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Last updated 09. Nov, 2009 by Mark.
In a nutshell: The Road to Hana is the crown-jewel of Hawaii driving tours. Lush rainforest, dramatic and rugged ocean vistas, countless waterfalls and pools.
Minuses: If you get car-sick, there are going to be 600 opportunities to review your breakfast.
Sound-bite: “600 turns?!? More like one 50-mile-long turn…”
Just exactly where “The Road to Hana” begins and where it ends is subject to some debate. For my guide purposes, I usually start in the North Shore (Paia area) and end at what …
Last updated 25. Oct, 2012 by Mark.
In a nutshell: The North Shore is less developed, less crowded with plenty of world-class beaches.
Minuses: Doesn’t cater commercially to resort-oriented tourists.
Sound-bite: “That guy playing in Charley’s looked and sounded exactly like Willie Nelson!”
The exact boundaries of the North Shore are not well defined, and there is overlap between Central Maui, Upcountry Maui and the Road to Hana. Even in my guide info, I often duplicate North Shore articles in Road to Hana categories since this is how the majority of …
Last updated 28. Sep, 2009 by Mark.
In a nutshell: West Maui is home to loads of beautiful beaches, and the towns of Lahaina and Ka’anapali. To the north of this region, Ka’anapali and Kapalua boast plenty of higher-end condos and resort hotels, plus four world-class golf courses. Lahaina, the most-visited spot on Maui, is midway around the head and where you’ll find lower and mid-range lodging options.
Minuses: Only one narrow two-lane road in and out makes for the most congested traffic in Maui.
Sound-bite: “Today: Golf lessons, shopping, then some …
Last updated 29. Sep, 2009 by Mark.
In a nutshell: “Upcountry” is a term which describes not only a way of life, but much of the area on the Haleakala side of Maui away from the shoreline. The largest towns Upcountry are Pukalani, Makawao, Kula and Haiku. Although Upcountry is mostly rural, agricultural and residential, Upcountry Maui also offers quite a bit for visitors too.
Minuses: No beaches, and far less tourism oriented.
Sound-bite: “Excuse me ma’am, how do I get back to the down-country?”
“Upcountry” is as much a lifestyle as …
Last updated 29. Sep, 2009 by Mark.
In a nutshell: Central Maui is the isthmus between West Maui and Haleakala. It is also where most business gets done on Maui. Visitors will pass through here several times, usually on the way to somewhere else.
Minuses: The Pu’unene Sugar Mill spewing smoke from its stacks into the blue sky sure is a buzzkill.
Sound-bite: “OMG, OGG!”
Central Maui is where Maui’s business gets done. The Kahului Airport and Harbor are where all our “stuff” (and people) come in. The Maui County government, Costco, …
Last updated 10. Sep, 2010 by Mark.
To visitors, the unfamiliar letter combinations can be daunting, and the longer words can appear downright incomprehensible! But I have a secret for you – that is just the surface. If you can invest fifteen minutes to understand these basic rules, you’ll be confidently rattling off words like humuhumunukunukuāpua’a without a second thought.
The Hawaiian language in written form was created just two centuries ago with the aim of making it easy for Westerners to learn. Pronunciation rules have few exceptions, and the alphabet was developed to have only …
Last updated 01. May, 2012 by Mark.
In a nutshell: South Maui is home to the spectacular world-class beaches of Kihei, Wailea and Makena. Wailea, to the south of this region, boasts exclusive resorts and golf, while Kihei to the north is where you’ll find more affordable hotels, condos and vacation rentals.
Minuses: Once off the beach, the Kihei part of South Maui has lots of shops and food, but some places feel more like California than Hawaii.
Sound-bite: “How many new beaches should we explore today?”
The area called “South …
Last updated 23. Oct, 2009 by Mark.
In a nutshell: Valley Isle Excursions’ knowledge, cultural understanding and genuine spirit of Aloha are second to none.
Minuses: Those who love to drive don’t get to!
Sound-bite: “The guide quality makes or breaks a guided tour to Hana”
First, I don’t care how long you are here, the Road to Hana is not to be missed. Now many folks will choose to drive the Road to Hana themselves – and if you love to drive challenging roads with stunning scenery, it truly is a driver’s delight. But if you’re not a confident driver, or want to focus on the sights while gaining a better understanding of what you are seeing, then this trip can be even more spectacular when taken with a knowledgeable guide.…Continue Reading
Road to Hana van tour
$100 – $125