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Hawaii Big Island (January through March)  
  Scheduled trips:  Please contact us to set up a custom trip!

  Trip Cost: $2,495 double occupancy - 9 Days & 8 Nights, All trips start on a Saturday and end on a Sunday.  Includes pick up and drop off at Kailua-Kona Airport
  Limited to 4 guests. Two rooms - two for couples and for those who can share a room. 

  Degree of difficulty - can be customized for the group to be easy with moderate options, or moderate with challenging options.

  Born in the clash of liquid fire and surging ocean, the Big Island became the grandest Hawaiian island and bears nature's indelible marking of variety and beauty. Sun-swept and rain-cooled, lofty volcanoes dusted with snow, beckoning beaches of wondrous hues, this island offers the walker a sense of adventure and an unmistakable joy. Lush forests and rolling grasslands contrast vividly with dramatic lava fields of various ages. Strange birds call from Koa and Ohia trees, and voluminous waterfalls drop from velvet cliffs to the green valley floors. See humpback whales not far offshore, breaching and spouting in the Pacific waves during their breeding season. And a language as intriguing as the local history and customs.     
 Mauna Kea across Hilo Bay, Hawaii                                                                                                   
  A summary of our island loop trip: 

We convene in Kailua-Kona, and go up the Kona Coast to visit and walk the trails at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park to see how the ancient Hawaiians lived, fished and cared for their land. Green sea turtles are often found along the shore. This is a wonderful way to get acquainted with the local culture and terrain. Then we go south to Captain Cook to stay two nights at the quaint family-run Manago Hotel, where the sunset views are stunning, and a Japanese-style dinner at Teshima's is in store. The next day we visit Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook, the famous navigator and explorer, first landed in 1778. Ancient lava cliffs line the bay, and we might spot Spinner Dolphins. At Honaunau Village we can watch outrigger canoes being launched, walk the shoreline trail in search of whales, or learn about native culture in Pu'uhonua O Honaunau Place of Refuge National Historic Park. We'll also visit a Kona Coffee plantation and a lovely Painted Church overlooking the ocean.

  We continue southward around the island's southwestern corner, taking a side trip to South Point (Ka Lae), the southern-most point in the US, where it is believed the first Tahitian-area sea voyagers landed over 1,000 years ago. We also stop to watch, and talk with the local fishing folk as they fish with special poles and ladders from the rugged lava cliff edges. A coastal path leads to the Green Sand Beach (Papakolea), where the ocean has captured an olivine-rich crater, a unique and protected swim spot.

  We then travel eastward to Volcanoes National Park with its mile-high rain forests, lava caves, Nene Geese, and steaming Kilauea Caldera. We'll may peer into Halema'uma'u Crater, the "house of ferns", stride across the cooled lava pavements of Kilauea Iki Crater, and visit a bird sanctuary of old-growth trees that has been spared from the lava flows. The visitor center helps us interpret these geologic wonders for us.  We'll hike out through a lava tree-mold forest to the old Pu'u Huluhulu crater, where we can get a glimpse of the Pu'u O'o crater, the one that is currently spewing lava. Later we travel down the Chain of Craters Road to the south coast. We're based at My Island B&B in Volcano Village for two nights, in a beautiful garden setting.

  Then, we continue to the Puna District in the southeast, where we do a walk through a lava tree forest, an oceanside back roads walk, and to a black sand beach, and even the opportunity to get close to a lava flow (conditions permitting). Afterwards we travel north to non-touristy and interesting Hilo, with its cheery red and green roofs and swaying palms overlooking the Pacific and the sunrise on Hilo Bay. The Hilo area is renowned for its orchid growing, waterfalls, and proximity to Volcanoes National Park. It lies at the forested foot of the massive shield-type volcano, Mauna Loa ("the long mountain"). Bamboo forest walks to Akaka and Kahuna Falls complement a ramble along lovely Onomea Bay with its sweeping ocean views. Our two-night stay at the Dolphin Bay Hotel is short stroll to Hilo's shops, the incredible farmer/craft market, the Pacific Tsunami Museum, the historic Lyman House, and the fascinating new Imiloa Astronomy Center which are all options here.  

  Lastly, we head northward up the windward Hamakua Coast to hike one mile down into Waipi'o Valley, with it's spectacular waterfalls, to reach the ocean. This was once home to the kings of old Hawaii. We'll spend the last two days and nights in North Kohala, with its lush ranch lands and nearby, stunning Kohala Coast beaches. We do a fabulous hike down to the coast with sweeping views across the Alenuihaha Strait to Maui in the distance. Then our Upolu Point walk gives us whale watching opportunities and a visit to the Mo'okini Heiau, a sacred ceremonial site; then we head down into Pololu Valley. Kohala Mountain and massive, snow-capped Mauna Kea ("the white mountain") are the Waimea(Kamuela) area's dramatic backdrop. The stay is at a cozy lodge, near the largest cattle ranch in the US! 

  After a final farewell on the coast, we return to the Kailua-Kona airport, or to a hotel of your choosing on the Kona or South Kohala coasts at the end of the trip.
Pololu Valley, Hawaii


   More Details: Akaka Falls, Hawaii

   Trip includes lodging for 8 nights on tour, all meals, pickups & dropoffs at a Kailua-Kona hotel or at the Kona airport, and all guiding services. We recommend arriving at least the day before the trip starts. We can recommend a hotel to stay at that night.
   Moderate hikes with some challenging options. The terrain is flat to gently rolling in most areas with a few invigorating up and downhills. Walking destinations include: Tree fern rain forests, undulating lava "pavements", beaches,  Oceanside back roads and trails. Ireland-like green pasture lands and colorful cinder cones, lava flows when conditions permit. We do approximately 5 to 8 miles daily, usually up to 3-4 miles in the morning, then a picnic lunch, and another 3-4 miles or so (optional) in the afternoon. Rest/beach/shop days (or half  days) are options too on a few days. The flexible schedule will respect your vacation walking and non-walking needs.

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Wonder Walks
Walking tours, Hiking tours, Vermont Self guided inn to inn tours, Snowshoeing tours
156 Middle Road
Salisbury, VT 05769

Call (802) 352-4462
Email: tours@wonderwalks.com

Vermont Outdoor Guide Association
Vermont Outdoor Guide Association member since 1994

  For trips within Vermont, this business is operated under a special use permit with the Green Mountain National Forest.

  In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this business is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice & TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employe

December 3, 2019

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