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VIP experience

You will not find a guide who puts in more love, time and energy into a tour than Pono. The... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Kacorrow1
,
South Burlington, Vermont
Outstanding touring experience with Pono!

Open Eyes Tour in Maui is certainly the most appropriate name for traveling with Pono for a tour... read more

Reviewed January 12, 2020
Flight50
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Reviewed December 8, 2014

My 16 year old granddaughter and I are back home in Queensland, Australia now, but will remember two recent amazing experiences on Maui which surpassed all the others. One of them was the private, customised tour we took with Pono on the 19th November. It was a BIG day but such a fabulous day. We were looking forward to it long before we boarded our flight to Hawaii and were not disappointed. Following a fabulous helicopter ride over Haleakala with Blue Hawaii, (still worth a recommendation after 35 years!), we were greeted by New York born 'Pono' who placed fresh leis of fragrant Plumeria picked from his organic farm that morning, over our heads while singing a traditional Hawaiian greeting in a pitch perfect tune ... in front of a crowd of smiling people waiting their turn for a helicopter ride.We had exchanged emails with Pono prior to our visit during which time our likes and preferences were noted so that Pono could design a tour which we would love. Despite being a very modern miss who can't live without her IPhone or IPad, my G/daughter loves anything romantic and often wears laurels of flowers in her hair at home and she is very musical. At our greeting, Pono presented her with a matching headpiece of Plumeria for her to wear with her lei. A wonderful, gentle and aromatic welcome indeed. The result of her experiences with Pono on this day resulted in her putting away her electronic gadgets while she connected with nature in wonderment just like when she was a small child.

There were too many wonderful moments throughout our day with Pono to note here: and I want to leave some surprises for you should you book a tour with him, but I asked my g/daughter at day's end, 'What was the highlight of your day with Pono ?'. Her answer was one that surprised me. She said, the food and the music. The food she referred to, included fruits collected from trees Pono's planted himself on his organic farm many years ago. When we stopped for refreshments in the morning our senses of sight, sound and taste were in for a treat. Between where we sat and the wild ocean waves which pounded the shoreline, lay massive twisted, sunbleached sculptures of driftwood befitting a modern day, expansive art gallery. Photo opportunity! Many varieties of fruit from Pono's farm were offered. Freshly baked banana bread also, still warm from the oven and yummy coconut pudding presented chilled in shiny black lacquered Japanese boxes with elegant red writing strokes. There was pure water, hot drinks and chilled sugar free coconut juice and more. While we were nibbling, and sometimes gobbling down delicious morsels of this and that, Pono pulled out several authentic Hawaiian musical instruments and explained how each was made. Then he invited us to choose one of them and encouraged us each to play a little tune, after demonstrating how to use them...the we all played a tune together. Here, he played the flute in a very different way which we had never seen before. No doubt you'll laugh at this as we did. Good, clean, fun in a stunning natural environment.
Soon after, we were taken to a secret Hawaiian healing place on the very top of a soaring high cliff. I can't divulge too much because it IS a secret place; but my most memorable moment was lying back in a fast flowing mountain stream deep within The Valley of the Kings a short distance away. The water was cool, tingling. Invigorating. I emerged feeling 30 years younger. A most wonderful restorative experience.
No crowds, No queues, and very interesting information on many subjects keep one interested and alert all day long. The hours flew by.
We have no hesitation in recommending anyone who wants a truly memorable experience in the Hawaiian Islands to contact Pono and do what we did. We'll never forget it. Thank you Pono.

Date of experience: November 2014
Thank Gail N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2014

As we head back to the mainland, my family and I want to thank you so much for the wonderful island tour you gave us this week. The knowledgable insights you gave us to Maui and its cultural history were fantastic. We enjoyed everything from the picnics to the views, and from the Hawaiian music to the beautiful aromatic leis. But most of all we appreciated the personal touch you used to effectively tailor the day to the types of experiences we hoped to enjoy. We look forward to another day with you in the future when our travels bring us back to Maui.

Date of experience: November 2014
Thank 471sandya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2014

Our day with Pono will never be forgotten! We told him all that we'd like to see and he made that happen, plus MORE! We learned so much from him as well. He made our trip romantic, exciting, and educational. If we were to ever make it back to Maui, a tour with Pono would be #1 on our list. Highly recommended! ~Kari & Kenny
(Sorry this review came so long after our trip, Pono! We still think about our day with you often!)

Date of experience: March 2014
Thank Klowanse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2014

I visited Maui for a week in October with my elderly parents and younger sister. I wanted a private tour guide so I could customize a couple days of sightseeing trip for my family. I feel incredibly lucky that I hired Pono's tour services! Pono is extremely knowledgeable about Hawaiin history, culture, cuisine, sights. Pono welcomed us with fresh plumeria leis & got us handpicked exotic organic fruits from his farm as part of a lavish picnic lunch he packed for us. He was extremely polite and caring toward my parents and adjusted the pace of the tour accordingly. During our drives he kept us engaged with stories, often breaking into a local song or a chant! We saw quite a few sights (some off the beaten path), including a japanese monastry, a small black sand beach, a church of lady fatima, lahaina, tropical rainforest valley of the kings, road to hana, honus (turtles) coming out to the Ho'okipa beach for the night...one of the most incredible sights I have witnessed...35+ huge turtles appearing out of the water...an image etched in my mind forever. In fact, we have tons of photos as he was always ready to take pictures so my whole family could be in them.

t doesn't really get better than this! Next time when you are in Maui, do spend a day or two touring with Pono. You'll create a lifetime of memories!

Date of experience: October 2014
Thank Monica K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2014

A private tour with Pono provided us with an exquisite aflternoon , far from touristy and crowded areas...he is an utterly charming and competent guide. Pono speaks the language and knows the area, he took us to a lovely art gallery in a charming little town, to a lavender farm, a winery and and a lot of other sites : it is obvious that the time spent with him was the highlight of our whole trip.

Date of experience: September 2014
Thank Babar523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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