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“Drive this yourself” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Road to Hana Tours

Road to Hana Tours
Hana, Hana, Maui, HI
(808) 661-8687
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Ranked #4 of 10 Activities in Hana
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Oshkosh
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Drive this yourself”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

My husband and I took our honeymoon to Hawaii and wanted to do the Road to Hana. We took a tour with Discover Tours and our experience wasn't the best. Maybe we are just sensitive but we felt very nauseous the whole time, and it ended up being a 12 1/2 hour day in a van. Almost felt like we wasted a day on the tour.The views were phenomenal and we're so happy we got to experience it while we were there, but if we would do it again we would drive this ourselves. As long as it's a nice day out, you are a confident driver, and you drive slow you could do it yourself. There are many areas you could pull over in case you get a local beind you asking you to go faster. From what we understand, with a rental car you can drive through the forbidden zone you are just not covered in case of damage. Just be careful of locals as they drive it a lot faster than you would be comfortable with. In the tour bus, we actual got his by a guy and just drove off. Beautiful views, and a once in a life time experience. Make sure you go all the way and see the Grand Canyon of Hawaii.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Not as spectacular as I had expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

The drive: I've read many reviews prior to taking the ride and saw quite some people complained about how windy and scary the drive was. In my opinion, the drive wasn't bad at all. It is windy and has a couple hairpin turns but as long as you follow the rules and drive slowly, you will be fine. I compared this to the coastal highway 1, if you have driven that road, you shouldn't have any problem/fear driving this road. One thing to remember though is that you shouldn't drive this road in heavy rain or in the dark. If you really don't feel like driving, you can always take a tour. I just didn't think that the drive was difficult enough for me to pay $130/person.

The scenery: The scenery wasn't as spectacular as I had expected. Part of the reason was because we did this drive in one day and couldn't possibly stop by at all the places. Another reason was because there were no signs on the road; it was very hard to know where to pull over. I did borrow a Road to Hana CD from a friend but that wasn't really helpful as I had to turn it on and off when I reached a certain mile marker. You will have to do the hikes to see the best scenery.

Travel tips:
1. Check the weather report before you head out as weather can be quite unpredictable. I wouldn't attempt the drive in the rain as part of the road and some bridges can be flooded.
2. Try to break up the trip into two days, one day in, one day out. There are a couple lodges in Hana where you can stay. We left Lahaina at 7:30am and didn't get back till 5pm and we didn't really make that many stops. If you really have to do it in one day, make sure you get back before dark.
3. Do yourself a favor and get an audio guide that can track your location while you drive and tells you everything that you need to know and the places that you need to stop along the way. It worked much better than turning on and off a CD and trying to figure out where you were on a windy road with nothing but mile markers. Even if you have a map, it would be hard to decide where to stop as some places require hours of hike, so spend a few dollars and get the guide.
4. Bring an insect repellent. We did the drive after 3 days of heavy rain and there were tons mosquitoes even during the day.
5. Pack your lunch and water. Have enough gas before you head off. I rented a Ford Focus and used half tank of gas (12/gallon tank) for the roundtrip. There are a few restrooms and they are the regular ones and clean.
6. One stop that I missed and wish I had gone was the Garden of Eden at mile marker 10.5. I did not do much research before the trip and thought that the Kaenae Arboretum (state owned, free) would be good enough but was disappointed. I did see some flowers and plants there but it wasn't as well managed as the Garden of Eden (privately-owned, $15 entrance fee). And since it was already 10:30 when we reached mile marker 10.5, I didn't think that we had enough time to tour the Garden of Eden. If you love botanical garden and photography, you should definitely stop here. I regretted for not doing so.
7. You can make a loop, i.e. drive to Hana and keep driving to the south side of Haleakala National Park but since part of the road is unpaved and it's in the rental agreement that you shouldn't be driving on that road. Also the unpaved road condition will not be ideal to drive in the rain, you should be careful with that. I think that 90% of the people will do a round trip instead of a loop.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“There and Back Again, a Main-lander's Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

I have driven the road to Hana before and did not want to repeat that experience (everyone else in the car got to look and all I looked at was the road I was driving for over 8 hours). So this time I decided that we would let someone else do the driving and booked with Expedia with services provided by Polynesian Cultural Tours on an East Maui (this circled Haleakala).

Larry, our tour guide, was a much better driver than I was on this curvy, narrow road, at least I was not stressed this time when the tour was over. But the added plus was that he knew more about the fauna (I am no horticulturalist, but Larry was), history (I have a slight knowledge, but Larry knew the difference between myth and history), culture (Larry had good timing with the myths and what we were currently experiencing) and the "stars" (with Larry, I felt that I was on a tour of Hollywood with the number of celebrities that lived along this road).

Breakfast was included in the tour and the strawberry-mango bread was to die for, it was freshly made and almost melted in your mouth. We purchased the lunch package, and had the chicken which was marvelous. The only regret that I had was missing out on the local interpretation of potato-mac salad, although the potato salad was very good.

This was a long tour, 13 hours. But the various stops, the information given and sights that were seen was well worth the time and the money.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Roberts Hawaii Heavenly Hana Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

Our experience with Roberts Hawaii was great. The tour “Heavenly Hana” was very well organised from the moment we were picked up from our hotel in Kihei. Our driver was Harry, a very funny guy, who entertained us all the way while driving on a curvy Hana highway. The day was very fun. We made a lot of stops and enjoyed every place we visited. They provided us with a delicious sandwich, two pieces of fruit, a cookie, and a can of guava juice. We highly recommend this tour organised by Roberts Hawaii.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holtsville, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Road to Hana through the eyes of a local”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We absolutely enjoyed the trip. It was my husband, our daughter and our son-in-law.. They were on their honeymoon and we were celebrating our 25th wedding Anniversary. A gift from them.. We went on the "Road to Hana" tour with Valley Isle Excursions. The bus was nice and clean and it only held 12 people. The air conditioner worked well.
Our guide was " Debra" she was great.... Very, very informative.... and very concerned about our safety. She was wonderful and it was so special hearing about the Hawaiian culture and ways, through the stories of her family. It made it so personal and as she drove we seemed to pass many of her family members.. Nephews, Nieces, Uncles... and we even passed her family property. Which 55 of her family members still live.. She goes their on the weekend and cooks for them and takes care of the property as well. She spoke of her grandmother and grandfather with many of the stories... I was always very close with mine... so it made it even more special.
I would recommend this company to all...

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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