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Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

boston
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Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

This will be our first trip to Hawaii. We are staying in Hawi and VV.

On other islands we had mules escort us down the slope on Molokai, we have horsbacked on Lanai and Princeville ranch. We have triked the whole island of Kauai and then in Hana, Maui. We have kayaked before Aquarium and Fishbowl were shut down in Maui. We have helicoptored on Kauai. We have done an amazing ATV tour on Kauai. Deep Sea fishing off Port Allen without a single bite.

We will be spending 9 nights on NS of Kauai in March, and still have not done the Napali boat tours, but the surf will likely still be up. We will also be on Maui for a few nights and may consider a whalewatch, but may get locked out with last minute weather and deciding.

So at this point, I'm thinking perhaps just one guided tour would be a nice experience. But what? Horseback in Waipo? ATV's? Something on the water off Kona or Waipo Valley.

Of course if the lava is flowing we would search out a private guide if it may be spectacular. But that can't really be planned to early.

So any thoughts on your favourite excursions on the Island of Hawaii?

Mahalo

Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

You probably opened Pandora's Box with that question! :) My advice is to pick a kind of tour that you can't do anywhere else. Exploring VNP or trail ride into Waipio Valley would be my choice.

boston
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2. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

excellent, is their a particular guide you would suggest at for either?

Maryland, USA
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3. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

Mauna Kea summit tour with sunset. Won't find that anywhere else on Earth.

Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

From your earlier list, I would put Waipi'o high in consideration. Another thing you need a tour to do is to snorkel the south Kona coast. Both these areas have accessibility issues/

There are three major reasons to take a guided tour that I can think of.

One is that without the equipment (boat, 4WD, plane), you can't access the area.

Two is that without permission from private landowners you can't cross.

Three, and not the least, is that you want the guide's knowledge and expertise.

Many tours combine these three qualities. There are a number of tours that could be ranked as amazing. The only paid tour I've ever done here was to do a Waipi'o tour, and I was very disappointed in the value. It was a van type tour. I think the horseback option would be far better. But don't go for the waterfalls during a drought.

In the Cooks (on two trips) I took a number of tours, snorkel lagoon cruise, private burial cave, island tour with one guide and just my husband and myself, and a tour by a native naturalist showing us all the birds and herbs and medicinal plants, which was in some ways my very favorite as it was such a special experience. Warren Costa is a Native Hawaiian guide here who offers something similar.

On this island, you can spend two weeks exploring and never get to the point where you've run out of things you can see without taking a tour, so the tour is not necessary to have a fulfilling vacation, per se, but is only desirable to fulfill your special interests - and only you can decide what is most important to you.

boston
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5. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

thanks again,

yes, kk, you make a great point of three reasons to seek a proffesional guide

We are very independent travelers, that respect the land and the locals and have enjoyed an adventure here or there. mostly we roll on our own wave, but there is a time and a place.

any thoughts on what specific group to look at for a ride into or around the valley?

and kisswells, any thoughts on a specific tour or guide?

mahalo

g

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6. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

Hawaii Forest and Trail.

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

There's one stable that comes up as the horseback trail ride. Adeline has done it. Na'alepa? HF&T does some kind of private waterfall tour. I always thought it was above the valley floor.

PM Lavaguyd for an east side tour (Arthur) or check out Warren Costa. A simple google for his name plus guide will give you his site. Arthur's company BigislandeXcapes is now merged with, I think, Volcano Discoveries. Just PM him ...

Edited: 06 February 2010, 02:46
Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

I have done the trail ride many times, I always take friends & family on that tour. http://www.naalapastables.com and if you are lucky you get Keoni as the guide! He lives in the Valley and has many stories to tell.

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9. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

TT, what's that ride like, what do you get to see? I've been thinking about doing it .

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10. Re: Help me choose one excursion on the Big Island, please.

The ride is very leisurely and I don't even consider it "horseback riding" per se, it's a unique and only way to really explore Waipio Valley. This link describes it fairly well: http://www.naalapastables.com/waipio2.html