Exploring the Tropical Rainforest Above Honolulu by Car

Banyan tree tunnel
Rainforest drive tour route map




2 Hours

Available between 8AM to 5:30PM

Available all year. As of August 2021, available as a supplemental tour only


Tantalus Drive with various stops in the rain forest including Tantalus Lookout. Optional stop at Punchbowl Crater (National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific)

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 natural history tour ascends from sea level to 1,800 feet and penetrates deep into the tropical rain forest covering the slopes of the Ko'olau Mountains above Honolulu.

After picking you up at your hotel, at your request we can first visit Punchbowl Crater to view the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and the monument to the brave MIA's who fought in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.

Afterwards, we begin our drive into the Ko'olau Mountains to the rain forest that covers the upper slopes of the prehistoric Tantalus cinder cone that erupted 70,000 years ago. The exclusive residential area of Makiki Heights with its multi-million dollar homes gives way to the jungle; the road becomes dark with vine-laden trees and lush tropical vegetation, wild ginger flowers scent the air. You will hear the song of the shama, Hawaii’s “forest nightingale” close by. We will make various stops to understand the inner workings of the rain forest and photographic stops for spectacular views of the mountains, coastline, rain forest and bamboo forests.

Our final stop will be at the Tantalus Lookout (Pu'u Pualaka'a State Park) with its breathtaking view of Diamond Head and Honolulu spread below you.

We wind our way down the mountain back to the coast and drop you back at your hotel or any other location you prefer in Honolulu or Waikiki.

NOTE: While we try to go very slowly, the road is extremely windy with switchbacks through the entire drive. Also, although the county and state does their best to maintain the road, there are unavoidable potholes and rough pavement in many sections.

For more information you can request info, call 808-762-1500 or e-mail