617 Curves–Along Cliffs? I’ll Hire a Driver.

The Road to Hana on Maui is touted as a glorious and fun drive. It is. Particularly if you let go of control issues and let someone else drive. There were times when the wheels were on  cliff’s edge–not really something I need to do myself.

It’s a drive to a destination; or in our case, practically all around the island. Stunning.

The Road on the Road to Hana

My brother would LOVE to drive this. Photos courtesy of Flickr and a postcard. 

So I took the tourbus (more like a van) and it was wonderful. I could concentrate on the scenery and not the road. Ahhh.

Road to Hana

Photo courtesy of Flickr

The drive is rich with view of the cliffs and ocean; and more waterfalls than you could hope for.

Waterfalls on the Road to Hana Maui Hawaii

Views alternate between the vibrant water and lush rainforest. Add in a few eucalyptus trees and everything is new and wonderful.

Eucalyptus Trees on the Road to Hana in Maui Hawaii

Want to see sky, water, and vistas? Of course you do! Click the pic to advance the slideshow.

Picture with the lava rock in the ocean is courtesy of Flickr.

The change of elevation and plants within a small radius is surprising. How can land go from sea to mountains in a few miles? How can it go from sand to lava fields to overgrown? Take a look at this 360 view of one area where we were compelled to stop and gawk.

Road to Hana Maui Hawaii

In addition to the scenery we meet roosters and chameleons (stay tuned for a post on animals), went swimming in glorious water, went to a black sand beach and a red sand beach (you’ll meet them in a future post), had chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and learned about, well, a lot of things.

A small and diverse group, the bus had a couple from Germany in Hawaii for an IT conference; two Chinese girls living in San Francisco; and me. We helped each other balance on the rocks, overcome fears of the ocean for those who don’t swim well, and translate the tour guide’s jokes and insight. It was a wonderful day!


What’s been your experience while on a tour?
Freedom of meeting people or claustrophobic from having a schedule?

5 Responses

Bless you for the glorious photos of Hana and the road to Hana. My mom has visited twice (she drove both times!!!) and I have yet to get pictures out of her. It’s just not her thing. So I know I have to go myself, but in the meantime there are great photos from my friend!

So my tour experiences are few. I tend to avoid the group thing on purpose. The few times I stuck with the script were primarily enjoyable but I found myself thinking of things I wanted to do if only the tour guide weren’t watching me so closely : ) My trip to Ruby Falls for example – I so wanted to reach out and feel the drip of a stalactite on my palm. I did meet some nice folks but more often than not I get trapped next to some unruly kids – like on a flight with a miserable, inconsolable baby.

Regina – happy to help! And shame on your mom!

This is the most beautiful scenic drive I have ever seen.


Thank you for pictures that inspire me to paint. I love the colors in those tree trunks. I also have to mention when I saw the title, I instantly thought of Curves (the weight loss chain) and I thought – with all that delicious food, I was not surprised.

Thanks so much for this post. We’ll be stopping in Maui on a cruise in February. I was struggling with the rent a car vs take a tour debate, but your post has settled it. We drove ourselves in Ireland in May and it was sometimes harrowing—enough for me to want to blog about the experience of driving on the wrong side. http://www.boomeresque.com/driving-in-ireland/

We do both independent travel and sometimes take tours. Tours are make or break depending on the people in your particular group. We’ve had some experiences that were so bad (people who will NOT stop talking EVER) they were funny. The other variable, of course, is the tour guide. If one has been doing a lot of independent travel as you have, I imagine that an occasional tour when you can leave the driving and planning to someone else is a necessary break.

If a person can convince enough people they like to want to go to the same place(s), sometimes, one can put together a tour for that group. You might end up hating your friends, but at least you won’t be in a mini van for 5 days with a bratty kid and the kid’s oblivious parents.
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