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murrayskinner Maui - A travel report by Murray
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Maui,  United States - flag United States -  Hawaii
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murrayskinner's travel reports

Beautiful Hana Maui

  7 votes
Page: 1 2
After spending one day at Hana Maui over ten years ago we always wanted to head back...so we did and spent a week there recently. Hana, referred to heavenly Hana is in the eastern side of Maui and is very quiet, and stunningly beautiful.


Waterfalls beside the road
Waterfalls beside the road
Hana can be reached by driving the famous Road to Hana that takes you over 54 single lane bridges and past waterfalls that tumble right down the roads edge. There are over 600 hair pin turns to get there, so even though it is only about 60 or so miles it should take you 4 or 5 hours if you stop at some of the landmarks along the way. It can be reached on a day trip from the more touristed areas of Maui but i suggest that you stay over at least a couple of nights to soak up the serenity and natural beauty.

Before you head out you can stop at the Shell Station on Route 380 and pick up a CD detailing all the spots and local folklore as you drive. On the way you should try to stop off at PA'IA Town and visit this funky surf and hippy town.

A stop at the KE'ANAE peninsula is also warranted with black rock lava shorelines, and crashing turquoise waves. Just before Hana be sure to pull into WAIANAPANAPA State Park and spend some time on this beautiful black sand beach. In Hana you can enjoy secluded beaches, great hiking trails, and horse back riding. Make sure to visit Hasegawa General Store to pick up provisions.

Hana is on the rainy side of the island and this creates very lush and tropical vegetation more in line with what most people think of for Hawaii. In fact the western side of maui is very arid.

After visiting Hana you can retrace the road to Hana, but I suggest you continue to circle the island on it's southern shore as you skirt HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK (Massive Volcanic Crater at it's summit) and stop by the POOLS of 'OHEO (The Seven Sacred Pools).

Hana does not have much night life but it is a magical place that allows one to imagine what old world Hawaii was like. There are some ocean front accomodation choices but my suggestion is to stay up the side of the mountain to capture the magic of heavenly Hana.

Favourite spots:
Secluded Red Sand Beach
Secluded Red Sand Beach
Our favorite spot was the panoramic veranda of our accommodation high on the hills above Hana. It was so relaxing to start the day with a freshly brewed Hawaiian Coffee and to finish it with a late night cocktail listening to the waves crashing the shoreline in the distance.

We also really enjoyed Red Sand Beach located on a secluded cove just behind Hana Town. We had it to ourselves for most of the day, which made the hike along the narrow pathways worth it. But use caution to get here.

We also enjoyed a visit to Kahuna Gardens which is just outside of Hana Town. We found out that this location is so much more than just gardens, although they were beautiful. It is also the site of an ancient burial site called PI’ILANIHALE HEIAU. It is the largest in all of Hawaii and was built in 1200 A.D.

What's really great:
The Road to Heavenly Hana
The Road to Heavenly Hana
We enjoyed buying fresh produce and fruit at the stand operated right in front of the local medical centre. We also really enjoyed meeting the locals who are so friendly and low keyed. Hana is a fantastic place to come to reconnect with nature, chill, and recharge the batteries.

There is a little grass hut on the waters edge behind the baseball diamond that offers fantastically relaxing massages at affordable prices. Right next door to an outdoor Thai restaurant that is very good and frequented by locals and visitors alike.

We also enjoyed walking the lush grounds of the Hotel Hana Maui. The vistas are breathtaking and the hotel offers the most upscale dining option in Hana and is also a nice place to enjoy local Hawaiian music over a glass of wine or a beer at the end oaf a busy day soaking in the sights of Hana.

We liked the relaxed pace, the stunning beauty, and the magical peacefulness that Hana exudes.

Sights:
A Magical Hana Rainbow
A Magical Hana Rainbow
When in Hana you need to get your provisions at the local store and you should take the time to hike to the secluded beaches. We saw a Monk Seal at one and they are very rare. You will also experience some of the most magical rainbows you can imagine here.

Accommodations:
The front yard at Ekena!
The front yard at Ekena!

Ekena

We stayed at Ekena - High On The Hill. It is a self catering two bedroom unit with a panoramic view from the living area and a wrap around veranda. i highly recommend this place.

http://www.ekenamaui.com/

Nightlife:
Rare Monk Seal
Rare Monk Seal
We visited some beaches in the evening and saw this very rare Monk Seal one night!

Restaurants:
View From The Veranda.  Why dine out?
View From The Veranda. Why dine out?
Most of the restaurants are very informal. We ate in or had picnics for most of our meals but try to stop at the up in smoke BBQ as well as the Hana Farms for the fresh banana bread,

Other recommendations:
Black Sand Beach
Black Sand Beach
Charles Linbergh's gravesite is within easy driving distance and many people take hang gliding excursions offered from Hana's quaint little airport. There are also caves that are worth exploring at the Hana Lava Tube.

The snorkeling of the beaches and especially at Hana bay is really good. There are companies that provide excursions. There are also a couple of fantastic art galleries to visit during one of the rainy spells that are usually very short lived.

Published on Tuesday November 23th, 2010


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Sat, Dec 04 2010 - 01:36 PM rating by mistybleu

I just love Hawaii; and you have captured it well in your report. It is amazing to see the red then black sand beach - what contrast.

Sun, Nov 28 2010 - 09:59 AM rating by krisek

Great pictures and excellent detail of a place I am still to visit. Very helpful for me in particular. Many thanks indeed.

Tue, Nov 23 2010 - 09:33 PM rating by horourke

This is a wonderfully descriptive article. The Charles Lindbergh reference is a footnote to our interest in this man. The rainbow photo is great

Tue, Nov 23 2010 - 08:22 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Very good report and pictures.
Thanks.

Tue, Nov 23 2010 - 06:42 PM rating by porto

Excellent, I like this loads and those rainbows look magical!

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