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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Maher

Aloha Sunshine Private Luxury Hana Tour, Maui




 



When you travel along the Road to Hana, you realize that the adventure is in the journey, not the destination!

 



I learned that The Road to Hana is one of the most adventures roads in the world, and not to mention the most beautiful roads. I couldn’t believe how many waterfalls and streams funneled through the mountains along the way and into the ocean. I felt like at every turn there was a waterfall, and there at least 600 turns along the Road to Hana as well as 46 one-lane bridges.

 








Experience Hana with a Private tour. Feel the effects of the journey on your total psyche without the interruption of other guests. Feel the way the rainforest grabs your soul and energizes your senses. Transport yourself privately into mother nature’s heart and view The Road to Hana in luxury.




We were picked up in a Cadillac Escalade at the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua at 5:50am in the morning and left promptly at 6am. The seats were super comfy with lots of leg room. Our driver was our own personal Tour Guide. He gave us absolutely amazing insights into the history, and legends of Maui. We were thoroughly absorbed the entire 10+ hours of the tour!


The first Polynesians arrived in Hawaii around 1,200 BC. The Hawaiian culture is a melting pot of cultures that developed the way of life that is today. The spirit of Aloha is the love of all things and by giving and receiving love the culture remains in balance with the environment and each other. The Hawaiian culture sets an example for the rest of the world to follow. That’s why I love living in Hawaii and proud to be here.

 




When we began our journey along the Road to Hana, it was clear that we had entered a different environment compared to the West side of the island. It was slightly cooler. We stopped to see the Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees that grew tall along the road. The rainbow trees are native to the Philippines and can be used to make furniture and other decorative items.  


Bamboo forests blanketed over streams and cliffsides. At times the cliffsides were weeping with fresh water just gushing out of the mountains. It is mind-blowing the amount of water that these waterfalls carry into the ocean.



We stopped at The Ka’anae Peninsula a huge space of land with a small Hawaiian village in the center overlooking romantic coastal views. Along the coast I could see waves relentlessly pummel the protruding lava rocks. All along the peninsula there are no sandy beaches, and the ocean is tumultuous. Only the brave explore the waters in this area. The geological lava rocks were formed by relatively new lava that flowed down the mountains of Haleakalā that could be seen surrounding the peninsula.


The Ka’anae Peninsula is known for its historical structures and taro lo’i (taro patches) that are still in use today. Taro is grown for its edible tubers and is native to Africa, Oceania and South Asia. It is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants on Earth. This root vegetable has brown outer skin, white flesh with purple specks. Taro can be used to make purple bread and cake. You can buy it at Foodland stores around Maui.



About 78 years ago a big Tsunami had hit the Ka’anae Peninsula. An 8.6 magnitude Earthquake off the coast of Alaska created 35-foot waves that devastated the village, many children had died tragically. The only building left standing was the Lanakila Ihiihi O Lehova O na Kaua Church, which is now known as the Ka’anae Congregational Church.

 



Continuing along we crossed many one lane bridges that connected the road. Some of the concrete bridges were marked with the date of 1910 and I felt like I was traveling back in time. It was nice to have our own personal driver, because we could just relax and enjoy the scenery. Many of the locals who live in Hana appreciate tourists when they let them pass along the highway.




 In ancient times, roads were unnecessary because islanders traveled by canoe between the villages. The first path was known as the King’s Trail constructed in the 14th century by Chief Pi'ilani. Over time the Road to Hana was developed to connect the different plantations. The construction of the Hana Highway and its bridges began in the early 1900s. Today locals continue to maintain the road. Often during the rainy season (Dec, Jan, Feb, March), trees fall over and block the road frequently and locals help to remove the debris.

 

We stopped at Pua’a Ka’a wayside park and looked at the waterfalls up close. Behind the waterfalls we could see small caves and wondered what was inside! The air was humid and shaded. The park is set up with picknick tables and benches. A small hike extends further to larger swimming areas, but we decided to just enjoy the view of the waterfalls from the benches.  After we took our time enjoying the sights as we continued toward Hana Farms.



Hana Farms is a special place where you can find delicious banana bread, local produce, handcrafted cosmetics, delicious coffee grown in Hana. I enjoyed their homemade ginger soda. Ginger Soda is delicious and helps to soothe any feelings of car sickness. The winding road can be a little dizzying. Hana Farms is also known for its pizza. Hana Farms started in 1999 growing tropical fruits on its seven-acre plantation and developed into a roadside favorite. The locally grown goods and other crafts made by local artisans attract adventurous travelers with an epicurean apatite.


Passing through Hana Town we noticed that it is a small community with surrounding luxury hotels such as the Hana Maui Resort. People travel here from all over the world to relax and escape in the most remote place in Maui.



Black sand beach is another name for Wainapapa State park. To park at Wainapapa you need to go online and purchase parking reservations. Since we were on a private tour it was all taken care of.! We took our time exploring the scenic park. I was pleased to see cats roaming around! We enjoyed experiencing the unique black sand. It is volcanic sand and had an interesting texture. We could see people swimming in the water. We explored a sea cave right next to the beach. It was an epic rock formation carved by the relentless waves. The park had bathrooms as well as picnic tables and a place to camp. There is a legend that the goddess Pele protects black sand, because the black sand is her children, and if you take the black sand you will be doomed with bad luck forever!




After enjoying Black sand beach we had lunch at Hui Hui chicken, a delicious place to get succulent chicken made with locally grown spices. They give hefty prices of chicken for a good price! We ate overlooking Red Sand beach. Legend has it that the goddess Pele had an epic battle with her sister who had pursued her lover. Blood was spilled on the sand thus making it red. However in geological terms, the red hue is supplied by the red-rust lava cinder cliffs surrounding the beach.




The Road to Hana changes your life and your whole perception of Maui's culture. You will get closer to the root of the magic that is created by locals and the history that shaped Maui's traditions. See it in comfort and take a journey into a world that most people dream about! Aloha Sunshine Private Luxury Tour awaits!




Photo Credit: Chad Cole

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