Hawaii Island Adventure | EF Ultimate Break

Hawaii: Island Adventure

12 Days  •  5 Cities

Why Go?

Hawaii is a land of “onlys.” The only state that produces coffee. The only state with a royal palace. The only place you can swim with dolphins, hike the world’s largest volcano, and relax with a fresh-caught bowl of poké and an ice-cold mai tai…all in one day. Sure, you can go tubing in other rivers, or swim at other beaches, but the river won’t be deep in the mountains of a former sugar plantation, and the beach won’t be anywhere near as gorgeous as Waikiki. So if you want to say “oooh” and “ahhh” and “wow, a double rainbow!” at unprecedented rates, waft permanently mango-scented air, and meet the most laid-back people, Hawaii is the only place for you.

What are the top highlights?

  • Drool at sweeping panoramic views of Oahu from the summit of Diamond Head
  • Soak up some sun at one of the world’s best beaches—Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
  • Pay tribute to the lives lost at Pearl Harbor at the USS Arizona Memorial Historic National Park
  • Feast like the kahuna you are on a traditional Polynesian meal that you help to prepare
  • Listen as your “alohas” echo across the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” in Waimea State Park
  • Tube down a manmade river formerly used to transport sugarcane in a plantation
  • Fall in love with lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights
  • Private airport pickup & transfers
  • Private city transportation in deluxe bus
  • 10 nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • Daily breakfasts, 2 picnic lunches & a Polynesian feast
  • Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
  • Three-course farewell luau
  • Full-time Tour Director
  • Expert local guides
  • Entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Diamond Head & other select attractions

Accommodations

You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.


Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:


  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Hawaii

Welcome to Hawaii
Aloha! Welcome to Hawaii. If you’re here, the hardest part is over—watching enough in-flight movies to pass the time it takes to get to one of the world’s most isolated islands. And lucky for you, few things are more worth the wait than the natural beauty of Hawaii. Not even the delayed gratification of your uncle’s slow-cooker chili can compare.


Today's Highlights:


  • Meet an EF representative at the airport.
  • Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
  • Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
  • Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.

In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at Waikiki Beach. Afterwards, keep the party going elsewhere.

Day 2: Hike Diamond Head + Pearl Harbor Excursion

How do you like your volcanoes in the morning? Over-easy, over-flowing, or dormant? Today you get to hike a most definitely dormant—we triple-checked—volcano: Diamond Head. After you come down from the summit, you’ll be bussed to the USS Arizona Memorial National Historic Park to learn about the tragic events that took place at Pearl Harbor.


Today's Highlights:


  • Hit the trails and hike the 0.8-mile trail to the summit of Diamond Head—a mountain that Ancient Hawaiians thought looked like a tuna fish, and honestly, they’re not wrong.
  • Take in sweeping views of the island of Oahu, and really start to understand that this is the definition of paradise.
  • Pay your respects to the 1,177 crew members who lost their lives aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941.
  • Internalize the lessons of the museums at Pearl Harbor—a master class in courage, strength, and forgiveness.

Day 3: Explore the North Shore of Oahu + Optional Surfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding Lesson

Flip-flops? Check. Jack Johnson playlist? Check. Grass skirt and coconut bra? Double check. You’re going to the North Shore of Oahu, where the shave ice treats are plentiful, the waves are gnarly, and the surf is up.


Today's Highlights:


  • Take in the #chillvibesonly of the North Shore town of Hale’iwa.
  • Be the biggest kahuna you can be during an optional surfing and stand-up paddleboarding lesson.
  • Transport yourself back to summer camp as you learn about traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian culture via an an arts & crafts seminar.
  • Harvest the fruits of your labor as you devour a Hawaiian feast of laulau and local produce you helped prepare.

Surfing & Stand-up Paddleboarding Lesson(extra cost)

Ohana means family, and the North Shore means big waves. Surfing, and its oar-wielding cousin, stand-up paddleboarding, are integral pastimes to Polynesian culture, spanning thousands of years of hanging loose. Learn from a certified instructor how to nail down good form, read the waves, and ride the swells. Give Mother Nature the shaka sign, pack your GoPro, and surprise yourself with how fun it is to give something new a go.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 4: Free Day in Waikiki Beach + Optional Sunset Catamaran Cruise

Waikiki Beach is home to one of the most famous strips of sand this side of the Sahara. Today the 3-mile span of golden beachfront is all yours to swim, splash, and suntan on. Or, if you’re not feeling the beach today, boogie board your way into town for a taste of local culture.


Today's Highlights:


  • Sprawl out on Waikiki Beach or any of the other 5 neighborhood beaches—fun fact: most of the sand is imported from California to combat erosion.
  • Remind yourself that the best things in life are canned, and sample the (in)famous Spam.
  • Stroll Waikiki in search of a fruity drink—you won’t have to go far to find one.
  • Board a catamaran and take an optional sunset cruise—somehow even the sunsets are more chill here.

Free Time Suggestions
B.Y.O.Ukulele: Catch a show at one of Waikiki’s live music venues. The main drag of the neighborhood has plenty of bars, jazz clubs, and restaurants with musical performances and Kanikapila shows.
White sand, blue lagoon: Sick of swimming at the beach? Walk a few steps in-land to the Waikiki Blue Lagoon—a salt-water oasis perfect for mixing things up a bit.

Sunset Catamaran Cruise(extra cost)

When the sunsets on its way, the catamarans will play. Hop aboard a boat that’s actually two boats in-one, grab yourself a tropical drink and prepare to be dazzled by the unbeatable spectacle of the sun going down over the Pacific Ocean. Keep an eye out for spinner dolphins, who come out to forage at night, and make sure to greet any green sea turtles you see with the customary “whoaaaa.” (Any Finding Nemo fans out there?)


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 5: Explore Kauai

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who seek out serenity, and people who don’t go to Hawaii. Today you’ll take a quick flight to the serene island of Kauai, nicknamed the Garden Island for its obvious abundance of lush plant-life.


Today's Highlights:


  • Hop on a flight somewhere over the rainbow—from Honolulu to Kauai.
  • Have your brain melted by the stunning views of Waimea State Park, sometimes known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
  • Learn about the “crested buttes” (comedy gold for a 10-year old) and other geological wonders created by a volcano collapsing in Kauai over 5 million years ago.
  • Visit the Kauai Coffee Company—Hawaii’s largest coffee farm, and the reason you might not be able to sleep tonight.

Day 6: Wailua River Tubing

Kauai was an important producer of sugarcane for over one hundred years. It was also the setting of Lilo & Stitch. So today, while you tube the rivers and irrigation tunnels that used to transport sugarcane, feel free to quote your favorite movie about a blue koala alien.


Today's Highlights:


  • Head to Wailua and learn about the 130-year history of this sweet, sweet former sugarcane plantation.
  • Ride a tube down the lazy river through tunnels and ditches and take in amazing views of the Kauai countryside.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch and resist the urge to wash it down with the river water, no matter how much sugar used to flow through it.
  • Master your steady-hand panoramic picture-taking skills—Kauai’s landscape is just begging to be photographed.

Free Time Suggestions
Bird is the word: Keep your eyes peeled for some of Kauai’s many beautiful tropical bird species, such as Hawaiian honeycreepers, but perhaps more conspicuous is the presence of wild chickens freely roaming the island like they own the place.
You've been iced: Shave ice is how Hawaiians cool down from the tropical sun. Similar to a snow cone, but made with exotic flavors like guava and mango, some of the best in Hawaii can be found on Kauai.

Day 7: Explore Hilo

It’s the Big Island, Charlie Brown! And boy does the Big Island pack big beauty everywhere you look. Say hello to Hilo, the largest settlement on the island, and tour some of its outdoors-iest delights in the form of epic waterfalls, tranquil gardens, and more.


Today's Highlights:


  • Hop on a quick flight to Hilo—you’ll be there faster than you can say humuhumunukunukuapua’a.
  • Browse Hilo’s famous farmer’s market for the perfect coconut.
  • Organize a group sing-along of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” at the 80-foot Rainbow Falls waterfall.
  • Get a feel for the scale of Japanese influence on Hawaiian culture at the Lili’uokalani Gardens’ many pagodas, ponds, and Shinto gates.

Day 8: Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the floor is, in fact, made of lava. But luckily, the walls and ceiling are made of fresh island air and plenty of sunshine. Baking soda and vinegar volcanoes are cool, but they can’t compare to these bad boys; no offense to your 4th grade science fair project.


Today's Highlights:


  • Get to know the Big Island’s two most famous active volcanoes: Kilauea, and Mauna Loa, on a morning hike through the park.
  • Remain calm when you realize you’re in the presence of a celebrity—Mauna Loa is the world’s largest above-water volcano.
  • Seek out the Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs—sacred ancient carvings made by native Hawaiians in the volcanic rock up to 800 years ago.
  • Spend the afternoon exploring the park however the volcano goddess, Pele, commands you to.

Day 9: Explore Kailua-Kona + Optional Nighttime Manta Ray Snorkeling

If Kailua-Kona (or Kona, as the locals call it) was good enough for King Kamehameha I, it’s good enough for you. Once a political capital, and later a royal family vacation spot, it’s easy to see what drew Hawaiian royalty here. It’s got it all: turquoise water, black sand beaches, and more palm trees than you can shake a Spam sandwich at.


Today's Highlights:


  • Board your private cross-island bus and instigate a rousing game of “99 Bottles of Kava” to pass the time while you enjoy the volcanic views.
  • Take in the sights, smells, and stories of Kailua-Kona on a walking tour that includes Ali’i Drive, the end of which is referred to as *gulp* the End of the World.
  • Stop somewhere on Ali’i Drive for souvenir shopping and lunch—fresh ahi tuna, anyone?
  • Wait for the sun to go down in order to take part in a very special manta ray snorkeling excursion.

Nighttime Manta Ray Snorkel(extra cost)

Manta rays have big mouths, but they can’t help it. In spite of this, feel free to share your deepest secrets with them while you’re all hanging out underwater. It’s just you, the moonlight, and these big gentle flying squirrels of the ocean. Oh, and your fellow travelers. Snorkel your night away with manta rays and watch as they practice their nightly aerobics routine for you.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 10: Free Day in Kailua-Kona + Optional Excursions + Farewell Luau

Sadly, it’s finally here: your last day in Hawaii. By now you may have forgotten what closed toe shoes are, or how to walk from point A to point B without stopping to hula dance. But you have one more day until you have to even think putting on a coat again, so you may as well live it up! Kailua-Kona is all yours today, and at night you get to celebrate the end of your trip with a farewell luau feast.


Today's Highlights:


  • Spend your day in extremely laid-back Kailua-Kona and consider the fact that any shirt here is technically a Hawaiian shirt.
  • Embark on an optional adrenaline injection (AKA ziplining adventure).
  • Weigh the pros and cons of hanging out with dolphins in Kealakekua Bay Marine Preserve, and then realize there are no cons.
  • Start chronicling your trip by carving petroglyphs into the volcanic rock—yes, including that crazy night out in Honolulu.

Farewell Luau
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell luau feast and drinks with the group.

Kohala Zipline(extra cost)

Just when you think Hawaii couldn’t possibly get any better, your Tour Director comes along and says “would you like to go ziplining through the canopy?” and, obviously, you respond with “yes, yes I do.” Zip, zodge, zuck, zive, and, uh, zip your way through the rainforest of the Big Island at speeds of up to 45mph. See Hawaii the way it was meant to be seen: flying through the air from tree-to-tree while suspended from a cable.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Dolphin Snorkeling Adventure(extra cost)

Did somebody say dolphins? If they didn’t they should have, ‘cause they are seriously the coolest animals, and Hawaii has plenty of them. Kealakekua Marine Preserve has over 600 species of sea critters, but the guest of honor is the spinner dolphin. Spend some time today snorkeling with them and studying their signature spinning leap—maybe even try it for yourself. 10/10, great form, 2 flippers up.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 11-12: Fly & Arrive Home

Maika'i, mau hoaaloha
Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?


–OR–


EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS


1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.


2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.


Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

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