Besides Haleakala National Park, perhaps the most known attraction on the island of Maui is The Road To Hana. Known for extremely narrow roads and hairpin turns that are often blind, the treacherous roads lead to beauty that you can only begin to imagine, which is why when we visited Maui on our big anniversary trip we knew that we needed to spend a day doing The Road To Hana.
One of the biggest questions that we asked ourselves when we were planning this portion of our trip to Maui was whether or not we wanted to drive The Road To Hana ourselves or whether or not we should book a guided tour. After doing our research, we decided that booking a tour made the most sense for us, and I thought that I’d lay out the reasons why you should book a guided tour as well.
Why You Should Book A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana
You Won’t Have To Rent A Car
When we put together our itinerary for Hawaii, I only gave us two full days in Maui. Day 1 was devoted to Biking Down Haleakala while Day 2 was going to be our Road To Hana day. Because we had booked a tour of Haleakala, the only day that we would really need a car would be our second day for The Road To Hana.
After doing some research about the island, I found out that it would be pretty easy to navigate around the island without a car since taxis are readily available. Which meant that if we didn’t have a car we wouldn’t be stuck at our resort the whole time. That’s not really the case when it comes to some of the other Hawaiian islands like Kauai. Now obviously, renting a car would be cheaper than booking a tour, but see the second point below for another reason why we wanted to book a tour.
You Don’t Have To Worry About Driving Those Treacherous Roads
Like I said, The Road To Hana is filled with not only blind turns, but several of those are on one way roads that might unpassable if there has been bad weather. To say that it can be stressful on a driver would be a huge understatement. Let’s not forget that the main reason that you’re in Hawaii in the first place, to relax and be on vacation, so you might as well not stress yourself out with trying to drive yourself on The Road To Hana, which leads me to my next point.
You Can Focus On The Beautiful Scenery
The reason that everybody loves The Road To Hana is because it’s filled with breathtaking views that you don’t get at home. If you’re driving, chances are you’re not taking in the amazing views, and I’m pretty sure that Chris will 100% vouch for me after our trip to Big Sur a few years ago. He was so focused on driving that I don’t think that he fully got to appreciate the beautiful California coast.
Which Tour Group Should You Choose?
Now that I’ve laid out all the reasons that you should choose a guided tour of The Road To Hana, I should mention which tour group that we ended up choosing: Valley Isle Excursions. The reasons that we ended up choosing Valley Isle Excursions was because they provided transportation to and from our hotel, they took us to the highlights on The Road To Hana, breakfast and lunch were provided, and the tour groups were limited to 12 passengers which meant that you didn’t feel overly crowded on your tour.
With a price of $151.99/person ($141.99/person if you book online), it can seem a little pricey, but when you consider the fact that it’s an all day tour and everything else that I just listed, I think that it’s a pretty good deal. The vans that Valley Isle Excursion used were extremely comfortable, not only were they air conditioned, but we weren’t all over the other passengers on the tour either. I also felt that our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and he told us all about the history of the sites that we were seeing and gave us more than enough time at all of our stops. We couldn’t have had a better tour experience!
What You Can Expect To See
Now obviously on your trip to The Road To Hana you’ll want to make sure you see the highlights and Valley Isle Excursions has done just that. They have a map of the different stops that they make around the Road To Hana, weather permitting of course, so here is what you can expect to see!
The Clubhouse At Maui Lani
The Maui Lani Golf Club is where you’ll begin your day with the Valley Isle Excursions, with a continental breakfast served up along some beautiful views! The day started off looking a little gloomy, but thankfully the sun came out and we still got some pretty cool pictures too!
Trees that look like somebody literally just took a paintbrush to them, the rainbow Eucalyptus Grove is stunningly beautiful! While these trees aren’t native to Hawaii, they do grow like crazy and make for some beautiful pictures!
Waianapanapa State Park
One of the things that I had to see during our Road To Hana trip was a black sand beach. Caused by when the hot lava meets the cold Pacific Ocean, the black sand beaches are beyond beautiful and make for some great photo ops, even if it’s an overcast day!
Oheo Gulch In Haleakala National Park
A beautiful part of Haleakala National Park, these fresh water pools are perfect for swimming as well as offering a beautiful view of the rocky Hawaiian coast and the Pacific Ocean. If swimming isn’t your thing, there’s also lots of hiking in the area as well with even more waterfalls to see!
Probably my favorite shot of the whole trip was taken here at the church of Palatal Ho’omau. The resting place of Charles Lindberg brings a ton of people to this spot every year, but even if your’e not an aviation fanatic, the beauty of this space is enough to bring you back to this spot time and time again!
It’s still amazing to me how different the landscapes of an island as small as Maui can be. The last part of your trek will take you around the backside of Haleakala and the barren back of the volcano is a huge contrast to the luscious rainforests filled with waterfalls that you just saw on your trip to Hana. Even though it’s not filled with greenery, this side of the island is beautiful in its own way!
What To Bring On Your Trip On The Road To Hana
A Camera/Extra Batteries
This is obviously the most important thing to remember on your trip on The Road To Hana. Without a doubt you will take numerous pictures of the beautiful landscapes, and the last thing you would want to forget is your camera or extra batteries.
There are numerous stops along the Road To Hana at little roadside stands. Because of the nature of The Road To Hana making everything so remote, I would suggest bringing cash to buy some coconut squares or some locally made banana bread or jerky. You won’t be disappointed!
Bathing Suit/Towels/Change of Clothes
One of the most famous stops along the Road To Hana is the Pools at Oheo Gulch. You will make quite a long stop at this location, and one of the most fun things to do during your time there is take a dip in the Pools. Not only are they refreshing, but you also get a great view out to the ocean as well. Just make sure to pack a bathing suit and towels and potential change of clothes. There are restrooms available for you to change.
And there you have it, anything and everything that you need to know for your own trip on The Road To Hana, especially if you wanted to book a guided tour. If you’re in the market for a guided tour of The Road To Hana, I can’t recommend Valley Isle Excursions enough. We loved our time with them and we felt like we really got to see the highlights without having the stress of driving it ourselves! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!
Have you traveled The Road To Hana? Have I convinced you to take a guided tour?
Other Hawaii Posts
My First Trip To Hawaii- Maui
My First Trip To Hawaii- The Big Island
10 Things I Learned While Visiting Hawaii
Hawaii In Instagram Photos
Which Hawaiian Islands Should You Visit?
How To Spend 9 Days Exploring Maui and Kauai
What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala