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Hawaii - Birthplace of Islands

- 14 days walking and study tour to Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Hawai'i -

2 weeks Hawaii: Oahu - Kauai - Maui - Hawaii

Hinweis:
Days 1 and 2 are mainly to adjust to the jet lag and gather the group. You can shorten the itinerary to 13 days if you like to arrive (or if your flight connection can only arrive) in Honolulu on D2 in the program. In this case, you receive a 5% reduction on the price.
The exact itinerary on the spot, in particularly the program around Kilauea volcano during our stay on Hawai'i Island, could be modified as a function of weather conditions, volcanic activity and other factors out of our hands. We will always try to optimize it accordingly.

Tag 1: Arrival in Honolulu - Waikiki beach

Waikiki seen from the arriving plane
Waikiki seen from the arriving plane
Arrival in Honolulu, pick-up from airport and transfer to hotel in Waikiki beach.
Ü: hotel in Waikiki beach

Tag 2: Waikiki, Oahu Island - surfer's paradise

Free day to relax at Waikiki beach or optional tour around Oahu with its legendary surfing beaches (Banzai and Sunset Beach in the north, Kailua Beach in the east).
Possibility to visit US Arizona Pearl Harbor's memorial and the natural reserve of Hanauma Bay for snorkeling inside an old crater.
Group dinner.

Note: you can also arrive and join the group on this day.
Ü: wie am Vortag (B, D)

Tag 3: Honolulu - Kauai

After breakfast in the hotel transfer to airport and short inter-island flight to Kauai.
Transfer to sea side hotel in Lihue and time to relax (swimming etc). Introduction to the geology and volcanic history of Hawaii and Kauai in particular.
Group dinner with traditional Luau and Hawaiian dances.
Ü: sea-side hotel in Lihue, Kauai (B, D)

Tag 4: Kauai Island and Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon on Kauai
Waimea Canyon on Kauai
Departure to the famous Waimea Canyon, an open-air geologic museum right in the heart of the long extinct Waialeale shield volcano. It was used for shooting the Jurassic Park movie.
You will discover an amazing volcanic landscape with its interesting endemic flora. Walking tour (approx. 6 km) and photo stops by car at the best viewpoints. In the afternoon, visit of the Koke'e museum.
Ü: wie am Vortag (B, D)

Tag 5: Kauai to Maui Island

Flight from Lihue to Kahului on Maui, where we rent cars at the airport. Lunch in the city center of Kahului and shop for the following days of camping.
If time permitting, we can visit one of Maui's most famous and impressive surf beaches near Pa'ia village.
In the afternoon, we drive through the sugar cane fields and pineapple plantations up on the slopes of the Haleakala shied volcano where we set up camp at the Hosmer Grove campsite, located in a beautiful eucalyptus forest.
Ü: camping (B, L, D)

Tag 6: Haleakala volcano sunrise and hike

Very early wake-up to go to a panoramic view point on Haleakala volcano: literally the "House of the Sun", it is one of the most famous sunrise locations in the world and a holy site for Hawaiian people.
Afterwards, we hike along a beautiful trail to discover more of the amazing caldera of the occasionally still active shield volcano: a multicolored landscape of yellows, reds and shades of black, numerous cinder cones from intense strombolian eruptions in the close past. There are also a number of amazing endemic plants and animals to observe, including the famous Silversword, the Nene and Ua'u.
After the round-trip hike, we have time for the visitor's center and later return to our campsite.
Ü: as before (camp) (B, L, D)

Tag 7: Lahaina town: relax day - beach, optional whale watching tour

Descend to our hotel in Lahaina / Ka'anapali town on the west coast of Maui at the western slope of the West Maui volcano.
Afternoon free to relax on the beach (great swimming & snorkeling), visit beautiful Lahaina town or go on an optional whale watching tour (during Dec-April only).
Ü: hotel in Lahaina on Maui (B, D)

Tag 8: Maui - Hawai'i (Big Island) - Kilauea volcano and lava lake

Photographing active lava flows at Kilauea volcano
Photographing active lava flows at Kilauea volcano
Depending on flight time, free time in the old whale-watching port of Lahaina, lunch. Flight to Hilo on Hawai'i (Big Island), transfer to seafront hotel and check-in.
Briefing and volcanological explanations about the active volcanoes and the ongoing eruption. In the afternoon, we will drive to the huge caldera of Kilauea volcano and view the active lava lake of Halema'uma'u in the dark.
Alternatively, if conditions are good, we can instead have an early dinner and use the evening and/or parts of the night hike to the lava flows in the coastal plain.
Ü: sea-side hotel in Hilo (B, D)

Tag 9-10: Kilauea volcano and the ongoing eruption

Two full days to explore Kilauea volcano and the ongoing eruption: the exact program will be adapted to best use the weather and eruption conditions. If lava flows are entering the sea (as often the case), one early morning will be an option for a boat tour to see the lava from the sea.
The evenings and part of the nights are the best times to see active lava flows in the coastal plain from close, with variably distance needed to hike, typically 2-3 hours one way over uneven, but generally easy terrain.
Ü: wie am Vortag (B)

Tag 11: Spare day

This day is a spare day to repeat excursions to the eruption sites from previous days if conditions were not good, or if activity is so impressive that we want to repeat them...
If not needed, we will have a relaxed start and make an excursion along the NE coast of Hawai'i, starting in Hilo.
On the way, we stop and visit one of the most beautiful tropical gardens of the Hawaiian Islands and hike to an impressive waterfall before enjoying a grand view over Waipio canyon.
Ü: wie am Vortag (B, D)

Tag 12: Punalu'u sea turtles, Green Sand Beach, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Hawaiian monument

We leave Hilo and drive around the south of the Big Island, crossing Kilauea and circling Mauna Loa volcano. After about 1,5 hours drive, we reach Punalu'u black sand beach where we stop for lunch, swimming and observation of green sea turtles often found there.
Continue to the southernmost point of the island where we hike (1.5 hrs one way) to the splendid Green Sand Beach - located inside a beautiful half-eroded old cinder cone rich with green olivine crystals.
Opportunity to swim. Return in the afternoon and continue towards the Hawaiian monument of Pu'uhonua o Honaunau - a sacred refuge place, protected by taboo, to offer shelter to anyone.
Ü: wie am Vortag (B, D)

Tag 13: Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea

Departure to center of Big Island dominated by the largest and highest volcanoes of the world: Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Ascend up to 3000 m altitude to the sun observatory on Mauna Loa. Optional short hike. Amazing views of the landscape and neighboring Mauna Kea, incredible lava deserts and cinder cones await us.
We drive up to the visitors' center on Mauna Kea for acclimatization to altitude before reaching the summit of Mauna Kea for an unparalleled sunset from the Pacific Ocean's highest peak. Return to Hilo after sunset and group dinner.
Ü: wie am Vortag (B, D)

Tag 14: Departure or own extension

In the morning, last option for a sightseeing helicopter flight to the eruption site (highly recommended).
Transfer to Hilo airport and flight back to Honolulu for your connecting flight back home, or own extension.
Ü: keine (B)
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