The idea is Pure Genius – helicopter above roaring waterfalls, pristine tropical forests, endless views of the deep blue Pacific for 36 breathtaking minutes, and touch down in Maui’s most secluded, unspoiled area – Hana!
Let the Hana road adventure begin, and begin it does! After landing, you are welcomed with Old-Style Aloha to charming Hana and your luxurious Limo-Van by a smiling, fun, guide who will feel like an old friend. As you stretch out into the comfy leather Captain’s Chairs and cruise to some of the most coveted destinations in all of Hawai’i you will be delighted by your Hawai’i Certified Tour Guide and the depth of his or her knowledge, expertise, and great storytelling!
You may find hours of extreme smiling tiring out your face!
Did we mention that your guide also seems to be a Chef, as mysteriously, your freshly prepared meals seem to appear like magic, in a tropical setting, of course!
Perhaps, like me, you have been on the iconic “Road to Hana” several times, but NEVER have you been on a road and sky trip like the irresistible experience we call the Hana Sky-Trek!
Here Are 6 Reasons the Hana Sky-Trek is For You!
- There is an early morning or late morning tour to suit your lifestyle. You can go early (Limo-Van out & fly back) or go in the afternoon (fly out & Limo-Van back).
- The ”Road to Hana” becomes the journey of a lifetime with Half the drive time and a fabulous helicopter tour that only adds to the wonder!
- Lunch and soft drinks are included. Have special food needs? We can prepare delicious vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free meals. Just ask!
- The Road to Hana is one of the most unique and beautiful places in Hawai’i. Maybe the world. The journey will be highlighted with ancient lore and magical stories that your tour guides will delightfully relate to.
- There is a reason it is called the Heavenly Hana Highway. The legends will remind you that it is more than just a scenic route.
- This adventure is what helicopter tours are meant for: secluded waterfalls, impossible to reach valleys, and mountain scenery – you will be saying, “Wow!” 10 times a minute!
The Journey Begins!
Let’s take a jaunt through the late morning version of the Hana Sky-Trek that starts at the Kahului Heliport at 11:15 am.
After watching a safety film, our pilot guide invites us aboard. He is warm and welcoming. We take off and fly mauka*, towards Haleakalā.
The wide-open spaces of upcountry* Maui are breathtaking. Flying over Maui on a plane is nothing like soaring in a helicopter. It seems like we could reach out and touch the beauty with our fingertips.
We continue to climb higher, up towards the rim of the Haleakala crater. We pass by villages lost in time and pristine forests with vibrant shades of crimson, copper, and sorrel, framed by a hundred shades of tropical greens. We almost feel like this is another planet in a galaxy far, far away!
Flying above the crater, we ask, is that a blooming silversword* we see?? Blooming after a lifespan of 20 to 90 years!?!?
Seeing the fascinating ridges and valleys that are 100% inaccessible by driving or hiking, we are reminded of the myths and legends of days of ancient Hawaii.
These myths and stories have been inherited from a rich past. They have been shared countless times under the stars and the moon, sitting around a small fire, eating and drinking, sometimes during ceremonies. These are the traditions and knowledge shared up to the people of today. This is what keeps this ancient life alive on Haleakalā.
Another important cultural site can be viewed during your helicopter journey when you fly over the area of Haleakalā National Park known as the ahupua’a* of Kīpahulu*. This area or ahupua’a, starts at the Haleakalā Summit and goes down to the sea. It is spoken and chanted about in numerous Hawaiian mele* and legends.
We are getting closer to Hana; we fly past ‘Ālau Island and have an easy landing at the Hana airport.
We are greeted by our Temptation Tours guide at the gate and whisked off for an ono* picnic lunch. The food is delicious! Plus, we hear about other treats, the locally made coconut candy, ice cream, and banana bread that awaits us down the road. We try hard to save some room for all the ono-licious* treats our guide has in store for us!
We anticipate the possibility of swimming under a waterfall (maybe one that we saw on our flight over?) or walking on a black sand beach. In Hana, it seems there is plenty of time to relax, put our toes in the water, and even take a dip in the sea. (These activities are weather permitting of course, as personal safety is always our priority).
Each of our Hawai’i State Certified Tour Guides from the Temptation Tours family of guides provides a fascinating and engaging tour, thanks to the deep connection and study they have of the land and its legends. One guide may sing to you at the beginning of the trip while another may share the tales and myths of old Hawaii in addition to telling you all the names of the many plants you see on your journey.
After a glorious, comfortable ride, with unsurpassed views, stops in the Hana rain forest and epic waterfall sightings, we return to the Kahului Heliport, satiated – happy and fulfilled with the deep dive into nature, so inspiring with such beauty that it is hard to describe.
As you can tell, Hana Sky-Trek is an extraordinary experience. We strongly suggest you join us if you visit Maui. See for yourself. You will find yourself telling your kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids about this day on Maui for many, many years! Perhaps someday you will return to share the magic of Maui.
Writing and graphic creation by Sugandha Ferro Black (with help from Aunty Kalei)
GLOSSARY* of Hawaiian Words
‘Ālau Island – A little cone-shaped island in front of Kōkī Beach; it is a picturesque 150 feet tall island with several coconut palms on top. It is a sanctuary for the seabirds called ‘iwa.
Ali’i – Aliʻi in the Hawaiian language refers to the hereditary line of rulers of the Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian Royalty)
Ahupua’a – a traditional Native Hawaiian land division that protects and shares all the resources from the sea to the summit
Kīpahulu – The Kīpahulu District protects an intact ahupua’a
Mauka – mountain or towards the mountain (regular directions are challenging on an island, so, toward the sea (makai) or toward the mountain are traditional ways of directions)
Mele – songs and chants
Ono – delicious
Ono-licious – super delicious
Silversword – endemic and fragile blooming plant of the mountains of Maui and the Big Island, the Hawaiian name is ʻahinahina
Upcountry – Upcountry is the portion of Haleakalā over Central/Eastern Maui, stretching to the North Shore, and covering all the way up into Haleakalā National Park (Hai’ku, Makawao, Pukalani, Kula, Keokea, Ulupalakua)
*Please keep in mind that all Hawaiian Words have many meanings. The meanings we share here are the specific translations for the words as they pertain to this particular blog’s subject matter.
Photos courtesy of Wiki Commons (BEFORE August 2020) & other paid for or free sources unless otherwise noted.