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“THE ONLY WAY TO SEE HANA” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Valley Isle Excursions

Valley Isle Excursions
Hana, Maui, HI
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Ranked #3 of 10 Activities in Hana
Attraction details
Lahaina, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Leave the driving to them and ENJOY your trip. This was the best experience, seeing Hana and not having to worry about the road! Plus we had Uncle Joe as our guide. He was so wonderful, local boy, all the culture , so infomative and fun. He just talked story the whole day. The trip was beautiful, the van was SO comfortable, big seats and windows and a great picnic lunch. I really recommend this tour to ANYONE who wants to see and learn about Hana and the rainforest and learn some local history. If you are really lucky you will get Uncle Joe! So like I said, leave the driving to them and enjoy your day!

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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606 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“The Guide Makes A Difference”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I chose this tour based on the reviews and was disappointed that we didn't quite get the experience that others have. My conclusion is that the tour guide really makes a difference in the experience and if I had it to do over again I would also request a tour guide based on reviews. Our tour guide(Lynn) was extremely well versed on Hana and the sights along the way. Her narration of the tour was just fine. Beyond that though, there was none of the "fun" atmosphere that others have experienced. We were continually asked to vote on whether we wanted to stop at a given location stating it was required by the owners that she ask, but she could pass it by if no wanted to. It was intimidating . The day was filled with constant warnings of time constraints (she picked us up 15 min late). The winery closes at 5 and there were those on the tour who wanted to stop there and I can't blame them as it's an advertised stop. However, so is Charles Lindbergh's grave but no one voted to stop there because then the winery group wouldn't have gotten to do their stop.

I surely did expect to get to see all of the advertised stops and was surprised by the voting process she instituted. Many reviews mention a picnic at a tropical flower place. The brochure only promises a picnic lunch though, and ours was at one of the stops at a picnic table accompanied by a stray dog.

There were also good things about the tour. It was really nice to have an experienced person handle the driving and the vans were very comfortable. Sitting on the driver's side affords the best views if you have a choice. Continental breakfast at the golf course was a very enjoyable way to start the day. The ranch store across from the winery was fun to visit. We chose to walk to that instead of going into the winery. It's nice that there is a choice of something else to do at that stop. Restroom stops were adequate and better facilities than I expected. However, if we hadn't made it to the winery by closing, that would have meant missing a restroom stop as well. The scenery that we did experience was gorgeous, I just wish that we would have gotten to see everything. I am still rating this tour highly as I believe that most of the time it is much better than what we experienced.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauiray1, Owner at Valley Isle Excursions, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Mahalo for the feedback, we really appreciate this information, it is so helpful to us and to Lynn.
We will be sitting her down and going over this with her, for we do not believe voting on stops is appropriate. We have our advertised stops, and that is mandatory and our guides must do these or they no longer work here.

We know Lynn loves to do extra stops, and we do suggest that she ask her passengers first, all we need is one yes and we can make the stops, we know Lynn loves to do this, but the voting is not what we suggested, just ask….. If one person wants to stop ….. Then please do it, just make sure you do all the other mandatory stops too. There is a great Fruit Stand that is there in Hana about 4 times a week, those that have condos may like that stop to get fresh Island Fruits for breakfast. With time permitting we stop if someone wants too. Same with the fresh warm Banana Bread, almost everyone says yes to that one.. But no voting, we will remind her of this. But, pat her on the back for doing the extras that she really loves to do for her guests.

I am not sure why she was late on pickup, she has never been late leaving our base yard, but we have had delays at pickup (people late, etc.), she is supposed to call our office so we can contact the other pickups and let them know of the delay. This is a must do rule and will remind her.

We understand the issue about having a time limit at each stop, she has so much to share, but needs to be sure we do all our stops, We get it, each stop has such value that everyone wants to stay there all day, if we did then we would miss the next stops they want to stay all day at.

We are happy that you enjoyed the tour itself. Not sure why Lynn was not a fun guide that day, we receive many letters from guests who went on her tour and loved her and had fun, just got a letter from some people today who raved about her.

We have many Lunch place options, sometimes we can stop at the flower farm, and sometimes it’s the Black Sand Beach and a few other options too.

I am concerned about the stray dog, I will find out more about this. Maybe we can find a home for the dog. I know Lynn loves dogs, but feeding them does no good for the dog or us.

As far as which side of the van is best. Each side has something different to offer, the driver’s side has a few more long range views, but the left side has waterfall and over the bridge views, all in all there is way more to see then your mind can remember, no matter which side.

Again, Mahalo for this information, it surely helps us be better. And even with over 30 years driving the Hana road, Lynn will appreciate the feedback. She truly loves providing her guests an enjoyable day in Hana.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Road to Hana - Our Best Day on Maui!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

The "Road to Hana" is a must if you are visiting Maui and Valley Isle Excursions are the people to do it with. The Road is treacherous but incredibly and breathtakingly beautiful. Our guide - "Iwi" (yes, the big Hawaiian Kiwi) was fantastic and definitely made the trip (see photo attached). Our kids (13, 19 and 21) loved him and he kept them entertained for the whole day with jokes, funny stories and interesting history. He was a great driver as well, which you will appreciate how important that is the more you get into the trip.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairborn, Ohio
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Road to Hana Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

This tour was excellent. The tour guide "uncle" Joe was amazing. He kept us informed, entertained and safe for the entire 12 hours of the tour around the beautiful island of Maui. The tour started early from the hotel and went the entire way around the big part of the island. The breakfast was ok, it included muffins, croissants, fresh fruit and coffee/juice. After that we saw many of the sights and got informed about local traditions. The road was long getting to Hana and had many turns, narrow roads and bridges. I am glad I did not have to drive it as I would have missed all the good views. The stop overs were long enough to get pictures and I never felt rushed. The tour stops longer at the black sand beach, Ohe'o Gulch, Lindbergh's grave and the winery. All of these stops were proceeded by a safety briefing, cultural significance and clear description of the area. My favorite was swimming in the pools at Ohe'o. It was cold but refreshing.
In all it was a very nice trip. We got a chance to "see" Maiu from a local's point of view. It was worth every penny for the trip.
Some cautions: There was a kid on the trip who became very car sick. The bus was comfortable but the road is very twisting. Bring Dramamine if you get car sick easily.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverside, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great hana tour.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013 via mobile

Great tour and well worth the money. If you are on maui and want to see what hana has to offer this is the tour company to use. We had a great tour guide "Charlie". He was a great guide who kept us informed of all the history of maui and hana. Me and my wife did not feel rushed and felt that we were allowed plenty of time at each spot along hana. I do feel that the tour guide does determine the overall experience of the trip. Charlie was great. Comfortable seats and did not feel over crowded. I did notice other tour companies who had a lot more people crammed in their vehicles. This is not the case with this company.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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