The road to Hana is as famous for breath-taking views as it is infamous for heart-stopping twists and turns. With good reason Hana claims to be the most isolated city on Maui (counting Kahakuloa as only a village)—though with the stunning selection of beaches hidden away behind the curves in the road it's doubtful that Hana will remain this way for long.
Hana Highway is really part of the Hana destination; stop along the way to enjoy short hikes, beaches, numerous waterfalls and pools perfect for an afternoon swim away from the crowds. For the solitude, a short hike might be required but the pay-off is a piece of wild Hawaii at its least civilized and arguably most beautiful.
Hana rolls over the hills of Maui's easternmost coast, green and lush beneath the mass of Haleakala. For a taste of the South Pacific in the North Pacific, kick back on the white sands of Hamoa Beach, just south of Hana. If you seek rather charcoal black beaches and fresh water caves, Waianapanapa State Park is just a few miles north of town, while the red cinder beach at Kaihalulu flushes out this varied coastline with color.
Most travellers will want to stop at the 'Seven Sacred Pools' in Oheo Gulch, a series of waterfalls and pools that are questionably sacred, questionably seven in number and often unquestionably busy. Escape the crowds with a hike up the Waimoku Falls Trail and spend a night at Kipahulu, a wilderness campground that requires the proper permit.
Hana is 52 miles southeast of Kahului on the Hana Highway (360), or two to four driving hours depending on how often you stop along the way.