Maui’s Road to Hana is known for its breathtaking scenery, winding roads (620 curves!), and hidden gems tucked away along your journey to the other side of the island. It’s the perfect tour for those who want to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Hawai’i. However, when it comes to experiencing this scenic drive, the question arises: should you hire a tour guide and driver or opt for the freedom of self-driving? Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each option to help you make the best choice for your Maui adventure.

Road to Hana Tour Guide and Driver:


  1. Safety: Safety should always be a top priority, especially on a challenging road like the Hana Highway. There are 620 curves and 59 bridges through stunning rainforests and along steep cliffs. Hiring a professional tour guide and driver ensures you can relax and enjoy the journey without worrying about navigating unfamiliar roads or tricky conditions.
  2. Local Knowledge + Culture: A knowledgeable guide can provide insights into the history, culture, and the plants and animals of Maui, enriching your experience with fascinating stories and insider tips. They know the best spots to stop for photos, hidden waterfalls, and secret viewpoints that you might otherwise miss.
  3. Stress-Free Experience: Sit back, relax, and let someone else handle the logistics. With a tour guide and driver, you can fully immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the Road to Hana without the stress of driving or planning the route.


  1. Cost: Hiring a tour guide and driver can be more expensive than self-driving, especially for families or large groups. However, when considering the convenience and safety they provide, the cost is well worth it for many travelers. Think of it as an investment in the best time of your life!
  2. Crowds: If you hire a group tour driver, you may end up on a bus or van with other people. If you prefer a more private experience, the group tour might not be your jam. With Journey Jill’s tours, it will be just you and your tour guide, who will feel like your new best friend by the end of the day! Our tour guides treat you like a good friend and if you want to avoid the crowds, we know just the spots. So this might be a con for some hired tour companies, but not ours!

Self-Driving Hana Highway:


  1. Flexibility: Driving yourself along the Road to Hana gives you the freedom to set your own pace and stop wherever and whenever you choose. You can linger at your favorite viewpoints, explore off-the-beaten-path trails, and take spontaneous detours.
  2. Privacy: For those who prefer solitude or want to create a personalized experience, self-driving allows you to enjoy the journey with just your companions. You won’t have to share the space with other tourists or adhere to a predetermined schedule. Journey Jill’s tours are private to your group, and you only share space with your tour guide who will probably be your new friend by the end of the day!


  1. Navigational Challenges: The Road to Hana is notorious for its narrow, winding roads and numerous twists and turns. For inexperienced drivers or those unfamiliar with the area, navigating this highway can be stressful and potentially dangerous. Tourists also tend to drive slower and are not aware of the locals, which can cause congestion and frustration with those who use the same road for daily travel.
  2. Missed Opportunities: Without the expertise of a local guide, you may overlook hidden attractions, scenic viewpoints, or cultural landmarks along the route. Exploring on your own means relying on guidebooks or online resources, which might not provide the same depth of knowledge. Journey Jill’s tour guides are all students of Hawaiian culture and take courses at the local college as well as study with local cultural teachers.

So, should you hire a guide or drive yourself?

While self-driving offers flexibility and privacy, hiring a tour guide and driver for the Road to Hana tour in Maui will be an experience that you’ll be glad you invested in. The expertise of a knowledgeable guide enhances your experience, ensuring you don’t miss out on the hidden treasures on this journey, while remaining safe with a guide who knows the roads. By entrusting the driving to a professional, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Maui’s landscape without the stress or worry of navigating the challenging terrain. So, when planning your Road to Hana adventure, consider the convenience and peace of mind that comes with hiring a tour guide and driver, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through paradise.

Ready to book your Road to Hana tour? click here.