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Drive to Hana or Take a Tour?
Tips to Help you Decide

The information on this page should help you decide if you want to drive yourself to the east Maui town of Hana or take an organized tour. Specific Hana tour operators are listed at the bottom of this page. That section includes large bus tours, small group tours, and private tours for individuals, couples, friends, and families who don't mind spending more to get a custom tour and a private guide.

Hana Highway View
Photo Credit: United States Geological Survey

Driving to Hana vs. Taking a Hana Tour
People usually book group Hana tours, or hire a driver when (a) they don't drive at all, (b) they don't want to rent a car, or (c) they just want to avoid driving the long and winding road to Hana themselves. Organized tours can be easy and convenient, but on a group tour you will not be able to control the timing, length, or location of your stops. Private tours are more expensive but they give you the best of both worlds: You don't have to drive but you can design your own itinerary and stop as long as you want, anywhere you want.

How Long Does It Take to Drive to Hana?
The the drive to Hana typically takes 3 hours or more each way, making it at least a 6 hour round trip if you don't stop much. The round trip can take much longer if you stop many times for sightseeing and meals. The drive to Hana is incredibly beautiful but it is also long and very tiring. The road winds constantly back and forth and it is so narrow you are constantly on the lookout for oncoming traffic, especially if you stop to take pictures. If you drive yourself, you might want to consider spending the night in Hana to break up the drive. Most of the organized tours last 10 to 12 hours, which often includes stopping at a few hotels to pick up and drop off tour participants.

Hana Tour Prices
Group tours to Hana typically cost abut $120 to $140 and private tours can cost twice that or more. When you book a private tour be sure to ask if the price is per-person or per-tour, and ask also if there is a minimum number of people who must participate in the tour.

Hana Tours - A Couple of Tips
-If you tend to get car sick, you will probably want to take your regular motion sickness medication 30 to 60 minutes before you hit on road because the road to Hana is one of the most winding roads I have ever seen.
-If you want to see the coastline on drive way TO Hana, be sure to sit on the left side of the bus, van, or car. If you sit on the right side you will have better views of the inland sights, such as roadside streams and waterfalls but most of the panoramic views are on the left side as your are driving to Hana on the north coast of Maui.

Group Hana Tours

Discover Hidden Hawaii Tours
This Honolulu based tour operator offers two Hana and Hana Highway tours, one in an air conditioned "mini coach" and more expensive tour in a four wheel drive vehicle that features several jaunts on unpaved back roads. Both tours include lunch at the Hotel Hana Maui Some of the stops and sights often included on their tours include the town of Hana, Hana Bay, Puahokamoa Falls, Puaa Kaa State Park, Kaumahina State Park, the Keanae Peninsula Lookout, Kauwiki Hill, Paia Town, and some of Maui's best windsurfing beaches. Discover Hidden Hawaii Tours can be reached at 808-737-3700, 800-946-4432, or by writing to PO Box 88022, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 96830.

Ekahi Tours
Offers a "Road to Hana" van tour that includes hotel pickup, continental breakfast, and lunch at the Hana Ranch Restaurant. Some of the stops and sights often included on this tour of the town of Hana, the wild Keanae Peninsula coast, Wailua falls, the Oheo Pools in lower Haleakala National Park, Charles Lindbergh's grave at Palapala Hoomau Church, Kaupo Ranch, the Tedeschi Winery, the Ulupalkua Ranch, and the black sand beach at Wainapanapa State Park. Let the tour operators know if you are especially interested in any of those sights or stops. Ekahi Tours is located at 60 Kanoa Street in Wailuku, Maui and they can be contacted at 808-877-9775 or 888-292-2422. Their motto is "The Company That Treats You Like a Friend".

Valley Isle Excursions
Offers a "Road to Hana" tour that includes a continental breakfast, a picnic lunch with china, silver, and linens, and transportation in a 12 passenger touring vehicle with reclining seats and large windows. Stops and sites often included on the tour include the town of Hana, the Keanae Peninsula, Wailua Falls, the Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach, the Charles Lindbergh Memorial at Palapala Hoomau Church, the Oheo Pools, Hookipa Park, and more. Valley Isle Excursions is located at 333 Dairy Road in Kahului, Maui and they can be contacted at 877-871-5224.

Private Hana Tours

Awapuhi Adventures
Specializes in private, custom, eco-adventure tours to Hana and other Maui spots. From their Web site: "Our guides have been told they are a cross between Martha Stewart and the Crocodile Hunter" Their Hana tour includes a hot breakfast served at Hookipa Beach, a naturalist guide, several stops on the road to Hana to view waterfalls and historic sites, hiking to swimming spots on the lower slopes of Mount Haleakala and a visit to Maui's oldest taro farm. The trip also includes a lunch featuring items such as sandwiches, chicken salad, fruit salad, hummus and pita, and special treats. I have not been able to find a street address or mailing address for Awapuhi Adventures but they can be reached by phone at 808-269-6031.

DHH 4-Wheel Drive Tours
One of the companies listed in the group tour section above - Discover Hidden Hawaii Tours - offers a 4-wheel drive hummer tour in addition to their group tour. I believe their 4 wheel drive tour is a private tour, and it is certainly priced like a private tour, but check with the organizers to be sure. The tour includes jaunts on some of Maui's most interesting unpaved roads, 15 stops, and lunch at the Hotel Hana Maui. Discover Hidden Hawaii Tours can be reached at 808-737-3700, 800-946-4432, or by writing to PO Box 88022, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 96830.

Maui Island Tours
Private tours of the Hana Highway that include hotel pickup, transportation in a luxury SUV, a full breakfast, beverages throughout the day, a three course lunch at the Hotel Hana Maui, and a custom itinerary. This tour is more expensive then the others but that's because sit is not a group tour, but is more like hiring a driver, having your own personal guide, and stopping as long as you want, anywhere you want. Maui Island Tours is located at 356 Aulii Drive in Pukalani, Maui and they can be reached at 808-268-8929.

See also:
- Lodging in Hana

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