Private & Custom Adventures

General Information

Schedule: We can customize your experience to last a few hours or the entire day.
Rated: Easy to Strenuous. Ages dependent upon activity
Included in the Tour: All standard fare available, or let us arrange a special meal for you. Many options and upgrades to choose from.
Gear Provided: Activity dependent
Prices: Half-day excursions start at just $1,250 for up to 6 guests.  Full-day charters from $1,900.  Contact us for details.
Group Size: Driving adventures have a 10 - 14 guest capacity, Helicopter adventures have a 6 guest capacity. Multiple vehicles and helicopters are available for larger groups.
Restrictions: Varies depending on activity.
What to Bring & Wear: Varies depending on activity.

Full Description

Custom Adventure Possibilities: Since 1993 Hawaii Forest & Trail been taking visitors and residents to some of the most awe-inspiring locales in Hawai‘i.  As a place of great diversity, Hawaii Island has something to offer everyone.  Whether you’re hoping to stand atop the tallest mountain in the world, explore an active volcano, or enjoy the quiet serenity of a waterfall, Hawaii Forest & Trail’s unsurpassed access, local knowledge, and expert Interpretive Guides combine to give you an experience like no other.  These tried and true private tour itineraries are designed to immerse you, our guest, in the best that Hawai‘i Island has to offer.  Our friendly reservation staff will work with you to develop a tour to your specifications; from the pickup time to the catering menu to the activity.  Contact us today and let us put together an unforgettable Hawai‘i for you!

Hiking Adventures: Join us for a half-day or full-day hiking adventure.  Excursions range from easy hikes ideal for all ages (1 to 2 miles, minimal elevation gain), to itineraries that will test even the hardiest trekker (10 – 12 miles, 4,000’+ elevation gain).  We outfit you with everything you need on the trail, including packs, walking sticks, food, and beverage.  Just bring a sturdy pair of shoes and your sense of adventure.  If you’re interested in a hiking adventure, ask about our custom series of hikes including Hualalai, Waipio Valley Rim, National Parks, and Honokane Nui via helicopter.

Caving Adventures:  Hawaii Island is home to some of the most extensive cave systems in the state, and most are on private land.  Our unparalleled land access and knowledgeable guides let us lead tours to places few ever get to experience.  Possibilities range from half-day (1 to 2 hours underground) to full-day (3 – 4 hours underground) experiences visiting one to two cave systems.  All gear is included.  Custom cave itineraries include Kaupulehu Ranch Cave, Kaumana Cave and Kazimura Cave.

Ohana Adventures:  Ohana is the Hawaiian word for family.  We’ve hand-selected several of our tours that are ideal for families and groups of all interests and ability levels.  Whether you are exploring the lush countryside of North Kohala, or the misty upland slopes of Hualalai, your time with us will serve to strengthen your connections to the land and to each other.  Customized versions of Kohala Waterfalls, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Circle Island are great ways for families to make the most of their time on Hawaii Island.

Romance & Evening Adventures:  The natural beauty of Hawai‘i has the power to inspire.  Let us share with you and your loved one the special places where this natural beauty is most inspirational.  The wonder of Hawai‘i doesn’t stop once the sun sets.  Our nighttime adventures are tailored around activities and events that are best experience in near or total darkness.  If you’re interested in an evening adventure, ask about Mauna Kea, Merriman’s and Twilight Volcano adventures.

Heli-Adventures:  Incorporate the exciting element of air travel to your nature experience.  We partner with the best helicopter tour operators to deliver a truly memorable tour on land, and in the air.  Our heli-adventures are custom designed to meet your needs, from departure times to locales.  These tours are for those looking for something straight out of National Geographic!  Lands of Pele and our Waterfall Helihike are just two of an almost endless combination of adventures that take to the air.

FAQs

  1. Who takes Private Group & Custom Adventures with Hawaii Forest & Trail? Our clients range from families with special needs or interests, Fortune 500 executives, foreign dignitaries, media executives, entertainment celebrities, guests wanting strenuous hikes or who have specific natural history interests, to small groups who require privacy and exclusivity. Many of our repeat guests reserve private tours for themselves, family, and friends.
  2. What is the difference between a Private Group and a Custom Adventure? A Private Group Adventure is any of our trips exclusively reserved for your group. We will book you using our normal timing and catering. Any deviation from the normal itinerary, timing, or catering becomes a Custom Adventure. These trips are exclusively for your group, and take into consideration your special needs, requests, and interests.
  3. What is the payment and cancellation policy? Cash, Travelers Checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted. Private Group Charters & Custom Adventures require a deposit of 25% of total tour price. Deposit is forfeited on cancellations with less than 2 weeks notice. Cancellations with less than 72 hours notice of tour departure are charged 100% of tour price.

 

Zipline Tours:  Kohala Canopy Adventure

Hawaii’s Finest Aerial Trek!

Join us for a canopy experience like no other.  Perched amongst the trees of Halawa, Kohala Zipline’s Kohala Canopy Adventure features elevated suspension bridges, soaring tree platforms and thrilling ziplines.  From the moment you enter the aerial trekking course, you’ll be enthralled by the magic of Kohala.  Exclusive features, such as twin WhisperLines and smooth stop braking, ensure your safety and comfort and deliver an experience like no other.  Whether you are a real zipline enthusiast or a first time adventure seeker, the Kohala Canopy Adventure will be an unforgettable experience.

Capacity: Minimum 4 pax per tour / Maximum 8 pax per tour.
Operation: Daily.
Tour Time: Approx. 4 hours, start to finish.
Tour Times: 7:30 AM* and 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:00 PM*, 2:30 PM* (times marked * are seasonal)
Activity: 9-Line Zipline Canopy Tour. Rated Easy. 
Included: Rain wear, water, snack, all safety gear (helmets, gloves & harnesses)
Rate: Adult:  $169.00, plus tax.
Child (Ages 8 - 12):  $139.00, plus tax
Early Bird Special - Save 10% on all tours before 11:00 am!
Dress Code: Guests must wear closed-toe walking shoes. Pants, capris, or knee length shorts, and a light sweatshirt or jacket are recommended.
Restrictions: Physical -  Must weigh between 70 and 270 lbs. Participants will be weighed at check-in. Must be able to walk over uneven terrain and handle one short climb. This tour is not for those with back or neck problems, expectant mothers, or those who are fearful of heights.
Age: Participants must be 8 years old. Strictly enforced.

Interested in adding transportation, lunch and a waterfall swim? Check out the Kohala Zip & Dip

GoPro Camera Packages Now Available to Rent!

ProGear Rental

Still have questions?  Check out our FAQ


Volcano Tour: Discover Volcano Country

General Information

Schedule: Morning trips departing daily. Aprox. 7 hours round trip, departs from Big Island Trading Co. in downtown Hilo.  Other pickup locations available - contact us for full details.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; All ages welcome.
Included in the Tour: Park Fees, Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $159.00, plus tax. Child (12 and under): $139.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, long pants, and a light jacket.

Full Description

Travel through the remote and rugged landscape of Kau—home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, historic farming plantations and the famous black sand beach of Punaluu. Discover how the powerful forces of nature have shaped the people and landscape of this dynamic region, Hawaii’s largest land district.  The perfect blend of nature and culture led by an expert Interpretive Guide, this tour reveals what it’s like to live on two active volcanoes.

• Discover all the “must see” spots within the Park; including Jaggar Museum, Thurston Lava Tube and Halemaumau Crater
• Sample and shop for award-winning farm fresh coffee at Kau Coffee Mill, along with other Hawaii Island grown treats like macadamia nuts, honey and chocolate.
• Walk across a crystal-fine black sand beach as you search for basking sea turtles at Punaluu.
• Immerse yourself in stories of Hawaiian legends and mythology, with a focus on Pele, Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes.
• Explore a lava tube and discover the mysteries of how these tunnels are formed.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure, the longest walk is a short hike of about one mile.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Except for the lava tube exploration, the trails are relatively level. While exploring the lava tube, expect to descend approximately 30 feet.
  3. Will we get to see active lava? Due to the dynamic nature of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea Volcano, active lava viewing conditions can change daily or even hourly. The best chance to see the active lava flow is on our Twlight Volcano Adventure. Please contact our office staff for the most current volcano conditions, or visit the Eruption update page via the hyperlink in the Links section.

 

Volcano Tour:  Epic Island Volcano Journey

General Information

Schedule: Morning trips departing daily. 11 - 12 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.  Other pickup locations available - contact us for full details.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; Ages 8 and up.
Included in the Tour: Over $30 per person in entry fees, savory island continental breakfast, “Deli Trio” lunch, culturally themed afternoon snack, beverages & souvenir waterbottle, 
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $209.00, plus tax. Child (Ages 8 through 12): $179.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable closed toe walking shoes, long pants, and a light jacket.

Full Description

Join us on an epic day of discovery as we wander off-the-beaten bath and visit our island’s most awe inspiring sites. This full day journey covers all your Big Island “must do” experiences and more, and is enhanced by a gourmet sustainably-sourced farm to fork menu featuring island-inspired favorites and culturally themed delicacies. This unforgettable Epic Island Volcano Journey, led by an expert Interpretive Guide, is an amazing blend of history and culture, set in the splendor of Hawaii’s nature that will change the way you see Hawaii. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Hawaii’s remarkable natural and cultural heritage, discover exclusive locations and capture once-in-a-lifetime memories.  Highlights include:

• Explore an active volcano and visit 4 different National Park sites, including Puuhonua o Honaunau, Hawaii Volcanoes and Puukohola Heiau.
• Search for sea turtles as you stroll the fine crystal black sands of Punaluu.
• Delve into a private cave system and learn how lava tubes are formed.
• Enjoy private tours at Kau Coffee Mill and a tropical fruit farm.
• Venture off the beaten path, exploring scenic back roads, heritage corridors and historic landmarks.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure for short hikes of less than one mile each.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Except for the lava tube exploration, the trails are relatively level. While exploring the lava tube, expect to descend approximately 30 feet.
  3. Will we get to see active lava? Due to the dynamic nature of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea Volcano, active lava viewing conditions can change daily or even hourly. The best chance to see the active lava flow is on our Twlight Volcano Adventure. Please contact our office staff for the most current volcano conditions, or visit the Eruption update page via the hyperlink in the Links section.

 

Volcano Tour:  Volcano by Air & Land

General Information

Schedule: Morning trips departing most days. Approximately 10 hours round trip, departs from Paradise Helicopters at the Kona Airport - Commuter Terminal.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; All ages welcome.
Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $699.00, plus tax. (special rates may be available at Paradise Helicopters.)
Group Size: There is a maximum of 6 guests on the helicopter.  For the ground tour, group maximum is 12.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.  Guests over 250 lbs may be subject to a weight restriction fee.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable closed toe walking shoes, sunglasses, long pants, and a light jacket.

Full Description

Hawaii Forest & Trail and Paradise Helicopters unite to bring you the ultimate volcano adventure tour.  The Volcano by Air & Land tour explores Hawaii Volcanoes National Park area in flight and on foot.  This adventure departs from the Kona International Airport in an executive style Bell 407 helicopter.  En route to the Volcano area, you will overfly the world-famous Kona coffee district and skirt three of Hawaii’s towering volcanoes: Hualalai, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.  Upon arrival to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, your pilot will search out the day’s activity – sometimes a burning forest fire, a stream or lake of glowing lava, or an entry into the ocean – usually only accessible from the air.

After the first part of your “air” experience, you will land in Hilo and meet your expert Hawaii Forest & Trail interpretive guide.  Get an up close and personal visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on the ground, a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Preserve.  Once at the Park you will see splendid native rainforest, visit a lava tube, discover remarkable volcanic formations and experience an incredible diversity of geography and climates.  Through detailed geologic and natural history interpretation, short walks and driving, you explore and learn about the world’s most active volcano. A picnic lunch is served during your adventure before you return to the Hilo Airport to take to the sky again.

Back in the air, you’ll take the leisurely route back to Kona along the eastern and northern coasts. You will venture deep into uninhabited valleys that showcase Hawai‘i’s wild, untamed beauty. Water cascades down dangerously sheer valley walls, and surf pounds rocky cliffs and unreachable beaches.  Finally, watch the landscape shift again, as you fly over Pololu Valley, south to Kawaihae and over beautiful white and black sand beaches to make your way down the coastline and return to the Kona Airport in time to enjoy one of Hawaii’s famed sunsets.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure for short hikes of less than one mile.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Except for the lava tube exploration, the trails are relatively level. While exploring the lava tube, expect to descend approximately 30 feet.
  3. Will we get to see active lava? If it’s lava you seek, this is the tour for you!  Although we cannot guarantee it, being in the air is your best chance to see molten lava.

Volcano Tour:  Kilauea Volcano Adventure

General Information

Schedule: Morning trips departing daily. 11 - 12 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace.  Other pickup locations available - contact us for full details.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; All ages welcome.
Included in the Tour: Continental Breakfast including fresh local fruit, baked goods, 100% Kona coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $179.00, plus tax. Child (12 and under): $159.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, long pants, and a light jacket.

Full Description

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an inspiring and precious place. It is listed as both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere preserve.  Once at the park we will see splendid native rainforest, visit a lava tube, discover remarkable volcanic formations and experience an incredible diversity of geography and climates.  Through detailed geologic and natural history interpretation, short walks and driving, we explore and learn about the world’s most active volcano. A picnic lunch is served en route during our adventure through the park.

You’ll really get an idea of how big the Big Island is during the course of this tour. And you’ll appreciate that someone else is doing the driving. Starting out from our headquarters in Kona, we travel up the coast over desolate lava flows for about a half hour before proceeding up the rolling pasturelands on the flanks of Mauna Kea. Turning onto the Saddle Road that traverses the island between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, you’ll see a dramatic and diverse landscape of ranchland, sub-alpine dryforest and rainforest (with striking features such as cinder cones, lava flows, lava tubes and kipuka). We’ll stop for a short break and continental-style breakfast.

Continuing on, we drop down to near sea-level on our way through Hilo where we begin the final climb to the summit of Kilauea and the lush entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On the way back, we’ll travel along the Hamakua Coast and pass through Waimea before returning to Kona. By the end of the day, you’ll have traveled over 300 miles and experienced an elevation change (we go up and down a few times!) of over 30,000 feet.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure for short hikes of less than one mile.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Except for the lava tube exploration, the trails are relatively level. While exploring the lava tube, expect to descend approximately 30 feet.
  3. Will we get to see active lava? Due to the dynamic nature of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea Volcano, active lava viewing conditions can change daily or even hourly. The best chance to see the active lava flow is on our Twlight Volcano Adventure. Please contact our office staff for the most current volcano conditions, or visit the Eruption update page via the hyperlink in the Links section.

 

Volcano Tour:  Twilight Volcano Adventure

General Information

Schedule: Afternoon trips departing daily. 12 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; 8 and up recommended.
Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water. Picnic dinner, snacks, assorted beverages, bottled water, and hot cocoa.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, flashlights, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $189.00, plus tax. Child (12 and under): $159.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, long pants, and a light jacket.

Full Description

The excursion begins as we travel between two of the world’s largest mountains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.  The region between these volcanoes is locally known as the Saddle and is home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the world.  After a brief stop for lunch at Mauna Kea State Park, we continue east towards Hilo.  Included in the day’s itinerary is a stop at one of two lava tubes.  Lava tubes are caves that once carried molten rock from the eruption site down towards the ocean.  In addition to offering fascinating insights into how Hawaii’s eruptive history, these passages also offer excellent opportunities to test our trusty flashlights on a subterranean adventure. 

Leaving Mauna Loa behind, we make our final ascent to the summit of Kilauea inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Our Interpretive Guides will lead you through the must-see spots and hidden gems of this World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Preserve. As conditions change daily, we tailor your experience to the current eruptive events.  The summit caldera, steam vents, cinder fields, and native rainforests are all on our “must see” list.

After exploring the natural wonders of this World Heritage site, we’ll check current conditions to see which eruptive site is most active.  Our choices are Kalapana to witness the awesome power of lava as it enters the ocean at sunset, or Halemaumau Crater which contains a hidden lake of molten rock which glows after dark.  Also included in the evening’s itinerary is a delicious picnic dinner.  This is an incredible way to experience the dynamic energy of Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure for short hikes of up to 1.5 miles. The walk to the lava viewing area is approximately .5 miles over uneven terrain.
  2. Is there elevation gain?
  3. Will we get to see active lava? Due to the dynamic nature of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea Volcano, active lava viewing conditions can change daily or even hourly. We will do our very best to get you as close as is safe and legal.

 

Coffee Tour:  Taste of Kona

General Information

Schedule: Tours daily. 4 hours round trip,  departs from Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua Kona.
Rated: Easy.  Ages 13 and up.
Included in the Tour: Samples of 100% Kona Coffee, Candies, and island-fresh beer. A snack consisting of fresh sliced Island fruit and locally baked banana bread. Souvenir water bottle and beer tasting glass.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $129.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to walk on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a light sweatshirt or jacket.

Full Description

Taste your way through Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. This half-day tour showcases and samples world-famous Kona Coffee from tree to cup and includes a factory tour and sampling at a local chocolate and candy company. Your savory experience completes with a guided beer tasting at the Kona Brewing Company, sampling locally brewed ales featuring local ingredients. Indulge your taste buds on this palate-pleasing adventure.

Highlights:
-Explore a family owned Kona coffee estate where coffee is grown and processed.
-Enjoy an exclusive tour of a local candy factory highlighting locally produced products such as macadamia nuts and coffee beans.
-Sip and savor island fresh ales and lagers at a private beer tasting and talk story.
-Learn about Kona’s fascinating natural and cultural history from a friendly and knowledgeable local guide.
-Taste and purchase locally made products including chocolates, coffees, ales and lagers. Most products available to be shipped domestic or international.

FAQs

How much walking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the tour for short walks of less than 200 yards.
Is there elevation gain? Minimal elevation gains on the walks.  Most trails are flat and level.

 

Waterfall Tour:  Hilo Tropical Wonders

General Information

Schedule: Tours daily. 2.5 hours round trip,  departs from Big Island Trading Co. in downtown Hilo.  Other pickup locations available - contact us for full details.
Rated: Easy.  All ages welcome.
Included in the Tour: Coffee and farm food tasting, beverages.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $69.00, plus tax. Child (12 and under): $59.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to walk on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a light sweatshirt or jacket.

Full Description

Explore the rich heritage of Hilo as you travel Old Hawaii’s charming backroads and scenic byways to visit historic landmarks, beautiful waterfalls, and a family-owned tropical fruit farm. Enjoy an intimate group setting as your Interpretive Guide leads you on a trip back through time while you taste the bounty of Hawaii Island. If you have just a few hours and want to soak up the very best of Hilo’s beauty and rich heritage, join us for this fun, informative and tasty journey through Hilo’s tropical paradise.

Highlights:
-Make the most of your time in Hilo with a local guide showing you the highlights.
-Venture onto private property to taste seasonal tropical fruit and freshly cracked macadamia nuts at our exclusive pavilion overlooking Rainbow Falls.
-Delve into Hilo’s rich agricultural heritage with visits to its significant landmarks and sites, including the Wainaku Center, the former heart of Hilo’s bustling
sugar industry.
-Take in the thundering waterfalls that seem to appear around every corner as you travel the historic highways and scenic corridors in and around Hilo.

FAQs

How much walking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure for short walks of less than 200 yards.
Is there elevation gain? Minimal elevation gains on the walks.  Most trails are flat and level.

 

Volcano Tour:  Kona Coffee & Craters

General Information

Schedule: Tour daily. 6 - 7 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.  Other pickups available - please contact us for full details.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; ages 8 and over.
Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.  100% Kona coffee tasting served at coffee farm.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $159.00, plus tax. Child (8 - 12): $139.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a light sweatshirt or jacket.

Full Description

On the slopes of Hualalai lies the world famous Kona Coffee Belt. Nourished by afternoon showers and rich volcanic soil, this region produces some of the finest and most sought after coffee in the world. On this fun and exciting exploration we’ll journey from sea-level through a dense rainforest to a world of volcanic majesty at the 6,000 ft. elevation on the privately owned lands of Kaupulehu. Although in plain sight of Kailua-Kona, these seldom-visited uplands are seemingly geologic light-years away.

The story of Kona Coffee unfolds as we explore the volcanic and royal history of this area. Amidst distinctive native birdsongs, our rock-rambling tour will take you through a beautiful and surreal landscape of native dryland forest, lava flows and stunning craters.  We focus on the northwest rift of Hualalai where most of the volcanic activity has been concentrated over the years.  Along with three distinctive types of craters, your Interpretive Guide will also lead you on foot on an exploration through an impressive lava tube.  If you don’t have time to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this is your chance to experience a Hawaiian volcano.

After exploring the area’s volcanic features we’ll descend into the Kona Coffee Belt to a family-owned coffee estate.  This working coffee farm encompasses all aspects of the coffee process: growing, harvest, processing, roasting and packaging all happens here.  You’ll go behind the scenes to see how bright red coffee cherries are hand-picked, meticulously sorted for color and size, then roasted to perfection to produce a delicious cup of Kona coffee.  Of course, you’ll have a chance to sample the varieties and roasts, and buy whole-bean coffee direct from the farmer.

If you’ve always wondered what makes Kona Coffee so special then this is the tour for you!

FAQs

How much hiking do we do? We’ll stop a couple times throughout the adventure for short hikes of less than ½ a mile.
Is there elevation gain? The single track trail meanders through native forest with a mild elevation change of approximately 30 feet. While exploring the lava tube, expect to descend and ascend approximately 30 - 40 feet.
How many different types of craters do we see? Along the tour, we’ll see three distinct types of craters:  spatter cone, fissure and pit collapse.
Do we need any special type of equipment to explore the lava tube? The lava tube we visit is perfect for the casual adventurer.  We’ll descend via earthen steps with a rope to assist and there’s enough ambient light to see all of the major features.
Is Hualalai Volcano active? Technically speaking, yes.  Hualalai’s last eruption ended in 1801 so it is considered active.  However, the magma is not close to the surface so don’t expect to see any geothermal activity.

Zipline Tour:  Kohala Zip & Dip

General Information

Schedule: Tours daily. Approximately 8 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace.
Rated: Easy; Ages 8 and up welcome.
Included in the Tour: Snack, deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and souvenir water bottle.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, towels, day packs and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $249.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 14 guests.
Restrictions: Physical - Must weigh between 70 and 270 lbs. Participants will be weighed at check-in. Must be able to walk over uneven terrain and handle short climb. This tour is not for those with back or neck problems, expectant mothers, or those who are fearful of heights.
What to Bring & Wear: Closed-toe shoes required. Bring a bathing suit (can be worn under clothes), hat, sunscreen and a light jacket or sweatshirt.

Full Description

North Kohala is a land of stunning beauty and profound cultural significance. Towering waterfalls and resplendent forests create the backdrop on which the story of King Kamehameha the Great begins. Join us for an exciting and educational adventure in the lands of Hawaii’s first king.  Old Hawaii comes alive on the Kohala Zip & Dip as you zipline high above the forest floor, picnic on the rim of Pololu Valley and swim under a private waterfall.
 
The tour begins with a wonderful drive of contrast and change from the dry-side resort area to the lush green country of Kohala. Along the way you’ll journey up the North Kona and Kohala coastlines over lava flows from Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and the Kohala Mountains. Often from the shoreline you are able to see splashing spinner dolphins or in the winter months, breaching humpback whales.

Past the quaint plantation town of Hawi, we arrive at our first stop – the Kohala Zipline Station.  After gearing up and a safety orientation by your ACCT Certified Guides you’ll journey to King Kamehameha’s traditional family land holdings. In this area known since ancient times as Halawa, elevated platforms are built directly into majestic trees to form a jungle-like course while a stream meanders below through ancient remnants of taro terraces. Travel high up in the trees on thrilling ziplines and suspension bridges. You will soar amid plants that perfectly mirror the evolution of Hawaii, its rich cultural and environmental history. At the end of the course, rappel from the final tree back onto solid ground.

Leaving Halawa behind, we travel to the “end of the road” at Pololu Valley before venturing through locked gates and heading into the mountains. We’ll enjoy a delicious deli lunch at our stunning cliff side site with unparalleled views of Pololu Valley below. Venturing deeper into the mountains we arrive at our private trail site for a short hike. Along the trail you’ll see tunnels blasted and carved from solid rock, walk over an aqueduct bridge, and learn the century old story of the tremendous effort it took to build the Kohala Ditch irrigation system stretching over 22 miles. You’ll also delve into ancient Hawaiian history, visit several beautiful waterfalls, and take a dip in a mountain stream with cascading falls overhead.

With stunning coastline panoramas, lush green valleys, and abundant water, the Kohala Zip & Dip is a truly memorable way to experience the very best Hawaii has to offer.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? There are two short hikes on this tour.  The first one is less than 150 yards, the second is about 500 yards.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Both hikes do have short ascents and descents.  The first hike elevation gain is approxmately 90’, the second hike elevation gain is approximately 50’.
  3. What is the water temperature in the pool we swim in? Water temperature varies by season and the amount of rainfall. Temperatures range between 60 and 70 degrees F.

Waterfall Tour:  Kohala Waterfalls Adventure

General Information

Schedule: Tours daily. 8 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace.
Rated: Easy; all ages welcome.
Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $169.00, plus tax. Child (12 and under): $139.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes or reef walkers, bathing suit, hat, sunscreen and a light jacket or sweatshirt.

Full Description

Ola i ka wai a ka opua - that tells us “there is life in the rain.” Rain also gives us the resplendent countryside and plentiful waterfalls of Kohala. Nowhere in Hawaii is the importance and story of water more evident than here in the lands of Kamehameha. In its eternal cycle, water continues to shape a dramatic landscape of valleys, streams and cliffs.  These same waters reveal the history and culture of Kohala.

The tour begins with a wonderful drive of contrast and change from the dry-side resort area to the lush green country of Kohala. Along the way you’ll journey up the North Kona and Kohala coastlines over lava flows from Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and the Kohala Mountains. Often from the shoreline you are able to see splashing spinner dolphins or in the winter months, breaching humpback whales. You’ll pass through the quaint plantation towns of Hawi and Kapaau, site of the life-size statue of King Kamehameha I. At the end of the road we pass through a locked gate onto private property, and the real fun begins, with a bumpy but short off-road drive in our 6WD Pinzgauer on an old cane road.

Out of the Pinzgauer, you’ll step back into the early 1900’s, when plantation owners began construction of the Kohala Ditch Trail to bring much needed water to the sugar cane fields. Along the 1.5 mile loop trail you’ll see tunnels blasted and carved from solid rock, walk over an aqueduct on two bridges, and learn the story of the tremendous effort it took to build an irrigation system stretching over 22 miles. You’ll delve into ancient Hawaiian history as well, visiting a former taro farming site just off the path. Seven beautiful waterfalls grace the trail.  You can take a refreshing dip in the last pool we visit, and play under a refreshing cascade. With stunning mountain panoramas, green valleys and pasturelands, and of course the abundant water, the Kohala Waterfalls Adventure is a fascinating way for young and old to experience Kohala’s “story of water.”

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? Expect to cover approximately 1.5 miles in 1 - 2 hours.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Expect to do minimal climbing. The estimated elevation gain over the course of the hike is about 200’.
  3. What is the water temperature in the pool we swim in? Water temperature varies by season and the amount of rainfall. Temperatures range between 60 and 70 degrees F.

Maunakea Tour: Maunakea Voyage

General Information

Schedule: Morning trips depart daily from Big Island Trading Co. in Hilo.  7 - 8 hours round trip.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; ages 16 and over.
Included in the Tour: Park entry fees, Deli lunch, beverages,
Gear Provided: Use of daypacks, walking staffs, and warm wear.
Prices: Adult: $169.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Because of high altitude this tour is not advised for those with respiratory, circulatory or heart conditions, pregnancy or poor health. Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers. No children under 16. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Closed toe shoes, long pants and a sweatshirt or sweater.

Full Description

Embark on a remarkable road trip to the heavenly realm of Maunakea—the world’s tallest mountain. Traditionally the sacred home of Hawaiian deities, today Maunakea also hosts the greatest astronomical complex on earth. Our journey from sea level to the summit uncovers the connections of Hawaii’s ancient practice of navigation and the modern technological pursuit of understanding our universe. As you return from the highest point in the Pacific, you’ll have an opportunity to reflect on how ancient practices inform modern science to mold our understanding of the universe today.

Highlights:
-Enjoy a pre-opening tour and private star show at world famous Imiloa Astronomy Center’s planetarium in Hilo.
-Experience multiple climate zones as you travel through tropical rainforest to a barren, moon-like terrain.
-Acclimate and explore the astronomical themed exhibits at the Visitor Center.
-Soak in expansive views at the summit of Maunakea, amidst the world’s largest collection of research
telescopes.
-Explore cutting edge astronomy installations at the summit including the Keck Observatory and the University of Hilo 2.2 Meter Telescope.

FAQs

  1. Are guests allowed to go into the observatories? We’ll make a visit inside at least one of the observatories at the summit area.
  2. How cold is it at the summit of Mauna Kea? Average mean temperature is freezing.
  3. Is the vehicle ride bumpy and windy? The access road to the summit of Mauna Kea is four-wheel drive only, so it can be bumpy. Our custom off-road motor coaches will get you to the top and back in safety and comfort.
  4. What is the guide to guest ratio? Our maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:12.
  5. Are children allowed on this tour? Children under 16 are not permitted on this tour due to altitude.
  6. Is there much walking / hiking on this tour? We’ll do a short nature hike through a native koa forest.  It’s just over a 1/2 mile
  7. Will there be snow on our trip? Snow is seasonal at Mauna Kea, with the heaviest snowfall occurring during the winter months.

 

Maunakea Tour: Maunakea Summit & Stars Adventure

General Information

Schedule: Afternoon trips depart daily from Hawaii Forest and Trail Headquarters, Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace, and the Junction of Waikoloa Road and Highway 190. 7 - 8 hours round trip.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; ages 16 and over.
Included in the Tour: Picnic style dinner, assorted teas, hot chocolate, and dessert.  Dinner selections are either Barbecue Chicken (served hot) with Lemon-Mint Quinoa and a Dinner Roll; or a Vegetarian Tofu Wrap (served cold) with Peanut Dipping Sauce, Lemon-Mint Quinoa and a Dinner Roll.  Hot Chocolate and Brownies served for dessert.
Gear Provided: Hooded parkas and warm gloves.
Prices: Adult: $199.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 14 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Because of high altitude this tour is not advised for those with respiratory, circulatory or heart conditions, pregnancy or poor health. Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers. No children under 16. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Closed toe shoes, long pants and a sweatshirt or sweater.

Full Description

The drive to the summit of Mauna Kea is one you’ll never forget. It’s hard to believe you’re in Hawaii as you climb to 13,796 feet above sea level. Once at the summit we are afforded spectacular views of the horizon, Haleakala on Maui, Mauna Loa and Hualalai, and Mauna Kea’s world-class array of telescopes.  Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest mountain, rising over 32,000 feet from the ocean floor to its summit, which is considered by many Hawaiians to be the most sacred place in all the islands.  In your hooded parka you’ll stand in awe at both nature’s sublime creation and man’s astonishing technological achievements.

Starting out from our headquarters in Kona, we travel up the coast over desolate lava flows for about a half hour before proceeding up the rolling pasturelands on the flanks of Mauna Kea. Turning onto the Saddle Road that traverses the island between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, you’ll see a dramatic and diverse landscape of ranchland, sub-alpine dryforest and rainforest (with striking features such as cinder cones, lava flows, lava tubes and kipuka).  We arrive at our private dinner location at Humuula approximately 2 hours before sunset for a hot, picnic dinner served family style.  After dinner and with a winter-style parka in hand, we’ll make the 45 minute drive to the summit.  As your make your way up, you’ll be fascinated by your Interpretive Guide’s interpretation of Hawaii’s remarkable natural, cultural, and geologic history.

After sunset we descend to the Visitor’s Information Station at 9,000 foot elevation. Here we set up our own telescope and have a star gazing party. Wrapped warm in Arctic parkas, enjoying hot beverages and cookies, you will marvel at the brilliance of the Hawaiian night sky.  Your Interpretive Guide will share with you stories of the observable universe, and offer you a personal and educational look at the heavens.

FAQs

  1. Are guests allowed to go into the observatories? Some observatories are open to the public daily until 4 PM. As our tour arrives after this time, the observatories are closed to visitors.
  2. How cold is it at the summit of Mauna Kea? Average mean temperature is freezing.
  3. Is the vehicle ride bumpy and windy? The access road to the summit of Mauna Kea is four-wheel drive only, so it can be bumpy. Our custom off-road motor coaches will get you to the top and back in safety and comfort.
  4. What kind of telescope is used for star gazing? We utilize an 11” Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
  5. What is the guide to guest ratio? Our maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:14.
  6. How many guests do take up per night? Our permit allows for a maximum of 2 vehicles per night and our vans carry a maximum of 14 passengers.
  7. Do we go up to Mauna Kea summit every night? We go every night, weather permitting.
  8. Are children allowed on this tour? Children under 16 are not permitted on this tour due to altitude.
  9. Is there much walking / hiking on this tour? There is minimal walking on this tour, the maximum being about 150 yards.
  10. I would like to see a specific astronomical event from the summit. How can I arrange this? Check out www.space.com/nightsky for upcoming astronomical events, and whether they will be observable in the Hawaiian sky.
  11. Will there be snow on our trip? Snow is seasonal at Mauna Kea, with the heaviest snowfall occurring during the winter months.
  12. What if it’s cloudy on Mauna Kea? The summit of Mauna Kea is normally above the clouds. If the weather (clouds, snow, ice or high winds) cause us to cancel the tour, there is no charge, of course.

 

Bird Watching Tour:  Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Adventure

General Information

Schedule: Morning trips departing daily. 11 - 12 hours round trip, departs from Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace, Highway 190/Waikoloa Road Junction and Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.
Rated: Moderate; ages 8 and over.
Included in the Tour: Continental breakfast including fresh local fruit, baked goods, 100% Kona coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Deli style lunch, with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $179.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, and a light rain jacket.

Full Description

Named by Hawaiians long ago, Hakalau means “many perches” and is still considered critical bird habitat today. Once part of large cattle ranch, it was the first National Wildlife Refuge established in the United States for forest birds. It is home to some of the rarest plants and animal species on earth.  Hakalau Forest is a fascinating example of conservation in action. The forest you’ll access is recovering from a hundred years of grazing by cattle and damage from pigs. Our permit allows us to bird the Pua Akala meadow.  It is exciting to see the native plants sprouting through the old pasture grass. Giant koa trees, ohia-lehua trees estimated to be a thousand years old, ferns, and rare lobeliads are just some of the native plants encountered. Like our Rainforest and Dryforest Birdwatching tour the forest here is filled with the sounds of Hawaii’s rare birds. Often, we will encounter researchers or resource managers on our walks who are always willing to share up-to-date information.  Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, because of the history of grazing, has a park like setting in the higher elevations, and is densely forested below.  Our trail is a four-wheel drive road that bisects the meadow, and there is an elevation gain and loss of about 650 feet. It’s a beautiful place with lots of birds.

We will head up to Mamalahoa Highway heading north towards Waimea and the Saddle Road. Once on the Saddle Road there will be opportunity for some car-birding primarily for game birds and the Pueo or the Hawaiian Short-eared Owl. We stop in route on the Saddle Road for a restroom stop and a continental breakfast with juice, Kona coffee, and an assortment of teas. After the breakfast stop we follow the unpaved Keanakolu Road 11 miles to the Pua Akala tract of the Refuge. Plan on two and a half hours of driving each way.  Don’t worry about the drive time; you’ll be amazed at the constantly changing scenery and fascinated by your Guide’s interpretation of Hawaii’s remarkable natural, cultural, and geologic history.

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? Expect to cover approximately 2 to 4 miles in 4 hours.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Over the course of the hike we gain approximately 650’.
  3. What is the difference in the birds seen on Hakalau vs. Rainforest & Dryforest? The Akepa and Hawaii Creeper are found in Hakalau Forest, while the Palila is found on the Rainforest & Dryforest Adventure.
  4. Is it possible to use a spotting scope? Due to the behavior of Hawaii’s endemic birds, the use of a spotting scope can be challenging. If you feel up to the test, we do encourage you to bring your own birdwatching gear. We do provide binoculars on the tour for guest use.
  5. Is it possible to get photos of the birds? Typically, there are many opportunities to photograph the birds along the way for the determined photographer.

Bird Watching Tour: Rainforest and Dryforest Birding Adventure

General Information

Schedule:  Morning trips departing weekdays only (except holidays). 11 - 12 hours round trip, departs from Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace, Highway 190/Waikoloa Road Junction and Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; ages 8 and over.
Included in the Tour: Continental breakfast including fresh local fruit, baked goods, 100% Kona coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Deli-style lunch, with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $189.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Sturdy closed-toed shoes or boots, long pants, and a light rain jacket

Full Description

Rainforest - Our destination is the Puu Oo Trail, a historic cattle drive route, located at the 6,000 foot level of Saddle Road on Mauna Loa’s northeastern flank. This is the windward side of the island, and is often cloaked in misty clouds. It is enchanting to be serenaded by the forest birds as we make our way over three to four miles of sometimes rough lava trail, crossing over the 1855 and 1881 lava flows.

Dryforest - At the Humuula hunter check-in station just off Saddle Road, we go into the Kaohe Game Management Area and four-wheel it to nearly 7,500 feet on the western side of Mauna Kea to an area known as Puu Laau.  The area is mostly park-like and typically commands stunning views of the leeward coast below. 

On the drive to our two primary locales, we head north along the coastline before starting the climb to the old Mamalahoa Highway, keeping an eye out for open-country birds. From there we’ll connect to the Saddle Road and begin car-birding, primarily for game birds as well as for the Pueo, or short-eared owl. Depending on the weather, we’ll stop for a bit of breakfast along the Saddle Road, often at Mauna Kea State Park at Pohakuloa, or at our Dryforest birding site.

Rainforest – We’ll park just off the Saddle Road at the trailhead of Puu Oo, heading due south over the lava flows.  Small pockets of koa and ohia spring up along the trail but our destination is kipuka #34 and #35 which are some of the most productive birding areas in the state.  Some of the avifauna we hope to spot along the way are iiwi, apapane, amakihi, omao, elepaio, and the elusive akiapolaau, with its unique multipurpose beak.  Many of these are found in the ohia and koa canopy. 

Dryforest - The track leads to a gate that is the entrance to the Mauna Kea Forest Preserve.  Parked at the entrance to the Preserve we get down to some serious bird watching on foot in the mamane-naio forest.  Native Hawaiian dryforests is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.  The sandalwoods trees which once dominated these slopes are all but gone, and the remaining mamane trees are at the top of the menu for feral ungulates which frequent the area.  Although the terrain is somewhat uneven, the hiking is easy. We are particularly interested in sighting the critically threatened palila, which feeds almost entirely on the green pods of the mamane tree. There are two other endemics of note to be found here: the Hawaii amakihi, and the local species of the Hawaii elepaio (noted for the white feathering on its head).

FAQs

  1. How much hiking do we do? Expect to hike approximately 4 miles in the Rainforest portion of this adventure, and less than one mile in the Dryforest portion.
  2. Is there elevation gain? Elevation gain is minimal: 500’ in the Rainforest, and 350’ in the Dryforest.
  3. What is the difference in the birds seen on Hakalau vs. Rainforest & Dryforest? The Akepa and Hawaii Creeper are found in Hakalau, while the Palila is found on the Rainforest & Dryforest Adventure.
  4. Is it possible to use a spotting scope? Due to the behavior of Hawaii’s endemic birds, the use of a spotting scope can be challenging. If you feel up to the test, we do encourage you to bring your own birdwatching gear. We do provide binoculars on the tour for guest use.
  5. Is it possible to get photos of the birds? Typically, there are many opportunities for the determined photographer to photograph the birds along the way.
  6. Do you do birding on other islands? No, but we’d be happy to refer you to a reputable outfit upon request.

 

 

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