Maui – Things to do and important tips for Road to Hana
Maui is another huge island in Hawaii which offers a lot of amazing activities in jungle or beach surroundings. It will surprise you with a lot of breathtaking places. Maui has so much to offer, jungles, hikes, beaches, volcanoes. It feels like a magical wonderland, out of this world, and you will definitely be impressed by it.
To get to Maui from Oahu, we flew with budget-friendly Mokulele airlines. It was almost like flying in a private jet, even though I’ve never been on one. The plane was tiny and we were only 4 people on board and 2 pilots. The flight was short around 50 minutes and very comfortable. The cost was $63 per person.
There was no WIFI at the airport when we landed, so we just walked to the closest bus stop using offline Google maps that I downloaded beforehand. We took a public bus from Lahaina to Kahului where our first Airbnb was. The one that I chose was in the center of the island, so it’s more comfortable to get to from the airport and easy to get to other places that we wanted to see.
Things to do in Maui:
Twin Falls – it was our first stop on the list for Road to Hana. It’s a great place to swim and enjoy nature. Don’t forget that it’s better if you go early in the morning as it can get very crowded.
Seven Sacred Pools – popular attraction after completing the Road to Hana. This park offers beautiful pools and waterfalls. Even though it’s not allowed, you will see people jumping in to swim.
Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach – it’s another popular stop along the Road to Hana. This beach really lives up to its hype and looks stunning with its black sand.
Rainbow Eucalyptus trees – we saw them on our first stop at Keanae Arboretum, but I’m sure there are other places where you could find them.
Kahalulu Beach – if you want to see another unusual colored beach, head to Kahalulu Beach. The color of the sand is red. It is a lovely place but bring proper shoes because the path to get there is steep.
Heart Shaped Rock – everybody calls it heart shaped rock even though it should be called heart shaped hole. It is a cool place to visit, but keep in mind that our ride to get there was very long and narrow. I don’t know what I would do if it wasn’t for my boyfriend driving.
Nakalele Blowhole – it’s located right next to Heart Shaped Rock. It’s pretty cool to see the geyser of seawater blowing up so high.
Road to Hana
It’s a 64.4-mile-long (103.6 km) long scenic roadway that goes through the coastline. When you start to research about the stops that you can make, you will be overwhelmed by the number of stops there are. If you are like me, you will probably want to see all of them and stop everywhere, but it will be a huge mistake.
• Start early – it’s better if you start your trip early. There are so many turns, one-lane roads, bridges and very limited parking spots. It’s better to be ahead of the majority of tourists who will start around 8-9 am. We bought our food the night before, and we hit the road around 6-6:30 am. We were very glad that we did and were ahead of so many people. Also, we didn’t want to drive back on the narrow road in the dark.
• Rent a car – if you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, of course, you should book a tour. You can find several companies online. However, if you are okay with driving, you can easily do it on your own. In my opinion it’s a better option, because you can stop and go wherever and whenever you like.
• Download the app – You can easily use Google Maps to get around and see all the stops, but downloading an actual guide is very helpful. There are several guides on the web, but we used the GyPsy Guide. It has the highest rating and you can buy it in the app store. That way you can learn a lot more about Hawaiian history, stories and legends, learn about all the stops, highlights and the road itself.
• Enjoy the ride – Here the saying “It’s not about the destination it’s about the journey” couldn’t be more accurate. Hana is a tiny town which we even passed by without noticing. So just relax and enjoy the beautiful scenic ride. Pick a couple of spots that you’d like to see and spend more time on them..
• Continue on to Pipiwai Trail – I’m happy that we continued our journey after reaching Hana, to do the Pipiwai trail hike. It is a 6 km round trip trail where you can see truly a lot in such a short amount of time.
Pipiwaii trail’s Highlights: Makahiku Falls, Banyan Tree, Bamboo Forest, and Waimoku Falls.
Walking through the bamboo forest is a surreal and magical experience. The reward for your hike will be a breathtaking waterfall which is called Waimoku Falls (122 meters/400 feet tall).
Haleakala National Park – Located on top of the Haleakala Crater, it’s just unreal to see such a beautiful landscape on Earth. You have to make a reservation to go there for the sunrise. It’s a very popular spot during that time. Since we haven’t done it beforehand, we went there around 1-2 pm, and the views were spectacular. There were almost no people at all. It doesn’t often happen when you can stand above the clouds.
There are a lot more things that you can do on Maui like snorkeling, sunset cruise, surfing or swimming with turtles.
Maui is definitely one of the most magical place I’ve ever been to. It’s a very popular destination to visit, but it can still give you that sense of being in one with nature.