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Maui’s beauty is obvious, but when you uncover the stories, culture and history, you’ll truly connect with the Valley Isle.
Though Maui is easily driveable and accessible, you will want to take your time and explore all 4 corners of this diversely beautiful island paradise. It a place like no other where in a day you can be swimming with turtles, or hiking the moonscape at the top of an extinct volcano, or absorb the refreshing mist of a rainforest waterfall.
Don’t even know where to begin? We’ve suggest dividing Maui into 5 different areas and all of these are included in this tour. Do 1 area in a day, or combine 2 or more areas for a full day of sightseeing.
The Road to Hana is one of the world’s most scenic drives and the most famous drive on Maui. As you wind your way around the bottom of Maui’s 10,000 foot volcano, the drive is rich with waterfalls, black sand beaches, bamboo forests, lava rock formations and amazing ocean views as you wind your way through 620 curves and 59 bridges.
With such a long day of exploring and very few signs along the way, it’s important to know the 5 “not to be missed” stops, and the many more suggestions – if you have time. Part of the secret to enjoying the journey is knowing how not to waste your time, and we have tips for that as well.
On the return drive from Hana, we’ll point out the not to be missed stops again as well as tell you stories about Hawaii’s fascinating history and rich culture.
Make your way up to Haleakala Crater for a sunrise, sunset or a midday view you won’t soon forget.
Climb above the clouds to a Mars-like landscape with cinder cones, silverswords, endangered Nene geese, views of the Pacific Ocean and other Hawaiian Islands from 10,000 feet. We’ll share stories of how the Islands have formed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, both from Hawaiian mythology and our modern explanations.
On the way we’ll tour through the upcountry Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) town of Makawao and have the opportunity to visit art galleries, gift stores and of course great dining choices as we transition from the beach, to fertile farmlands, to the rocky cinders above the treeline.
If you plan to go for sunrise – you must make a advanced reservation with NPS. No reservations are required at any other time of day.
This part of the island is a popular choice for the resort areas of Ka’anapali, Kapalua, Lahaina. As we explore West Maui we’ll have magnificent views across the water to Maui’s other islands, punctuated by whales breeching during the season; December to April.
West Maui has many very calm and gentle beaches where you can swim, try stand up paddle boarding, surfing and excellent snorkelling, especially in the beautiful Honolua Bay. Explore further around the coast to Maui’s best blowhole Nakalele on the rugged and lava rock windward side of the island.
Tucked into a volcanic valley of central Maui is the Iao Valley and its photogenic volcanic rock needle. It’s unique location makes it one of the wettest places on the planet and it’s a fascinating drive quickly into lush forest that receives an average 1 inch of rain every day.
Also an important culturally important place in Hawaiian history and celebrates Maui’s incredible diversity of cultures at the Kepaniwai Park. Add a side trip to Iao Valley if you are exploring West Maui, South Maui, or even Haleakala on the same day.
Heading to the sunny and dry south Maui, we’ll first drive through the lively vacation area of Kihei with its family friendly beaches and snorkelling from the shore. Continue south to the swanky resorts of Wailea, but everyone is welcome to enjoy the cove beaches and even snorkel in turtle towns. Join locals and visitors “in the know” at the sandy beaches of Makena.
Keep following to the end of the road to see the location of Maui’s last lava flow which reshaped the coastline at La Perouse Bay.
*Reservations are required for Sunrise at Haleakala
Since there are many different accommodation and resort areas on Maui, there are no specific start locations. Simply begin by joining the tour at the closest place to you. All the driving directions you will need to get to the specific tour areas and to follow the routes are included in the audio.
You can spend at least 4 days drive-touring the different parts of Maui. Road to Hana is definitely a full day. Most other areas can be explored with half day outings.
There’s approximately 200 miles of roads with tour audio and the commentary is different in either direction.
Yes. it includes the entire Road to Hana tour, as well as commentary to Haleakala, Iao Valley, West and South Maui. All touring in Maui is included in this one convenient tour.
There is no need to buy or download anything else.
The commentary points are set all over the island. There is no need to select a particular tour – essentially it is all one big tour!
All you need to do is drive the sections that you are interested in. The commentary seamlessly transitions from place to place. And all necessary driving directions are included in the commentary.
It is recommended to quickly read the “Where to Start” suggestions for each tour section in the app.
The Backside/Reverse – Piilani Hwy 31: Some will say doing the drive this way way is better, I’m going to convince you otherwise.
The advantages of driving from Paia to Hana (Oheo Gulch) and back the same way are numerous and substantial and I’ve listed them below!
The Road: Although it’s improved over the years, there are still unpaved sections without barriers. The road conditions vary depending on weather and rain damage.
Insurance: The major car rental agencies prohibit their vehicles from being taken along the “backside”. If you break down, have an accident, or any damage is found to the car afterwards, it can be a costly and time wasting experience.
Weather: The normal tradewinds often bring clouds and rain in the afternoons. It’s best to do your sightseeing stops along the Road to Hana in the morning as it may be raining when you drive through in the afternoon.
The Views: On the “backside” views are of the wild open ocean, but there aren’t any places of interest to stop, so you’ll be driving around 3 hours non-stop. You’ll enjoy the same views across to the Big Island as you approach the Oheo Pools from the actual Road to Hana.
There’s a lot to see on the Road to Hana, and the earlier you get started, the more you you will get to see and enjoy and be ahead of the crowds.
We recommend leaving the resort areas like Ka’anapali, Kapaplua, Lahaina, Wailea and Kihei by 7-7:30am to maximize your day and to get ahead of the crowds. Earlier if possible. Grab a breakfast smoothie in Paia!
If capturing the first sun rays rising over the horizon at 10,000 feet sounds like a once in a lifetime experience you don’t want to miss out on, then YES, you should do it. But you need to plan ahead.
Reservations are mandatory for sunrise, as parking is limited. Prebook your Haleakala Sunrise pass with NPS. Last minute tickets are available online 2 days in advance.
Keep in mind, it takes between 2-3 hours to drive to the top of volcano, depending on where you are staying on Maui, so allow a generous amount of time to drive across from your hotel/resort. It might require you to leave your resort around 3am.
No reservations required at any time other than sunrise. In fact, midday with the sun directly overhead is better for photographs or time your visit around sunset and stay even stay later into the evening to view the stars.
No, this one tour covers all of your sightseeing tour on Maui. There is no need to purchase anything else. For best value – this one tour contains everything.