Driving the incredible Road to Hana, one of the most scenic drives on the planet, is a not-to-be-missed experience while you’re in Maui. It can, however, take a little bit of legwork—from renting a pricey rental car to mustering up the courage to take on this famously windy road (with a whopping 46 one-way bridges!). So if you, instead, want someone else to sit in the driver’s seat (quite literally!), consider going on a tour of the Road to Hana, where all you need to do is sit back and enjoy island time. Here’s five of the most incredible Road to Hana tours, so you can check this epic experience off your Maui bucket list in comfort!
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The Road to Hana stretches 64 miles, from the small surfer town of Paia to the even teenier town of Hana on the southern side of Maui. Along this route, you’ll pass countless waterfalls, stunning beaches, and more tropical fruit stands than you could possibly eat at in a lifetime.
The majority of the drive snakes and weaves its way through an incredibly lush jungle, with an eye popping 620 curves and 59 century-old bridges along the way. There’s also dozens of narrow one-way sections of road (some of which are around blind turns), where you simply have to trust that the drivers heading in the opposite direction along the road are paying attention. In other words, while totally manageable, driving the Road to Hana isn’t exactly for faint-of-heart drivers.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it—in fact, it’s easily one of the most incredible activities on any Maui itinerary! So if you want to experience the Road to Hana but would prefer to have a capable professional drive you or simply don’t want to rent a car in Maui, here are five awesome tours that will take care of all of it for you!
Best Road to Hana Tours
This small group tour (with a maximum of 12 travelers!) is run by a Native Hawaiian-owned and operated tour company and focuses on not just seeing the amazing sights along the Road to Hana, but with a focus on highlighting Hawaiian history and culture.
On this tour, you’ll be picked up from your accommodations and driven along the Road to Hana by a local and incredibly knowledgeable guide. Between learning all the things about Maui, you’ll also have plenty of adventures on the way to Hana, from seeing beautiful rainbow bark eucalyptus trees and picking up some world famous banana bread on the Keanae peninsula to exploring a lava tube at Maui’s Black Sand Beach and swimming under a beautiful waterfall.
One of the coolest things about this tour is that, instead of treating the Road to Hana as an out-and-back drive (as is the typical route), you’ll actually continue on past Hana on to Route 31, which takes you through the completely wild and untamed southern portion of the island. Given Route 31 is even narrower than the Road to Hana and unpaved in several sections, you’re not allowed to take rental cars here—so you’ll be some of the only tourists on the island that get to see this area!
On this small group Road to Hana tour, you’ll be picked up from your accommodations.
First stop—breakfast at a tropical fruit plantation!
Over the course of the next several hours, you’ll wind your way along the Road to Hana, stopping to swim under waterfalls at Pua’a Ka’a State Park, exploring the stunning Ke‘anae Peninsula, and wading through the crashing waves at the famed black sand beach on Maui.
A couple of things make this tour stand out—for one, you’ll have a picnic lunch at a tropical flower farm (um, yes please?!). For another thing, I love their focus on sustainability, from recycling all of the drink containers that will be served on the tour to even repurposing their cooler ice for landscaping. Plus the guides are committed to sharing all of their extensive knowledge about the island through engaging—and often, funny—stories.
If you want to see as much as possible in just one day, choose this jam-packed Road to Hana tour.
You’ll be picked up from your hotel and shown all of the sights along the Road to Hana. Wanna see Ho’okipa Beach Park, home to big wave surfing and sea turtles? You got it! What about paying your respects at the great navigator, Charles Lindbergh’s very humble grave? You can do that too!
Of course, you’ll also stop at all of the other sites that most of the groups stop at, like the black sand beach and the Ke‘anae Peninsula, but this tour definitely does an awesome job of also highlighting off-the-beaten-path local vendors that you might miss on other tours.
The tour guides are incredible as well—beyond just being knowledgeable in all things Hawaii, they are COMMITTED to you having a good time on the tour. As in jump-in-the-water-so-they-can-get-the-most-Instagrammable-photo-of-you-under-a-waterfall kind of committed!
If you REALLY want one of the most off-the-beaten-path Road to Hana tours, this is hands-down the choice for you.
On this private tour, you’ll get to enjoy the Road to Hana, but in reverse!
Hold up- what does that mean exactly?
Well, instead of starting your trek in Paia, on the east side of the island, and driving the Road to Hana clockwise, you’ll start in the teeny town of Kula and start along the road-definitely-less-traveled, Route 31, counter-clockwise. Not only will you get to see parts of Maui that hardly any other visitors get to see, but you’ll also get to avoid the masses as you’re visiting all of the Road to Hana stops in reverse.
Plus, since this is a totally personalized tour, you’ll get to choose whatever stops along the way you want to stop at, beyond just your typical tour stops. For example, you can stop at Koki Beach and enjoy watching the local surfers take on the epic waves or simply marvel at its red sand. Laulima Farm, an organic and regenerative tropical farm and fruit stand, is another awesome stop, where you’ll get to try fruits you may not have ever tasted before, like soursop, and pick up some really stellar homemade jam.
If you want another jam-packed Road to Hana tour, this is a great option. In addition to stopping at some of the more popular stops, you’ll also get to stop at quite a few local vendors, like the Maui Honeybee Sanctuary, with staff who are INCREDIBLY passionate about saving the honeybees, or Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread, renowned as the best banana bread on the island (guess you’ll have to be the judge of that!).
The tour guides are also excellent, with SO much knowledge about the local vendors, sites, and landowners in the area, past and present. Plus, most of them grew up on the island and provide a unique, local perspective as you’re exploring this little slice of heaven.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Road to Hana Tours
Is driving the Road to Hana dangerous?
In a perfect world, where everyone is safe and competent drivers who aren’t watching Netflix on their phone or whatever, the Road to Hana, even with its hundreds of curves and freaky one-way sections, is not inherently dangerous.
But many drivers don’t pay close enough attention (I mean, you are literally driving through paradise!) and you’ll find plenty of people flying down the roads at twice the speed they should be.
So just like any other roadway, there’s certainly been a number of fatalities along the Road to Hana, especially in recent years when tourism in this area (and people looking at their phones whilst driving) has increased.
And, in addition to the windy road through so-beautiful-that-it’s-distracting scenery, there’s also quite a few environmental factors that can make it a bit risky to drive here. For example, the Road to Hana has some of the wettest portions of land in the country (it is, after all, a rainforest!), which is prone to sudden flash flooding and landslides.
That being said, hundreds of thousands of visitors drive the Road to Hana every year and only a teeny tiny percentage of these folks get into a car accident along the roadway. So, no, the Road to Hana is not dangerous per se, but you absolutely need to be on your toes if you’re planning on driving it (or, you know, just go on a tour!).
Can you drive the Road to Hana yourself?
Absolutely! Many of Maui’s visitors rent a car and make the road trip by themselves. In fact, the last time that I visited Maui, my husband, Justin, and I made the trip by ourselves and had an ABSOLUTE blast (other than discovering on a one-way road that the horn on our rental car wasn’t working… but we’re not going to get into that).
While going with a tour group is great, given that you don’t have to worry about the driving or even the planning aspects of the drive, going by yourself will obviously allow you to have the most flexibility and freedom with starting and stopping whenever, wherever you want.
There’s so many incredible Road to Hana tours for you to choose from while you’re in Maui; I hope you have the best time! Do you have any questions about these tours or the Road to Hana? Let me know in the comments below!