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Marylou's Big Island Guided Tours - Private Tours
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Keaau
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Temple Terrace, Florida
Level Contributor
340 reviews
112 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“The best!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2014

We toured Hilo on the Big Island with Mary Lou and the day was all we could have hoped for. Five of us were with her in her van and we had a lovely day with lovely weather (it only rained when we were in the van and the rain stopped the minute we got to the next attraction!). Volcanoes National Park was the highlight of the day. Mary Lou was very quick to figure out what our group liked (nature, please) and what called for shorter stops (shopping!). Even though we were not avid shoppers, it is hard to say no to the candy at the Mauna Loa factory. They are very generous with their samples. She gave out thank you gifts at the end of the tour, which were certainly appreciated, but unnecessary. She gave us a perfect day. I wish we could have found other small tour companies like hers on the other islands.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank simonthecellar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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152 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“What a fantastic day!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2013

My family and I booked the tour from Australia. Ken met us early on our agreed day and what a day we had! Ken is very knowledgable about the island and respects the island. He is not native Hawaiian but has taken the time to learn and appreciate what is there. He tailored our day to exactly what we wanted to see, Green Turtles - on a black beach!, Volcanoes, waterfalls, seeing to non tourist side of the island. He took us through a laval tube - a first for us! He is a qualified guide for the volcanos so he could answer the questions from my husband and daughter who are fascinated with volcanoes. He told us of a lava walk you can undertake but that is a day trip in itself - next time Ken! He introuced us to fruit we had never tasted and showed us the most beautiful orchid farm!What you pay for the day covers all entry costs. Ken was not in any hurry - he travelled at our pace.If you want to see things on the Big Island at a pace you set - I would highly recommend this company.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank Ruth D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Marylou's Tours”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2013

I did Hilo with Marylou and then Kona with both she and husband Ken and had a great time. As a family of 4 it was easier than the big bus tours (which although good made me annoyed on Maui by constantly having to wait for late comers at every stop). The thing about Marylou's tours is the personal nature, and the fact that you have more freedom: leave an attraction whenever you are satisfied rather than sticking to a rigid timetable. Also the conversation with Marylou and Ken made the tour enjoyable too as they are a lovely couple and I will always remember their hospitality.
As a first time visitor to Hawaii I did not know where to go so did a general tour only. I could have asked for a personalised tour, which they can organise. If I went to Kona again, I would have Ken organise a little boat across to the Captain Cook monument, which I am sure he would do. Ken had the gear so that we could have gone snorkelling but we declined: that was a pity as that would have been great. That is the benefit of a personalised tour: you can pick and change. But for newcomers we didn't know much so did the all-around tour.
I thoroughly recommend this especially if you have children.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank CharlesInBrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boardman, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Day with Marylou”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2013

Our Princess cruise ship was in harbor for only one day, so of course we wanted to make the most of our day. We were asked what we want to do and Marylou filled all of our expectations. You could not find a more knowledgeable person in Hilo. We loved how sweet she was making sure we were comfortable at all times. Don't hesitate to book her.
PS Thanks Marylou for the Macadamia nuts.
Judy, Hub, Stevan, and Ana

Visited November 2013
2 Thank Judy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
209 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Kona day tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2013

We booked a tour with Marylou from the UK, before our cruise. She was very helpful with info before the trip. When our cruise ship arrived the tendering process was really slow so we were nearly an hour late in reaching the shore, but Marylou was very sympathetic and told us to relax as we wouldn't have been left behind!
Our driver for the day was Ken, Marylou's husband. He is great fun, has a terrific sense of humour and kept all of us entertained with info about Kona and Hawaii. We especially enjoyed finding out about the feral cows!
Places we visited on the trip - a coffee plantation (no pressure to purchase, but they had great wifi!), Captain Cook monument, the national park Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, local restaurant for lunch and a Japanese garden.
Ken takes you to places the cruise ships don't reach - the Japanese garden being one example which was lovely with beautiful flowers and local birds flying around.
Lunch is at your own expense but the fish and chips we had were delicious. It was freshly caught ono fish. Marylou had made salsa for us and we ate that with the fish, a really nice extra which we had not expected.
Another unexpected treat were the leis that Ken bought for all 3 lady passengers on his trip. We stopped at a roadside hut where Ken selected 3 leis and left money in the jar by the cool box where they were stored. I wore mine to dinner that night and everyone loved it and was jealous!!
Ken dropped us in town after the trip and we had a bout 2 hours till we had to be back on board so we had a drink in a local bar before we tendered back to the ship.
Ken and Marylou give an excellent value for money tour, with lovely, unexpected extras. If you book with them you are in for a treat.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank KrispyPlymouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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