Located at the extreme southeast of the island of Maui, the city of Hana is like another island. Travel to or from the region of Hana to any other major population center takes several hours by car. Fewer tourists lodge here than in other Maui locales, and in the morning it is quiet and peaceful. Attracted by the popularized Road to Hana, day-trippers begin to flood in by midday. Although the harbor is too small for cruise ships to dock, some cruise passengers arrive by launch.
Hana is also a different island in terms of climate. Whereas most of the resorts of Maui are placed for sun-lovers in areas that get the least rainfall, Hana faces the easterly trade winds, which bring moisture from the sea. It is surrounded by rainforest and has more lush and green vegetation than other parts of the island.
The Road to Hana is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It follows the northeast coastline through lush rainforest. Budget three hours for the drive southeast from Kahului to Hana. Sharp curves, a 15 mph speed limit, and heavy traffic make the approximately 40 mile distance take longer than travelers expect for a highway. Going early in the morning can avoid much of the traffic. Several miles southwest beyond Hana, the road becomes single-lane dirt. The rental car companies may tell you not to take your car here, but the road isn't too bad. However, it can be very bumpy, requiring normal cars to slow to 5 mph or less in some sections. It passes through farmlands and the empty, desert-like southern coast of the island. There are soaring views of volcanic cliffs and, in clear weather, the Big Island on the distant horizon. The area is very beautiful but remote, and there are no services.
Swim Ohe'o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools). Southwest from Hana, but still accessible from the paved portion of the highway. A discontinguous part of Haleakala National Park. A trail leads toward the ocean from the parking lot to large sunny pools with small falls cascading between them. These are the most accessible but also the most crowded. Another trail uphill crosses the highway. After a short hike, you can reach pools shaded by rainforest trees. Some can be reached with a little bit of rock scrambling. The trail continues to a high waterfall.
Waianapanapa State Beach is a black sand beach that can be accessed from the Road to Hana several miles northwest of Hana. The beach faces a deep cove and is surrounded with lush vegetation. There is no swimming because of dangerous currents and dangerous jellyfish.
- Shaka pops, ☎ 808-442-2926, . Shaka Pops are artisan ice pops handmade on Maui with island ingredients. Wide selection of tropical flavors and classic combinations such as Lava Flow, Coconut Lime, Pineapple Ginger, Passion Orange Guava, and Maui Mocha. Look for the bright green tricycles at local events, the Maui Swap Meet on Saturdays, and the Hana location across from the Hasegawa General Store. Visit their website for a full list of mobile locations, events and retail stores that carry the pops. edit
- Nutcharee's Authentic Thai food. This Thai hole-in-the-wall (so to speak; actually it's a tent) makes some terrific food for reasonable prices. BYOB. Nutcharee's and Pranee's are two different Thai restaurants that share the same spot on different days. That way one or the other restaurant is open every day of the week. edit
- Hana Kai Maui, . Studios and one bedroom condos each with kitchen and ocean view.
Several other smaller hotels are more affordable.
- Travaasa Hana, . Luxury resort and spa.
- Lilikoi Jungle Cottage, on Road to Hana (not in Hana), . Great jungle cottage located centrally to explore the road to Hana & much of the rest of Maui. $100-200. edit
- 1 Night Stay Hana GardenRoom, ☎ 800-780-1312 (hanagardenroom2gmail.com), . Four acres of tropical gardens, a continental breakfast for two and a private entrance. Varies around $145/night, taxes and fees included. edit
- Alalele Place, ☎ 808-298-6017, . The perfect place for a peaceful and relaxing getaway. This is a house rental for say a vacation, not a hotel for a 1-day visit. Offers a one bedroom unit downstairs with a studio unit upstairs. Acoomodates 1-10 people. Call for rates. edit
- Aloha Cottages, ☎ 808-573-8555 (toll free: 1-888-328-3330, [email protected]), . If maui is paradise, then Aloha Cottages is Heaven on Earth! 1-3 night stays up to 14+ night stays in gorgeous cottages. Prices are for one couple (total of 2 people) per night. A one-time fee of $100 (cleanout service) will be charged to all stays. Above rates do not apply to winter holiday season (please inquire). 1-3 nights - $299, 4-7 nights - $279,14+ nights - $199. edit
- Huelo Point Lookout, ☎ 800-871-8645, . Selected by National Geographic Traveler and Hawaii Magazine as part of the “Real Maui”, Huelo Point Lookout is situated about 25 mins out from Pa’ia, at the very beginning of the famous road to Hana. Its central location is ideal for a day trip to Hana; also Mt Haleakala, Haiku, Makawao and all the unspoiled beaches of North Shore Maui. $235-$500/night. edit
- Bert's Place in Hana, ☎ 808-281-1104, . A eucalyptus cottage with a tropical garden. Premium cable TV. Telephone. Internet cable (for your laptop). Full kitchen. Outdoor shower. A mile from Hamoa Beach, a half mile from Venus Pool and three miles from Hana Bay. from $100/night. edit