Excursions are on the list of the most popular entertainments in Hawaii. There are numerous companies that offers nature tours in Hawaii such as: hiking, trips to waterfalls, volcanoes, places of historical interest and many others. The nature of Hawaii is rich, spectacular and unique. You will discover amazing waterfalls, tropical forests and valleys with wild greenery, active volcanoes with hot flows of liquid lava.
Excursions on the island of Oahu
The Diamond Head mountain is one of the most prominent sites of the Oahu island. It is silent volcano, located at the southern coast of the island, not far from the Waikiki beach. Its peak is located at the height of 231 meter and is a popular place for nature enthusiasts and hiking tourists. Mountain climbing is rather easy and takes from 20 to 50 minutes (depending on the speed of pace).
From the sky deck on the peak of Diamond Head you will see Waikiki, Honolulu, Koko Head and in clear weather you will manage to see even the nearby island Molokai. In winter season you will get a chance to witness whales in coastal waters.
There are companies on the island organizing hiking trips to the peak of Diamond Head. However many tourists prefer to make trips on their own, as you can simply reach the peak from the Waikiki beach by bus (routes 22 and 58). Entrance ticket costs 1$. The park is opened from 6a.m. to 6p.m. every day.
However the Manoa waterfall (45m height) you can reach only on foot. The route is only 2,4km and is rather simple even for a beginning hiker. The path to the waterfall is always kept in order, however after the rain it can be muddy. The path goes through a bamboo forest, where you can meet various tropical flowers and trees.
This path is rather popular among tourists and the waterfall is daily attended by many people. If you book a tour to the waterfall with a guide, then you will visit the waterfall with a group of other tourists and your guide will tell you about the mountains surrounding the waterfall. Do not hesitate to ask your guide questions, as guides commonly know answers to the trickiest questions.
But if you want to visit the waterfall alone, then you can reach the Koolau mountain by bus (route 5), which goes from the Ala Moan center. Go to the terminal stop of the route. If you need help, the ask a bus driver.
Pali Lookout is located on the Pali road, nearer to the windward side of the island. From this location you will discover a breathtaking site of 300-meter high cliffs of Koolau mountain. From that point you will easily see the ocean and the land. You will also be able to see a part of eastern coast of Oahu, the cities of Kaneohe and Kailua as well as the island of Chinaman’s Hat.
Pali Lookout is a place of a meaningful historical event: in 1795 the king Kamehameha led the battle for union of the islands at this place. During the battle hundreds of soldiers died. Some legends say that souls of these soldiers still live in this place. Many people, visiting Pali Lookout, later say that they feel the presence of someone strange at this place.
Pali Lookout is opened from 9a.m till 4p.m every day, you do not need an entrance ticket, that is why if you taking a trip to Pali by car, then you can stop there and spend some time at Pali Lookout. Nearby this place there is a large parking lot. Many local companies will organize a tour to Pali Lookout for you.
Among other popular places of Oahu there are Kualoa ranch, Doul estate, the beaches of Hanauma Bay, Kailua, Turtle Bay and Waimea waterfall.
Trips to the island of Maui
The Haleakala Crater which is known under another name of «House of the Sun» (according an ancient Maui legend) is the biggest silent volcano in the world. Its peak is at the height of 3055 meters above the sea level. The crater with its surrounding territory is one of the most wonderful places on earth, as the territory resembles lunar landscape. The peak of the crater opens a marvelous site. Most of the local companies offer various tours to the peak of Haleakala by cars, bicycles, horses, off-roaders or on foot.
One of the favorite touristic tours to the mountain peak is the tour at the sunrise during which you will see how the sun rises from the peak of this marvelous volcano. You can also set on tour at the sunset or at night. If you want to visit the crater alone, then you must keep in mind that the national park «Haleakala» is opened 24/7 except of day of bad weather.
Iao valley is located to the west of the Maui island, in 5km from Wailuku. This valley with wild tropical greenery is a favorite destination for hikers. The most famous place of the valley is Lao Needle, a 365-meter height stone formation, covered with tropical greenery. Its peak is often covered with clouds. The Iao Needle site is surrounded with slopes of silent volcano Puu Kukui.
Iao Needle keep a sightseeing platform, which can be reached on foot and which opens a breathtaking site of the valley and Kahului Bay. Apart from its natural beauty the Iao valley is a place of important historical events: in 1790 the last battle led by the king Kamehameha the First. At the moment the national park «Iao Valley» is opened 7a.m to 7p.m every day. Hiking tours suit all fans of tours.
We also recommend Hana coast, Hana road Oheo gulch and the beach with black sand Waianapanapa and the beach with red sand to visit.
Trips to the island of Kauai
Waimea Canyon (16km of length and over 1066m of depth) is located in the eastern part of the island. The famous writer Mark Twain, being stunned with the beauty of the canyon, named the site the Pacific Grand-Canyon. Most of the local companies offer bus, bicycle and hiking tours to the canyon, some of the tours include additional places of attraction as Wailua river or Fern cavern.
If you want to explore the canyon on your own, then you can find many due places offering amazing canyon views throughout the path. At the end of the path Waimea Canyon Drive, driving to the canyon you will find the national park «Kokee». You can explore the canyon through one of the numerous paths which are suitable for hiking tourists of any level of training.
Wailua river runs through the eastern coast of the island of Kauai and is the only navigable river in Hawaii. It starts among the wildest greenery and waterfalls in the crater of Waialeale. You can undertake a kayaking trip or explore the sights of the riverside during a ship trip. Many local companies organize river tours, which commonly end at the Fern cavern. Apart from kayaking tours and boating, you can enjoy water skiing and canoe trips.
The Fern Cavern is the only cave, which is formed with lava flows and is surrounded with ferns. Geologists consider that this cavern was formed a million years ago. Now it is considered a genuine geological miracle. The cavern is reachable only by boat. The trip takes up to 30-40 minutes, depending on the island you start from. The Fern Cavern is considered one of the most romantic places in Hawaii, many couples organize wedding ceremonies here.
Apart from mentioned locations you can visit Spouting Horn, Opaekaa waterfall and Poipu beach.
Tours to the Big Island
The Hawaiian Volcano national park occupies over 1214 square kilometers and attracts tourists all over the world. You can explore various ecosystems in the park. The ecosystems were formed as a result of 70 million years of activity of volcanoes. The park was announced a biospheric reservation and was included to the list of the UNESCO world heritage.
Many local companies offer bus tours or hiking trips to the biggest and still active volcano. In the park you will see the active volcano Kilauea. You can also explore the park on your own. The park «Hawaiian Volcanoes» is located in 48km to the south from Hilo and is opened for visiting 24/7.
In the Waipio valley you will discover many cascade waterfalls, the tallest from which us 365m. You can explore the valley on your own or book a tour from one of the local companies. You can reach the valley by wagon, by horse, bicycle or on foot. The valley occupies 1,6km in length and 9,7km in width and is located in the north-eastern part of the island.
We also recommend you to visit the beach with black sand named Punaluu, Ahalanui park and National Historic Park «Puuhonua o Honaunau».
Nature Tours in Hawaii: Flora and Fauna
Flora and fauna of the islands is very diverse and unique. You can discover the richness of nature of Hawaii alone or using the services of local traveling companies.
Each island offers its unique landscapes and seascapes, that is why any tour to any island of Hawaii will be full of new emotions and experience. If you prefer booking tours, then you will be pleased with small numbered touristic groups. The guides through Hawaii know almost everything about Hawaiian nature. They will explain in details about flora and fauna and will answer all your questions.
The places of historical value in Hawaii
The most popular place of fairly recent historical events are the American base Perl Harbor in the Oahu island. Here you can visit the memorial on the Arizona ship, watch documentary film about the attacks on the 7th of December, 1941 and even visit one of the American combat vessels «Missouri».
The entrance to Perl-Harbor base and to the memorial Arizona is free, however you will need a ticket if you plan visiting Missouri vessel. Many local companies offer bus tours to Perl Harbor which also including visiting the Punchbowl memorial cemetery and other historically valuable places.