Ultimate tropical multisport adventure across the 50th state
Formed millions of years ago by a still-active volcanic hotspot, the Hawaiian Islands are a stunning paradise birthed by fire and water. Our active islandhopping adventure takes you to two far-flung islands that showcase the best of Hawaii. These two islands make the perfect well-rounded active—and tropical—adventure. On Kauai, the “Garden Isle,” venture into a never-never land of lush greenery and dramatic cliffs (after all, Jurassic Park was filmed here). Hike the famed Na Pali coast, and along the fragrant trails of stunning 3,000-foot-deep Waimea Canyon (the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”). Because it receives the most rainfall of all the islands, water flows in abundance here, and we’ll kayak the jungle streams and hike to a hidden waterfall.
On Hawaii, the Big Island, explore Kilauea with a hike into the moon-like crater itself. At the coast, watch fiery lava plunge into the ocean with an angry hiss. Cycle past a young lava flow, visit the upland ranching town of Waimea, and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian luau. On both islands, watch for humpback whales, and swim and snorkel with honu (Hawaiian sea turtles) and tropical fish. And of course there’s plenty of requisite beach time for surf and sand enthusiasts. Explore paradise with MTS leaders whose 20 years’ experience leading here means they truly know the islands and the meaning of “Aloha spirit.”
2½ days hiking, 1 day river kayaking, ½ day sea kayaking (no previous experience required for either), optional cycling, swimming, snorkeling, surfing
- Hike the famed Na Pali coast and Waimea Canyon on Kauai, the “Garden Isle”
- Explore Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, home to the world’s most active volcano
- Kayak or SUP down a tranquil river and along the Kohala Coast, swim and snorkel in coral gardens with green sea turtles, and learn to surf
- Learn about the history and culture from MTS leaders with 20 years of experience guiding trips in the Aloha State
- SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) available by request
Duration: 8 days Start Location: Lihue End Location: KonaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive on Kauai
Arrive anytime at Kauai’s Lihue Airport and transfer on your own to the Resort Quest Kauai Beach at Makaiwa, a centrally located beachfront resort that combines the warmth and hospitality of Hawaii with its rich history and culture. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax and begin enjoying the charms of the “garden isle.” Dinner on your own. (NOTE: your trip leader will contact you this evening to let you know where to meet in the morning.)
Day 2 : Na Pali Coast
We’ll first meet with the trip leader and the group for a trip briefing, then head out to the Kilauea Lighthouse, a bird refuge where we’ll keep our eyes peeled for whales, dolphins, turtles, and the many birds that frequent the area. This is followed by a hike along the breathtaking Na Pali Coast Trail, with its awesome views of 2,500-foot cliffs plunging into the ocean below. After lunch at Hanakapiai Beach (about two miles in), we head back along the trail to Ke’e Beach at the trailhead. Here we’ll take an optional plunge in the protected waters and witness a variety of sea life that defies description as we snorkel the Na Pali Coast shoreline (please bring your own mask and snorkel; fins are not necessary). Optional surfing lessons are available. We’ll cap our first day in paradise with a barbecue dinner at a beach park near the hotel. (3 hours hiking, 4 miles, elevation gain/loss: 1,060 feet)
Day 3 : Waimea Canyon
Today we head to Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” for a full day of moderate hiking through a koa and ohia forest with a fragrant ginger understory. We’ll hike the Waipo’o Falls/Kumuela Trail and have lunch at 250-foot Waipo’o Falls, with incredible views of the multihued canyon itself. Along with frequent sightings of Hawaii’s honey creepers, this trail is rich with many species of native forest plants, and we may see the elusive wild goats who have adapted to the cliff faces after escaping domestication. On the way home we will stop at the beautiful Salt Pond Park for an afternoon swim, where we may see monk seals sleeping on the beach—or maybe the green flash at sunset! Dinner on your own in Kapa’a. (3-4 hours hiking, 6 miles, elevation gain/loss: 1,200 feet)
Day 4 : Wailua River—Volcanoes National Park
This morning we go kayaking on the Wailua River, a beautiful and historic jungle stream. (This is an activity suitable for novices—no previous experience is necessary.) After paddling a few miles we leave our kayaks and hike to a secluded 200-foot waterfall. After lunch and swimming in the cool fresh water pools, we’ll return to our kayaks for more fun paddling. Then we’ll transfer to the airport for a late afternoon flight to Hilo on the “Big Island” and dinner at a favorite local restaurant. After dinner, we’ll transfer to our lodging, a B&B close to Kilauea Volcano that’s a historic missionary home from the late 1800s surrounded by a five-acre botanical estate.
Day 5 : Volcanoes National Park
We’re up early for an all day exploration of the botanical and geological wonders of Volcanoes National Park. Tropical rainforest soon yields to steaming vents and frozen forms of lava as we take an easy hike into Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano. We’ll cross over solidified lava and occasionally see small vents of steam escaping from cracks in the lava. In the late afternoon, we drive down the Chain of Craters Road to the coast, where lava has been flowing consistently into the ocean for the past 10 years. We hope to see red lava hiss into the surging Pacific (conditions permitting). (3-4 hours hiking, 4-8 miles, elevation gain/loss: 480 feet)
Day 6 : Biking or swimming: Kailua-Kona
Today we will take an easy country road bike trip (six miles downhill, then seven along the ocean side of Puna) to Kalapana (optional solo stay at warm tropical pools where the group can meet you after the bike ride). We ride through mango groves, along the ocean, and past some of the newest lava flows on earth. After both groups meet for lunch, we drive along the Hamakua coast, with its many waterfalls, and through Waimea’s pastoral countryside en route to the resort town of Kailua-Kona. Dinner on your own.
Day 7 : South Kohala Coast
We take to the sea with a fun-filled morning kayak paddle along the rugged South Kohala coast, and to swim and snorkel in coral gardens where green sea turtles feed alongside multi-colored tropical fish. During the months of December to March, we can listen to the mating sounds of humpback whales through a hydrophone—a marvelous experience! After a picnic lunch at Hapuna Beach, known as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in America, we head back to Kailua to get ready for a traditional-style Hawaiian luau (a good place to sport your Hawaiian attire). We’ll eat delicious food cooked in an imu, or earthen oven, while watching the sun set and sipping cool tropical drinks. (We’ll take the popular Hawaiian advice and “eat until you’re exhausted.”) Then we’ll sit back and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian hula show or perhaps learn the hula ourselves.
Day 8 : Depart Kona
The morning is free in Kona to visit the shops and historical places of Kailua town before transferring to Kona International Airport at 12:00 noon. From here you can connect with flights to Oahu or the mainland.
DATES: Best time to go: January - April, June - August, November - December Departures: Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.
$3,395 (4-10 members)
$1,250 single supplement
Courtyard by Marriot Kauai at Coconut BeachMakaiwa
With the Makaiwa surf break just offshore, this centrally located hotel is situated on 10 beachfront acres, amid a coconut grove that dates back almost a century. Rooms are richly dressed in distinct Polynesian designs and touches of dark tropical wood tones in furniture and shuttered doors that open to a private balcony.
My Island B&B InnVolcano
My Island is a collection of historic bed and breakfast rooms, garden units, cottages and houses. Most are nestled in floral gardens, others in a village on the edge of Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. The hotel features a seven-acre botanical garden with tropical flowers blooming year-round.
Royal Kona ResortKailua-Kona
The Oceanfront Royal Kona Resort is an architectural marvel set on twelve oceanfront acres overlooking Kailua Bay in the heart of historic Kailua-Kona town on the Big Island of Hawaii. Each of the Resort’s spacious guestrooms features a large lanai with beautiful mountain vistas or magnificent ocean views. Relax on the decks of the oceanfront, split-level swimming pool or at a private beach and saltwater swimming lagoon.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Kalia Avery has been leading trips in Hawaii for more than 20 years, and her upbeat personality and incredible sense of humor (her laugh is contagious!) give her the highest marks from every trip member. Kalia is extremely knowledgeable about the human and natural history of Hawaii and looks forward to sharing it all with you. She is also a great cook!