One of Maui's newest activities is the Green Zebra Off Road Tours. They're located right next to the Flyin' Hawaiian Ziplines Course at the Maui Tropical Plantation. They're a bit different from the other off road tours on the island because they utilize "Tomcars". Our guide explained that these vehicles were originally designed and manufactured by the Israeli Military. They had some interesting quirks to their design that made them quite ideal for the terrain of Waikapu, including a belt driven rear end with a high clearance independent suspension system.
As soon as we got into the Tomcar and turned the motor over it was clear that we were in for an exciting trip. The 1000cc motor put plenty of power to the wheels for us to kick up some serious dust. The small ATV sized tires light weight seemed to make the engines job even easier and the combination of the tires and the suspension matched up perfectly, giving the vehicles some some serious off road cornering abilities.
Our guides had the keys to the gates and were able to take us through the sugar cane fields to explore the trails you could not normally access. As we glided over bumps and rocks almost effortlessly you still had time to enjoy the views of the west maui mountains between drifting around corners and maneuvering through obstacles. Most people on their trip to Maui do not get to experience the expansive sugar cane agriculture we have here. This trip brings you deep into the fields and gives you an idea of what is all involved with this 100+ year old industry.
Along the way we stopped at a large water reservoir with beautiful views of Haleakala volcano as well as the north and south shores of the island. The guides gave us a brief history lesson on this land we are traversing as well as its surrounding mountains. After all that excitement on the ATV's it felt good to take a water break and have a few minutes to take in this beautiful environment.
After a few minutes we were back into the vehicles and riding along the aqueducts before zipping back into the cane in the search of some mud. It didn't take long to find a mud puddle and we approached it full speed ahead kicking up dirt and mud all over the Tomcar, and ourselves. We backtracked through the trails for a while until it was time to head back to the Tropical Plantation and wash all this dirt off. What a fun trip!
The following question was answered by Gina.
When planning a trip thousands of miles from home to a place that has a completely different climate it is normal to have some anxiety about what you should or should not pack in your bag.
The following question was answered by Joy.
In recent months there has been considerable news in Hawaii, the mainland and also internationally regarding the lava flows that are covering the Puna District of the Big Island.
What is the difference between a regular zip line and a canopy zip line?
"I've already been to Hawaii so many times. I've done all the different activities". This is a popular refrain. How about doing something interesting, educational and different! If you're planning to visit Maui perhaps this is something you might enjoy doing: Visit the Aromatherapy Foundation of Maui in Olinda in Upcountry Maui and participate in an aromatic distillation of some of the 1000+ aromatic plants that are grown there.
Well, it's not necessarily the most sought-after or desirable list to find yourself on, but Hawaii finds itself at the very top of the list of states in the union with the most endangered species.
The following question was answered by Cookie.
As we enjoy this beautiful Autumn day, Wednesday, October 15th, 2014, we are aware that within 72 hours or so the state of Hawaii will be impacted in some way by a hurricane that just manifested itself out of the unseasonably warm waters of the Mid-Pacific Ocean only two days ago.
The whales are on their way to Hawaii. Just like the swallows coming back to Capistrano or the monarch butterflies traveling from Canada and the northern United States to winter in the central highlands of Mexico (as of this date they are slowly moving across Texas with just 500 miles left to go), natures cyclical calendar of events is providing the 'siren song lure' calling the Humpback whale back to its birthplace in the Hawaiian Islands.
Tom Barefoot's Tours has come under some criticism in recent years with comments directed at the 'beaches' section of our web site. The criticism has not been directed at the information provided about the beaches themselves but regarding the warnings we have placed on those pages alerting the public to the safety issues dealing with the oceans surrounding the islands.
The following question was answered by Ann.
The following question was answered by Tom.
Some of the volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii have increased in eruptions over the past few months. This is nothing new for Big Island residents as they have been living under the shadow of Madam Pele, the 'goddess of volcanoes' and her destructive lava flows for centuries.
Kauai Backcountry Adventures offers an inner-tubing tour in the mountains of Kauai. This tour is an action pact inner tube tour, with a historical twist.
When I was growing up, I always had a love for all things off road. I don't know if it was because my early childhood years were influenced by the monster truck racing that seemed to always be on TV, or if it had more to do with the childhood adventures on my mountain bike, or if it was a combination of the two.
When we checked in this morning at the Ali'i Kayaks office on the north side of the Wailua River, I knew it was going to be a wonderful day. It was one of those beautiful blue bird winter days with not a breath of wind in the air.
As we pulled up to the beach to go SNUBA diving in Poipu, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I've done quite a bit of SCUBA, Diving but I never did SNUBA before.
Today we did a trip that I think is one of the best values that we have on our entire site. We went on a 70 minute long air tour around the entire island of Kauai in a 6 passenger Airvan.
The activity that is essential to of any classic Hawaii vacation is a Luau. Going and experiencing a little bit of Hawaiian culture is something that every visitor should do when visiting the islands.
It is not often at all that I go on a tour and am completely and utterly impressed with the experience that I have. Today, when I went on the sunset sail with Captain Andy's Charters up the Napali Coast, was one of those days.
Ziplines are a phenomenon that is rather new in Hawaii. The first ziplines were created on Kauai, and then they spread throughout the state. The Kauai Backcountry Zipline is located in Hanamaulu, and is one of the originals.
Every time a new zipline is built in Hawaii it seems like they're always trying to out do all the other courses by having a longer or a faster zipline.
This morning I woke up to very wet and rainy weather at my house in Lihue. My girlfriend had to work and I really wanted to do something more exciting then messing around inside on my computer all day.
I remember the first time I stood up on a wave. It was a sunny day at a break near Oluwalu on Maui. It was in the middle of one of the summertime adventures with my uncle Dennis that were commonplace during my childhood.
Today we had something happen that was slightly out of the ordinary. We were on an air tour around Kauai with Airventures Air Tours, when out of the depths of the ocean underneath us appeared a pod of massive Humpback Whales.
I love the sunset sails on Kauai. I really appreciate that with these sails, there is an actual destination to the whole adventure. You get to sail all the way to the Napali coast while you watch the sun go down.
I remember passing by the sign for Kauai Photo Tours in Kapaa when I first came over to Kauai in January and thinking to myself how much I was looking forward to going on that trip.
I had an idea of what we were getting into when I showed up at the headquarters of the Wailua River Guides in Kapaa, but I had no idea how much I was going to really enjoy the kayak and the hike up the river that we did today with Wailua River Guides.
Today we went out with Aloha Kauai Tours on their Kauai Backroads 4x4 Tour. We met the group at the Kilohana Plantation where we parked my truck and jumped in their customized 4x4 van.
As we checked in at the Blue Dolphin store in the shopping village of Port Allen I looked up at the grey threatening looking sky and thought to myself:
We showed up at the Outfitters Kauai office in Poipu at just before 6AM to check in for their downhill bike trip. The ride goes down the road along the rim of the Waimea Canyon.
When I was a kid, my family lived in Kihei on the island of Maui. During the 1990s when I was growing up, Kihei was one of the fastest growing towns in the nation.
When I woke up this morning and looked out the window, I couldn't help but smile when I saw that it was an absolutely classic sunny Hawaiian day outside.
Before we even got to the ranch I knew that we were in for a special experience. The ride that we had scheduled for the day was at Silver Falls Ranch, which is located deep in the jungle, on the north side of Kauai.
Today we did something very unique, that I have never done before in the Hawaiian Islands (or anywhere else for that matter). We went fishing for Peacock Bass.
Today we did something that I've wanted to do for a while, we went on the "Movie Tour" with Polynesian Adventure Tours. The movie tours' concept is simple, they have a TV screen in the bus that plays a movie they edited together.
Throughout my life I have had many opportunities to experience helicopter flights around Hawaii. I have been on helicopters on all of the major islands, so I feel that I can legitimately say that the flights on Kauai pack more into them then they do anywhere else in Hawaii.
This year my girlfriend Simone and I decided that we were going to celebrate Valentines days a little bit differently then we have in the past. We decided that we were going to go up to the North Shore of Kauai and try out the zipline at the Princeville Ranch.
Today I got to take my Mom to see something very special. In the 1400+ years that the Hawaiian Islands have been inhabited by humans, an amazingly rich culture has developed here.
Yesterday we took advantage of the flat summer ocean conditions on the North and West sides of Kauai and scheduled a trip up the Napali Coast with Captain Chris and the Napali Riders.
I think it is safe to say that if there is any single activity that an equestrian would enjoy on their trip to the Hawaiian islands, it is CJM Country Stables.
Today we did one of the premiere tours that is offered on the island of Kauai. We paddled sea kayaks down the entire Napali Coastline. We started at "Tunnels Beach" and made our way underneath the cliffs all the way to the immense Polihale Beach on the far west side of Kauai.
When we checked in at the Outfitters Kauai office in Poipu the clouds were close to the ground, covering the ground with a light mist. It seemed like it would probably burn off in the next few hours, but for the time being it provided a much cooler climate then is normally found on the sunny south side of Kauai.
The first of all of the Hawaiian Islands to have helicopter tours on it was the island of Kauai. Once you go to Kauai, you will understand that this was no coincidence.
Rarely will you find a boat that is so well suited to the excursion that it goes it as the boat that is operated by Liko Kauai Cruises. Their 49 foot catamaran is powered with twin 260hp inboards and the overall design is fairly narrow.
We met up with Captain Zodiac office at their office, located on edge of the Honokohau Harbor about ten minutes north of Kona. When I showed up the people at the office greeted me and then directed me where to meet up with the boat.
Island Adventures is the only kayaking company that goes up the river through the Hule'ia National Wildlife Refuge. This river eventually goes up towards the Kipu Ranch.
If you are in decent shape and want to do something worth telling your friends about once you get home you should consider doing a Kayaking trip down the Napali Coast on Kauai.
Since "Cruiser Bob" first pioneered the original Haleakala bike ride decades ago the format of the rides has changed, but the industry has remained the same in many ways.
Umauma Ziplines is located on the northern coast of the Hilo side of the Big Island. The location requires participants from Hilo to take a short drive up the Hamakua coastline to the ranch.
The Royal Kona Resort Luau is located in the heart of Kona town in-between Ali'i Drive and the ocean. When we pulled up to the check in I could hear the waves crashing against the rocks at the edge of the luau grounds, we were given leis and made our way to the bar to sample their specialty drinks.
Sailing is something that has always interested me. It's ability to tap into a renewable energy resource that has the ability to take you around the world brings with it a certain allure.
I was standing on the porch of our vacation rental watching the sunset when I reached into my pocket for my schedule so I could check and see what I had planned for the following day.
Sharks are one of nature's most revered predators. Since the beginning of time man has waged a battle with these creatures for undisputed rights to the top slot at the summit of the food chain.
The Waipio Valley on the Big Island is estimated to have once been the home to a city of over 50,000 Hawaiians. The amount of history and beauty that exists in this place is unbelievable and if you have enough time to make it up here on your visit to the Big Island, you should.
Kualoa Ranch is one of the premiere attractions on the island of Oahu. It is a 4000 acre working cattle ranch that was established in 1850. Stretching from the mouth of Kaneohe Bay to the adjacent Kaaawa Valley, its' beauty has not gone unnoticed.
We showed up to our pickup location about a ten minutes earlier then they requested just in case we ran into any issues finding the pickup area. We were to meet a bus that was going to take us to the Aloha Tower Marketplace where we were to meet the Star of Honolulu.
It was a typical bright sunny day in South Maui as we headed down to Makena to go for a sunset sail with Kai Kanani Catamaran. As we walked along the grassy path to the beach we saw the beautiful catamaran coming towards the shore.
The Twogood Kayaks van pulled up to pick us up in front of our hotel in Waikiki. The van driver go out of the van, introduced himself, then opened the door and invited us in.
Swimming with the dolphins in the wild is something that can be easily arranged by Tom Barefoot's Tours for anyone vacationing on the Big Island.
When you're in the middle of downtown Honolulu it is hard to believe that in just a few minute drive you can be in the middle of the jungle, without another person in sight.
The sport of Parasailing was was given birth during an experiment by a French skydiving instructor named Piere Lamoigne. Piere was looking for an easier way to get his students into the air then dropping them out of a plane when he first tied a parachute onto a rope behind his car.
Until I got to experience a ride on a glider for myself I had no idea how cool these machines are. When to tow line dropped and we were on our own we really were quietly coasting through the air like a bird.
The Mokuleia Islands (commonly referred to by locals as "The Mokes") off the eastern shoreline of Oahu are one of the most picturesque locations in the state.
My girlfriends sister and her boyfriend were on the island for a few weeks and we thought it might be fun to let the girls go do a spa day while the boys go out for an afternoon bottom fishing trip.
I remember really wanting to be a fisherman when I was small then getting bored of it when I realized that the shore fishing does not have the same amount of action as you get when you go out on the deep sea.
Many people that visit Oahu leave the island thinking that the entire thing is covered in a dense urban sprawl, similar to what is found in Honolulu. However, for those that are daring enough to explore what lies outside of the city there are some amazing sites that are actually very close and easy to access.
Sea life park is an aquarium center that is similar to Sea World, but on a much smaller scale. Here there are many things to see and do including: penguins, seals, turtles, all kinds of fish, and a large pool where you can swim and interact with dolphins.
It all started one day when I decided to take a walk down the whole length of Waikiki Beach, starting down by the aquarium and working my way towards Ala Moana.
The morning we went on the Body Glove I woke up and looked out the window and was delighted to see that there was not a breath of wind in the sky and the ocean was completely calm...... Perfect weather for snorkeling!
This morning we checked in for our days snorkel excursion down at boat ramp at Keauhou Bay, which is located on the southern end of Kona Town. As we pulled into the parking lot we could see the large blue shape of the Fair Wind II tied up to the pier.
There are few places on earth that have a landscape as diverse as the one you will find on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Big Island contains almost every kind of climate zone on earth (11 of the 13 to be precise).
Today we went out on a smaller sized sailing catamaran named the "Kamanu". We met the boat down at Honokohau Harbor to check in for the trip. As I entered their office I noticed some amazing pictures of Manta Rays on the walls that the receptionist told me were taken on the evening "Manta" snorkel, I was impressed.
After spending most of the day down in Kona snorkeling we had worked up quite an appetite. During the drive up to Waikoloa all I could think about was the huge luau buffet that was waiting for us once we got there.
The Navatek is not your normal boat. When it was built (and in many ways even to this day) it stood on the absolute pinnacle of maritime technology. It is a SWATH style vessel which is a design that is essentially a cross between a hydrofoil and a catamaran.
When we pulled into the parking lot at the Keauhou Bay we could immediately see that the day's ocean conditions were absolutely perfect for kayaking. We selected our two person kayak from a group of kayaks that were lined up on the shore.
The experience that my Dad and I had on our Paradise Helicopters flight this morning is something that I will never forget for the rest of my life. We did the complete island trip that departed from the Kona Airport.
People often ask me what my favorite Hawaiian Island is. I always tell them that I am a bit biased towards Maui because I was born and raised there but all of the islands have something different to offer.
The volcano is one of the Big Islands most popular attractions. The view from the Jagger Museum is something that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.
We had been outside waiting by the curb for about 30 seconds when the Paradise Cove Luau bus pulled up in front of us. The luau representative greeted and gave us our admission tickets to the luau grounds.
Aside from a luau I think the most classic nighttime activity that we offer is a sunset dinner cruise in the waters in front of Waikiki. These trips, with the classic view of Diamond Head and the skyline of Honolulu are something that I would recommend every visitor on Oahu to experience at least once.
One of the most popular things to do in the state of Hawaii is the Polynesian Cultural center. This attraction is located on the northern tip of Oahu is the town of Laie.
What many people do not know is that you do not HAVE to leave Waikiki to do a Luau. There is actually a luau that is held at a massive rooftop luau grounds.
You are likely aware that Tom Barefoot's Tours carries hundreds of activity companies on all the Hawaiian Islands consisting of thousands of individual tour choices.
Today we checked in at Maalaea just before 7:00AM for our trip aboard the "Maui Magic". Our days plan began with a boat ride all the way around the southern tip of Maui to an area known as the Kanaio Coast.
We offer many different snorkeling trips throughout the state of Hawaii. Each one tries to differentiate itself from the others in the industry by catering to a specific niche group.
Of all the whale watching companies that we deal with on Maui, one of the ones that we get the most requests for is the Pacific Whale Foundation. The reason for this most likely stems from the fact that the Pacific Whale Foundation has really made an effort over the years to be a company that specializes in whale watches.
Today we thought it would be fun to go see the sunset from the top of Mauna Kea. Our rental car company did not want us to drive our little car up there so we decided that it would be a good idea to arrange to go with a guided tour.
The air tour that I did today with Iolani Air was for lack of a better word......perfect. I will try to contain me excitement as I go over the reasons of why I so thoroughly enjoyed my experience.
When visiting Oahu sometimes it can be hard to remember that the island had much more the just the hustle and bustle of the downtown metropolis of Honolulu and Waikiki.
Speedboats are not for everyone, but if you're the type you're the type of person that enjoys them then......... Then everything else probably seems, slow.
Our trip to the Waipio Ridge Stables was nothing short of incredible. We decided to leave our place in Kona extra early so we would have plenty of time to take in all of the sights on the way there.
When most people get off the plane on Oahu I don't think they have any idea that you can have the sort of experiences that we had today. Today we took a trip with Hawaii Nautical that took us snorkeling on the Western coastline of the island.
Yesterday I looked at the three day forecast and saw that there were glassy conditions predicted until the end of the week. Being that the whales are currently here in record numbers I thought it would be ideal to schedule a whale watching trip.
As we got down to the harbor to board the Scotch Mist I could tell that we were in for an amazing time. The weather was ideal, the day before a winter storm front had come through from the west.
We decided to go for a hiking adventure with Hike Maui through the Wailele Permaculture farm and the surrounding park areas and waterfalls. We met our guide in Kahului at the "Park & Ride" parking lot.
Everyone dreams of experiencing a perfect day out on the water. Smooth seas, warm air, whales spouting off all around you, dolphins coming up to the boat, snorkeling with Sea Turtles.
Of all of the different fishing trips that we offer I think it is fair to say that as a general rule of thumb, the bottom fishing charters that we have generally catch a larger volume of fish then our deep sea sport fishing charters.
As we came though the tunnel at the end of the Pali and the Oluwalu point came into view I could tell we were going to have perfect weather conditions for our sunset horseback ride at Lahaina Stables.
Paragon Sailing Charters operates a type of catamaran that is not utilized by anyone else in the Hawaiian Islands. The designer of the catamarans that are used by Paragon Sailing Charters is the owner of the company, Eric Barto.
One of the most popular categories of tours that we carry on Maui are the Haleakala Bike trips. There are many companies that we carry that offer this trip, but what many people do not realize is there is quite a bit of difference between the different varieties of downhill biking trips.
Luau's are one of the most popular kinds of vacation activities here in the Hawaiian islands. What many visitors do not realize when they make their luau reservations is that there is actually a wide variety of different luau's that are available.
Seafire Charters is a company that does Molokini trips that depart from the Kihei Boat Ramp. The vessel that they use is one of the most overbuilt, sturdy vessels on the island and it's an interesting story why.
Atlantis Submarines is a unique activity in the islands, they own the only submarines in Hawaii that are strictly for civilian use. Today we went out on their submarine adventure on board their 65' air-conditioned, electric powered submarine.
Our Parasail check in point became visible as we were walking on the sands of Kaanapali Beach. The check in location came in the form of a few beach umbrellas with the words "UFO Parasail" printed on them.
The America's Cup is a sailboat race that begins on the mainland before racing across the pacific to Hawaii. In 1987 the America II completed this race, generally the boats that compete in this race are only used one time and then retired.
As we were driving to the Big Kahuna Adventures surf lesson I noticed how perfectly glassy the ocean conditions were, I had a suspicion that today was going to be a great day for our lesson.
As we were sitting at the Whole Foods Markey in Kahului, a large 15 seat gray van pulled up. The door opened and out stepped a couple that greeted us and invited us onboard.
Upon arrival at the Maui Lani Golf Resort I was greeted by a man wearing an aloha shirt that was standing next to a large bus that had "Valley Isle Excursions" painted on the side.
As we arrived to the Maui Ocean Center, I knew that we were in for an amazing day at the aquarium. The aquarium is located right next to the Maalaea boat harbor.
Today we went on a snorkel trip to Lanai with the Pacific Whale Foundation. The Pacific Whale Foundation is known for their great snorkel trips and whale watches.
Mendes Ranch is a beautiful cattle ranch located near the historic Kahakuloa point. As soon as you walk into the ranch you see first hand that it is still a working cattle ranch.
During our trip today we went out going to Molokini aboard the beautiful Ali'i Nui Catamaran. We arrived to the Maalaea Harbor and quickly found slip #56.
Being a Maui resident for over 25 years and never going on the Altantis Submarine out of Lahaina should be a crime. Please don't send me to jail! I finally made it, and yes, it was a crime, but only to myself for missing this totally fun and cool adventure all of those years.
There was a gentle rain falling as we parked the car at Piilholo Ranch that morning. I knew we could be in for a good soaking but I was still excited to see what the day was going to bring.
Today I'm out on the Quicksilver Charters out of Ma'alaea Harbor for a whale watch.The harbor is situated in the crux of the valley that gives Maui it's "Valley Isle" designation.
I remember for my 12th birthday, the only thing I wanted to do was get certified to go SCUBA Diving (12 is the minimum age you can be to get certified).
Today we did one of my favorite activities in the state, a helicopter trip around Kauai. Kauai is one of the most amazing places to do a helicopter ride on the planet.
The following question was answered by Joy.
The following question was answered by Gina.
So, most people will determine which month they will visit Hawaii based upon vacations and time off work, time off from school or weather conditions in their local regions.
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