I decided to dedicate a whole post to Hana. Not because we went there today or anything (I wish) but because I think I will start making posts about different places on the island. And since Hana is my favorite, I'll do it first.
So what is Hana? Hana is actually a little town that never has much going on. So, why on earth is it so popular? Is it the very odd general store in the town - selling anything and everything? Is it the greenery, stretching as far as your eye can see? Or maybe it's the quietness of this little town - so laid back you may wonder if it's made any movement in the last 100 years.
Actually, it's none of those. It isn't even Hana. The reason Hana is so famous is because of the amazing road you have to drive to get there. This is no normal road. It has so much to offer. For such a relatively short drive, you will see and experience a lot. Take your pick: Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, hikes to secret pools and tropical gardens, exotic colored beaches, bamboo forests, lava tubes, history, culture, swimming.... The Road to Hana has it all and more.
Even though trying to list every site on the way to Hana is nearly impossible, I'm going to describe some of my favorites. Warning: There are LOTS!
The first would have to be the Twin Falls and the Twin Falls fruit stand. Some say this is overrated, but I don't agree. The waterfalls themselves may not be the best you'll see, but the hike is wonderful and when I went there was a rope swing into a pool. It's a great way to start the road to Hana. Next is a stop whose name fails to come into my mind at this point. It isn't someplace you're gonna stay for more than a half hour, but it has bathrooms, picnic tables, views, and wild cats and roosters. Pretty neat.
Pretty much all of the waterfalls along the way are amazing... I couldn't name them all here. (Neither could I remember them all) One of the most picturesque, however, has no spot to pull over for a picture. Another thing that there is a lot of is hikes. We have gone on many; all have their own charm. If you like hiking, poke us on the way and remind us of the promised (and sometimes easy) hikes you can take. We will be happy to take you to what we've found.
Some of the sites are located in Waianapanapa park. You'll be greeted by some road side fruit stands, most empty and on the honor system, and then pull into a parking lot. Yes, you do have to hike to some of the better sights (darn) but don't worry: most are easy and worth it. If you feel like swimming in water that is so cold it will take your breath away, enjoy some freshwater cave swimming. This hike is very short and you will love the little caves. We also have the * da - da- da- da!* black sand beach! The sand is coal black, not grey or some weird shade, but the current is usually strong. A lot of people swim in it, so apparently it isn't too dangerous, but I stick to swimming elsewhere. You will enjoy an unusual sea cave... well I don't know how to explain this one. Come over to see it.
When in Hana, actual Hana, we will make you go to the red sand beach. That is, if you're sure-footed. If not, this can still be hikeable but follow our lead and don't believe any idiots that say going over, not across, the beach at the bottom is an easier way to get there. Don't want you leaving with broken bones... and we definitely don't want you staying because of a very unfortunate accident. ANYWAY. The red sand beach is said to be clothing optional but has been only clothes friendly when we went. The snorkeling here doesn't have great coral but the fish are prettier here for some reason. I even saw an octopus.
Hmm, what else could there possibly be? A lot more, most of which I have yet to write about/explore. But I'll end this with Oheo Gulch. AKA... Seven Sacred Pools. A lot of people come for the pools but the more I swim in them the more I think how overrated they are. A must see for first timers, don't let us convince you otherwise. But the trail in the same park is great. It's two miles each way but it is well worth it. You can hike to an Infinity Pool, very tall waterfall, and through a huge bamboo forest. I don't care how much you hate hiking, you are going on this one. End of story.
I guess I should stop before I lose attention or give away all the surprises and secrets Hana has to offer. You can never overestimate Hana; it's impossible. You can say it's the most beautiful, exciting, diverse place in the world and it's true. Hana rarely disappoints. Come on over, I can't wait to share it with you!