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May 4, 2018

Road to Hana with Awapuhi Adventures

Mahalo to Awapuhi Adventures for providing us with a media rate.  All gratuities were paid on our own.  All opinions are entirely my own. 



The Road to Hana has been on my bucket list for a while now mostly because I was worried that I would get car sick during the curvy 52 mile drive from Kahului to Hana.  I had heard many not-good stories of the narrow and twisty road that passes over 59 bridges – the majority of them one lane wide.  But talk of the lush tropical rainforest, incredible waterfalls, yummy banana bread, and beautiful beaches kept me intrigued. 
Ultimately, I decided the best way to enjoy the Road to Hana would be to find a tour company and let someone else do the driving.  But after doing some research and reading many customer reviews, it sounded like most of the sightseeing was from the bus.  That was not for me.  I wanted to be able to do some hiking and take my time exploring the many scenic points along the way.
By chance, I came upon Awapuhi Adventures on Trip Advisor and immediately knew this was the way I wanted to see the Road to Hana.  Review after review, guests raved about their experiences.  What makes Awapuhi Adventures unique is that they customize a private adventure specifically to your interests and fitness level.  If you want a leisurely general sight-seeing tour, they can do it.  If you’re more adventurous and are interested in hiking and swimming, they can also do it.  If you want to go looking for hidden waterfalls and jump off cliffs, you do not need to look elsewhere because they do it.  
Since we were only on Maui for the day, our guide Matt picked us up from the airport and we were off on our adventure!  We didn’t need to bring our own water because he had water bottles ready in the van which I thought was super convenient.  He also provided hand wipes, towels, ponchos, umbrellas, hiking poles, and a full picnic lunch.  After he gave some history of the area, he asked us what we wanted to see.  I told him we were up for anything, but wanted to do some hiking, see some waterfalls, and eat the best banana bread on the Road to Hana.   Over the course of ten hours, we did all that and much more!      
Stopped for a short hike in a bamboo forest.

It was nice to get out of the car and enjoy the fresh air.  I loved how quiet and peaceful it was.

The hike led to a gushing waterfall!

I am amazed by black sand beaches so Awapuhi Adventures made sure we stopped at Honomanu Bay.

This black sand beach also had green sand!  

There are so many great banana bread stands along the Road to Hana, but I hear Aunty Sandy's is the best so I had to have it!  Absolutely delicious and still warm when we ate it! 

I loved the amount of hiking we got in this day!  Another short hike to see these beautiful waterfalls.  It started to rain, but Awapuhi Adventures had umbrellas ready for us! 

There's no way we would have done this on our own.  Glad Awapuhi Adventures showed us the way through a lava tube and provided us with flashlights too!  They think of everything so you don't have to.

There are so many waterfalls that are visible from Hana Highway and our guide knew just when they were coming up!

One of the many one-lane bridges.

Awapuhi Adventures knows all the places to go.  We stopped for delicious homemade dairy free coconut ice cream! 

This black sand beach at Wai'anapanapa State Park was crowded, but the views were well worth it!

The state park also has fresh water caves, a natural stone arch, sea stacks, and blow holes.

Here's Matt, Awapuhi Adventure's lead guide, preparing us a very delicious lunch complete with fresh pineapple and chocolate macadamia nuts!

How awesome is our lunch view?

We made it to Hana!  This was one of my favorite spots on the entire tour.  The red sand beach was breathtaking.

Kaihalulu beach has a protected cove that is perfect for swimming.

The many gorgeous waterfalls along the Road to Hana make the highway one of the most scenic in the world.  

After exploring Hana town, we made our way towards upcountry Maui.  Hello, gorgeous mountain views!

Our final stop of the tour was at Maui Wine.  The perfect ending to an amazing day filled with adventure.  We enjoyed our wines as we reflected on our fun day. 

A beautiful rainbow greeted us on the drive back to Kahului. 

As you can see it was full day for us and by the end, Gem and I were pretty tired and definitely thankful someone else was driving.  For us, this was the best way to see the Road to Hana.  If you are thinking of using a tour company or not, I highly recommend using Awapuhi Adventures.  I think it is especially convenient for families.  Chances are, you may only do the Road to Hana once so do it the right way and remove the stress of driving and navigating so you can relax and enjoy quality time as a family.  Awapuhi Adventures offers other tours as well:  Halfway to Hana, West Maui Adventure, Custom Maui Hiking, and Maui Farm tours.

Thank you again to Awapuhi Adventures for making this bucket list item so memorable!       


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