Day 4. The Bamboo Forrest and Tacos for Days
Cliff Notes Version
Where we stayed: Paia Inn (Paia)
Where we ate: Croissants and fresh fruit at Bamboo Inn, fish tacos from Island Style Tacos at Nahiku Marketplace, followed by more tacos for dinner at Milagros. You would have thought it was Taco Tuesday or something. (Actually, it was!)
What we saw: A bamboo forrest, old banyan tree, waterfalls, amazing artwork in Paia and some local surfers.
Where we shopped: Shops in Paia
We started off the day with a walk on the beach. Ok, that sounds pretty cliche, but our hotel was a stone's throw away from the beach so we obviously had to check it out. This was definitely NOT a swimming beach - there were plenty of jagged rocks dotting the coastline.
A few months ago on Instagram I stumbled upon the #2minutebeachclean movement which focuses on removing plastics and other harmful trash from the marine environment and beaches around the world. Some white shiney plastic caught my attention and I decided to conduct my own beach clean while in Hana.
Late Morning/ Early Afternoon
We had a few more stops to make before we drove the "Road back from Hana." Some of the highlights included:
Hamoa Beach (MM #50). Quick stop on the Road back from Hana. In short, the beach is beautiful and there were a few people swimming and sunbathing. Beware: There is a bit of a steep hike to get down to the beach.
Koki Beach (MM #51). A favorite hangout spot for surfers. Swimming is not advised due to strong rip currents and high waves.
Wailua Falls (MM #45). You can easily spot these waterfalls from the road.
Kipahulu Haleakala National Park (MM #42). By far the highlight of the day! We hiked a total of 4 miles on the Pipiwai Trail to see the Waimoku Falls ("Flash Flood Falls.") There were plenty of freshwater pools, a massive banyan tree, a gigantic bamboo forrest, bamboo along the waterfalls and more! Swimming was not allowed anywhere due to hazardous conditions. The hike took a total of about 2 hours and I highly recommend athletic shoes at a minimum, if not hiking boots. There are rock pavers along the path, but beware of tree roots and muddy conditions. Another piece of advice: Get here early! You will have the trails all to yourself! We finished our hike by ~12 noon.
What we skipped:
Why? Ran out of time!
- Palapala Ho'omau Church (MM #41). Charles Lindbergh's Grave Site
- Laulima Farm (MM #41). Certified organic sanctuary
- Kaupo General Store (MM #35). Snacks and refreshments
- Maui Tropical Plantation (Last Stop). Zip-lining, gift shops and tram ride around the property
After we finished our delicious tacos from Island Style Tacos at Nahiku Marketplace we continued on our journey back from Hana. We arrived in Paia around 4 pm and realized we didn't have any accommodations for the night. We grabbed a coffee and a fruit smoothie and quickly searched online for a hotel. We were able to book the Paia Inn -- just blocks away.
We explored Paia the rest of the day and unlike Lahaina the shops do not stay open very late. Most closed by 6 pm. However, they were quite unique - instead of the numerous jewelry stores and racks of souvenirs we found in Lahaina we were treated to boutique clothing shops, modern art, and trendy cafes. The proprietor of one store confessed Paia prided itself on having a more independent scene than the rest of the island and referred us to a feature from the New York Times for more information. In the evening we grabbed tacos (again!) and some Maui Brewing Company Beers before retiring to the Inn.
One of the things I loved about this charming hotel was the artwork from a local artist, Avi Kiriaty. I snapped quite a few photos to say the least. Flash was off of course!