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Road to Hana Recommendations and Tips

Aerial view of Road to Hana along Maui, Hawaii rugged coastline

The Road to Hana is not just a drive—it’s a journey through the heart and soul of Maui. This iconic route, winding along Maui’s northeastern coastline, offers breathtaking views, lush landscapes, and numerous stops that showcase the island’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Here are just some highlights and tips to help you make the most of your Road to Hana adventure.

Starting Point: Paia

Rainbow over the town of Paia in Maui, Hawaii
Your journey begins in the charming town of Paia, known for its vibrant arts scene and laid-back vibe. It is a great stop for shopping, breakfast and grabbing some snacks for the road ahead. From here, it’s approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to Hana without stops. However, with so much to see, along the road to Hana we recommend you plan for a full day trip!

Stop 1: Ke’anae Arboretum

Native Hawaiian plants in Ke’anae Arboretum along the Road to Hana

Drive Time from Paia: 45 minutes
Recommended Time: 30 minutes

Ke’anae Arboretum is your first chance to stretch your legs and immerse yourself in Maui’s tropical flora. Wander among native Hawaiian plants and exotic species, including rainbow eucalyptus trees. This is a great spot for some early morning photos and a peaceful stroll.

Stop 2: Garden of Eden Arboretum

Entry gate to Garden of Eden Arboretum in Maui

Drive Time from Paia: 1 hour
Recommended Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

The Garden of Eden Arboretum is a must-visit on your Road to Hana journey. This lush garden offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and a waterfall, along with a wide variety of exotic plants and trees. It’s also the starting point for our Rappel Maui tour, where you can experience the thrill of rappelling down a waterfall amidst this beautiful setting. The garden itself is a testament to Maui’s rich biodiversity and is a perfect spot to appreciate the island’s natural beauty.

Stop 3: Kahanu Botanical Garden

Kahanu Botanical Garden, a recommended stop on the Road to Hana

Drive Time from Paia: 1 hour 15 minutes
Recommended Time: 1 hour

Nestled on the Hana Highway, the Kahanu Botanical Gardens offer a tranquil retreat showcasing the island’s diverse plant life. Stroll through gardens filled with native Hawaiian plants, orchids, and other tropical species. The gardens also provide insights into the cultural significance of various plants in Hawaiian traditions.

Stop 4: Wainapanapa State Park

Black beach in Wainapanapa State Park

Drive Time from Paia: 2 hours
Recommended Time: 1 to 2 hours

Wainapanapa State Park is famous for its black sand beach, sea caves, and freshwater pools. Take time to explore the coastal trails, marvel at the unique volcanic landscape, and learn about the area’s rich history. This park is a significant cultural site, with legends and stories tied to its land and waters.

Stop 5: Hana Town

Hana Town sign on the Road to Hana

Drive Time from Paia: 2 hours 30 minutes
Recommended Time: 1 hour

Arriving in Hana, you’ll find a small, peaceful town that feels worlds away from the more bustling parts of Maui. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the local eateries and explore the Hana Cultural Center to learn more about the area’s history and heritage.

Stop 6: Seven Sacred Pools (Ohe’o Gulch) at Kipahulu

Water flowing over old lava flows at Seven Sacred Pools (Ohe’o Gulch) at Kipahulu

Drive Time from Hana: 30 minutes
Recommended Time: 2 hours

Just a short drive past Hana, you’ll find the Seven Sacred Pools, also known as Ohe’o Gulch. These stunning tiered pools and waterfalls are part of Haleakalā National Park. A visit here provides not only a refreshing dip but also a connection to the land’s sacredness and its importance in Hawaiian culture. Be sure to check the conditions, as swimming is not always permitted.

Tips for the Journey

  1. Start Early: Begin your journey early in the morning to avoid crowds and give yourself ample time to explore each stop.
  2. Pack Essentials: Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, and insect repellent. There are few places to buy supplies along the way.
  3. Drive Carefully: The Road to Hana is narrow and winding, so take your time and drive with caution. Use pullouts to let faster drivers pass.
  4. Respect the Land: Many sites along the Road to Hana are sacred to Native Hawaiians. Respect all signs and guidelines, and be mindful of your impact on the environment.
  5. Check Conditions: Some attractions, like the Seven Sacred Pools, may have access restrictions due to weather or safety concerns. Check current conditions before heading out.

The Road to Hana is more than a drive—it’s a journey through Maui’s natural splendor and cultural richness. Each stop offers a unique glimpse into the island’s heart, making your adventure both memorable and meaningful. Make your Road to Hana experience unforgettable by booking a rappel tour with us and experience the heart and soul of Maui’s rainforest!