The Ultimate How-To Guide to Chasing Waterfalls on the Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is a great place to get your adventure feet wet!
I have always loved to travel, since I was a little one I would go on one major trip a year with my Grandparents, and another with my Father. I was born with the travel gene! When I initially started to get into adventure it only seemed a natural fit to get my adventure fix during travels… and Hawaii is the PERFECT place to do this! You are not exactly off the beaten track, and yet you are able to find solitude on the Road to Hana!
There are three ways to explore the Road to Hana, and all of them involve renting a car (and if you are like most tourist adventurers it’ll be a Jeep or Mustang, I am Team Jeep!). I found the road to Hana drive hilarious and mind-blowing! Hilarious because the traffic was either a local in a regular car, or a tourist in a Jeep or Mustang… almost like a warning to the locals that there is a tourist behind the wheel and that they would have to exercise patience until the tourist could find the turn out so the local could fly by. It is incredible, the roads curve very tightly over cliffs overlooking the jungle or the ocean. It is one of the most majestic place I have ever been! The key to the road to Hana is knowing where to stop, and like I mentioned there are three ways to do it!
An audiobook to play in the car, letting you know when and where to stop. This can be purchased once on the island, or if you are a planner you can grab one (like this https://amzn.to/2NXh5sT) off of Amazon.
A paper guide book (like this https://amzn.to/2NVlOvc) if you prefer to pump up the jams in your jeep with the top down (like myself)!
Research in advance and writing out which stops in particular you would like to stop at.
Either way it is important to do a quick ‘sanity check’ and research each stop quickly on TripAdvisor… I am glad I did as I avoided the “Blue Pool”. Take the below TripAdvisor excerpt:
“As we reached the end of the path, we came across a local who began yelling obscenities at us. We ignored him for a minute, until he started hurling COCONUTS at us.“
No matter which method you choose make sure you respect the land, the locals, and each other. Kindness is key and when visiting these beautiful places respect no trespassing signs and make sure the only thing you take are photos and leave behind are footprints.
There are a few things that surprised me about the Road to Hana in my research. One was that most suggest doing it in a day! I think there is too much to explore and while the drive can be done in the day, don’t rush it! Take two or three days (and maybe even stay in the town of Hana for the night!) and give yourself time to experience and explore many stops.
The next was something very obvious that I did not consider, the road to Hana is a rainforest. This means it can be cold and rainy (rain in a rain forest, that is WILD right?!). If and when I do it again I will bring a towel (whoops), and perhaps even a wetsuit. The fresh water lagoons you will find (like pictured above) and waterfalls you will jump off of (like Twin Falls at Mile Marker 2 pictured below) are COLD. Very very cold. Takes your breath away cold. Did I mention it is cold? A towel, light sweater, and light joggers will go a long way! Make sure it is easy, as the change room is your vehicle or behind a tree on the side of the road.
One of my favorite experience I have ever had was jumping off of the waterfall at Twin Falls. It was just us and a father/son who lived nearby who were able to direct me to the right place to jump! Was the son around 7 years old and jump from a rock 5 times higher than mine? Perhaps! But I still jumped! The Road can get quite busy, so I recommend going on a quiet weekday in low season (if you go at the end of December… prepare for crowds!).
In all, it’s the perfect place to dip your toe in the adventure-lagoon so to speak!
I would love to hear from you! Have you taken the leap with your first adventure travel before? Have you been Maui? Any great vacation adventure stories to share? Sound off in the comments below as our adventure complete with Mai-Tais begins!
FYI: This post features affiliate links where available, which means I get a tiny bonus if you get yourself something new. I can assure you that all items were personally chosen by me while watching RHONY, when researching my own trip, and researching for this post. All opinions — as always! — are my own. (I’d never lead you astray!)