this sort of recklessness.
The Hana Highway is perhaps the most gorgeous highway in the world, but it can be deadly. There are sheer cliffs with 100 ft + drops in some of the areas without guardrails! And, even if you did hit a guardrail, it’s no insurance policy that it will prevent you from injury. If you’re not familiar with this road, it’s best to take a tour.
Hana Highway Stops
Waterfalls are popping up all over the Hana Highway! When the weather cooperates, (meaning it rains enough, but not too much), there will be waterfalls a plenty on the Road to Hana. The first couple of waterfalls are a big draw for those who don’t know any better, and a traffic hazard to those who aren’t used to driving on a narrow road with numerous blind curves. Parking is impossible at these waterfall stops, which is why taking a tour makes the experience a breeze.
Our expert guides know the best waterfalls to go to (hint: they aren’t the first several you will see), and our extra large, elevated viewing windows allow you to snap a killer shot without even getting out of our custom designed comfort cruiser! Perfect for those times when a waterfall is going off and it’s raining a little too much to risk getting that new camera you just bought for the trip all wet.
Keanae Peninsula is beloved to the Hawaiians. Today it is known for just one thing – it’s old stone church. The only surviving structure from the giant 1946 tsunami that swept away an entire village and it is still there today. The killer waves that hit this area prompted the creation and implementation of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center which is still in use today, warning Hawaiians and the entire west coast of the US and Canada, should there be a threat of another potentially life threatening tsunami.
Waianapanapa State Park
Waianapanapa State Park’s 120 acres are steeped in Hawaiian history, lore and that ancient, timeless Maui vibe. Why is this place so well known? It’s black sand beach, blowholes, natural sea arches, anchialine pools, cemetery, the largest-known Hawaiian temple, lava caves and incredible views might have something to do with it! No doubt it’s one of Hawaii’s greatest treasures and another wonderful reason to love Maui. We take great pride in bringing our guests here. It’s such a special place, it’s not hard to see why legends were written about it.
Haleakala National Park
The Pools At O’heo, located within Haleakala National Park, are world famous. There are more than the misquoted ‘seven’, and none of them are ‘sacred’, but they sure are pretty. We’re one of the only tour companies that includes a stop at these idyllic pools. Weather permitting you can choose to go for a quick dip and maybe a short hike. There is nothing like taking a swim in fresh water pools by the sea after a day on the road. It is advisable to bring your water shoes because the bottom is mostly stones, not much sand. Keeping your feet protected is important as lava rock can be sharp.
Tedeschi Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch is Maui’s only winery. The property is historic, picturesque and downright quaint. It is farmed responsibly and sustainability without sacrificing quality. Tedeschi Winery has shown it’s serious regarding it’s impact on the earth. Should you choose to stop here and sample some of their unique, exotic fruit inspired vintages like Hula O’ Maui (pineapple sparkling wine) or Maui Splash (tropical dessert wine), beware, you’ll fall in love with the islandy undertones and will want to bring some back home or, maybe just to your hotel room? Why not? Life is short, so live it up on Maui!
Hana Highway Guides
Part of the charm to a Maui vacation is finally letting yourself slow down, relax a little and slip into “Maui time”. Our experienced Hana tour guides are personally trained during their 6+ week trial period by the owner of the company. They are educated on everything about the Road to Hana and beyond while making sure you have your “best day on Maui”. Our guides are special because they’re also educated on every possible driving safety precaution and are extremely knowledgeable and respectful of the local driving etiquette, (which makes the journey oh-so-much more safe and enjoyable for everyone).
Our Maui Tour
Our air conditioned comfort cruisers are customized with extra large captain’s seats and special viewing windows to make sure you stay dry and don’t miss a thing! You can choose to experience on Valley Isle Excursions Road to Hana tour:
- pineapple fields
- spectacular cliffs
- bamboo jungles
- local wares (jewelry, baskets, trinkets)
- natural lava formations (e.g. arches and blowholes)
- tropical streams and pools
- colorful and fragrant island flowers
- handmade leis
- rainforest vegetation
- wine tasting
- Hawaiian BBQ lunch on real china with silverware
- all you can drink (non-alcoholic)
It would take any normal traveler several visits to figure out what they should spend time seeing and doing on the Hana Highway, and beyond. Having an expert guide helps you to narrow down your bucket list so you can focus on what you really want to do and have your ‘ultimate Road to Hana experience’ the first time you go. Indeed, “It’s not the destination, but the journey…” and a great guide will make your adventure on Valley Isle Excursions’ Road to Hana tour so wonderful you’ll want to go again, on your next visit to Maui!
Taking Photos On Tour
Our Custom Cruisers have been specially designed with observation and photography in mind. The problem when driving the Road to Hana in a normal car, or even a Jeep, is that you’re too low. The guardrails and barriers are strategically placed to keep people from going into the waterfall or off a cliff, unfortunately their position ruins most attempts to photograph them, unless you’re taking blind shots (which is just guessing by raising your arm as high as possible and clicking away, hoping you got something worthwhile), or you get out of the car. Our Custom Cruisers eliminate this issue and allow you to get the shot while remaining dry and air conditioned, regardless of weather. No need to wreck that new camera you bought just for the trip, right?
Knowing where to go for the best photos is also a big time saver and makes the whole experience so much more relaxed. Our expert guides are well trained in everything you can see and do on the Road to Hana and will make sure you get ample opportunities to get those amazing shots!
Waterfalls, Waterfalls, Waterfalls!
Knowing where to go for the best photos is also a big time saver and makes the whole experience so much more relaxed. Our expert guides are well trained in everything you can see and do on the Road to Hana and will make sure you get ample opportunities to get those amazing waterfall shots!
Guests have told us that they didn’t do the drive themselves because it was raining, which is smart from a safety standpoint (this road is known for landslides and rockslides). However, our guides know that just because it’s raining in Kahului, it doesn’t mean it’s raining in Hana. But, it does mean that certain waterfalls will be flowing, while others may not, depending on where it’s raining. Rest assured, our guides get the latest information about which waterfalls are flowing and which aren’t, before departure and during the trip. Unless there is a severe drought, you will see waterfalls and we know all the best ones! So, we invite you to join us for your ‘best day on Maui’ with our Road to Hana Tour!