A voyage through 3 million years of volcanic evolution, 1,400 years of a Polynesian way of life from their discovery of Hawaii through the 19th century
Available between 8AM to 5:30PM
Available all year
Diamond Head Lookout, Lana'i Lookout (*1), Halona Blowhole, Makapu'u Lookout, Kailua, Ulupō Heiau, He'eia State Park, Byodo-In Temple, Nu'uanu Pali Pt., Kawaiaha'o Chuch, Ali'iolani Hale
All tours are fully customizable and include: a naturalist/historian, a driver, a Yukon SUV or similar, entry fees of visited sites, car beverages, and free pickup/dropoff in Waikiki/Honolulu.
This full day tour takes you on a voyage through 3 million years of volcanic history of Oahu, the discovery of Hawaii in the 5th century by the Polynesians, their way of life, the Kamehameha royal dynasty and their eventual overthrow leading up to Hawaii as a territory of the United States at the end of the 19th century.
Part One of our east Oahu circle journey takes us through Waikiki past Diamond Head and along the rocky coast to Makapu'u Point. Our focus will be on the Polynesian discovery of Hawaii, as well as Oahu's oceans and volcanoes, erupting as recently as 7,000 years ago. During the winter, you will have a chance to view humpback whales.
Continuing along the Kalanianaole Highway, the next part of our journey focuses on the Ancient Hawaiians and their quest for divine power (mana) to conquer their rivals or stave off natural disasters. We will visit an ancient Hawaiian temple site of human sacrifice dedicated to Ku, the God of War.
After lunch in Kailua (on your own) and a walk on the famous beach, we visit Byodo-In Temple, ranked by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful buddhist temples in the world to discuss the Japanese immigrants who came to Hawaii to work the sugar plantations. Next, it is a short drive to He’eia State Park to discuss the ancient Hawaiian way of taking care of the land which lasted for 1,400 years.
We climb the Ko'olau Mountains to spectacular Nu'uanu Pali Point, where King Kamehameha the Great fought his last major battle that united the islands. Our last stop outside of Honolulu is in the rainforest to discuss how it works and the impact of introduced plants and animals on Hawaii’s ecosystem.
We arrive back in Honolulu to visit Kawaiaha'o Church and hear about Queen Ka'ahumanu, the extraordinary woman who was the major force in establishing the Kamehameha royal dynasty. It is a short walk to the Ali'iolani Hale ("Hawaii Five-O Headquarters" on the tv show) with its iconic status of Kamehameha the Great and the site where Hawaii's last monarch Queen Lili'uokalani was overthrown by the American military. Across the street is Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on American soil.
We will be picked up by our driver and you will be dropped off at the final location of your choice.
(*1) Hana'uma Bay is temporarily closed to commercial vehicles, we are stopping at Lana'i Lookout instead