You’re vacationing on Maui and the day has come for your first trip on the “Road to Hana,” but other than some promotional material, you don’t know what to expect. Read all you can about what to expect so that your experience is a memorable one, and for the better at that.
Here are just six tips that can enhance your trip to Hana so that you don’t leave disappointed. Some are simple suggestions, while others are highly recommended.
Start Early and Leave Before Dark
The “Road to Hana” is a big tourist attraction and therefore expect the road to be busy, especially with all its curves and one-lane bridges, not to mention the slower driving so they can see the views. Therefore, it is highly suggested to leave early in the morning to avoid these crowds. Another idea is to start at the back end and see the sights as you work back. As others are coming your way, you will be going in the opposite direction.
To get even more out of your trip, check to see if the back way to Hana is open and go that way to see the countryside, and then hit the “Road” on the way back. Also, since it gets very dark in Hana, leave early to avoid driving the curvy road in the dark.
Hana is not like any place you may have been to before, so be sure to bring a camera with charged batteries and one or two memory cards, or film, because you’ll go picture crazy. After all, you and your party will be out of your norm and you’ll want that captured for prosperity.
If you really want to enhance your photos, and have everyone in them, look into hiring a Maui photographer. A Maui photographer is an expert at the best sites of Hana to take in photo shoots. They possess the knowledge of how shadows, the sun and how the weather will affect Hana and your pictures.
Do your due diligence before leaving for road closures as you will be sorely upset if you make that long drive, to only run into roads that are closed. Since Hana is a tropical rain forest, it is common for the occasional landslide due to excess rainfall, thus causing the closures for safety purposes. For road closure information, call 808-986-1200.
There are several advantages of taking a van/coach tour compared to taking your own or rental car while traveling to Hana. First of all, the money you spend on the service is about the same amount you probably would spend on gas anyways. Add in the guaranteed air-conditioning and just the knowledge that your driver/guide has of the area alone is worth it. Let them worry about the twists and turns, as well as the one-lane bridge crossings while you sit back and enjoy the view. Have you ever notice that when you drive, you are the one that misses out? In addition, the guide knows the best points of interest.
Another advantage is that since there are no real places to eat, most services include food and they’ll pick you up and bring you back to wherever it is you are staying.
Yield Signs serve a Purpose
Not only does Hana have about 600 curves to its road, it also has 54 bridges. The bridges that you’ll encounter in Hana are just wide enough to fit one car, regardless of what direction you are heading. Therefore, for your safety, pay attention to the yield signs; bridges or no bridges. These yield signs are in place for a purpose, your safety. Abide by all road rules and help keep Hana in its natural beauty and keep your trash in your car until you find a trash receptacle or until you get back home or your hotel.
Leaving Valuables in the Car
Don’t be fooled that just because you are in the land of paradise, that theft does not exist here. When visiting Hana, or anywhere on Maui, refrain from leaving your valuables unattended in your car. Although Hana is known for its natural beauty, that same natural habitat of vegetation and bushes make great places for thieves to hide and wait for tourists to leave their cars attended. Seeing broken glass in the lots are just one indication that you are parked in an at risk area. Rental cars are very easy to identify, so do yourself a favor and leave your belongings at home.