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“Perfect Day of Exploration - Volcano, Beach, Coffee, History, and Local Living”

Hawaii Outdoor Guides
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US$99.00*
and up
Big Island Dry Forest Preserve Visit
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US$103.12*
and up
Early Bird Volcano Express
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US$103.12*
and up
Lava Glow Volcano Express: Highlights of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We offer the Big Island’s best guided nature and sightseeing tours for small groups. Sure, there are larger tour companies on Hawai’i Island, but none offer the level of care and customization that we can provide. We have access to the best places at the best times. We are an insured and permitted tour operator and a member of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. Don't settle for less! Day Tours: Small-Group Volcano Tour Active Lava Flow Hike Tour (if active and accessible) Mamalahoa Circle Island Tour Hilo Hot Steam Volcano Tour Small-Group Waterfall Tour Waikoloa Dry Forest Tour Kilauea Iki Trail Hike Multiday Tours Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you soon on one of our tours. Warmest Aloha and Mahalo Hawaii Outdoor Guides
Reviewed 21 November 2013

This was my mom's first trip to the Big Island. One of her two mandatory to do's was to see the volcano. I knew from experience that the drive from Kona was long and that my ability to enjoy our time together meant someone else should be taking us there. After researching the options, Hawaiian Outdoor Guides sounded like the perfect mix of knowledge and site seeing. We were treated to a wonderful day by Katie and our fellow travelers. The coffee tour was fascinating, the black sand beach and turtles were pure Hawaii, and the evening tour of the lava tube and the lava glow from Kilauea caldera made it the most enjoyable day we have shared in our many travels. Katie shared Hawaiian traditions, lore, and insights to the area that made the entire visit a great one.

1  Thank Zhaybt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katie M, Outdoor Office Crew at Hawaii Outdoor Guides, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2013

Thank you for the great review! I had a great day with you and your mom and I hope you come back and visit us soon.

Katie M
Hawaii Outdoor Guides

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Reviewed 3 November 2013

Amazing four day trip around the island with an expert guide who took the time to ensure that we had a memorable trip. The snorkelling, site seeing, learning the local history, food, swimming in the warm springs, waking up with sea turtles, I could go on for ever. Thanks Katie for taking the time to: accommodate my daughter's food allergies, entertain us with your beautiful singing, ukulele playing, ensuring that all our needs were met and giving us memories that will last a life time. Highly recommend and will be back for another tour.
Maree, ACT (Australia Capital Territory), Australia

2  Thank George W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katie M, Outdoor Office Crew at Hawaii Outdoor Guides, responded to this reviewResponded 14 November 2013

Aloha Maree!

Thank you for your review! I had a great time with you and your daughter for four days around the island. I had lots of great memories from this tour as well. The snorkeling was amazing, the beaches beautiful and the red glowing lava impressive. I do hope you can come back to the island. It was great getting to know you and show you this beautiful island.

Warmest Aloha,

Katie
HawaiiOutdoorGuides.com
Phone: 1 888 886 7060 Local: 808 937 5472
info@hawaiioutdoorguides.com
www.facebook.com/HawaiiOutdoorGuides
www.twitter.com/HawaiiGuides

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Reviewed 14 October 2013

This tour was the highlight of our trip to the Big Island. Due to the government shutdown the Volcanoes National Park was closed but we still had a very enjoyable day and even saw 5 green sea turtles on a black sand beach. Katie was a great tour guide - very experienced and fantastic with our kids!

1  Thank Renee C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katie M, Outdoor Office Crew at Hawaii Outdoor Guides, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Aloha Renee!

Thank you for such a nice review! I had a great day with your family showing you the island. Your children were really fun and it was nice to meet you and your husband. The government shutdown was difficult but made easier by guests that take the opportunity to see different things on the island. As a guide it was fun to show our guests different spots that are not on the typical path around the island. I hope that your family is able to return and I can show you some red glowing lava!

Warmest Aloha,

Katie

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Reviewed 7 October 2013

My wife and I took a snorkel tour with Hawaii Outdoor Guides. We are not experienced snorkelers but we have gone out a few times on our own when we have visited Hawaii. We found their website, which mentions the tour is for first timers or people wanting a refresher and decided to take the tour.
We we were picked up promptly, as promised, at 7:30. The guide offered us some snacks, I had pineapple and my wife enjoyed the chocolate Macadamia nuts while the guide pointed out some local history on our way to the beach.
It was nice to relax and let someone else drive, while I enjoyed beautiful Hawaii, not rubbernecking for the next turn or parking spot.
At the beach the guide showed how to use the equipment, what to avoid touching and what was safe and legal to touch like the sea cucumber. We were given ample time to snorkel and my wife was given extra help with the snorkel vest.
I could go on but I will end with we had a great time and felt it was well worth money.
If you're coming to the big island I would very highly recommend them.

1  Thank OregonTreeLogger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katie M, Outdoor Office Crew at Hawaii Outdoor Guides, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Aloha!

Thank you for the great review! Our snorkel tour is one of my favorites because I get to show guests some of the best reefs, fish and areas to snorkel on the island. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the snacks. We strive to offer an excellent guest experience so thank you for the feedback! Come back and visit us soon!

Warmest Aloha,

Katie
Hawaii Outdoor Guides

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Reviewed 4 October 2013

Save money on tours which are expensive and not worth it. The snorkeling spots recommended in Fodor's"Hawaii", for example, are very good for snorkeling on your own right from the beach. Do not get trapped by companies such as Hawaii Outdoor Guides. They promise to take you to three places but even in perfect weather they bring you only to two beaches in the city that are easy to reach by car. They schedule their tours very early (7:30am) hoping to find easy parking In the city. It is not always the case, though, especially when there is a cruise ship in port and they try to park their car at the pier area. There is a big chance that you will freeze in your wet suit while waiting for an instructor to park her car in the city. A boat is not required to snorkel on Kahaluu Beach Park and on the pier (that is where they will take you). All you need are a snorkel, goggles and water shoes. Photographs identifying the fish you will see are on the beach. Keep in mind that the instructor usually wears the long sleeve top. That is what you should probably should wear for your comfort. Incidentally, at the pier area the water is deep and not as clean or transparent as at Kahaluu Beach Park, and there are fewer fish.

The company does not take you to the best snorkeling spot on the Big Island, Kealakekua Bay, because it takes 45 minutes to drive there and the company wants to end the tour within three hours. Over there access from the beach is not difficult if you have water shoes. For the same reason the company will not take you to Puuhonua O Honaunau - it is 2o miles from the city. Snorkeling in Kona is good at any time of the day. It is not as dependent on the tide and weather as in Hilo. The best snorkeling in Kona is in the middle of the day when the sun, like a projector, shines straight down into the water.

Taking precautions is necessary because snorkeling places are shallow. Please do not hit your elbows or head on the coral and do not scratch your swimming suit. It's always a good idea to ask the lifeguard about the tide, current and water conditions.

Thank nina_swims
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katie M, Outdoor Office Crew at Hawaii Outdoor Guides, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Aloha Nina!

Thank you for your feedback! I was the guide for your snorkel tour with our company. When I returned you to your hostel and asked if you had a good day you replied with "we had a great time". I encourage you to let the operator know in the future if you are less than happy with the tour so they can adjust accordingly to please you. I was happy to pick you up at the library because we were fortunate enough to have a private tour for the day because of only two guests signed up for the tour. Sometimes this tour will have up to 10 people and as a guide I like it when we can offer a specialized tour for our guests. I would like to address the issues you had with our tour and hopefully clarify.

We offer a guided snorkeling experience here in Kailua Kona and specialize in snorkel tours for beginners and guests that would like to learn more about the reef and fish. We do offer shore snorkeling and not from a boat. I have taken guests to the beaches that we visit and show them sections of the reef that are the most vibrant and many people fail to see even visiting the sites several times. The yellow tangs, turtles, raccoon butterfly fish, humuhumunukunukuapua'a, convict tangs, box fish, white spotted tobys, trumpet fish, parrot fish, rock mover wrasse, collector urchins, sea cucumbers, cleaner wrasse, morish idol, coronet fish, black triggerfish, orangeband surgeonfish, goat fish, unicorn fish, needlenose fish, hard coral and so much more are amazing at sites we visit.

We do start our tour early so that we can see fish in the morning when they are most active. The issue that you mentioned for sunlight does not work for the Kona area. Kailua Kona typically has sunny mornings and overcast afternoons. This means that often by 10am or 11 the clouds are present. Another benefit by starting early is going to the snorkel spot before many of the tourists arrive. Parking has no affect on our snorkeling sites or the time we start. This is also why most of the dive boats and snorkel boats also start early in the morning.
I am sorry that you became cold while waiting for the vehicle to be parked. You were given the option of going with the guide to the parking lot and then walking to the snorkel site. There is no public parking at the second snorkel site, you must park further away and then walk 3 to 5 minutes. This is the case whether there is a cruise ship in town or not.

Our second snorkel site is not as predictable as the first site for fish or marine life and visibility. On the day that we were snorkeling the visibility was about 20 to 25 feet and in many places in the world this would be considered great. The reason we go to that snorkel site is sometimes we see some larger marine life which we explained to you. I have swam at this site with dolphins, manta rays, and a huge school of fish with over 10,000 in the school. Unfortunately they were not present the day that we were there. We did see a lot of beautiful coral and some endemic fish not present at the first site like the Hawaiian dascyllus. I want every guest to see lots of big marine life but have no control besides taking you to a site where they are frequently present.

The third site we snorkeled at was shallow and a great place to really look at some smaller fish and coral. Our guests enjoy this site and appreciate the variety of marine life. The nudibranch that we saw was really incredible and the kind of thing that keeps me returning to the ocean. That does make three snorkel sites which was great that we were able to see so much!

As a guide I wear a long sleeve rash guard for the tour. This is not for warmth as you mentioned but because I want to protect my back against the suns rays. In sunny climates it is important that we protect our skin. Red burned skin is not fun on vacation or any time.

We take you to some of the best snorkel sites that are available in the Kailua Kona area. The sites that you mentioned are not feasible for different reasons. Kealakekua bay is only accessible by kayak, ≈ 2 miles of swimming, a ≈ 2.5 hour hike or boat. I believe the reef and fish at our first site are very similar to this bay and in my opinion better. The other site is far south of Kailua Kona and this site is a great diving site and a pretty good snorkel site. It is quite similar to the second site that we take our guests. Our third site is a place that many people don't explore but that makes it more special to us and our guests.

Thank you for the snorkeling tips at the end of your review. I would add that we don't want to bump the coral not only to keep us safe but mainly because we need to protect the fish and coral so that guests to come may enjoy them. It is a great idea to talk to the lifeguard when going to the beach and something that is smart to remember.

Our tours are less expensive than all of the other guided snorkel tours on the island of Hawaii. You called our office more than three times and emailed more than four times so I would hope that your questions were answered accurately. When emailing you we did offer a refund because I thought you might not be satisfied with all we could offer but you refused. This is mentioned because you claim that we are after your money. This could not be further from the truth. Our goal is to have happy customers and from your response at the end of the tour we believed that was achieved.

I look forward to your next visit to the island.

Warmest Aloha,

Katie
Hawaii Outdoor Guides

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