Every Maui guide, be it an insider one or a mainstream one, will tell you to drive the Road to Hana and yes, you should definitely do this. Road to Hana is truly magical spot of land. The narrow road with more than 680 curves and 79 bridges wriggles its way on the north shore through lush valleys, under giant trees, passing waterfalls and amazing ocean views. For me, this was Hawaii I always imagined. I couldn’t get enough of the views, the air and all the green. No matter where you are starting from, this trip will probably take you the whole day. Hana is only about 2 hours from Kihei and 2,5 from Lahaina, but this day is all about the journey, not the destination. We started at 7.30am and came back home at 9pm. I think it’s good to do some research on what you would like to see, because there are so many beautiful stops, it’s nearly impossible to see them all in one day. Some would suggest to make a two day trip to Hana, but we decided for one – staying over night options where barely there and if, it was super expensive. My personal experience is that you can definitely get the impression of how amazing this road is even in one day. The guides about road to Hana can be overwhelming, but we didn’t felt obligated to chase after each and every waterfall. Pick some spots, just for your orientation, get some good tunes, some snacks and start driving. The road will do the rest.
Our first stop were the Twin Falls, they are only shortly after Paia. I found myself wanting to stop more at all the fruit stands than to see all the waterfalls. I have this thing for road side fruit stands. The way to the Twin Falls will lead your through a very lush farm land with an amazing scent. Also be prepared to cross a small creek. Super refreshing for hot feet.
After the Twin Falls we hit the road for a while just enjoying the beautiful scenery. Maui Revealed recommended to make a stop at Garden of Eden, so we did. And I highly recommend to buy the guide. This place is a private garden, beautifully shaped with all the different plants you can find on Maui. It costs about $15 but I think it’s definitely worth stopping by and learning about Maui’s plant life. I’m wondering what is it about the road trips that make us feel so free, without boundaries and forgetting all the everyday worries and even the not worries. When I’m on a road trip the here and now feels so real and close. It’s the true living for the moment, which unlocks good vibes and inspiration. I think everyone feels this motivation boost while on a road trip. We are ready to change things and to commit to things and we see ourselves from a different perspective. At least, I do. How do you feel about being on the road? But back to our trip… About the half way to Hana there is a small food spot where you can get some food and especially banana bread. There is lots of banana bread going on on Maui and I think they are all delicious. We didn’t missed any opportunity to buy one. Shortly before Hana Coconut Glen’s Ice Cream Stand, is a stop that shouldn’t be missed. Absolutely amazing vegan ice cream in different flavors – we went with the original coconut and I’m still dreaming about it. Bonus: They accept credit cards. Only few miles further, just off the road, Nahiku Marketplace is home to few food trucks selling some really good smelling and good looking food. If you don’t have any provisions with you, you might want to make a stop here. People and guides told us there are not that many food options along the road, so we packed our car full, but I felt there was always some small food spot around. And if you run out on munchies you can stock on more provisions at the local grocery store in Hana. About ten minutes before Hana you don’t want to miss the Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach. This was definitely my favorite spot of all the spots along the road to Hana. You have to see it and take a picture otherwise you might think, it was only a dream. The blue ocean crushing against black lava stones creating this cute small beach surrounded by most lushest green I have ever seen. This is one of those places in the world, where you deeply appreciate nature’s beauty. There are also sweet water caves where you can actually swim in, but after hearing people screaming how cold it is, I didn’t had the courage to jump. Hey, I can have cold water in San Francisco! We also had a small misfortune at this beach. After returning to our car, about 1h later, we saw that our car was open. First thought – it’s carjacked. Second thought – hm, we have everything important with us, no panic. But with a good team play we managed to leave our backpack with money, iphones, etc on the back bench and close the open door, just to recognize that the car was still locked. So now we had a problem in paradise. It wasn’t really a problem, we new somehow we are going to get back into the car and it was still early, about 2pm, so plenty of time to be saved. It took us maybe 2 hours in all to find a local tow truck and for him to come and “rescue” us. Scary thing was that it took him only less then a minute to open our car. I can only repeat, with the right tools nothing is impossible. We were able to continue our journey and made it in day time to the Seven Sacred Pools, which is a place directly from Jurassic Park. Natural pools are fed by few waterfalls building a beautiful scenery. Only a cute little dinosaur is missing. As the sun was already setting down we didn’t took a dip in the pools, but if you arrive in time, I would say this is a must. Overwhelmed with so many impressions we hit the road back to our base in Kihei. The sun was already dipped into the ocean, but with so many cars around you it feels very safe to drive back during the evening. It took us maybe 3 hours. Arriving at home I was only able to wash my teeth, and in less than 3 minutes I was in a dreamland. There is no better tiredness as the tiredness from a road trip. Don’t you agree?
Looking for more Maui impressions, hop over and check out the Maui Guide-Kihei.