About Hana, Maui
Recognized as the most authentically Hawaiian area of Maui, the majority of Hana Town (and the road to it) remains largely untouched, filled with abundant plant life, historic sites and modest roadside attractions. If you consider yourself a nature enthusiast, or are looking to explore Maui’s best waterfalls, hiking trails, campgrounds and exotic beaches, don’t miss the famed Road to Hana.
Hawaiian legend states that Hana’s beauty was first discovered by the demigod Maui, who named his daughter Noenoe Ua Kea O Hana, meaning the ‘misty, light rain of Hana,’ who fell in love with Ka’uiku, an adopted son of the menehune and gift from the God of the Sea, Kanaloa. Because he would eventually have to return to the sea, Noenoe pleaded with her father to keep them together, which he did by turning Ka’uiki into the hill overlooking Hana Bay, and his daughter into the misty rain.
In the 1400’s, Pi’ilanihale Heiau was built by ancient Hawaiians, which remains the largest place of worship in the Polynesian Islands and still exists today. In 1768, Queen Ka’ahumanu was born in a cave on the side of Ka’uiki Hill, who is largely remembered for her abolition of the Kapu System and as King Kamehameha’s favorite wife. From the mid to late 1800’s, taro cultivators and fishermen were introduced to new ways of business when six sugarcane plantations were opened in Hana and its surrounding districts. With the arrival of Paul Fagan in 1944, cattle ranching operations on Hana Ranch began. Shortly after, a tidal wave brought an end to the remaining sugar plantations, and Paul Fagan opened Ka’uiki Inn in order to attract tourism and boost jobs in the area, which still exists today as the luxurious Travaasa Hana Resort.
Things to do in Hana
Hana remains as Maui’s sleepy, gorgeous getaway, and one of the best places for a relaxing holiday in nature. Though it’s difficult to pick the best attractions along the Road to Hana, some of our favorites include Twin Falls, Ke’anae Arboretum, Upper Waikani Falls (aka Three Bears Falls), Nahiku Marketplace, Hana Lava Tube, the black sand beach and freshwater caves of Wai’anapanapa State Park, Hana Town, the Hana Cultural Center & Museum, Hamoa Beach, ‘Ohe’o Gulch and Pipiwai Trail. While most visitors make the trip there and back in a single day, we highly recommend an overnight trip for the full experience!