How to Choose the Right Road to Hana Tour
Every year, thousands of adventurous souls from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Maui with one goal in mind: to drive the Road to Hana.
And why wouldn’t they? It’s an adventure unlike any other, complete with jaw-dropping cliffside views, pristine rainforests, and cascading waterfalls. With so much natural beauty packed into such a small stretch of road, it’s no wonder the Road to Hana is at the top of so many bucket lists.
But here’s the thing: not all Road to Hana tours are created equal. With so many companies offering their own take on this iconic Maui experience, it can be tough to sift through the options and choose the tour that’s right for you (and right for the island).
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide—to help you choose the Road to Hana tour that best suits your needs.
The first step in choosing the right Road to Hana tour is identifying the current climate of tourism on Maui and the impact that has on communities. The Road to Hana has become unbearably busy in the last few years, thanks to visitors striking out on their own adventures with a rental car. Many visitors stop in the wrong spots, hike into illegal areas, and cause more traffic than anyone would want. Visitors get injured on the regular. That’s why we suggest taking a shared bus with a tour company owned and operated by born-and-raised Hana locals. That’s really the only way to go. That way, you know every spot you visit is safe and approved of. That way, you’re giving back to the local community.
The next step in choosing the right Road to Hana tour is identifying your interests. What kind of experience are you looking for? Are you more interested in taking in the scenery or stopping for hikes and swims along the way? Do you want a leisurely drive with plenty of time for photo ops, or are you looking for a more action-packed trip? Once you have a good idea of what you want out of your tour, you can start narrowing down your options.
The next step is doing your research. Once you have an idea of what kind of tour you’re looking for, it’s time to start reading reviews and comparing prices . There are a lot of big-name companies offering Road to Hana tours, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best option (they rarely are)—or even the right option for you. Talk to friends and family who have been on similar tours, and see if they have any recommendations. Once you have a few companies in mind, it’s time to start digging into the details. No matter what, you want to book a permitted, legal tour. Some “experiences” are offered but they don’t have approval from the county, State, and local communities. These are the kind of guys that get you in trouble or hurt.
Now it’s time for the nitty gritty: comparing tour itineraries and inclusions. This is where things can really start to get confusing because different companies offer different things. But don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Here are some things to look for when comparing tour itineraries:
- Are hotel pick-ups included? If not, how much will it cost to add them?
- How long is the tour? Is there flexibility in terms of duration?
- What does the price include? Make sure everything that’s important to you is covered before making your final decision.
- What kind of vehicle will be used? If you have a large group, you may need a van or SUV. If you have a smaller group or are traveling solo, a sedan might be just fine.
- Will there be opportunities to stop and explore along the way? If so, what kind of activities are included? Are they optional or mandatory?
- What is the policy on food and drinks? Will meals be provided or available for purchase? Can you bring your own snacks and drinks onboard?
- Is transportation back to your hotel included? If not, how much will it cost to add it?