Discovering Hidden Hawaii
February 9-16, 2020 • 8 Days • $3590**
**Pricing with New Traveler Discount: $3390
Make plans for a wintertime getaway and join us as we “hang loose” under the tropical sun of Hawaii!
**Traveler Rewards Program: New Travelers receive a $200 discount on the Discovering Hidden Hawaii tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. Check out our Traveler Rewards page for more details.
Optional Oahu Extension
February 16-19, 2020 • 4 Days • $1390
Walks and activities include a walk in Diamond Head, a famous Oahu landmark; a day in Honolulu with a wonderfully routed walk that includes historic points of interest such as the State Capitol, China Town, and Iolani Palace; an additional new nature walk exploring highlights of hidden Oahu; and a stop in Waikiki, with an excursion to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
Reserve your spot on this tour with a $500 Registration Deposit! Check below for more details.
Most travelers are attracted to the sun-drenched beaches of Waikiki and Maui, soaking in the alluring tropical climate of “the Islands.” Our Adventure in Hawaii, on the other hand, offers an intriguing search for Old Hawaii with a series of walks and sightseeing excursions that tantalize the senses with the true spirit of the Islands. Come see the real Hawaii never featured on 7-day/6-night travel specials!
We’ll be visiting some of our favorite island haunts, including:
- Valley of the Kings—some of the wildest, most exotic trails in the Islands are here in the remote Waipio Valley.
- Volcanoes National Park—it’s hard to describe the feeling of walking across the floor of Kilauea Iki Crater with steam from an active volcano venting around your feet!
- Hilo Highlights—including the Farmer’s Market, Tsunami Museum, Rainbow Falls, and nearby Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens.
- Maui—whale watching at its best! Seeing these majestic creatures is always a highlight especially during peak whale watching season! We also offer a stroll through the lovely resort of Ka’anapali and historic Lahaina.
- Optional Oahu Extension – explore the highlights of Oahu, with stops at Diamond Head, Honolulu, Waikiki and more!
- All land travel as outlined
- 1 inter-island flight from the Big Island of Hawaii to Maui
- 7 nights at superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
- 10 meals: all breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners as denoted (BLD)
- 4 walks
- Fees for walking credits (for those collecting AVA credit)
- WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
- All tipping for coach drivers and guides (except for optional excursions)
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $960
- Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, the Place of Refuge (Big Island)
- Tour of a coffee plantation on the Kona Coast (Big Island)
- Waipio Valley – Valley of the Kings (Big Island)
- Akaka Falls State Park (Big Island)
- Hilo Farmer’s Market Tour (Big Island)
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island)
- Pacific Tsunami Museum (Big Island)
- Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden (Big Island)
- Whale Watching Charter (Maui)
- More fun stops than we can list!
- Kealakekua Bay Swim and Snorkel (Big Island) – Day 1
- Old Lahaina Luau (Maui) – Day 6
- All land travel as outlined
- 1 inter-island flight from Maui to Oahu
- 3 nights at superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
- All breakfasts
- 3 walks
- Fees for walking credits (for those collecting AVA credit)
- WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
- All tipping for coach drivers and guides
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. Single rooms are available for a supplement of $350
- Diamond Head Crater State Monument
- World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (Pearl Harbor)
- Mystery stops on the Hidden Oahu Walk day
- More fun stops than we can list!
“The Volcanoes Nat’l Park and Lanai Island Hike were brilliant…Russ and Judy were excellent guides; they kept us well informed and [were] very flexible when problems arose.”
-Jeff F; Cheshire, England
“Our guides, Russ and Judy, were among the best I’ve ever had – on any trip. Well-organized, thoughtful, considerate, calm and unflustered when faced with last-minute changes. Very nice people.”
-Colleen B; Laytonsville, MD
“WAI guides were excellent. Did an outstanding job…Quite an experience. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for a very interesting view of the Hawaiian Islands.”
-Bill F; Silver Spring, MD
“Russ and Judy are great guides, very attentive to detail and making sure everyone is having fun. They do a great job of letting us know what to expect on our walks.”
-Betty P; Silver Spring, MD
“Russ and Judy are great. Look forward to traveling with them again.”
-Bob & Nancy I; Etters, PA
“Russ and Judy are wonderful – keep everything “even keel”…Volcanoes Nat’l Park Craters walk was awesome…Day trip (optional) to Molokai was so interesting – a piece of Hawaii history I didn’t know that much about.”
-Carol W; Medford, OR
“Leaders did a great job in knowing where everyone was, while we were on the trail. Superb leadership…Everything exceeded my expectations.”
-Joan V; Baltimore, MD
A 1:14 guide to traveler ratio
Hidden Hawaii: 1 inter-island flight from Hawaii to Maui; Oahu Extension: 1 inter-island flight from Maui to Oahu
Superior tourist class or better hotel accommodations
Hidden Hawaii: 10 meals: All breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners; Oahu Extension: 3 meals: All breakfasts
Hidden Hawaii: 4 walk routes; Oahu Extension: 3 walk routes
2 Guides throughout
Basic transportation in 40+ pax motorcoaches
Discounts available. See Daily Itinerary for more details on activities included.
Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5
Scott Isom has had a passion for the outdoors ever since his childhood days spent exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River Gorge with his family. Scott has led tours on all 7 continents and is one of WAI’s busiest guides and on-site Adventure planners. Scott will be leading the Discovering Hidden Hawaii tour with Jim Brickley from WAI assisting.
Jim Brickley has always loved a good adventure and the opportunity to explore. Jim enjoys interacting in various environments with different cultures, and welcomes the challenges travel brings. His hobbies include motorcycling and scuba diving, as well as hiking and travel. He anticipates growing through diverse international encounters that challenge his paradigm of “normal” and looks forward to sharing these learning experiences with you on tour. Jim will be assisting Scott on Discovering Hidden Hawaii.
Click on each day for more details.
Discovering Hidden Hawaii
DAY 1-Feb 9: Arrive Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Your Discovering Hidden Hawaii walking adventure begins with a flight from the mainland (not included) to the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. Upon arrival, you can easily arrange your own transfer by taxi to our starting hotel, where the balance of the day is free to enjoy the South Sea ambiance from our lodgings overlooking the Pacific. Because travelers arrive from the mainland throughout the day, the only group activity planned is a Welcome Reception this evening.
For those who arrive a day early into Kona, consider joining us today for an optional morning Swim & Snorkel Trip. This 4-hour adventure takes us south along the coast of the Big Island to Kealakekua Bay where we enjoy world-class snorkeling and learn about the fate of famous English mariner, Captain James Cook. Lunch, light snacks, drinks, guiding services, and snorkeling gear are all included in this excursion. Estimated price: $125 per person
DAY 2-Feb 10: Activities from Kailua-Kona (B)
We begin our Hawaiian Adventure with a fascinating exploration of the Kona coast that includes a visit to the dreamy, palm-studded seascapes of the Place of Refuge, so named because it served as a sanctuary for Hawaiians attempting to escape the harsh justice of the Kapu system. On the return trip, we visit a coffee plantation to learn firsthand how famous Kona beans are grown, and sample some of the famous island java. The afternoon is free to enjoy the balmy climes of the Kona coast from our hotel.
DAY 3-Feb 11: Kailua-Kona – Hilo (BLD)
Valley of the Kings Walk – 5 km, rated 1C
On our way to the Hilo side of the Big Island, we experience a royally memorable walk in the Valley of the Kings. Set in a verdant and remote tropical wonderland, this trek along the valley floor offers black sand beaches, towering cliffs, lush vegetation, a funky and remote community of taro growers, along with a couple of shallow stream crossings—on foot! After this hike, we satisfy our hunger with lunch, plus a famous hot malasada (deep-fried Portuguese-Hawaiian pastry!) at the Tex Drive-In. Later this afternoon, we drink in classic waterfall-in-paradise views of Akaka Falls on a short loop hike before arriving at our Hilo hotel, where we check-in and share a dinner together.
DAY 4-Feb 12: Activities from Hilo (B)
Volcanoes Nat’l Park Craters Walk – 10 km, rated 3D
We start our morning with a unique breakfast and food tour at Hilo Farmers Market, rated one of the top markets in the U.S.! Following our morning market meandering we tread across one of the most massive and active volcanoes on the planet! Due to the much-publicized eruptions of 2018, we are still researching and waiting for up-to-date reports about the impact on our intended trail. One of our team will be there in Spring 2019 and our understanding is that segments of the park are being reopened on a periodic and somewhat regular basis. Our intended trail is one of our worldwide favorites! It travels through the gently sloping lavascape of Kilauea, enjoying caldera views, steam-vented craters, and lava tubes. Volcano and post-volcano walk activities will be planned as we approach our departure date and are subject to change based on volcanic conditions. When possible, past visits have usually offered some form of lava viewing, an unpredictable and rare opportunity to witness 2000°+ F, red-hot lava from a close, but safe, distance.
DAY 5-Feb 13: Hilo – Ka’anapali, Maui (B)
Hilo Walk – 5 km, rated 1B
Our last morning on the Big Island begins with a pleasant stroll through Lili’uokalani Gardens, named after Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, continuing along Hilo’s waterfront to the Pacific Tsunami Museum. Following a fascinating, and fortunately harmless, tidal wave of information at the museum, we proceed by bus to the lush wonderland of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden for a resplendent rainforest ramble. A quick photo stop at Rainbow Falls on our way back to lunch in Hilo sets the stage for our late afternoon flight across the water to The Valley Isle of Maui, where we transfer to our beautiful beach hotel in Ka’anapali for the first evening of a three-night stay.
DAY 6-Feb 14: Activities from Ka’anapali (B)
Lahaina Missionaries & Whalers Walk – 8 km, rated 1B
A morning stroll begins in the beautiful beach resort community of Ka’anapali where a brief taxi ride connects us with the second half of the walk in Lahaina. Before Hawaii’s annexation by the United States, Lahaina was the Royal Capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, as well as the center of the global whaling industry. Clashes here in the 19th century between whalers and missionaries, who had diametrically opposing objectives for the local population, could be severe and violent, but peace now reigns supreme in this sunny, oceanfront community on the west end of Maui.
Lahaina Roads is the deep channel between Maui and neighboring Lanai where humpback whales arrive from Alaska during winter months to mate and deliver their young. The afternoon activity is a fun whale cruise into the “Lahaina Roads” in low-to-the-water mega zodiac boats.
Following free time in Lahaina, our optional evening event is the Old Lahaina Luau, an authentic evening of traditional Hawaiian food, music, and dance in a unique beachfront setting! Estimated price: $140 per person
DAY 7-Feb 15: Activities in Ka’anapali area (BD)
No trip to Hawaii would be complete without a little “hang loose” time. We take a break today from our usually full WAI itinerary in favor of letting you call the shots. Soak up some rays on the beach; shop ’til you drop; enjoy a chance to snorkel; join an excursion to see the view from atop Haleakala, the massive volcano that forms most of Maui; or book a drive on the famous Road to Hana. The concierge at our hotel will be happy to help make your plans or give you more ideas for enjoying Maui. And if you’d like a little more challenging Hawaiian adventure, join us for one of the Challenge walks on Maui. This would be an all-day experience involving transport to one of Maui’s two highly rated, but difficult trekking trails. Details and cost to be announced. Later this evening, we enjoy a fun and relaxing Farewell Dinner together at our hotel.
DAY 8-Feb 16: Depart from Maui (B)
As we explored the history, culture, and scenery of the Islands, wintertime blues have been replaced by the Aloha spirit of Hawaii! After breakfast this morning, we say goodbye to travel pals and return to the wintertime climes of North America, refreshed and renewed by our tropical walking adventure in Hawaii!
DAY 1-Feb 16: Depart Maui for Waikiki, Oahu (B)
Diamond Head Walk – 12 km, rated 3C
We fly from Maui this morning to the main island of Oahu. Perched on the east edge of Waikiki Beach, our hotel allows access to the sights of Waikiki but provides a welcome respite of neighboring green spaces of the Honolulu Zoo and seaside Sans Souci State Recreational Park. The walk of the afternoon takes us along the coast to nearby Diamond Head Crater for a classic climb to the top of Diamond Head offering iconic views up and down the coast, and over the Pacific. Prized by the U.S. military because of the 360 degree sweep it offered artillery, this ancient volcano is now a state park, and one of the “must dos” for active visitors to Oahu. Returning to our strategically located hotel, freshen up and enjoy exploring the many options for dinner on your own tonight!
DAY 2-Feb 17: Activities in Honolulu area (B)
Honolulu Capital Walk – 10 km, rated 2B
In 1845, King Kamehameha III moved the capital of Hawaii from Lahaina, on Maui, to Honolulu, transforming it into a modern city. The next hundred years were hard on Honolulu and Hawaiian sovereignty; in 1893, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown; in 1898, the islands were annexed by the United States; in 1900, the city endured a major fire; and in 1941, the Japanese devasted Oahu with the attack on Pearl Harbor. The walk through Honolulu offers an on-the-ground opportunity to enhance, or challenge, your understanding of Hawaii, passing several significant sites including the State Capitol, Courthouse, Iolani Palace, King Kamehameha statue, plus a fun wander through China Town. After lunch on our own, the afternoon highlight is a somber visit to Pearl Harbor, site of the December 7, 1941 attack by Japan that prompted the U.S. to enter World War II. With an excellent film, followed by a visit to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, suspended artfully above the final resting place of more than 900 sailors and Marines, few places, and few experiences, have the ability to transport visitors back to this tumultuous time in world history like Pearl Harbor.
DAY 3-Feb 18: Activities on windward side (B)
Hidden Oahu Walk – distance and rating TBA
Our planning team has scouted out a 5 to 8-hour experience on the windward side of the island that includes a brand-new walk route combined with a fun local food/culture stop! After two days of enjoying Oahu’s classic attractions, today we’re looking for Hidden Oahu! We return home mid to late afternoon with one more evening free to explore the multi-textured food and shopping opportunities along Waikiki Beach.
DAY 4-Feb 19: Depart from Oahu (B)
We return home today from a mid-winter break in the Islands! This most-isolated land mass on the planet has a spellbinding story to tell. The story, the unique Polynesian culture, and seemingly perpetual sunshine give it a special allure, a warm Aloha spirit that invites us to return!
Click on each heading for more details.
How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?
To save yourself a spot on this Adventure, contact us to register with a $500 deposit as soon as possible! We average 24-28 travelers in a group with a guide to traveler ratio of 1 to 14.
Traveler Rewards Program
New Travelers receive a $200 discount on the Discovering Hidden Hawaii tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. See the Traveler Rewards page for more details or contact us with any questions at 800.779.0353 or [email protected].
Note: The New Traveler and Alumni Traveler Discounts apply only to the main tour price. The Oahu Extension is not eligible for these discounts.
Registration Form & General Tour Conditions
Tour Cancellations: Walking Adventures International reserves the right to cancel any tour departure with fewer than 15 participants, in which case registered participants will receive a 100% refund of payments received.
Two optional excursions are available during this Adventure: Kealakekua Bay Swim and Snorkel, and the Old Lahaina Luau. If you would like to participate in either of these excursions, we have limited space available. To guarantee your place, please let us know your decision at the time you register.
How is airfare arranged?
Travelers on the main tour will fly into the Kona International Airport (airport code KOA) on Hawaii’s Big Island and depart from the Maui International Airport (airport code OGG) at Kahului. Travelers continuing on the Oahu Extension will depart from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (airport code HNL) in Honolulu. Airfare to and from the start point is not included in the package price, though one inter-island flight is included in the program. We recommend that you contact Laura Pfahler, the travel agent we work with, to help book your flights. In this age of airfare complications and airport uncertainty, using a travel agent is a good investment! More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided by email after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving these flight details from us!
What about the walks?
We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Because these are group walks, the success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness in order to ensure that we are walking at a somewhat similar pace. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1.800.779.0353.
We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:
1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.
A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.
WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Laura Pfahler of World Travel Inc., a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well as your airfare (email: [email protected] -OR- call 503-434-6401). For those of you who purchase airfare through Laura, purchasing your travel insurance from her as well may be the simplest option. As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the squaremouth.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.
Other options include:
- Travel Guard
- Travel Insured International
NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.
Other Planning Considerations
More information to help you plan will be included in the much longer Tips & Tidbits factsheet that is mailed out about four months before the trip.
What happens next?
Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter and initial invoice. An email with critical information on flight arrangements and the Adventure Advice flyer will be sent soon after, with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review the Flight Arrangements email. Final payment for the program is due 90 days before departure, and you will receive a final billing about 3 weeks prior to that point, along with a factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the details of the program, including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.
Take a few minutes to peruse this unique, Hidden Hawaii itinerary. After the holiday season, an Adventure in the tropical climes of the Islands may be the best way to walk off some of that holiday cheer and bridge winter’s gap between Yuletide joy and the promise of spring. If you’d like to see the real Hawaii, the one that most people never see, give us a call and talk to one of our Adventure Consultants about how to join us for this unforgettable Walking Adventure program next winter!