Taroko National Park and Gorge can easily be visited from almost anywhere in Taiwan. You can access the park either by arranged tour, private guide, by public bus or by your own transportation. Each option has its pros and cons, however, we recommend renting a scooter if you are comfortable doing so.
Group Tour: This is a great option if you understand Chinese and want more information on the park and sights within the park. These tours are available from almost anywhere in Taiwan and will usually include a few other sightseeing stops along the way. The obvious disadvantage is that you are always part of a large group of tourists and your time will be limited and controlled by the tour operator. If you choose this option, be sure to read a few reviews of the tour operator prior to booking.
Private Guide: This is the most expensive way to see the park. If you get a good, English speaking guide, they will no doubt add a lot of value to your experience, however, a local guide is not at all necessary.
Public bus: There are plenty of options for transportation by public bus to Taroko National Park. This is an affordable way to get to the park and you will be able to explore the park at your own pace by foot. This is a good option if you just want to spend some time in the park or walk a specific trail. Just note that the extent of the park is rather large and you will be limited to the distance that you are prepared to cover on foot.
Own Transportation: We rented a scooter for the day from Hualien and would highly recommend this way of visiting Taroko National Park is you are comfortable doing so. If you are two people, renting a scooter for the day costs about the same as taking the bus from Hualien. Having a scooter means you can explore the extents of the park at your own pace and leisure and also gives you the opportunity to escape the tour bus crowds that tend to arrive in waves. Renting a car is also an option and if this is within your budget it will give you more freedom than being part of a tour.
No matter how you end up getting to and visiting Taroko National Park, try to set aside enough time to truly enjoy and appreciate the natural beauty that makes this place so special. There are so many amazing hiking trails which will take you to hidden wonders of nature. However, before you set off hiking any of these trails, please be sure to understand the associated risks. This area does experience regular earthquakes which result in rockfalls. We visited the park just one day before the 2019 Hualien earthquake of magnitude 6.1 (18 April 2019) which caused serious rockfalls trapping one hiker and resulting in the park being closed for two days. It certainly opened our eyes to the reality of all the warning signs we had seen the previous day and are often too quick to dismiss. We wish you sunny skies and good weather for your visit – enjoy!