Hana is best experienced over at least a few days. This being said, you can still do it in a day. You need to decide just how much you'd like to see and do and whether you can handle a full day of driving. If you decide to stay overnight, make reservations at a hotel now. We really like the Travaasa Hana Hotel, since it's right in the middle of Hana Town and it's one of the nicest places to stay in Hawaii. If you're staying overnight, consider having groceries delivered to your accommodation to save some money and have everything you might need.
Jeeps are readily available and so are convertibles. This is the best way to go, but keep in mind that it may rain at any moment. So, if (read: when) it does rain, prepare to be a little wet before finding a safe place to pull over and pop the top. Rent something reliable that gets decent gas mileage. We sometimes see massive SUV's driving the road to Hana, which is weird to us. Unless you have a big family, choose a mid-sized car. Here are some good prices for car rentals in Maui. In our opinion, the best way to drive the Road to Hana is in a sporty 356 Porsche Speedster convertible from Maui Roadsters. Their classic 1957 Speedster reproductions come in many different colors, so you can travel in your own style. Alternately, Maui Lifted Jeep Rentals offer excellent deals on their fleet of colorful new Unlimited Sport Jeep Wranglers, which are ideal for driving over those pesky muddy areas, as well as the bumpier backside of Hana. Roll down the windows and enjoy the sites with the help of a lifted perspective!
We love this Road to Hana guide. It's inexpensive and walks you through every cool spot along the journey. It's like having an experienced guide sitting next to you. Another great thing about this guide is that it offers both 1 and 2 day itineraries and comes with a folding map. You can order a physical copy on their website, download it from the website, or visit one of many shops on Maui that sell it.
Even with the CD, it's good to decide on which spots to checkout beforehand. Do yourself a favor, and DON'T do everything possible along the Road to Hana. It's too much. You'll be exhausted and you won't enjoy the trip. Choose a handful of fun places that catch your eye, then spend a little extra time at each one. You'll thank us for it. You'll also want to decide which direction to go: beginning with Paia Town or Upcountry along the Back Road to Hana.
You may or may not want to stay all day long, but either way you should leave early. Kuau Store is on the way and opens at 6:30am. So, you can top off the gas tank in Paia, get some fresh coffee, grab a picnic lunch, drinks, and some snacks for hiking. Look for the famous surfboard fence. (808) 579-8844
The last thing you want to do is drive the winding road to Hana in the dark. Make sure to leave Hana area at least a few hours before sunset. If the roads are open, and your rental car agreement allows, consider driving the backside of Haleakala. You'll watch sunset either from the back of the island or Upcountry near Kula and Makawao, which is pretty amazing.
Experience Hana at your leisure by staying the night in luxury.
Let this guide lead you to adventure and romance along the road to Hana, Maui.
Get the best prices and ideal vehicle for your drive along the Road to Hana.
Explore Maui's rainforest cliffs and waterfalls by rappelling down them.
Take the worry out of driving the backside from Hana with a smooth, lifted ride.