Traveling along Maui’s most famous road, Hana Highway, is a winding stretch of a road that runs along Maui’s northeastern coast. Making the journey out to Hana or the east side of Maui is no easy feat, but the reward once you get there is well worth the 6 hour round trip travel time.
Due to the traveling time and the narrow roads, Hana remains not easily accessible. In other words, Hana is one of the very few places on the island that remain untouched by the rapid development on Maui.
6:00am: Hit the Road
Because the travel time takes roughly 3 hours depending on traffic, it’s better to hit the road sooner than later. Stop off in Paia to make sure you have a full tank of gas. The road to Hana is technically a two-lane highway that is a 52 mile trek from Kahului to Hana.
Along the highway are many accessible fresh water ponds and beautiful waterfalls to cool off in; stopping off at the sights is an option, but it will add to your travel time. If you’re interested in the sights, check out or Road to Hana blog.
9:30am: Koki Beach
Koki Beach changes dramatically depending on the time of the year. In the summer expect a wide sandy beach, while in the winter expect a receded shoreline with unpredictable surf conditions. The beach itself is surrounded in rich cultural history, so please be respectful!
Lunch in Hana isn’t complicated as there are only a handful of options to choose from. My pick is the famous chili and rice bowl from the Hana Ranch Store, while there are all sorts of new food trucks popping up. If you’re into Thai food, then Thai Food by Pranee is another hot commodity. If you’re feeling like something more upscale, then head over to Travaasa Hana Hotel for some great bites.
12:30: Venus Pools
A little off the beaten path and shrouded in ambiguity, Waioka Pond or “Venus Pools” is a treasure well worth the search if you know where to go. Just minutes from Koki Beach, Venus Pools is a hidden cliff side that offers swimming and a jumping rock the streams of the ocean meet the ocean. It is best to be aware that a flash flood can happen at any time, so use extreme caution.
2:00pm: Hamoa Beach
Hamoa Beach is highly regarded by many as their favorite beach in Hana for its sandy shores and crystal blue waters. The incredible contrast between the sand and ocean is something you have to see for yourself. If you only have time to stop at one beach in Hana, then this is the one I would highly recommend. The Travaasa operates a mini clubhouse for its guests that offers towels and lounge chairs, so keep that in mind.
4:30pm: Take the Backroads Home
Traveling the backroad home back to town through Kipahulu and Kaupo is a special treat as not only do you get to see the backside of Hana, but also stunning views of Wailea and Makena from Kaupo. Going this way back to town can be a bit long as the backroad takes your through Upcountry on your way back to town.
Contact a local Expert
I’ve traveled to many beautiful parts of the world, and Hana Maui is on the top of my list. This is one epic place on Maui! Please contact me if you’re looking for any further recommendations on places to stop on the way, or places to eat in Hana town.
Anthony Sayles R(S)