Episode 82: Ultimate Maui Travel Guide: Exploring the Beauty of the Valley Isle

by | Apr 26, 2023


Are you planning a trip to Hawaii and thinking about which island to visit? Maui should be at the top of your list, but there are some things you need to know before you go.

In this episode of the podcast, Bryan Murphy, the owner of Hawaii’s Best, and Andrew Fowers, co-founder, CEO of Shaka Guide, a GPS travel guide app, discuss an overview of Maui in this ultimate Maui travel guide.

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Have any questions? Join our Hawaii’s Best Travel Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

This post about the Ultimate Maui Travel Guide may include affiliate links. If you purchase using one of these links, I may receive a small commission to support this blog.

This post offers general information only and should not be considered legal, authoritative advice. It aims to provide travelers with knowledge for safe and enjoyable outdoor activities but cannot replace individual swimming abilities, physical fitness, experience, or local up-to-date knowledge. Be aware that marine activities carry risks, and participants must assess weather, sea conditions, and hazards beforehand. Adhere to local laws and regulations.

Maui is Hawaii’s second-largest island, also known as the Valley Isle. This episode takes a deep dive into what’s to know and some things to do on the Island of Maui.

Bryan and Andrew provide an overview of Maui’s different regions and areas, such as West Maui, Central Maui, upcountry Maui, South Maui, and East Maui, and talk about the various things to do in each region.

Discover some amazing beaches, hikes, historical and cultural sites, local businesses, and restaurants to explore. They also share some cautionary tips to keep in mind while exploring Maui.

This episode is valuable for anyone considering visiting Maui island. It is packed with great information and insights into the beauty of the Valley Isle.

While exploring Maui, take your time, enjoy the sights, and try the local cuisine. Also, make sure to take necessary precautions and be respectful of the local culture and environment. Lastly, download the Shaka Guide app to get a guided tour and explore the island like a local.

Key Takeaways

  • Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii and is known as the Valley Isle.
  • Maui has five main regions and areas that have unique things to offer, such as cool beaches, hikes, historical and cultural sites, local businesses, and restaurants.
  • The West Maui loop road can be dangerous in some areas, and visitors are advised to be cautious while driving.
  • Upcountry Maui is home to lush farms and gardens, such as the Ali’i Lavender Farm and the Kula Botanical Garden. The area’s climate makes it ideal for growing lavender, protea, and other exotic plants.
  • The Hana Highway is a scenic drive through lush forests, waterfalls, and beaches. If you plan on driving the full loop, prepare for narrow roads, one-lane bridges, and sharp turns.
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Ultimate Maui Travel Guide: Exploring the Beauty of the Valley Isle


[00:00:00] Bryan Murphy: When it comes to planning a trip to Hawaii and thinking about which island to visit, Maui is definitely at the top of most people's lists, but there's some things you gotta know before you go. And in today's episode, it is a replay of an episode that I did with Andrew Fers of Shaka Guide, which is a G P S travel guide, right on your phone.

[00:00:20] And what we did was we covered an overview of Maui, kind of a Maui travel guide. In the past few episodes, we've been doing a deep dive into what's to know and some things to do on the Island of Maui. And today we're gonna be wrapping up that little mini-series, if you will, with this being our most downloaded episode on Hawaii's Best.

[00:00:43] And it is our Maui Travel Guide with Andrew Fers of Shaka Guide. So stay tuned for this one as jam packed with a lot of great info if you're considering on visiting the island of Maui.

[00:00:56] Hawaii's Best: Aloha, welcome to Ha's Best Here. You'll [00:01:00] learn what to know before traveling as we discover Hawaiian culture, local businesses, and the experiences that make Havah one of the most incredible places in the world.

[00:01:10] And now your host, Brian Murphy

[00:01:14] Bryan Murphy: Loha. And welcome to another episode of Hawaii's Best, where we help prepare you for your next trip to Hawaii. I'm your host, Brian Murphy, the owner of Hawaii's Best, and with me again, is our good friend, Andrew Fower, co-founder, c e o of Shakka Guy. What's going on man?

[00:01:31] Andrew Fowers: How's it going?

[00:01:31] Thanks for having me.

[00:01:32] Bryan Murphy: Last time I said this is becoming a thing and, and it's a thing. So this is a lot of fun.

[00:01:37] Andrew Fowers: It's cool. I, I just, I've lived here a long time. I know the islands really well, and I just love to kind of talk about 'em and give a chance to have our listeners learn more about these islands and today,

[00:01:49] Bryan Murphy: Maui.

[00:01:50] Yeah, Maui. And we covered Oahu on a previous episode. Kind of. We find ourselves in this island tour travel guide, if you will, over the islands, the four major islands. And today [00:02:00] we are talking about Maui. Or the valley aisle, and it got us nickname. If you've ever been to Maui and you, you land and then you get off the plane and, and, and you're driving, you, you find yourself kind of like right in the smack dab of Central Maui.

[00:02:14] You got Holly Aala the. Enormous volcanoes on one side, and you got the West Maui mountains to the other side, and that's kind of where it got us. Nicknamed the Valley aisle. Maui is the second largest island in terms of size, and it also includes, when we talk about Maui, there's also, we're talking about Maui County, which includes the islands of Lena and Molokai.

[00:02:36] But today we're gonna be focusing all about the island of Maui. So, Andrew, take us around the island a little bit, break down the different sides of different regions, and then maybe we can dive into each of those as we get

[00:02:48] Andrew Fowers: into this. Yeah, definitely. So how we kind of structured this podcast was just basically around the regions first, and for each of these regions, we'll kind of talk a bit about what to do there.

[00:02:59] [00:03:00] Things to check out, restaurants, stuff like that. So just to kind of break it down, if you look at the island, it's shaped kind of like a with a big valley. In the middle we have the West Maui, which is a very unique outcropping on the left. And this is the resort areas like Kana, poly, Kalu, and Laina. And then in that flat area, We have Central Maui, and this is kind of where we have El Valley Wailuku, we have Kalu and the airport just up the mountains.

[00:03:29] There's Hala, which is this huge mountain, which is basically, you know, the entire eastern side of the island. It's, uh, unavoidable, right? You see it wherever you go. It's like 10,000 foot above the ocean. It's, it's crazy. So right on the slopes they have what's called upcountry Maui, and there you have some cool farms.

[00:03:50] You have some local businesses. You have just beautiful, nice, cool climates up there. Then you have South Maui, which is actually, if you going from [00:04:00] that valley flat area and you drive south, we have KeHE and a South Maui. And this, there's also, if you keep driving, you have wa, these are also more of like a bunch of vacation rentals resort area.

[00:04:12] Mm-hmm. They have some nice beaches there as well. Some like shopping and restaurants and stuff. And then last but not least, we have East Maui, which is basically, it's most famously known for the Road de Hana, but we have Hana town on the east side and Kpo on the backside, which is kind of more of the remote side of Maui that people do like to drive around.

[00:04:35] So that's kind of the rundown on the different parts of the island. And today we discussed trying to go through and discuss these each a little bit, one at a time.

[00:04:46] Bryan Murphy: So much to unpack, and I know we, we won't be able to get like a deep dive into every one of those regions and areas and, you know, best places to eat and, and all that.

[00:04:54] We'll cover some of that. So, Andrew, with all that, let's go ahead and start with West Maui because [00:05:00] chances are if you've visited Maui, you've probably stayed on West Maui, or you've probably stayed in KeHE area and South Maui. But let's start with West Maui.

[00:05:10] Andrew Fowers: I mean, west Maui, you do have a mountain range there, but most of the resort area is kind of on the beach side, right?

[00:05:17] Beautiful white sand beaches. During the winter months, if you're lucky, you can see whales just right off the beach, cresting and breaching. It's just a. Beautiful view there. You can also see Lenay, actually from the West Maui coast there. There are some beautiful beaches in the Kop Poly Beach resort area.

[00:05:37] There's multiple hotels there, and then we have Kapu and Laina. So those are kind of the three big areas in West Maui. Mm-hmm. Where there are, you know, variety of shopping, hotels and some restaurants. One

[00:05:52] Bryan Murphy: of the most surprising things about West Maui is, y you may not realize because especially if you do a trip over to Hana, [00:06:00] west, Maui is really dry.

[00:06:01] Yeah. But as you're driving in, you're, you'll probably see that pretty quickly that Yeah, it is. It is a pretty dry area

[00:06:08] Andrew Fowers: over there. Yeah. And there's one thing I definitely don't wanna forget is before all of these resort areas popped up, I mean, original, it was Laina, right? Laina is the original Port City actually was the capital of the Hawaiian monarchy at, at an earlier time.

[00:06:24] Anyways, Laina is is an old fun town there. Nice little walking town with many of the big cruise boats, anchor offshore, and then they, they have boats coming in. It actually is an old, like wailing community, uh, back in the day. So there's a lot of cool, like old stories and some history back when it was kind of like, Kinda like the wild, wild west of, of, of, of Hawaii.

[00:06:48] Like that's where you get all the sailors and the bars and like all that stuff. But beyond that, there's also a lot of historical and cultural significance. And so what's cool about Laina is actually it's, it's a walking [00:07:00] town, so there's a bunch of plaques. There's a free walking tour map where you can go and explore some of the historical areas there.

[00:07:07] So it's a fun town. Definitely recommend checking it out. If you go to West Maui.

[00:07:12] Bryan Murphy: Yeah, it was really cool. Last time we were on Maui, we took Shaka guide with us, the tour, and we, you know, driving through La Hana town and so much of the history, you don't realize as you're driving through, you're just like, oh, this is a cute little town.

[00:07:24] And it's like there, the history there is so, it's so rich and it's, you know, Not that far from that resort area of Kano Poly mm-hmm. That maybe you're, you're probably staying at. So, you know, you're gonna check out, you get all this history and it's cool and you're walking around, you're, you're eating, but you can only like, you know, walk around and eat so much.

[00:07:42] Like what are some things to do West Maui area?

[00:07:45] Andrew Fowers: So once you're kind of done chilling at the resorts, which Yeah. You know, definitely want to spend a few days just like chilling Pool beach. Get sunburn, eat a lot. You know, that's, that's what we want to do on our vacation. Um, but after that [00:08:00] it's like, okay, I want to get out and explore.

[00:08:01] So on the West Maui coastline, there are some cool beaches to check out, of course, the resort areas. But if you go past Kaulu on the north side, there's a place called Honolulu Bay. It's a sweet surfing spot in the winter, but there's also some really good snorkeling there in the summer when it's less.

[00:08:21] Wavy. So there's like a little hike out there. It's kind of a more of a rocky beach, but it's a fun place to check out. You also have dt Flemings Beach. There's some beaches near Laina as well as Slaughterhouse Beach. Slaughterhouse is a little bit more challenging cuz the parking's limited and you have to like take stairs down.

[00:08:40] All of these are. Good for surfing, good for checking out. Some have more parking than others. I think Honolulu is probably your best bet for a, a beach to check out there. Mm-hmm. But it's just like driving around, like checking out nature and checking out like just the raw ocean. I think that's really pretty.

[00:08:57] Some other things though, to check out that are also [00:09:00] kind of fun is there are a couple hikes in the West Maui area, specifically in Kalu. There's a trail called the Dragon. Teeth trail or dragging tooth trail depending on who you ask. And, uh, you can park in the Kapalo area. There is some, you know, public parking.

[00:09:16] There only a few stalls, so if not, you might have to park further out of the resort area and hike in or park at the, um, Sundre Minimart there and then walk in. But it's a cool. Little hike. They call it the dragon teeth, cuz there looks like dragon teeth on the trail, which are rocks. It's a short hike on the coast, kind of in a peninsula there.

[00:09:37] So that's fun. Oh, HAI trail, that one's much further. It's a, it's a trail really deep into West Maui. So if you're driving around the whole entire West Maui, there's this, oh, HAI trail that's, it's much smaller and they name it after that because there's a, a plant there that's unique to that area called Ojai.

[00:09:56] The coolest thing, which I think to do, which you should definitely do if you're, [00:10:00] if you have a rental car, you're driving West Maui is go to the na blowhole. That is a little bit further, I think from Kalu. It's like maybe 30 to 45 minutes drive. It's like this natural blowhole when, when the waves are on the right condition, it launches water like 30, 45 feet in the air.

[00:10:19] That's awesome. Super cool. Yeah. Uh, just some cautions. Make sure you don't get close to the ocean's edge. Sometimes there's big waves that come in and people get hurt. You know, look at the, the blow hole from a distance. Take some pictures. Don't get near the blow hole, although some people think they're like invincible, but it's really fun.

[00:10:38] So just check out Nalia bowl hole if you are out there on West Maui. Yeah. How far up

[00:10:43] Bryan Murphy: does that drive go on

[00:10:44] Andrew Fowers: the west side? I mean, it's a full day drive if you want to do the whole loop. It's a full day, but just as like a little heads up, if you go past the na blowhole, the road starts to get more narrow.

[00:10:57] Sometimes there's no. It's all, [00:11:00] it's a, yeah, no medium. It's a two-lane road and that's, that's it. So you really have to be cautious in one part there on the west mile, it's a one-lane road, so you have to like yield to oncoming traffic and it's, it's just a little white knuckle driving. So if you're not familiar, Or feel confident driving in some more precarious situations.

[00:11:20] You know, just avoid driving the whole loop and just turn around after the blow hole. But if you're up for it, we do have the Shaka Guide tour. We do have a tour that takes you out there and around the full circle. I've done it, I think it's fine, but I've talked to some friends and they're thinking like, dude, that was super sketchy, man.

[00:11:37] Like, so be cautious. And if you don't fill up for it, then just turn around. But it's still fun either way.

[00:11:43] Bryan Murphy: Right. And even if you're, if you're staying in the Kali area, the, the beach right there, I know we kind of touched on it, but there's also a lot of activities. You know, you can learn to surf, you can, you know, get on an outrigger and that's a a, um, a cool like [00:12:00] morning to get out there and do that, so For sure.

[00:12:03] Yeah. Waves there are pretty

[00:12:04] Andrew Fowers: chill. So, and the shopping, there's like tons of shopping. Oh, right. There's village. Wellers Village Wellers Museum. Yeah. You know, a bunch of restaurants and stuff there. So just, I'm not gonna recommend one in particular cuz there's too many to recommend. Yeah. But just go check out some local food, try some of their fish.

[00:12:21] I mean, it's all really fresh. Right.

[00:12:23] Bryan Murphy: All right. So that's, I think, a good overview of West Maui where you'll probably spend, I would say, majority of your time if your your hotel is over there going back over to Central Maui, Andrew, as you. Driving in between West Maui mountains and Haleakala, what can we explore?

[00:12:41] Central Maui area.

[00:12:43] Andrew Fowers: So actually Central Maui's kind of been going through some transition. It used to be a bunch of cane fields where they grew sugar cane for many, many generations. Now it's kind of switched over to other things like hemp. They also have a cool, like sunflower garden out there you can check [00:13:00] out.

[00:13:00] But if you're looking at Central Maui, it's kind of broken up into basically two cities that that connect, and one is Kalu, which is the airport in kind of the main area. Mm-hmm. Then we have Wailuku, which is more like local's older town, but it has a fun little walking area there as well. Not a lot of visitors spend a lot of time in the Central Maui, unless you're staying there.

[00:13:21] They do have the Queen Kahu, Manu Shopping Center, which is like kind of the biggest mall out there. They also have Maui Ocean Center, kind of in that central Maui area. The other thing I like to check out on the Central Maui is actually the El Valley, so that actually takes you into the valley there.

[00:13:37] It's a cool state park next to the river. So those are some of the things to check out. There's also some petroglyphs you can check out. It's near the Maui Ocean Center area and also some good food, um, as well. Mama's Fish House is like legendary. Yeah, it's basically like really good fresh fish. Little pricey needed advanced reservation, but I mean, Everyone's asking like, oh, I [00:14:00] want to go to Mama's Fish House, so recommend checking out if you have the chance.

[00:14:03] If not, there's some also some great alternatives. The Paella Fish Market is, I think, on par with Mama's Fish House, Uhhuh, and it's more of a fast casual setup. Yeah.

[00:14:14] Bryan Murphy: What about any, any beaches over in that area?

[00:14:17] Andrew Fowers: Yeah, so the beaches, the checkout would be like whole Kippa beach. Mm-hmm. That's like the windsurfing kite surfing capital of the world.

[00:14:25] I swear like every time you drive by, there are tons and tons of wind surfers and kite surfers. When the conditions are right, you can, they get launched like. 50 feet in the air. Not even joking. Nope. Nope. So super cool to, to kind of just watch from the distance. Yeah. And the other cool anomaly there and whole kipa is turtles like to nest to nap there at night.

[00:14:48] Mm-hmm. So if you kind of go during the evening, you'll see a bunch or like. Black rocks and if you look closely, like there's a lot of turtles there that are also just kind of chilling out, camouflage, like of course, you know, keep your [00:15:00] distance but just take pictures. Right. The other one to check out is Jaws.

[00:15:04] This is a unique beach cuz it's probably the biggest surf in the United States when it's going off. It's up to 40 foot high surf. It's very, very unique conditions to get that way. Normally it's like, A lake, it's very like no waves at all, but in the right conditions, one or two times a year, jaws is legendary, huge surf, and it's so big they have to get towed in by a jet ski.

[00:15:32] Yes. It's kind of like a, a dirt road to get out there, but yeah, I mean, if it's going, check it out, but it's, it's very rare

[00:15:39] Bryan Murphy: that it does. Awesome. Yeah, I think a lot of people have heard of Jaws or the Legend of Jaws and yeah, that's kind of where you're, we'll refine that. Um, okay. Upcountry Maui and Holly Aala.

[00:15:50] That's probably one of the like on everyone's must-do lists. Let's talk a little bit about that.[00:16:00]

[00:16:00] All right, so to jump on in here, before we talk about East Maui, talk about Ro Dahan and it is time for any kind news. And on this edition of any kind news, we are talking about the green bill and. Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill that would require visitors to purchase an annual pass to access the state's Park Forest, and hiking trails if enacted, an online system would be implemented for non-residents to obtain a license while Hawaii residents.

[00:16:30] Would be exempt. Violators could face penalties, but not during the five year transition in education, period. The bill comes as the state sees a surge in popularity amongst tourists. Governor Josh Green initially proposed a $50 climate impact fee for each visitor to preserve natural and cultural resources.

[00:16:51] However, concerns about potential constitutional rights violations led lawmakers to consider the annual license instead. Governor Green highlighted that the [00:17:00] 10 million annual tours should help support the state's environment. Hawaii's house Tourism committee Chairman Sean Quinlan, noted 50% increase in hiking by travelers with many seeking lesser known spots in the state.

[00:17:14] However, the state lacks the funds to manage these areas adequately with climate changes causing further issues. Hawaii invests in sustainably efforts, but the overwhelming number of tourist strains resources. The proposed fund would apply to non-residents aged 15 years and older and be managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

[00:17:34] The Hawaii Green Fee Coalition is advocating for a green fee to protect and maintain the state's natural resources impacted by tourism. While many locals support the legislation, several details such as the locations requiring a license and the fees still need to be finalized if passed, Hawaii would become the first US state to implement a tourist fee or license.

[00:17:58] I love to know what your thoughts [00:18:00] are on this green bill. Would you. Purchase an annual pass to access the state parks, forest, and hiking trails when visiting Hawaii. Let us know in the comments at Hawaii's best travel.com/episode 82. That's eight two. Now back to my conversation with Andrew Fers of Shaka Guide as we talk about the east side of Maui.

[00:18:29] Andrew Fowers: So upcountry, Maui. It's about 30 minutes from Kalu In the airport you have to drive uphill. Of course, it's the major town there is like Coolah, but they also have Makawa. And Makawa was more of a country, cowboy town, some cool eats there, nice little walking community, quaint little boutiques and stuff.

[00:18:48] Makawa is check out that. And then cooler, a lot of like Airbnb or vacation rentals kind of spread out in the area. There are a few hotels, but not many. What people like to do [00:19:00] in Coolah and the upcountry area is actually check out all these cool farms. Like what's unique about Upcountry is it's in the shadow of Holly Aala, and so the clouds kind of get blocked there and which creates a nice mm-hmm.

[00:19:14] Moist environment. So it's super different compared to West Maui where it's dry, right up countries much more wet green. So there's some cool farms to check out if you have a chance. A Ali Lavender farm is a good one. Prote farm, they have some tours there. Cool country farms. The Maui winery, which they have like this cool like pineapple wine.

[00:19:37] And then the surfing goat dairy where they make goat chocolate and goat cheese and stuff like that. My favorite is actually the Cooler botanical garden. That one is paid admission, but it's like totally worth it. It's this really old, nicely maintained botanical garden to check out. I, I went there with my family a while back and we actually did some, some photos there that we still have up on our wall.

[00:19:59] Yeah, [00:20:00] that's cool. Any of those farms are nice to check out. You know, some of 'em have farm tours where they take you on a tour. Some you can just kind of self guide and browse. It just kind of depends on what you're interested in. Okay,

[00:20:10] Bryan Murphy: now let's go ahead and get to Holly Aala.

[00:20:13] Andrew Fowers: Yeah, so specifically Holly Aala.

[00:20:15] It's like, okay, you've checked out the farms right now, let's go up the mountain. All right, so, right. It goes very steep for a very short distance, so it has a lot of switchbacks along the way. You'll just start to see. More and more and more of the valley. Eventually it'll start to open up to where you can see inside the Holy Aala crater, which is actually about the size of Manhattan Island.

[00:20:41] That's how it's crazy big. The crater is. Yeah. So. As you go up, there's three or four viewpoints that we recommend in the Shaka Guide Tour where you can stop and, and like check out different perspectives of the crater. There's also some fun hikes to check out as you make your way up. Up the mountain. [00:21:00] We have the Hosmer Grove, which is kind of near the front entrance.

[00:21:04] They also have the Mau. Crater hike as well as the sliding sands trail. Those you can do in certain parts, like there and back two mile or maybe a there and back half mile. I mean, when you're so high up, like a half mile feels like three miles. The oxygen

[00:21:21] Bryan Murphy: is elevation, right? Yeah.

[00:21:23] Andrew Fowers: The elevation. You're just like, dude, like I cannot like, Go as far as I thought.

[00:21:28] So there's some fun hiking, but if you're not up for hiking, I mean, just driving it and getting some cool photos and then going to the summit and seeing the view, it's totally worth it. Easily can be done in about a half day, but it can also take up to a full day if you really wanna just take your time and see the sites.

[00:21:49] And one other thing to mention is Holly AK has a ton of legends and stories about, about Maui, the demigod, about how he lasso [00:22:00] the sun. Mm-hmm. Just some fun stories there. And Maui, the Hawaiian Superman is, is the song there. Brother is so, definitely has some epic views, clouds. I mean, they call it the sea of clouds, actually, because when the weather's right, all you see is an ocean of clouds and there's like, right.

[00:22:17] It's insane. And then the, that's where the sun rises. So beautiful. Sunrise. Very cold in the morning, but definitely worth it. If you have the time, check it out. Holly Aala.

[00:22:28] Bryan Murphy: So one of the things with Holly Aala, I mean, it's on everyone's like a, like you mentioned, it's on everyone's to-do list. If someone wants to see a sunrise, what are some of the steps, you know, right now to be aware of?

[00:22:39] Yeah,

[00:22:40] Andrew Fowers: so first of all, if you want to go to the See the Sunrise, you need an an advanced reservation and you can go to the National Park website. There's a place to do it. It only costs a couple bucks, and you only need a reservation from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM after that. It's just normal, uh, national Park price [00:23:00] and mission, but specifically for the sunrise, you need that reservation.

[00:23:03] That's just to control the crowds a little bit at the mountain cuz there's not a lot of parking up there. But other than that, if you want to go any other time or even sunset, which isn't also a nice alternative, you don't need a reservation there.

[00:23:16] Bryan Murphy: Okay, going to South Maui and if you are traveling to Maui, this is probably the other area.

[00:23:23] If you're not staying in West Maui, you're probably over in, uh, south Maui. It's a bit dry and sunny over there as well. What do you wanna talk about with South Maui? Uh, Andrew. So,

[00:23:33] Andrew Fowers: yeah, let's talk a little bit about South Maui. So it's about 30 minute drive from Kahului. Mm-hmm. Beautiful resort area. There are a bunch of beaches along the, the drive there.

[00:23:43] So basically have resorts on the, as you're driving down, you know, the, the KeHE and Yle. There's. Hotels and some resorts, kind of like more smaller ones. You don't get a lot of big hotels in KeHE, and then some beaches on the right as you continue to go down there [00:24:00] is the Yle area, and there's some big shopping area there.

[00:24:04] There's also some bigger hotels to check out as you make your way down into Yle. Some of those are pretty high end hotels, and then further down into the end of the road, you have McKenna and there's some beaches there and some snorkel cleaner checkout. From this area. They also pick up their tours for the snorkeling tour for Molokini, and that's where you can pick up to see the, take a boat out to the Molokini island there to check out the snorkel tour.

[00:24:32] Other than that, I mean, south Maui is pretty basic. Yeah. It's more for people just to chill. Resort beach. Mm-hmm. Similar to West Maui. Right. Just a lot of great options just to kind of hang out.

[00:24:42] Bryan Murphy: Now, probably like the the most epic. East Maui Rotana. Let's unpack some of what it is, some of the history and some, I think probably more so right now, the etiquette and [00:25:00] some things to be aware of.

[00:25:01] If you're wanting to put rotana on your to-do

[00:25:04] Andrew Fowers: list. Yeah, so if you want to check out East Maui, it really is the road. Da Hana is the way in right that road. Actually, you can drive all the way around the island or you can just drive Da Hana and back if you are not wanting to. Do a long road trip with a bunch of turns and see waterfalls, then the road DA Hana may not be for you.

[00:25:26] I've heard some people like, it's too intense, it's too long, you know? Yeah. And they're not up for it. But if you're up for an adventure Yeah, and you want to really see the real authentic side of Maui, then I think the road Dahan is, is a lot of fun for families. Back in the eighties, they made this cassette tape where you push play and they would talk and tell you where to go and check out different stops along the road, Dahan.

[00:25:52] Then it was like a cd. Now there's like an app for it. So I'm gonna try to give you an overview of what that experience will be [00:26:00] like. But bottom line is, It makes most sense to check out an app. Shaka Guide also has an app for the Road to Hana, where we have a driving tour that will take you in and and talk story and tell you some of the cool stops to check out along the way.

[00:26:14] But just really quick to unpack it, it's a one and a half lane highway, sometimes two lanes, and it's about 64 miles from. Paella town all the way into Hana, 620 curves as well as 59 bridges. And some of those bridges are one lane bridges. So it's a lot of turns, a lot of curvy curves. Uh, right. But in, in that area, there's, I think, 13 something.

[00:26:40] Possible waterfalls to check out some of the, the top spots that people like to check out on the road to Hana is Twin Falls, also the Yap. Napa State Park, which you currently need a reservation mm-hmm. To go to, similar to Haleakala.

[00:26:55] Bryan Murphy: Also known as the Black Sand

[00:26:56] Andrew Fowers: Beach. Yeah. Yeah. So Yap. Pap is known as the [00:27:00] Black Sand Beach.

[00:27:01] There's a walking area. It's beautiful. They're just trying to limit the number of people at the same time and that's the reason for the reservation system. Gotcha. But some other fun stops I think are, is Hana Town itself. You can go into Hana and there's a little bay there you can check out. Uh, I recommend like getting some food in Hana Town and then going to the beach to watch, you know, watch the waves and stuff.

[00:27:26] If you're adventurous and you want to push a little bit further, you can turn around after Hana Town and just go back. That's fine. Mm-hmm. You want to push a little further. You can go all the way to what's called the seven Sacred Pools or the seven Sacred Falls. And the P p Y trail, which is in K, the Kip Hulu District of the Holy Aala National Park.

[00:27:48] And this is a beautiful, well maintained part of the national parks where you can swim. Sometimes the swimming is closed if there has been recent flooding or flash flooding. [00:28:00] But if you can't swim, the p p Y trail is beautiful as well. It's a. It's a hike that you can see two waterfalls as you hike up. And if you go all the way to the end, you can see this, uh, y MoCo falls and, and hike through this cool bamboo forest.

[00:28:16] So definitely something to check out. If you go into the hok, the Kip Hulu side, they're called the Seven Sacred Pools.

[00:28:24] Bryan Murphy: Yeah, that the bamboo forest, that's where you can find that. That's one of those I know whenever, we'll, we'll post about it. You know, you get some people where, where's that on Maui? And I didn't know that.

[00:28:35] Yeah, that's, that's where you could find that. So now this is like an all day. Adventure and I'm sure it takes all day and especially if you're, you know, you're on staying on West Maui, this is like the whole other side and all the loop to loops and all the 59 bridges. Yeah. Like how long

[00:28:54] Andrew Fowers: does this take? I mean, if, if you're g planning to do the road dahan, It's definitely like [00:29:00] an all day thing and even more so, so just be prepared that you need to start early, especially if you're staying in the Capua or the Kano Poly side of the island.

[00:29:10] It's gonna take 45 minutes just to get to the, the paella town. So you need to be up at like seven at least driving to paella, start the road to Hana about 8, 8 30, and you're good. And then from there, I mean. It seriously will take all day just for you. You'll probably won't even get to Hana town until one o'clock.

[00:29:32] Yeah. And so that's why I say kind of eat lunch and Hana, but. Then if you go all the way to the seven sacred pools, I mean, you won't get there till three or four, you know, hang out and swim. There's some bunch of stuff to check out there. And then if you decide to, you have a couple choices, actually, once you reach the seven Sacred Pools, you can either just turn around and it's about two hours drive all the way back.

[00:29:56] Mm-hmm. And I mean, it feels like it's. It's a [00:30:00] never ending drive going there, but actually the the way back it, it goes pretty quickly. So plan out about two, two and a half hours on the return trip. If you're wanting to avoid driving at night, just make sure you leave a little ahead of time so you don't get caught in in the dark.

[00:30:14] You can drive it at night, but. I just, it's a little bit safer to do it during the daytime.

[00:30:19] Bryan Murphy: Yeah. Especially this isn't your, your normal commute. You wanna

[00:30:23] Andrew Fowers: Yeah, it's, you really have to be cautious cuz there's a lot of blind curves and Yeah. You know, cars will come whipping around and you don't want to do any head on, so you really gotta take it slow and cautious.

[00:30:33] Especially on the way back when you're kind of like tired. You're like, dude, I want this to be done already. And that's where you need to be most cautious so you don't get any accidents and stuff. Doing

[00:30:41] Bryan Murphy: Rohan and even backing up, uh, we're talking about Holly. Those are maybe a couple things would encourage you to do maybe in the beginning of your, your trip, especially if you're traveling from the mainland of the us you're.

[00:30:56] Probably three to maybe even six hours ahead of, [00:31:00] you know, Hawaii time. So you're nationally gonna be getting up at like, you know, 4:00 AM and mm-hmm. Getting going. So that would be something to, you know, if you're, if you're thinking as Andrew was talking, like get a, you know, leave your hotel by seven, well you're probably gonna be getting up at like four anyways, so.

[00:31:16] Another

[00:31:16] Andrew Fowers: thing to be aware of is the road. Dahan also has a lot of locals that use that road as a mm-hmm. As they commute. So just some careful etiquette here. Please be respectful of the locals that travel that road. Um, be cautious. Don't speed, and if someone is driving faster behind you, then just let them pass.

[00:31:38] Right? Um, again, don't be in a hurry on the road to Hana. Take your time, but also let the local traffic pass because. I mean, when you get stuck behind, uh, a visitor that's like, oh dang, this is beautiful. And the local's like, dude, I do this every day. Get outta the way when you're there. Also, just remember, this is actually someone's home that people live there and they live on and near the road to Hana, so [00:32:00] that we as visitors need to be respectful of that.

[00:32:02] Yeah,

[00:32:03] Bryan Murphy: definitely. You're visiting this area. Keep in the back of your head or even the front of your mind, like this is, this is actually someone's, you know, home. This is, this is where they live and, and especially right now and even coming off of last year, of 2020, resources are super limited on this side of the island.

[00:32:21] So just being. Cognizant of that and just being mindful as you're, um, enjoying the incredible beauty, but you're not gonna find, you know, the Costco, the target over there, so mm-hmm. Whatever you have, make sure you, you pack out as well. So bringing, you know, a trash bag, keeping that in the back of your, your car and just being, um, aware of that and.

[00:32:42] Obviously you supporting local there. You gotta make sure you get some banana bread. Yeah, HANA, I mean, come on. You can't forget about the banana

[00:32:49] Andrew Fowers: bread. Yeah, so anti Sandys is a good one. There's also halfway to Hana. I mean it's solid. The road to Hana, there's so much to see and do. That [00:33:00] Shakka Guide does have an app for the road to Hana, and basically it's a location based driving tour where we have three options.

[00:33:08] You can do the classic tour, which will go there and back, or the loop, which will go the perimeter or the reverse, which is the perimeter button in the opposite direction. And all of those tours have similar content, similar stops, just in different orders depending on kind of how you want to manage your time.

[00:33:24] But it's a lot of fun. We, we do some great storytelling about, The Hawaiian history, Hawaiian monarchy background about the area specifically Hana and beyond. So check it out if you have a chance on the app store, Chaka guide.

[00:33:39] Bryan Murphy: And also a tip there would be to download these tours ahead of time. So at your hotel or even before you, you know, before you leave, so you have 'em on your device.

[00:33:50] Andrew Fowers: Yeah. Yeah, definitely plan in advance. I mean, road dahan is not something you just kinda wake up and like, oh, let's go do, let's go do the road Dahan. You really have to plan a little bit [00:34:00] in advance there.

[00:34:01] Bryan Murphy: Okay. Thinking about Maui, Maui is one of those places that is kind of a bucket list. You thinking about Hawaii, thinking about Maui, and many people visit Maui to get married in Maui.

[00:34:12] They renew their vows in Maui to the family reunion on Maui. And a lot of memories are made on Maui, and we hope that this guide will help to, uh, maybe guide you to make some of these memories, cuz that's really what it's all about, is about enjoying the incredible place of Maui, but also making these memories together with your

[00:34:32] Andrew Fowers: family.

[00:34:33] And just one little note in the show notes, there's a link where we have a very detailed travel guide about Maui, where you can kind of read more about what we talked about today.

[00:34:44] Bryan Murphy: Next time we, we get together, we're gonna be talking about another island. So be sure you guys subscribe and leave a nice kind rating below.

[00:34:54] Appreciate you all and until next time, be well. Aloha[00:35:00]

[00:35:01] Andrew Fowers: Mahalo for listening to this episode of Hawaii's. Best to stay up to date on future episodes. Please subscribe and visit us at hav Hawaii's. Best travel.com.

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