The Drive to HanaMaui
The road to Hana is a long, arduous drive on a route not for the faint-of-heart that zigzags over 56 one-lane bridges and snakes around more than 617 hairpin curves.
Among the unwritten rules for Hana are: Don’t be in a hurry, or you’ll miss the panoramic beauty that distracts and delights from both sides of the road; switch drivers halfway through the route so each can appreciate the stunning vistas; and don’t expect a big payoff once arriving in sleepy Hana (unless you’re treating yourself to a luxury stay at the new Travaasa Hana)—it’s a tiny cattle town with merely a general store, gas station and post office.
Although the Hana Airport is only 53 miles from the KahuluiAirport, the drive and its distractions can be an all-day event. Get an early start. Pa‘ia is a good place to fill your gas tank and stock up on soft drinks and snacks.
The whole of the road to Hana is a photo opportunity: waterfalls, tropical jungle, checker-board fields of green, taro, black lava rocks rimmed with white foam lodged against towering cliffs in an ocean of the bluest blue.
Below, a cobalt blue ocean washes against an ever-changing shoreline. Above, a rugged mountain wilderness cooled by rushing waterfalls and streams comes into view. Even at a vexing 15 mph, this is a drive that overwhelms the senses, tempting one to just pull off the highway and gape.