Let me preface by saying that booking tours is not for everyone, but as I don’t usually rent a car when I travel, and that every google guide I’d found recommended NOT driving by myself for the Road to Hana, I immediately consulted TripAdvisor for the best Road to Hana experience I could do solo – and Valley Isle Excursions was the best rated! Pickup was bright and early at my rented condo, and the tour group was small – 13-15 people generally (mine was 13). My tour guide was Dennis, who was a Maui local born and raised, and very entertaining! The Road to Hana tour is a full day (nearly 12 hours) and makes several food and swim stops, so it was ideal for me as a solo traveler with a poor sense of direction.
The climates and foliage of Maui vary greatly depending on what side of the island you are on! On one side of the island it is all lush greenery and rainforest – this is where the rainbow and bamboo forests were – and on the other side the terrain was much drier – still green, but a lot less trees! There are also very different beaches, from the rocky black sand beaches, to the white sand beaches typical of the rest of the island. We spent about 30 minutes to 1 hr at each beach, and while I could have spent all day happily watching the ocean, I appreciated that we squeezed in as many beaches as possible!
My favourite part of the tour was definitely the waterfalls! Valley Isle Excusions does offer opportunities for you to swim among the waterfalls and at the beaches but you are also free just to take pictures and observe the scenery! You are responsible for bringing a change of clothes and your own towel, as well as appropriate footwear. I highly recommend booking the Road to Hana as a tour – it lets you appreciate the scenery stress free, and you meet other travelers along the way! I loved my day with the company and would definitely consider booking another excursion with them.