The fragrance of plumeria and gentle island breezes greet you upon your arrival in to Maui. Soon after you've de-boarded the plane, received an elegant tuberose lei and picked up your bags, you're off to pick up your rental car. The woman behind the counter pulls out the map, shows you how to go on the famous Road to Hana....and then shows you the stretch of the drive that is forbidden by Hertz, Avis and all the other car companies: the back side of Hana.
All rental companies tell tourists the back side is too treacherous to drive, so most people drive to Hana and then drive back the same way. Albeit beautiful a beautiful route, there is an entirely uncharted journey on the back side of the island, rugged and remote. You feel as if you've entered another world, open and Serengeti-like, especially when compared to the over 400 hairpin turns and lush jungle vegetation on the other side.
There will be some stretches of unpaved road- and yes, there are some magnificent hairpin curves along ocean cliffs- but nothing needing 4WD. Those car companies just want tourists to stay on the paved roads for the life of their cars; I suggest going off road to add some more wonder to your life.