Tropical foliage, black sand beaches, rushing waterfalls and incredible views are the calling cards of the legendary, winding Road to Hana. The famous roadway along Maui’s North Shore (also called the Hana Highway) includes 600 hairpin turns and more than 50 bridges and is known as one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
The Road to Hana connects the towns of Kahului and Hana, hugging the coast for a distance of 64 miles. It’s famous for its difficult driving terrain and spectacular scenery. Highlights along the route include the seven sacred pools of Oheo, the Twin Falls waterfall, the black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park, Honomanu Bay, and the Hana Lava Tube.
Driving along the route can be challenging for more inexperienced drivers, so if you’re not confident or don’t feel like spending an entire day behind the wheel, consider joining a guided full-day tour. For a more glamorous option, you can also get a bird’s eye view on a helicopter tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors must have a valid driver’s license plus international driver’s permit (depending on your country of origin) when hiring a car in Hawaii.
- Guided tours generally include lunch, drinks, and snacks.
- Bring a bathing suit if you plan to swim along the way.
- The speed limit along the road is 25 mph.
- Paia Town is a good place to stop if you need provisions along the way.
- Some tour companies offer wheelchair-adapted vehicles.
How to Get There
The Road to Hana starts in Kahului, just west of Maui’s airport. If you’re driving yourself, pay attention, and follow the information on road signs. Some tours include hotel pick up. Helicopter tours usually take visitors by car one way and return by helicopter.
When to Get There
Whether you’re driving yourself or joining a tour, it’s best to start out early; even though the road is less than 70 miles long, it can take up to 6 hours to drive due to traffic, blind turns, and sightseeing stops along the way.
Walk Through the Hana Lava Tube
Lava tubes—natural tunnels formed by cooling volcanic lava flows—are only found in a few places in the world, including Hawaii. Explore the Hana Lava Tube (officially called the Ka’eleku Caverns), with flashlights to see about a third of a mile of unique geological formations, including “lavacicles” and a famous area that looks like molten chocolate.