Article Side

Online Article Directory!

Hello Guest! Login or Register to submit articles!

The Road to Hana - Drive or Tour?

By Jennifer Roy Subscribe to RSS | May 17th 2012 | Views:

After over 16 years as a professional photographer on Maui, I can tell you my “bread and butter” has always been photographing the road to Hana. I’ve traveled this road in many ways, from camping, staying at premier destinations like “Hotel Hana”, many day trips, staying at state park cabins, renting houses for days at a time, and many tour van trips with at least 3 different Hana tour companies. I have also photographed Hana by helicopter, by boat, either for the day or camping overnight on shore, and by driving myself in various vehicles of my own or friends rental cars (they usually say they heard to let someone else drive the road to Hana). But my preference is in a tour van, and even though I will share information about driving yourself, I have found that there are some truly great reasons to try a tour rather than drive yourself.

The road to Hanais one of the top 5 scenic drives in the world* and if you’re visiting Maui it is a must do at some point. Road statistics include over 600 hairpin turns, over 50 one lane bridges, black sand beaches and plenty of waterfalls at numerous state parks. It also has one of the most beautiful National Parks in the state. Haleakala National Park’s Kipahulu District contains the Pools at Oheo, which has the best fresh water swimming on the entire island. The road is also known as “The Highway to Hell” and “Divorce Highway”. This is because of the arguments that ensue due to the stress of 10 to 12 hours on a narrow winding road with few good places to pull over. Locals headed to work and tanker trucks round out the general mayhem and then add on top of that if you’re not sure where you’re going or how long to stay at a given location and the next thing you know you’re wondering if it’s all worth it. Well, I’m here to say that it is and to hopefully give you some tips that could make the difference between stressing out or enjoying a great day seeing one of Hawaii’s truly unique treasures.

Tip #1 - Leave early!

I can’t stress this enough. Wait to leave from either Kihei side or Kaanapali side after 8am and you’re either slowed by local traffic going to work or stuck with other wandering souls who did not get the memo about this long day in the rainforest. 7am is my preference, which is also about the time a tour company will pick you up at your hotel or condo. If you drive yourself, pack the car the night before with cooler and food for lunch, closed toes shoes, swimsuit and towels, cold beverages and a full tank of gas. You don’t want to have to buy these things out on the Hana side as the prices there will only add to the stress of the day. Again, a good tour company will have a nice breakfast stop, lunch and beverages on board and, of course, a guide to answer all your questions along the way. Some of my fondest memories of the road to Hana are the stories from tour drivers about growing up on the island and how they, along with friends and family, experienced Hana as kids.

Tip #2 - Bring the right vehicle

Just about any rental vehicle will get you to Hana and back. You do not need a 4 wheel drive. However, there are some misconceptions if you’re driving yourself. One of them is “The convertible”. These are great islands cars for everywhere except the rainforest. Top up - top down all day long because it can rain at any time. When the top is up, the visibility out the smaller than usual windows will, again, add to the stress of a stressful road. Jeeps and minivans are better, but the stiffness of ride from these vehicles usually cancels the better visibility, and these vehicles can run over $100 per day plus gas, which is over $5 dollars a gallon right now on Maui. A van tour is in the $150 to $200 range and includes food and beverages, so usually about the same as going it alone. The smaller tour vans, in the 12 passenger range are my favorite and offer massive window views compared to just about any car. They sit well above roadside rainforest vegetation and bridge railings, which is where all the waterfalls are seen. Also, some of the most scenic spots on the road are where the road narrows to one lane on the sides of cliffs. No place to pull over here, but in a tour van you can get the shot from a comfy reclining captain’s chair, and you have a guide to let you know that beautiful scenic is coming up. This is invaluable to me even though I’ve been to Hana many times. A tour van driver gets to see it on a daily basis and has way more insight as to views and weather/waterfall conditions.

So there you have it. Whether you go to Hana on tour or on your own, it’s worth it because it truly is the Hawaii we all dream about. Have fun and remember to take extra camera batteries and plenty of memory card space. I hope these few tips can help make the road to Hana memorable for you for years to come.

Aloha Nui Loa!

*Conde Nast Traveler Reader Survey for more details.

Jennifer Roy - About Author:
Our Maui tours stops at Waianapanapa State Park to see Maui's black sand beach, blowholes, sea arches, hala trees and more.

Share on Facebook Tweet It Stumbleupon this post This post is delicious !

Article Source:

Related Vacations Articles Subscribe to RSS

Whistler vacation rentals: Making It Easier to Enjoy Your Trip
Published by Nick Jones on May 3rd 2012 | Travel
Whistler vacation rentals offer a range of choices, including chalets, rental homes, cabins, condos ...
Rush to book your Shimla package to enjoy tour vacation
Published by Emma Dsuza on February 11th 2012 | Travel
Singapore, the place lightened by the magnificence of technology, exotic natural beauty, delicious c...
Holiday Cottages make your vacation a memorable one
Published by Crab Tree on April 21st 2012 | Travel
This article tells us about the holiday cottages and the leisure they provide for a perfect holiday....
Economical Hotels in Rome- Perfect for spending a vacation and also for your Pocket
Published by Alan Youghal on November 26th 2011 | Travel
The tour with family or friends needs a lot of planning; the planning should include the smallest po...
Factors to consider while choosing London 2012 rentals
Published by Alberta Reid on March 15th 2012 | Travel
You cannot ignore the need for London 2012 rentals if you are planning to visit this city during the...
Make the best of vacation with car hire
Published by Glyn Jones on July 12th 2012 | Travel
Online car rental programs can actually be lucrative solution for a rental car supplier business. Yo...
Plan your vacation trip with great convenience and ease at skyholidays,com
Published by Meghnath Kumar on March 28th 2012 | Travel
Andorra. It offer travel packages worldwide for every form of holiday ranging from fly drive tours, ...
Planning the vacation of your dreams
Published by Walter Warne on March 21st 2012 | Travel
Start to picture it. White, powder sand on your bare feet, and a blue turquoise sea unlike any you...
Right Travel offers some of the exotic vacation plans of Europe
Published by Somjons12 on January 16th 2012 | Vacations
Right Travel is one of the best Italy Tours and Travel companies that offers a wide range of package...
With skyholidays, planning vacation trips are no more a hassle
Published by Meghnath Kumar on March 28th 2012 | Travel
These online agencies have put many offline travel agencies out of the mainstream and have conquered...
Speed up for the exciting and breathtaking vacation in Egypt
Published by Emma Dsuza on January 9th 2012 | Travel
Are you looking for a holiday vacation, family tour or honeymoon package? Confused for what kind of...
Enjoy a memorable vacation with a package tour to Singapore
Published by Ajay Kumar on March 24th 2012 | Vacations
Singapore is a coveted holiday destination especially as a family outing or as a honeymoon getaway. ...
Tamarindo luxury rentals - Savor the satisfaction you’re looking for in spending your holiday break
Published by Venet Schill on December 8th 2011 | Vacations
The elegance and comfort provided by Tamarindo luxury rentals are so relaxing and soothing – just ...
Experience the best around world with vacation homes rentals services
Published by Roswell Mark on June 20th 2012 | Travel
With the increasing number of people travelling across the world, travellers seem to prefer rental h...
Planning your vacation in advance is essential
Published by Glyn Jones on January 6th 2012 | Travel
If you have been planning a vacation in London, it would be advisable to make all the bookings in ad...
Tamarindo luxury rentals
Published by Rohit on July 31st 2012 | Vacations
Are you looking for the eventual sun vacation and beach accommodation? Tamarindo Costa Rica rentals ...
Basically, as Europe itself is a big vacation and travel destination,
Published by on May 28th 2012 | Travel
Rome, one of the most romantic place in the world and every year millions of tourists come from arou...
This vacation season explore South India
Published by Peter Jason on April 27th 2012 | Travel
South India is a destination filled with surprises for the explorers, peace for the tranquility seek...
Make the most of your Caribbean vacation through discounted Caribbean cruises
Published by Caribbean Adventures on January 12th 2012 | Travel
Planning a trip to the Caribbean and looking out for discounted Caribbean Cruises? Read on to know h...
Goa dream destination for vacation visits
Published by Mr. Subrato Mukherjee on December 26th 2011 | Travel
Goa Hotels are so wonderful and ornamented by advanced amenities and meetings rooms. All hotels in G...