If you envision your Maui dream home tucked away in a quiet jungle retreat far from the hustle and bustle of the island's busier towns, then East Maui is ideal. If the sleepy little town of Hana is your destination, it will take you between 2-3 hours of driving to get there, assuming you start near the airport in Kahului. The variability of the drive time is due to traffic, as visitors often make the trip very slowly while sight-seeing, and the two-lane road is twisty. Although it takes a long time to get there, the journey itself is breathtaking. You will find yourself surrounded with brilliant green jungle, while the view will open to dazzling vistas of the sparkling azure Pacific on your left and white cascading waterfalls on your right.
East Maui real estate can be found around Hana Town, which is considered one of the most authentic Hawaiian places in the state. While exploring this quaint community, you should visit the Hana Cultural Center and Museum and Wananalua Congregational Church, which is a National Historic Site. Then of course, there's Hasagawa General Store, where you can fill up on gas and food.
Life in Hana is cherished by those who prefer an authentic Hawaiian cultural experience, and the tranquility of a truly tiny population. Fewer than two-thousand people live there. Compare that to Kahului, which has over ten times the population. The dynamic natural environment has been shaped by its variable weather patterns, that shift between sunshine and showers regularly. The rain is the reason why the jungle is so green, and the waterfalls so numerous.
As for places of interest in the area, it's all about the natural treasures:
Waianapanapa Park - You'll find this gem at mile marker 32 of Hana Highway. It's the geology of this park that makes it special. Its stark black sand beach was formed by bits of lava rock, and there's a secluded ocean cave at one end. Along one of its snaking paths, you'll discover a partly submerged cavern that is just the beginning of a subterranean maze. You won't find a landscape with more unique features in one place than this, but be cautious if you choose to explore the potentially confusing cave system, and enjoy the ocean from the beach, because the conditions aren't safe for swimming.
Oheo Gulch/Seven Sacred Pools - The cascading waterfalls of this park can be found at mile marker 42. As if the pools were designed with intention, each pours into the next before their water streams down to the nearby ocean. These lower pools can get crowded with visitors, but if you have the endurance for the four-mile Pipiwai Trail up to the top of the gulch, the upper waterfalls are spectacular.
Puohokamoa Falls - At mile marker 11, you'll see a convenient area where you can pull off to the side of the road. If you follow the adjacent path, you'll discover the Lower Puohokamoa Falls, which boast a stunning 130-foot plunging waterfall that feeds some small, refreshing pools for your swimming enjoyment.
The Hana Lava Tube - If you're heading East on Hana Highway, you'll need to make a left on Ulaino Road, just past mile marker 31. Less than half a mile down the road is the visitor entrance to the Hana Lava Tube, where you can take a self-guided tour of this amazing geological wonder. There is a fee of $11.95 per person, but there's no wait time, and you'll be provided with flashlights. Aside from a few stairs here and there, this extensive lava tube is relatively flat, so the experience won't take a lot of energy.
If you need assistance finding the ideal property for your needs in the Hana area, we'd love to assist you. Hopefully, we've given you a good sense of the lifestyle you can expect in East Maui, and the places that make it special. Mahalo for reading this week, and don't forget to check in next week for the following stop on our Maui real estate tour!
RealEstateMauiHawaii.com - By Mark Harbison
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