Your Maui vacation is not just about the destination, it’s about the journey. The Road to Hana is one of the most beautiful drives in the world with more than 620 curves, 59 bridges suspended over lush rainforest terrain and some of the most breathtaking views in all of Hawaii.
Here are some of our favorite stops along the Road to Hana:
Maliko (Budding) Gulch is just past Hookipa Beach where the road winds down at mile marker 10. At the bottom of the gulch, look for the road on your right, which will take you out to Maliko Bay. Take the first right, which goes under the bridge and past a rodeo arena (scene of competitions by the Maliko Roping Club in the summer) and on to the rocky pebble beach. In the 1940s, Maliko had a thriving community at the mouth of the bay, but its residents rebuilt farther inland after a tsunami wiped it out. This is a great place to catch a wave if the surf is up.
Pauwela Point can be reached by making a small detour off the Hana Highway, turning left at Hahana Road, between mile markers 13 and 14. After the paved road ends, park and hike in about a mile and a half to get close to the ocean. (Do not park in the pineapple fields, and do not pick or even touch the pineapples.)
In the winter months, expert tow-in surfers can be spotted battling the mammoth waves (60 ft. or so) in this area, also called “jaws,” named for the waves that will chew you up.
At mile marker 16, the curves begin, one right after another. Slow down and enjoy the view of bucolic rolling hills, mango trees, and vibrant vegitation. After mile marker 16, the road is still called the Hana Highway, but the number changes from Hwy 36 to Hwy 360, and the mile markers go back to 0.
At mile marker 32, the 122-acre Waianapanapa State Park features a scenic black-sand beach, sea caves, and a rock arch. Hike shoreline trails to the sea cave, where millions of tiny shrimp occasionally turn the water blood red. You can also see remains of the old King’s Highway, the first road built around Maui.
One of the most spectacular cascades in the Hawaiian islands—Wailua Falls — can be accessed at mile marker 45. Pull into the nearby parking lot, then walk over to these waterfalls that cascade down 80 feet of lush forest vegetation.
Finally, end in the quiet town of Hana at Travaasa Hana to enjoy your relaxing and peaceful vacation!
If road trips aren’t up your alley, hop on a quick flight to Hana for a bird’s eye view en route to your much anticipated tropical vacation. Guests also have the option to drive one way and fly back the other. The Travaasa Hana partnership with Enterprise Car Rentals lets you get moving in a Chevy Malibu or a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and cruise through the winding roads before reaching the cozy cottages of Travaasa. Take advantage of the twice-daily flight services from Kahului to Hana. One-way drop offs are available at both Kahului Airport and Travaasa Hana.