For the first time, after huge passenger demand, Grand American Adventures are heading to Hawaii! Many visit the 50th state for its knockout scenery and tropical climates, which you’ll certainly get a big dose of if you visit. But if your idea of paradise is less ‘beach life’ and more ‘adrenaline rush’, there are also plenty of opportunities to induldge your sense of adventure, while truly getting under the skin of the fascinating Hawaiian islands.
The Island of Hawa’ii itself makes up just one part of the vast Hawaiian archipelago, and is the largest of the Hawaiian islands - although not the most populous. Known particularly for its biodiversity and volcanic landscape, there are plenty of fantastic options for keen hikers on Hawa’ii.
If you’re searching for incredible trails to stretch both the legs and the mind, Volcanoes National Park is a true Hawaiian highlight. The park is home to Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, one of the world’s biggest active volcanoes. As a result, you’ll discover starkly contrasting landscapes.
The Pu’u Kilauea Iki Crater trail begins with a descent through lush rainforest, which then gives way to the rocky, grey floor of the Kīlauea Iki Crater lava lake. Alternatively, circle around the Crater Rim Trail. More rainforest in climate, you’ll also discover the fascinating steam vents – a demonstration of the landscape-defining power of the island’s magnificent volcanic activity. For a truly unique experience, you could also make your way through one of the park’s volcanic lava tubes.
Elsewhere on the Island of Hawaii, you’ll discover the indescribable beauty of Kealakekua Bay Park. Alongside plenty of historical sites of interest – including the spot where Captain James Cook was murdered – the bay itself is a hotspot for marine life and watersports. The best way to get close to what goes on under the sea? A Zodiac boat trip to a secluded bay, where you can don mask and snorkel to see aquatic wildlife up close.
Although it seems that you could spend weeks exploring the Island’s depths, there’s also plenty of reason to head out further to other islands in the archipelago.
In Maui, the second largest of the islands, Kanaha Beach Park is a great spot to try out some windsurfing. In fact, Maui in general is a watersports enthusiast’s paradise. Straight up surfing is probably the most popular sport in Hawaii, and whether you’ve surfed the world over or haven’t even placed your foot on a board, you’ll be able to catch some waves.
If you’re more of an on-land explorer than a water baby, you can experience some real pedal power as you cycle down Maui’s famous downhill at Haleakala National Park. On two wheels, you’ll drop 3,000 feet in 10 miles and curve around 29 switch backs. Your reward? Plenty of stops to admire Pacific views, coastline, local farms and botanical gardens.
Oahu is the most populated of all Hawaii’s island, so a real opportunity to experience local custom and culture. Grand American Adventures’ Hawaii Islands Adventure tour begins in Honolulu and pays a visit to Pearl Harbour – a must for both history and film fans – but why not add on some extra time to explore?
You could opt to spend a day on one of the island’s captivating beaches playing volleyball and soaking up the sun – but for those who want to kick their adventure off straight away, it’s worth making a short trip to Kualoa Beach Park, where you can explore Kaaawa Valley on a two hour horseback ride. You might just recognise some spots – as scenes from Jurassic Park and Godzilla were filmed here.
Elsewhere along Oahu’s coastline and on land, you’ll find activities as diverse as submarine tours and golf; deep-sea fishing and tennis. Despite being the second largest of the Hawaiian island, it’s relatively easy to navigate and definitely worth branching out before heading back to Honolulu for the Island Adventure that awaits…