The Hana Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in Hawaii. Located on Maui’s eastern shore, this scenic place of unspoiled beauty is peaceful and lush. If you’re heading on Maui holidays, this is a must-see.
There are two ways to get to the Hana Rainforest; by air or by car. There are many helicopter tours available that will fly you to the rainforest in minutes and give you a spectacular aerial view. Traveling by car, there is only one road to get you there: The legendary Hana Highway is 52 miles long and hugs the eastern coastline with narrow one-lane bridges, hairpin turns, and beautiful views. This road has over 600 curves and 54 bridges with many places to stop for picture taking and the scenic drive is 2-4 hours long. As you travel the Hana Highway, you’ll be going through the rainforest in different sections. Don’t be surprised to see whales frolicking off Maui’s eastern shores.
Activities for all ages can be found in Hana. Hiking, biking, swimming, and snorkeling are all available. There’s also the Kanahu Gardens which is a National Tropical Botanical Garden located in Hana’s rainforest. A large Hawaiian temple, Hale Piilani is within these gardens. Swimming is an adventure at Hana’s Seven Pools which is actually a tiered waterfall with small pools at the base of the tiers. Visitors can climb the tiers and soak in the small pools. Snorkeling is available at the black sand beach of Waianapanapa State Park or the more isolated Kaihalulu Beach.
The most scenic hike into the rainforest is the Pipiwai Trail which ends at the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. This moderate hike is 5 miles roundtrip through the dense rainforest passing smaller waterfalls, fresh water pools, and a bamboo forest along the way. Taking a dip in the pools is customary to cool off. The Pipiwai Trail begins 30 minutes beyond Hana at a national park and is accessible by most of the cheap Maui accommodation available.