Shaka Guide's Classic Road to Hana Itinerary

Shaka Guide's Classic Road to Hana Itinerary

Shaka Guide

PLEASE NOTE: There is only one road into and out of Hana. Locals have to drive this road every day and the thousands of daily drivers on this one-lane highway greatly impact their lives. Please be respectful — do not park illegally, pay attention to signs, drive responsibly, and pull over to let locals pass. Do not enter private property or visit sites that are unsafe. And, please remember to pick up your trash.

The Road to Hana is one of the most famous excursions in Maui. This 65-mile road trip along Hana Highway passes dozens of:

  • waterfalls
  • lush beaches
  • tropical forests
  • a lava cave, and
  • stunning scenic spots

You can swim beneath waterfalls, hike through rainforests and try some local grinds (two words: banana bread) along the way.

road to hana map in Hawaii with mile markers

With Shaka Guide, you’ll have the freedom to visit the stops you want, spend as much time as you’d like, and skip the ones you don’t.

Our Classic Road to Hana Tour is by far our most popular. With 142 narration points and over 25 stops, this tour takes between 10-12 hours to complete.

It begins in Kahului near the airport and ends just past Hana at Kipahulu (Haleakala National Park).

We'll guide you back towards Kahului the same way you came, along Hana Highway.

We highly recommend you start your day early, by 8:00, if you’d like to explore all the awe-inspiring locations on this tour.

Important Information

If you’re staying in Lahaina or Kaanapali in West Maui, the drive to the starting point for the Road to Hana is about 45 minutes away.

Don’t forget to include that extra time while you’re planning your day!

Also, if you want to avoid driving at night as much as possible, we suggest you begin your return trip around 4:00 p.m.

classic road to hana tour map


We highly recommend you start the tour from Kahului by 8:00 a.m. If you don’t start early enough, there’s a chance you’ll be driving the road at night.

Paia Town

Approximate time: 30 minutes

stores in paiaPaia in Maui is the official start of the Road to Hana; Tor Johnson; via Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

The official start of the Road to Hana is in Paia Town, a beachy neighborhood with cute shops and some good restaurants to grab a bite for breakfast.

Check out the tour highlights in the app if you need some restaurant recommendations. Y

our next food stop will be in a few hours at the Garden of Eden Arboretum (a paid attraction) or even further down the road for some delicious, fresh-made banana bread.

If you’re not hungry, keep driving to the next stop!

RELATED: Paia Travel Guide 

Hookipa Beach

Approximate time: 10 minutes

The consistent strong winds and good waves here, make Ho’okipa a world-famous beach for windsurfing and kite surfing.

You can stop here briefly to check out the surfers! There is a great view from the parking lot above that overlooks the beach.

download shaka guide


Approximate time: 10 minutes

To access Jaws you’ll need a 4-wheel drive vehicle for a muddy dirt road.

During the months between December and March, when the wind and ocean conditions are just right, Jaws can produce waves as high as 70 feet!

There are many big wave competitions held here every year that attract the best surfers from around the world.

However, most of the time this beach has little to no waves. So unless it’s winter and you are sure that Jaws is “breaking” we suggest you skip this beach and keep driving.

Twin Falls

Approximate time: 30 minutes

The first of many waterfalls on our excursion today is Twin Falls. Unbeknownst to most, there are actually three different falls in the area -- Twin Falls, the most easily accessible, rope swing, and caves.

Each requires a hike and most people just quickly stop at Twin Falls for a picture or a quick dip in the swimming hole.

It’s a beautiful falls, but there are so many to see. We recommend taking a quick peek at the first falls as there are more waterfalls and better hiking opportunities down the road.

Waikamoi Ridge Trail

Approximate time: 30 minutes

Waikamoi Ridge Trail, a family-friendly hike on the Road to Hana; Allie_Caulfield, CC BY 2.0 via Flickr 

This family-friendly trail is a short, three-quarter-mile loop that takes you through a forest of giant eucalyptus and mahogany trees.

Stop here if you need to stretch your legs and want to get in a quick walk -- remember, you’ll be in the car for hours today!

Garden of Eden Arboretum

Approximate time: 1 hour

The Garden of Eden is a family-friendly spot with a variety of exotic plants from tropical rainforests throughout the world.

While you’re there, you’ll see stunning coastal views and catch a glimpse of the Keopuka rock, which was featured in the opening scene of Jurassic Park.

NOTE: there is an admission fee to enter the Arboretum

RELATED: The Scenic Hawaiian Rollercoaster: The Road to Hana

Bathroom Break at Kaumahina State Park

Approximate time: 10 minutes

This well-maintained park is a great place to stretch your legs and use the restroom. However, if we’re being honest, this isn’t always the cleanest rest stop.

If you can, wait until you get to the Ke’anae Peninsula. If you do hop out of the car, snap some photos of the peninsula which we will be visiting in a bit.

download shaka guide

Honomanu Bay View

Approximate time: 5 minutes

Here is the pullout for Honomanu Bay where you can park your car, and cross the street for a good view of the bay.

If there is no room to park, you can also stop by on the way back if there’s still daylight.

Nua'ailua View Point

Approximate time: 5 minutes

Pull over to view sheer cliffs and crashing surf at Nua’ailua Bay.

Ke’anae Arboretum

Approximate time: 30 minutes

Perhaps you’ve heard of the rainbow eucalyptus trees on the Road to Hana. If you’re looking to see these colorful trees up close, here’s the spot!

The Ke’anae Arboretum is free and open to the public. You can also visit this stop on the way back if there’s time.

We’ll mention it again on the return trip.

NOTE: There is a bit of a hike on a paved path to get to the arboretum.

RELATED: What You Need to Know Before You Visit Maui

Ke’anae Peninsula

Approximate time: 10 minutes

peninsula overviewKe’anae Peninsula; Navin75, CC BY SA 2.0, via Flickr

The Keanae Peninsula is a short detour off of Hana Highway, but it’s well worth the time for its stunning views of the ocean ripping through jagged lava rock.

There are also some public restrooms near the peninsula.

Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread

Approximate time: 15 minutes

As you’re leaving the Keanae Peninsula you’ll spot Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread on the left side of the road.

Aunty Sandy’s serves up warm loaves of banana bread that are made fresh, daily. We highly recommend you stop for a bite.

Plus, at this point, you’re probably starting to feel a bit hungry and we still have a ways to go before we make it to the next major food stop.

download shaka guide

Keanae Valley Overlook

Approximate time: 5 minutes

Now, pull over for an amazing overlook of the Ke’anae Peninsula that we drove down.

You will see a large shoulder on the left that you can pull in for a great bird ' s-eye view of the peninsula.

Notice the many taro patches that dot the landscape.

RELATED: Road to Hana Maps

Halfway to Hana Food Stand

Approximate time: 20 minutes

signboard halfway to hanaHalfway to Hana Food Stand, stop for some snacks for the rest of the trip; dronepicr, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Looking to grab a snack for the road? Stop at Halfway to Hana Food Stand.

This snack shop also has tasty banana bread in addition to shaved ice, lunch items like burgers and sandwiches, and small bites like fruits and chips.

FUN FACT! Halfway to Hana is actually just before the official halfway point.

PRO-TIP! If you are traveling with kids, got a late start, or crunched for time, this place is a good place to turn around for a “mini” Road to Hana tour. You’ll hear lots of great stories on the return trip.

Wailua State Wayside Park

Approximate time: 15 minutes

Wailua Valley State Wayside Park is not much of a park but more like an overlook.

Here you can get an excellent view of little Wailua Town and a famous church called the “coral miracle church”.

When you get to the overlook you will see the Haleakala Volcano behind you.

You may even get lucky and see a waterfall or two cascading down in the distance.

Waikani Falls (3 Bears)

Approximate time: N/A - just drive by

Waikani Falls is actually a series of three waterfalls, also known by its nickname -- the Three Bears Falls. Don’t worry, there are no bears in Hawaii.

The falls likely got this nickname because the three falls have varying heights: short, medium, and tall, just like the family of bears in the children’s story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. 

NOTE: Do not stop at the falls! There is no parking. 

RELATED: Is the Road to Hana Dangerous?


Lava Tube Cave

Approximate time: 15 minutes

As we continue along Hana Highway, we’ll stop by a lava cave hidden on the side of the road.

This cave was formed when hot lava from an eruption cooled and hardened on the exterior, while it continued flowing in the inner core.

After the lava drained out the hardened exterior shell remained, forming a cave.

Duck and watch your head as you enter the cave, the entrance is small and there are some jagged rocks, but it quickly opens up to where you can easily stand up.

Please note there is an entrance fee to visit this spot. 

classic road to hana

Look Out for Makapipi Falls

Approximate time: 1 minute

You don’t need to stop, but look out for a waterfall on the side of the road. Most people drive by and don’t even notice it’s there!

You’ll see it under the bridge. As you look for the waterfall, please be mindful of the other drivers on the road.

Also, if you’re traveling in the summer months and don’t see the falls, it could be because they’ve dried up.

Kahanu Gardens

Approximate time: 45 minutes

More than just a garden, Kahanu Gardens is also a cultural site and a National Historic Landmark.

Here, the focus is on plants of value to Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

You’ll learn about the connection between the ancient Hawaiians and the land.

The garden is also home to a thatched canoe house and one of the largest heiau (or temple) in all of Polynesia.

Note: There is an admission fee to enter the garden

Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach

IMPORTANT: As of 3/1/2021 reservations are required to visit Waianapanapa State Park. See more below

Approximate time: 45 minutes

Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach, Maui

Visit one of Maui’s only black-sand beaches. Created when hot lava shattered in contact with the ocean, this beach is unlike any others on the Road to Hana.

While you’re there, look out for the freshwater cave that leads to the ocean, a blowhole that shoots water into the air, and a sea arch formed from erosion.

This is a great spot to spend some time stretching your legs, lying in the sun, and even having a picnic.

As of 3/1/2021 reservations are required to visit Waianapanapa State Park. You can book reservations up to 30 days in advance. NO SAME-DAY RESERVATIONS ARE ALLOWED. The price for entry is $10 to park AND $5 per person.

Make your reservation here: www.gowaianapanapa.com. Learn more about how to plan your day based on your reservation time here

RELATED: Waianapanapa State Park Travel Guide

Hana Town

Approximate time: 1 hour

Congratulations! You’ve made it to Hana. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for.

But don’t worry, the tour isn’t over -- some of the best stops are yet to come! We recommend you grab a bite to eat here in Hana, there are loads of options to choose from.

This is the last stop for food until you get back to Paia Town.

NOTE: Visitors should not go to the Red Sand beach. Many years of overuse have caused erosion resulting in a dangerous hike along steep cliffs to and from the beach.

RELATED: Hana's History

Hasegawa General Store

Approximate time: 5 minutes

This general store has been owned and operated by the same family since 1910. It has everything from snacks to souvenirs.

It’s a great place to stop to pick up food and drinks for the road. You can also skip it for now and visit on the way back.

PRO TIP! The only gas station in Hana is next door. Fuel up here if you need to.

download shaka guide

Koki Beach

Approximate time: 30 minutes

You made it to Hana! Now, take a few minutes to lie down and relax at Koki Beach.

One interesting feature of this spot is the large hill beside it. Hawaiians have a name for this spot – it’s called Ka Iwi o Pele, which means the bones of pele.

Actually, this hill is a cinder cone that erupted lava just before Mount Haleakala went dormant.

Hamoa Beach

Approximate time: 30 minutes

This is a perfect family beach because of the protected cove and the large sandy area.

If the waves aren’t too strong, there is some pretty decent snorkeling on the far left side of the cove.

Park next to the road and access the beach by a set of stairs.

Look out for Wailua Falls

Approximate time: N/A - just drive by

As you continue driving towards Kipahulu (Haleakala National Park), look out for Wailua Falls along the road.

Up to this point you have already seen a ton of waterfalls. But this one is the largest of them all at 80 feet tall.

The best view is from the right of the bridge. No need to stop here, there's no parking.

Just peek out your window, but be mindful of other drivers on the road as you keep an eye out.

Pipiwai Trail (inside the National Park)

Approximate time: 2 hours

old treeViews along the Pipiwai Trail; Thomas from Philadelphia Area, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Once you get to Haleakala National Park, there’s a three-and-a-half-mile rainforest trail that offers beautiful views of two waterfalls and a bamboo forest.

The hike is rated moderate and takes about 2 hours to complete, if you’re short on time, or looking for a family-friendly option, hike to the first lookout point where you can see Waimoku Falls.

From there, turn around and continue to Seven Sacred Pools. Note: There’s a $30 entrance fee per car to enter Haleakala National Park.

RELATED: Pipiwai Trail Travel Guide

Oheo Gulch aka Pools of ‘Ohe’o aka Seven Sacred Pools (inside the National Park)

Approximate time: 1+ hours

This is by far one of the most popular stops on the Road to Hana. Oheo Gulch, also known as Pools of ‘Ohe’o and Seven Sacred Pools, is a series of cascading waterfalls that lead to pristine swimming holes.

This is the perfect place to unwind with a dip after a long day of driving. Take in the natural beauty and reminisce on all you’ve seen and learned on your tour today.

NOTE: There’s a $30 entrance fee per car to enter Haleakala National Park. Please Note: Seven Sacred Pools can get crowded, if you’re looking for another swimming hole that’s less busy, skip this spot and head to Venus Pools (check below for more details). We recommend you do one of the two, especially if it’s getting late.

download maui

RELATED: Seven Sacred Pools Travel Guide


If you want to avoid driving at night as much as possible, we suggest you begin the return trip around 4:00 p.m.

Don’t be discouraged if you want to keep going; it is not impossible to drive at night.

Some people prefer it because you can see the lights of the approaching vehicle. However, it’s whatever you’re comfortable with.

Drive Back

Approximate time: 3 hours

After you’ve experienced all that the Seven Sacred Pools have to offer, you can begin to make your way back to Paia Town along Hana Highway (the same way you came).

Don’t worry it goes by faster than you think! Of course, that is because we’ve prepared loads of interesting stories about the history and legends of Hawaii to keep you entertained the whole drive back!

NOTE: Along the way, there’s only one stop so you can completely focus on the drive.

Venus Pools

Approximate time: 30 minutes

On your way back, you’ll have the option to stop at Venus Pools.

This is a wonderful alternative to Seven Sacred Pools because it is usually uncrowded and you can also do some rock jumping.

Sometimes the waterfall is dry, but you can still swim in the pool below.

If you’ve had your fill of swimming at Oheo Gulch, or it’s starting to get dark, we suggest you skip this spot and continue back towards Paia.

Paia Town

Your tour will end in Paia Town, close to where we began. At this point, it’s probably late in the evening and you’re looking for some grub.

We recommend you have dinner in Paia, especially if you have to make the 45-minute drive back to West Maui. Check out the tour highlights for recommendations!


The Road to Hana is a magical adventure filled with history, culture, beaches, scenic spots, and waterfalls.

We are so glad you’ve chosen Shaka Guide to help make lasting memories.

We hope that in the midst of your full-day adventure, you take time to appreciate the natural beauty of Maui.

Ready to take the Classic Road to Hana Tour? Here's everything you need to know before you go! 

download shaka guide

Can’t get enough of the Road to Hana? Next time try our Reverse or Loop Road to Hana where you drive around the back road to Hana for a totally different experience! Check out which Road to Hana tour is right for you!

RELATED: Drive the Road to Hana Like a Pro with these Four Must-Know Tips and 10 Ways to Be a Safe and Responsible Traveler in Hawaii


Is The Road To Hana Dangerous?

Which Shaka Guide Road to Hana Tour is Right for You?

Road To Hana: Guide To Having An Epic Driving Tour

Road To Hana Must Know Tips

The Scenic Hawaiian Roller Coaster: The Road to Hana

Road to Hana Maps

shaka guide app qr code

Download The Shaka Guide App

Get The
Shaka Guide App