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Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

Hong Kong
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Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

My wife and I are coming to Hawaii for one week in June and would really like to see two of the islands in that time. We are usually capable of covering large distances and intensive schedules quite happily, although i know we will not be able to do all that these two islands have to offer in that time. Could anyone suggest an itinerary that includes Dolphins, Volcano (with lava!!), kayak, Pearl Harbour, a great luau, a good beach (perhaps a nudist beach), Hilo, the valley on the BI and Horse riding and perhaps some interesting thing like rafting or similar. We are pretty flexible about money and things, and would prefer to stay in one place on each island if this is practical. Wow, this is a lot of things! Can anyone help?

Thanks

Calgary Canada
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1. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

We are in a similar situation although we will be staying 10 days also in June. Almost the exact same kind of activities (minus a few like horse riding or Pearl Harbour), but also Hilo and the Volcano etc. We will be on the big island for four or 5 days and on Oahu for the rest of the time. Anyhow, we also need help planning.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
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2. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

You could spend a lifetime and not see it all but it sounds like you will try to get a taste in the week you have.

OK can't answer all your questions but certainly can a few.

Dolphins means either the canned kind at the Hilton Waikola or taking a boat ride. If you are real lucky you may be able to get a twofer at Kehena beach. It is clothing optional and another name for it is Dolphin beach. In the evening spinner dolphins often come close to shore to rest. Kehena is about a 1/2 hour or so drive from Volcano National Park on Red Road. It is a black sand beach to boot.

As to seeing lava that can be tricky. At the moment it is a a few mile hike. An other option is to take a helocopter ride, you will be able to see red lava no matter where it is.

Pearl Harbor (I assume the Arizona memorial), go early, they open at 7:30, be there no later than 7AM to get a ticket to ride out to the ship (It is free but you need a ticket).

Waipo valley is best done with a tour and not on your own. You can either ride a mule wagon down or take a van ride.

I would recomend you stay in the National Park at the Volcano house or one of the nice B&B's in Volcano itself. If you stay in Kona or Waikoloa you will be hours away from the volcano. Not that the ride is not nice but your time is limited.

Hopefully someone else can fill in the parts I can't answer....

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

Aloha! Wow, we were on the Big Island for a week and didn't have a chance to see it all. We saw a lot, but we joked that it kicked our butts. We ended up relaxing more in Maui on the second part of our trip rather than doing too many planned activities. I can give you some suggestions for a few of the things on your list:

Kayaking/encountering dolphins in the wild: Kealakekua Bay, south of Kona, is a popular place for kayaking. We rented from Kona Boys ($45 for 24 hours) and kayaked across the bay to Captain Cook Monument. It's a mile across, and you stand an excellent chance of encountering a pod of spinner dolphins on the journey over to the monument or back. On our trip back, they performed and played around our kayak (and a couple lucky others) for the better part of an hour. It was a real trip highlight. You didn't mention snorkeling, but the monument area provides some of the best snorkeling in the state. It was the best we experienced on our recent trip to the Big Island and Maui! The water is so clear and just teeming with fish. The reef drops off fairly close to shore, so it's cool to snorkel on the edge of the shallow part of the reef and see the steep drop off to deep water. The Kona Boys and other companies also offer guided kayak tours of the bay and the monument area if you are uncomfortable with the prospect of doing it on your own.

FOR MORE INFO: http://www.konaboys.com/

Horseback riding into Waipio Valley: Unfortunately, the day we booked our tour with Naalapa Stables was the rainiest day of our entire trip. It was quite foggy, too, so our views of the valley were obstructed. But we had a great time nonetheless and just figured the mist and rain were appropriate (we were in the rainforest after all!) and added to the mystique of the surroundings. The basics: We met at Waipio Artworks, a neat shop with local art for sale. A van drove the tour participants down into the valley (an extremely narrow 4x4-only rode, which is why most people opt to see the valley via a tour) and dropped us at the stables. We geared up, got the basic instructions on riding, and were off. I had a great horse that liked to lead, so I was up behind the guide most of the time, and he chatted with me a good bit of the trip. Along the ride, you'll see taro farmers, waterfalls, and all kinds of lush vegetation, and you'll cross several streams.

FOR MORE INFO: http://www.naalapastables.com/

Hilo: If you go, try to be there on a Wednesday or Saturday, which are farmer's market days. Great produce and flowers and fresh juices (lilikoi...yummy!) and lots of local crafters selling their wares. Well attended by locals and tourists alike.

FOR MORE INFO: http://www.hilofarmersmarket.com

Volcanoes National Park: A fantastic place to spend at least a day. On our day, we did the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive, stopping at various sights and overlooks to take photos, hiked the Kilauea Iki Crater (a little over a 4-mile loop through lush rainforest then over the stark crater floor and then ending in the rainforest again; highly recommended) and the Thurston Lava Tube, and drove down Chain of Craters Road before sunset to try to see the lava flow. When we got to the end of the road, there was a huge line of cars we had to park behind, so it was a hike just to get to the ranger's station, and from there, it's another half mile or so to the end of the paved road. If you wanted to get to the surface lava flow, it was another 2 miles or so one way, a rough hike over old jagged lava. We were dismayed, though, to find out that there was surface lava to see because the rangers at the Kilauea Visitor Center had told us that there were no visible surface flows that day. Then at the ranger's station at the end of Chain of Craters, the sign said it would be a 5-mile hike to the flow. Then when you finally walk to where the road ends, there was a sign saying 2 miles to the surface flow. We were thinking that perhaps the park intentionally gives misinformation to thwart people from doing the potentially dangerous hike out to the live lava. If that's the case, I think it's terrible. I had wanted to hike to the surface lava (a once-in-a-lifetime experience), but since the ranger at the start of the day had said that would not be possible that day, we planned a different day and did other hikes, so by the time we got to where we could hike to see lava our feet already had blisters, we didn't have enough water or food, and we were too tired to do it. Also, it was getting dark, so we would have had to do the entire hike in and out without daylight. Not advisable. We did hike a little ways in, using flashlights, and we were able to see the glow of the lava flowing down the side of the crater from a distance. And that was pretty awesome. Weather permitting, you should be able to see that even from the ranger's station, so a hike is not necessary unless you want to see any surface flow. If you want to hike to the lava, my advice is to get to the end of Chain of Craters by 3 or 4 pm, so you can hike out to the flow in daylight. Wear long pants and sturdy hiking shoes, and take plenty of water and a flashlight for each person. I'd also take a lightweight rain jacket. I needed mine, and the day had started off sunny.

FOR MORE INFO: http://www.nps.gov/havo/

Hope this info helps as you plan your trip. Have fun!

Palm Springs...
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4. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

Aloha.......

TravelHappy...you done good kiddo.....nice job

I might add that there is no lava entry at this time and it is now a 3+ mile one way hike to where the flow was. There is some surface activity but it ebbs and flows.....

going nude in hawaii is not looked on with a smile here by locals....the only beach i know of is half streight and half gay......in a questionable area......

In your short time you will need to spend big bucks... A helo tour of the island.

Paddeling to Capt cook will eat a whole day..and you will not have time take a tour...with snorkeling and dolphins..l like dolphin discoveries.

Suggest you stay in Waikoloa...near the Helo pad and fly in the AM....then Horse back in the pm in Waimea,

Next day take a snorkel/dolphin trip in the AM, and explore south Kona region.

It is a 3 hour drive one way to the volcano from Kona....each way. leave at 5 am to there by 8 tour the park till 3 and drive back .

What you describe would take about 6 to 7 days...and you have 3..........

Birmingham, Alabama
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5. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

Travelhappy/HD:

What do you guys think? Want to do the 9-11 morning shuttle tour of Waipio Valley. Will I have time to get back to the Keahou (sp) Bay by 1:45 for my snorkeling venture if leaving Waipio Valley by 11?

P.S. Great post TH.

Birmingham, Alabama
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6. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

TH/HD: Nevermind on that question. I am not going to try to do that. To much driving and being rushed.

Palm Springs...
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7. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

Aloha......Tracym

Smart idea..... remember you can come back...... doing too much is a fatal decision many make. Savor and enjoy.

The best snorkel time is between 0800 and 1100 as the water flat, clear and the sun is shining off shore not on.

This might sound pickey but check the tide tables......choose a day when the high tide is near its peak, that is still rising with the flow toward the land.....much better visability as clean fresh water is coming in. Whereas, on a ebb tide , or lowering, the water is pulling stuff off the rocks and shore as it descends.

The ideal tide is where the max high and low are less than 1 foot.

HD

Birmingham, Alabama
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8. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

I did consider that early morning snorkel trip HD, but I decided against it just for the fact that I have us getting up so early every morning for adventures. Also, our breakfast is included in the room price so we didn't need the breakfast part on the boat. We are doing an early snorkel trip over on Maui. Hope I want be disppointed with the afternoon one I have booked.

Los Angeles
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9. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

I haven't been to the BI yet, but I have been to Oahu so you can include some of your activities on the island as well. While I see you want to do a lot in a short period of time, I think it can be done but you will have little time to just enjoy being in Hawaii and doing nothing.

From what I can see, I would split up the activities of your trip... obviously Pearl Harbor on Oahu, but I would also do a luau on Oahu. In fact, you should be able to kill two birds with one stone on this day. Do Pearl Harbor in the AM, it does get crowded... I got there by 8am and was out by 11am. Then, I would do a luau, the Royal Luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel or Paradise Cove. The luaus begin anywhere from 5:00 to 6:30 PM.

www.paradisecovehawaii.com

www.royal-hawaiian.com

On the second day in Oahu, you can head to Kualoa Ranch for horseback riding... we did our ATV ride here and it's a cool place. It's a nice drive - about an hour outside of Waikiki. Our excursion was scheduled for 10:30 AM and we were done by noon, so we drove to Lanikai Beach from here, which will be about an hour. Again, a nice ride and we saw parts of the island that most tourist don't see. And Lanikai Beach is just awesome... it's not a nude beach though but it's beautiful.

http://www.kualoa.com/

I'm not sure how long you plan to be in Oahu, it's it's three days, then you'll be able to include the Dolphins.

http://www.dolphinexcursions.com

www.dolphinquest.org

Brussels, Belgium
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10. Re: Oahu and BI Itinerary: 1 week to see both!!

tracym2340: what snorkeling trip did you book on the BI?

We are doing an early morning Molokini snorkel on Maui, and we have breakfast included in our rate on the BI, so we were thinking of booking an afternoon snorkeling trip on the Big Island.

Our top picks are Body Glove (Entertainment book has 2 for 1 coupon), Dolphin Discoveries, and Fair Wind II.