Photo Credit: Phil Dokas

Often cited as the must-do in Maui, the actual town of Hana is sure to disappoint. Only three buildings, one of which is a bank that’s open 9 hours a week, it’s the perfect example of “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” And the Road to Hana is rightfully deserving of the title of "One of the Best Road Trips in the World."

Some of the most breathtaking rainforest landscapes and rushing waterfalls you’ll ever see, passing over 60 (yes 60!) bridges, countless switchbacks, and various states of paved and unpaved roads, it’s been named one of the best scenic drives in the world. If you’re like me, driving is more stressful than relaxing so I opted to go with a tour company instead of attempting the treacherous terrain on my own.

Here are just a few of the reasons I’m glad I did.

Rental Cars Aren’t Insured the Whole Way

Only 10-15% of visitors make it to the Southern part of Maui because rental cars aren’t insured on the super rocky, dirt road. If anything were to happen, you’re basically on your own to cover the expenses. And since it’s so far out, tow companies don’t like going there either so if you’ll often have to wait upwards of three hours for help. This portion of the drive comes with a free shiatsu massage.

Photo Credit: Pamela Shigeoka

The Roads are Ridiculously Scary

Super narrow cliffs that you’d think would only be one-way, but aren't, I've driven in the mountains and this is nothing like I've ever seen before. Don’t leave it up to fate to play chicken with trucks or any other vehicles coming your way. With average speed limits of only 10-15 miles per hour, if you’re not a good driver, this is not the place to test your drag racing skills.

Photo Credit: Caroline Gagne

They Know the Best Photo Opps

With very few pull offs and even less official parking spots, unless you know where you’re going, you’re just driving a really long windy road to nowhere. We made numerous wiki (quick) stops for secret waterfalls and things off the beaten path like where to find the best roadside banana bread.

You Also Get a History Lesson

Aside from riding in comfort, it was a great way to get an overview of Maui and Hawaii, in general. Did you know Lahaina was the capitol longer than Honolulu? Or that Fleetwood Mac, KISS, and Willy Nelson all have restaurants on the island? Tour guide Berry did a great job getting us acquainted with Hawaiian life.