Traversing the road to Hana is one of Maui‘s most rewarding daylong adventures.
Hana rests at the end of the 50-mile Hana Highway (360) that features 600 hairpin turns and 54 one-lane bridges. Stop often to drink in the sheer natural beauty that surrounds you: bamboo jungles, tropical flowers, tranquil ponds and scenic vistas.
Tip: If you are prone to motion sickness, this may not be the activity for you.
5 Tips For a More Enjoyable Journey
1) Plan to spend the entire day in Hana
Leave early in the morning and don’t rush. Like a fine wine, Hana is an experience you’ll want to savor.
2) Let Locals Pass
While you’ll want to bask in every postcard-perfect moment on the way to Hana, be sure to pull over on occasion and let the local drivers pass (they’ve seen it all before, and they probably just want to hurry home).
3) Don’t Go Empty Handed
We recommend packing a light jacket, sunscreen, snacks, drinking water, insect repellent and spending money.
4) Take a Motion Sickness Pill
This is a warning, if you get car sick, you probably won’t like this drive.
5) Hike at Haleakala Park
A 30-40 minute drive past Hana brings you to the bottom Eastern side of Haleakala National Park with several hiking choices including our favorite: Pipiwai Trail.
Located on the eastern tip of the island, Hana is Hawaii’s very own Garden of Eden—an unspoiled tropical oasis teeming with shimmering waterfalls, fragrant flowers and breathtaking cliffs. It is said that Hana was discovered by Maui, the mischievous demi-god who delighted in watching the misty rains roll off the ocean and sprinkle the area with rainbows. When Maui’s daughter was born, he named her after his favorite vision: Noenoe Ua Kea O Hana, or “the misty, light rain of Hana.” Mark Twain, Jack London and Charles Lindbergh are among the luminaries who fell in love with Hana’s charms. Lindbergh, in fact, is buried on a seacliff near the Hoomau stone church in Kipahulu, just outside of Hana.
The adventure doesn’t end once you reach Hana’s sleepy village.
Head to Hana Bay and have a picnic lunch. Take a sightseeing trip on horseback or visit the Hana Cultural Center, which includes Hawaiian artifacts, photographs, and even an old courthouse and jail. And don’t forget to visit the famous Hasegawa’s General Store and purchase the obligatory “I Survived the Road to Hana” T-shirt. (Hey, you deserve it!)
People often say, “It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey.” And while that may indeed be true, when it comes to traveling the long, scenic road to Hana, we think the destination is pretty worthwhile, too.