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.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of 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.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Eucalyptus Grove

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!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Palapala Ho’omau

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!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Maui Backside

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!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

Cash

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!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana

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

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Why you should go on a guided tour of The Road To Hana in Maui, along with what you can expect to see and what you should bring with you!

  • This was awesome. I love all your Hawaiian pics and shares!

  • This looks amazing! I’d definitely have to consider driving vs a tour because I’m such a control freak lol I always drive because I don’t like not having control.

    • Haha I’m usually a control freak too, but the one thing I totally don’t have to control is driving. I like to be able to do something else on road trips. They actually have some CDs that you can listen to if you want to drive yourself!

  • You made some great points especially about not being able to take in the scenes while driving, something Charles mentioned when we drove from Seattle to Vancouver and back. I would definitely go on the tour ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It just seemed like it was the right choice when we really started researching options for this trip. Chris said that he felt like he kind of missed out when we drove the PCH from San Francisco to Big Sur, which was the deciding factor for not driving The Road To Hana. I hope that y’all get to go one day!

  • So beautiful! Those trees really do look like someone painted on them! Did the black sand feel like regular sand?

    • Seeing the Eucalyptus Trees was our first stop and it just kind of set the whole tone for the rest of the trip. I remember that the black sand felt a little bit different, and it felt a lot better than the sand at Galveston!

  • Such beautiful scenery! Definitely keeping this in mind if we ever make it to Maui!!

    • You definitely need to when y’all make it to Maui! The Road To Hana covers such a beautiful part of the island!

  • ah what a good guide! it def makes sense to do it this way to see just so much. i love black sand beaches in hawaii. these are all great tips – especially extra batteries and cash! i mean you would say ‘duh’ but sometimes you just forget. ugh now i wanna go back to hawaii

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • We’ve definitely been on trips before and then forgot something that should be so obvious, like camera batteries. And I think that it would have been way too stressful to drive it ourselves. The roads were so crazy and intense! And I think that I’d been obsessing about seeing a Black Sand Beach for forever, so I was so glad that it finally happened on this trip!

  • Jen

    Oh I want to go back so bad haha. It really is one of the most beautiful places.

  • This sounds like an amazing tour!! Maui is 100% our next vacation. We loved Oahu and definitely want to go back to Hawaii but try another island. Also, I LOVE your camera strap!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

    • Thank you! My sister got it for me for my birthday one year, and I’m so obsessed with it! We keep on talking that Oahu is going to be the next island that we visit when we make it back to Hawaii, so obviously we’ll just have to use each others travel tips! If you loved Oahu I think that you’ll really fall in love with Maui too!

  • Hawaii seems incredible!! And the tour sounds right up my alley too. I hate it when the groups are so big and having transport and food included is always nice!

    • I guess that the best thing about The Road To Hana is that because it’s so many narrow roads, it makes it pretty much impossible to have large tour groups or buses, they just wouldn’t fit! And food is so important on our trips, so we loved that it was included as well!

  • Wow what beautiful pictures. I do hope to visit Hawaii one day.

  • Just gorgeous! I think a tour for things like that is definitely the way to go so you can enjoy all the scenery! Thank you for a thorough guide, I will get here one day! Also love your rings picture!

    • Thank you! Chris always thinks of the artsy pictures like that with our rings, and I always love how they turn out! And we loved getting to look out the windows on our tours and see all of the beautiful scenery, and I know that it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable if we hadn’t done the tour!

  • Ashley Angle

    Wow, I am just blown away. This doesn’t even seem real. What an awesome adventure and vacation. I hope to get to Hawaii one day!
    Ashley @ A Cute Angle // acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

    • That’s what we kept on thinking when we were on the trip as well! From the beautiful trees and cliffs and waterfalls, it just seemed totally unreal and beautiful! I hope that you make it to Hawaii one day as well!

  • What amazing pics!! The roads would definitely make me nervous so I think I would opt for the tour too. You always have such amazing travel tips and information- I love reading your posts and feeing like I’m on the trip ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you so much! I’m just glad that I’m finally getting around to writing these posts because we had such a fun trip! The roads were seriously so scary, and I know that if we had decided to drive ourselves we wouldn’t have had near the good time that we had on the tour!

  • I’ve done the Road to Hana in a hire car once and I have to say that if there was a second time I’d do it with a tour so I wouldn’t have to worry about the roads! You’re so right. #wanderfulwednesday

    • I had talked to my parents about it a little bit, and they both strongly encouraged us to take a tour, and I think that it was the best choice! We probably would have freaked out once we saw the roads!

  • Oh my gosh! I’m dying over your Maui posts. I didn’t even know you could book a guided tour for the road to Hana, which is one of the reasons why I had Maui on the back burner for so long. Clearly I need to research Maui more. I’m afraid to drive those roads and I don’t feel like it would be as enjoyable driving yourself. I’ve had a couple of friends drive themselves and they said never again. Thank you for this post! Now I have another reason to tell Nick why we need to go to Maui:))

    • A million times yes that y’all need to make it to Maui, especially since y’all are so close! We loved the tour group that we chose, and I think that it really did save us a lot of stress and probably anger at each other by not driving ourselves. It is expensive, but I think that it’s totally worth it. I hope that y’all get to Maui soon!

  • I love how detailed all your Hawaii posts have been! I’ve never really had a huge hankering for Hawaii (save for seeing Pearl Harbor because #historynerd). But the more I read your posts the more I want to go!!!

    • You know, I’ve been to Hawaii twice, and I still haven’t been to Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor. My inner history nerd wants to visit as well, but we couldn’t make it work this trip. With that being said, Hawaii still has so much more than just Pearl Harbor, and I hope that you get to visit one day!

  • I’ve not heardof this place–loved the pics! And I didn’t know that about Lindbergh

  • GORGEOUS! I had never heard of this place. It looks like something you shouldn’t miss! XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • If you make it to Hawaii, I hope that you’ll check it out! The Road To Hana is so beautiful and not to be missed!

  • I didn’t got to Maui when I was out in Hawaii but if I ever make it back out there it’s 100% on my list! I’ve heard so many great (and scary ha!) things about the Road to Hana! Man I miss the black sand beaches out there. <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    • I didn’t see one when I was there the first time around, so I practically died when I saw it when we were there a couple of years ago! And the scary factor was one of the main reasons why we ended up choosing to do the guided tour instead of driving ourselves to Hana, and I’m so glad that’s what we opted for! I hope that you make it back soon!

  • GORGEOUS! Ok it’s official, we need to put Hawaii at the top of our list of where to go next <3

    Green Fashionista

  • Nadine

    Ahhhh all of these pictures are amazing!!!! And the black beach is just so pretty, you really hit it on a good day. I would totally add this to my list if we ever get to go to HI!

    • I hope that you do make it to Hawaii! It’s such a beautiful place, and since it’s in the States I feel like it makes the traveling easier! The Black Sand Beach was so incredibly beautiful, and I was so glad that we got to see one on this trip!

  • These pictures are amazing! I was just looking at camera straps on Etsy similar to yours. Wow, the water at the Haleakala National Park is so pretty. The picture of the church of Palatal Hoโ€™omau is beautiful too! Do you and Chris combine your pictures for the blog? That’s fun that he takes pictures too. When we went to Paris, everyone had a camera and we ended up with so many pictures of the same things, but I could never bring myself to delete any of them lol.

    • Thank you! My sister got me that strap for my birthday one year, and I love it so much! Everything about this trip was so incredibly beautiful and perfect, and I really can’t recommend a trip enough! I tend to use both of our pictures for the blog because I feel like we end up taking pictures of the same thing, but they’re all of different angles so they’re still different.

  • Rachel

    What gorgeous pictures! That’s good to know you can book tours, I can only imagine how crazy those roads are! My husband is always the driver and I feel like he is always missing out on things since he has to pay attention to the road. This is a great way for both to enjoy the amazing views. If we ever make it back to Hawaii, we will be adding this to our list! Have a great weekend, Ashley!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

    • Thank you, and I hope that you had a great weekend as well! The Road To Hana had some of the scariest roads ever, even scarier than the PCH, so I was glad that we were able to do a guided tour because like your husband, mine always tends to be the driver as well! Hawaii is so incredible, and writing all of these posts is making me itch for another trip back as well!

  • Christina Sotherden

    These photos!! I love that you can book a tour – we drove it and being younger I wasn’t as interested (wishing I was at the beach!) so I’d love to go back and do it again next time we are there.

    • I definitely feel like there are things that we don’t appreciate as much until we’re older. I know that I felt the same way that you felt when we visited the Volcanos National Park, I didn’t appreciate it when I was younger but I know that I’d appreciate it now. I hope that you make it back!

  • So so pretty, your photos are just stunning! ๐Ÿ˜€ Nature never fails to just blow me away!

  • those photos are FANTASTIC. and this adventure… what a fun one to take. i’m glad yall got to see this in person.

    • Thank you! I feel like we didn’t capture how beautiful it really was, but we maybe got a little close! The Road To Hana was so much fun, and I’m glad that we got to go, and I hope that we make it back there!

  • I can SO see why you would want to book a took for this! Like you said, you can’t really enjoy the ride or the views if you’re so focused on driving, especially if the roads are scary. It might have been a bit more expensive than a rental, but you didn’t have to worry about anything. I’ve been loving your pictures of this trip, it truly looks like a dream! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thank you! I’m loving getting to finally share all about our trip with everybody! And the price was totally worth it to not have to worry about driving it ourselves! It was crazy how scary some of the roads were, and I know that we enjoyed it a lot more sitting in a car and looking at the scenery instead of being white knuckled over the steering wheel.

  • For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to visit the “black sanded beaches” in Hawaii… this post makes me want to even more!

    • I hope that you make it there! They’re truly beautiful and worth seeing in person! I totally freaked out when we finally got to see one in person!

  • Ahh Hawaii is just so gorgeous! I have only been to Maui when I was about 10 years old, and I don’t think we did the road to Hana, so I’ll need to go back someday! We went to Kauai for our honeymoon and I’ve been dreaming about it since.

    • The beauty of Hawaii never ceases to amaze me! As much as we loved our time on Maui, I definitely think that we enjoyed our time on Kauai a little bit more, but a visit to Maui is totally worth it! The Road to Hana is pretty spectacular, and it’s amazing how different the landscape is during different parts of the trip.

  • So many gorgeous photos! I get really bad anxiety driving in anything less than really ideal conditions so if we were to ever a visit I think a tour would be the way to go for us too! Definitely worth a little bit of an extra cost!

    • That was our thought too! There are literal one way roads where there are blind curves so it can be pretty scary. Plus I felt like the guide was very informative so we knew what we were looking at the whole time! It’s totally worth the money!

  • I love this post! I just pinned it! such a good overview of the entire trip. I definitely do not mind paying more for a tour if i’m getting my moneys worth, and it seems like you guys really did. and you got some fabulous pictures!

    • Thank you! I feel like no matter what I would have done it was easy to take beautiful pictures because The Road To Hana is such a beautiful location! The roads are seriously scary so I felt like the tour was well worth it, plus I felt like the guide kept us really well informed too!

  • These photos are to die for!! You’ve got me totally itching to get back to Maui and do this!! I would defo do a tour as well, I have no desire to drive those roads!!

    • That was exactly our thought process! It wasn’t worth the stress to us and we really enjoyed the tour! It was a great way to see this beautiful part of Maui!

  • I think I would book a tour as well. D would definitely do the driving if we drove ourselves but I would much rather leave that for someone who is more familiar and comfortable with driving those roads.

    • Exactly our thought process! The roads are some of the scariest out there and I feel like it’s not worth the stress especially when you’re on vacation!