Maui’s Hana Highway is the fifth most dangerous road in the world! This 64-mile windy road has 600 hairpin turns and 59 one lane bridges. The road is narrow; there is often a cliff on one side and a drop off on the other. It is not a place for SUV’s.
Traveling the Road to Hana is an all-day event. Plan at least 12 hours and know you will not be able to see everything. Start early and have a plan, pick four-five ‘must sees’. Be mindful of time, this would not be an enjoyable drive in the dark.
Be prepared for motion sickness and bring along food and water. There are many snack stands along the way selling shaved ice, banana bread and coconut chips.
I chose to take a tour. I was disappointed as the bus passed by the Twin Falls, Bamboo Forest and Rainbow Eucalyptus. At one point I was angry with myself for not renting a car and DIYing it. I pouted for about 20 minutes and then the road became insane. Yes, roads can do that.
The driver began honking as he would approach a blind turn and several times six+ cars were forced to back up on a winding road with deadly drop offs to allow passage. Having to do that would be worse than missing Rainbow Eucalyptus… maybe not… it’s close.
If you are an excellent driver and will not have children getting motion sickness in the car, DIY it. If there is a chance you would have to get out and let someone else back you down the hill, take a tour. At times the road is one lane with a drop off next to the tire and you may not be able to physically get out of the car to allow someone else to drive.
I suggest looking at Valley Isle Tours. I did not use this company but I noticed they stopped places along the road my tour did not. I was told it is due to their use of smaller vehicles, go with the smaller vehicles!
I didn’t paint a pretty picture, why put yourself through this? Because, while it is an insanely dangerous road, it is also an insanely beautiful road! Traveling the Hana Highway is a great way to spend a day in Maui. Be prepared, have realistic expectations and have a great drive!
Visit the Hawaii Office of Tourism at Go Hawaii for a calendar of events and travel planner
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