Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hana Highway: Where's the Beach?

After the hours-long thrill ride of the Hana Highway, tourists are ready to log a little beach time, only to discover the bay in Hana isn't really inviting to swimmers, especially when the pier is closed. To find places to get in the water is a challenge.  Only a few miles away on a side road is Koki Beach, a red-sand beauty that attracts surfers.

Closer to town is one of the more peculiar beaches in hawaii: Red Sand Beach (above and two pictures below). Reachable via a cliffside trail on Hana Ranch property, the beach is seldom crowded.

A shark's-tooth reef protect the gritty sand from oncoming surf, and provides a usually safe spot to get in the water.

Don't set your towel too close to the crumbly cliffs that hem the beach, since falling rocks are a hazard. Also be aware that some visitors bare their bods here, even though nudity is illegal on all Hawaiian beaches.

Koki Beach has its share of hazards.

The best spot for snorkeling and swimming is Hamoa Beach, a couple miles down the rural road from Koki. The biggest hazard here is parking, since the road is narrow and parking tickets are sometimes issued. This is the beach used by the guests of the swank, low-key Travaasa Maui Resort, in Hana. Guests take a shuttle bus. Maui Trailblazer has the details on all beaches around Hana, as well as trails not commonly visited by tourists.