BEST BEACHES IN HANA, MAUI HAWAII AND THE BEACH TO SKIP
When planning a trip to Maui, there is no doubt that visiting several of the beautiful beaches will be on your itinerary. Hana, in particular, has some of the most incredible and unique beaches in the world, thanks to the various colors of sand, towering palm trees, and majestic mountain backdrops.
Hana Beaches to Visit
Black Sand Beach – Hana
The black sand beach in Hana is an extraordinarily unique beach to visit when you’re in Maui. Located in Wai’anapanapa State Park, this beach is made up of pitch black grains of sand that create a mysterious and alluring atmosphere that you cannot experience anywhere else. This beach was formed long ago by the heavy waves crashing on fresh lava flow from Haleakalā. Some of the features you will want to make a note of here include the natural stone arches that may just give you a perfect photo op if you can catch a big wave crashing behind it. A famous group of blowholes will come to life as the waves crash, forcing seawater to spray up and out several feet into the air. You will also witness sea stacks rising from the ocean floor, anchialine pools that connect underground tunnels, small red shrimp that inhabit these pools, and Hawaiian cemeteries that are kept immaculate to pay respect to honor those that lived before us. Please note that reservations are needed to enter the state park and access the beach.
Surrounded by cliffs, Hamoa Beach in Hana is another one of the top-ranked beaches in Maui. This crescent-shaped beach wraps around turquoise blue waters and has been surfed by Hawaiians since ancient times. If you’re not a skilled surfer, you can certainly try bodysurfing and boogie boarding. However, this beach is exposed to the open ocean, so keep this in mind if you aren’t a strong swimmer. The waters are calmer during the summer and fall, but winter brings potentially hazardous riptides and undercurrents. It should also be noted that there is no parking area for this beach and parking on the street causes traffic congestion for local residents at times. Plan accordingly.
Just past Hana proper, you will find the secluded Koki Beach. This spot is a local favorite that lets Maui’s uniqueness shine. As you stand on the tan sands, you can look out at the blue waters and see ‘Alau Island, a small mound, topped by coconut palms. You can also see in the distance, a sea arch, Leho’ula, that is a great subject for a photo op. With the secluded nature of this beach also comes the requirement for respecting nature. There are no lifeguards on duty and the water conditions can often become harsh, even for strong swimmers. This beach is best enjoyed from the sand.
The Hana Beach You Should Skip
Red Sand Beach
Red Sand Beach, known locally as Kaihalulu Beach, is incredibly unique and breathtakingly beautiful. As the name suggests, the sand here is red, something you don’t see everyday (or even once in your lifetime!). However, this beach isn’t ideal for those who want a casual beach day with the family. There is a sheer, narrow trail that visitors must hike to access the crimson cove, which can be quite dangerous. There have been numerous rescue missions due to the challenging trail and strong undertow, so many locals don’t advise visits from tourists. This beach is better admired through the many photographs that can be found online.
Dos and Don’ts When Visiting Beaches in Hana
It is important to respect the beaches in Hana and anywhere else in Maui. Following these dos and don’ts will help ensure you are able to enjoy the beaches while also respecting them and the locals who live in the area.
DO Take Your Trash With You: Whenever you are enjoying time out in nature, you must take any trash you create out with you. Leaving trash on the beaches in Hana can harm the wildlife and will make experiences for others less enjoyable.
DO Obey All Posted Signage: When visiting beaches in Hana you should always keep an eye out for signs posted in your area. Be sure to read them carefully and follow the directions they give you. If a sign says to keep out of a certain area, there is a good reason for it and doing otherwise could be dangerous.
DON’T Trespass: Similar to following signage, avoid trespassing on private property. It may be difficult for visitors to know the difference between private and public land, and that is why being aware of signage and following its instructions is important.
DO Respect Locals: While visiting Hana is popular for tourists, it is still home for many locals in Maui. Keep this in mind and conduct yourselves respectfully when visiting the beaches or other areas in Hana.
Get to the Beaches in Hana Safely
Getting to Hana to witness these incredible beaches for yourself is no easy feat. The Road to Hana is known for its fantastic sightseeing opportunities along the winding road of 600+ turns and 50+ one-lane bridges. However, driving the Road to Hana yourself can be dangerous. The safest and most memorable way to get to Hana is by booking a tour. Valley Isle Excursions has a Road to Hana guided tour that takes you through the majestic landscape while making key stops along the way so you can get the most out of the trip. This tour includes a stop at Wai’anapanapa State Park and the Black Sand Beach at Pailoa Bay wh