Road Scholar : Home
On the Road: Best of the Big Island--Hawaii

Program Number: 1415RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/23/2014 - 3/9/2014;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Hilo (Hawaii), Hawaii
Price starting at: $3,498.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road; National Parks
Meals: 39; 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 12 Dinners    

Larger than all the other Hawaiian islands combined, the Big Island offers live volcanoes, tropical rainforests, white- and black-sand beaches, and incredible diversity of cultural and natural history. Experience the best of the Big Island as local cultural historians and instructors share geology, astronomy, Hawaiian history, art and culture.




Highlights

• Enjoy a sunset picnic on the newest land on earth in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
• Field trips to ancient temple sites and to a royal palace in the seaside village of Kailua-Kona portray life in ancient Hawaiian times.
• Observe dazzling marine life while snorkeling in Kona’s warm ocean water.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles on varied terrain. Elevations up to 9,000 feet.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Hilo, 5 nights; coach to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, 4 nights; coach to Kona, 5 nights; departure.



Coordinated by Lyman Museum and Mission House.




Hilo (Hawaii)

This is one of few surviving examples of a Hawaiian plantation town. The impact of Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Koreans, other Pacific Islanders, and Europeans blend in the faces of the people who give Hilo its charm. With diverse shopping opportunities and its friendliness, Hilo is the perfect town to linger just a little longer.



Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Established in 1916, the park is the result of 70 million years of volcanism, migration and evolution. Its diverse environments range from sea level to the summit of the Earth’s most massive volcano, Mauna Loa, at 13,677 feet. Half of the park is designated as wilderness.



Kailua-Kona

The historic seaside village of Kailua-Kona is the heart of The Big Island of Hawaii’s Kona coast. On the Kailua-Kona oceanfront you can find Hulihee Palace, a summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty, and a reconstructed temple rebuilt by King Kamehameha himself. The Kona district is famed for its coffee, which is grown on volcanic slopes.



Accommodations
Hilo: Hotel on Banyan Drive overlooking Hilo Bay. Kona: Hotel with beach access. Volcanoes National Park: Mountain-top cabins within park.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
  Hilo, Hawaii 5 nights
   KMC Lodging
  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 4 nights
   Royal Kona Resort
  Kailua-Kona 5 nights
 Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 71 Banyan Drive
Hilo, HI 96720 USA
phone: 808-935-9361
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $99.00 + 11.67% tax. 

 KMC Lodging
Type: Lodge
  Description: Mountain top rest and recreation center located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Newly renovated cabins spread around the camp. Facility is a military R&R center, not open to the general public.
  Contact info: P. O. Box
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 USA
phone: 808-967-8333
  Facility amenities: Fireplaces, telephones, television, refrigerators in every cabin. On-camp facilities include general store, post office, health center, fire & ambulance, etc.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Royal Kona Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: Former Hilton Hotel located downtown Kailua-Kona, hotel has swimming pool, own beach, outdoor dining areas, and is within walking distance of shops along the main street of town.
  Contact info: 75-5852 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 USA
phone: 808-329-3111
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $125.00. Inquire about special Road Scholar rates; have credit card ready in order to confirm reservations.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM at Hilo hotel. Road Scholar Welcome and Registration 4:00 pm You will be staying at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast, at 8:00 AM, in Kona. You will be staying at Royal Kona Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at first 2 sites; $18 per day at 3rd site.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Hilo, Hawaii
  Nearest highway: Highway 11
  Nearest airport:  Hilo Airport, 5 miles away
  From End of Program
  Location:  Kailua-Kona
  Nearest highway: Highway 11
  Nearest airport:  Kona Airport
Travel Details
 

Kona

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
no specific, already at hotel
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$40 per load, up to 4 passengers with luggage
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes from hotel to airport 

 

Distance:

 

12 miles

   

Program Coordinator will have sign-up sheet and make arrangements for taxi transport to airport about 3 days prior to end of program.

 

Hilo

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
no specific, already at the airport

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20 per load, up to 4 people with luggage
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes from airport to hotel 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

Welcome materials will give further details on arrival instructions; please note there is no bus or shuttle service from Hilo airport to hotel.

 
Driving Directions
  n/a n/a
Elevation Note: Spend 4 days in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at 4,000 feet elevation.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome Orientation and Registration
(Sunday, February 23)
   
 Arrive To: Hilo Airport (Hawaii Island, east side); independent taxi to Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, check-in 3:00 pm
 Afternoon: Welcome and Registration 4:00 pm; Walk along Historic Banyan Drive 4:30 pm; Happy Hour 5:00 pm at Coconut Island Park (behind hotel)
 Dinner: Dinner Buffet at hotel dining room, 6:00 pm
 Evening: Orientation and Introductions 7:00 pm
   
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lyman Museum & Historic Hilo Town
(Monday, February 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Class: Introduction to Hawaiian History; Field Trip: Lyman Museum & Mission House where we "tell the story of Hawaii, its Islands, and its People" - guided tour of Earth Heritage, Island Heritage, Cultural Galleries, and Mission House
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at nearby park
 Afternoon: Guided Walk of Historic Downtown Hilo, including historic buildings of outstanding examples of Hawaiian design and architecture, temples and churches, anecdotes of life before and after the devastation of tsunami (seismic waves), etc. After that, visit Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots, geological features and examples of the power of water to shape the land.
 Dinner: Dinner Buffet 6:00 pm
 Evening: Hawaiian Story-telling - an important part of Hawaiian culture that shares the life of Hawaii's kings and queens, their deeds and legacies.
   
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field Trip to North Shore of Hawaii Island
(Tuesday, February 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Field Trip: North Shore Hawaii (15-passenger vans) - along the scenic coastline through old plantation towns; stop at Akaka Falls and walk on paved pathways to two waterfalls; brief stop at Laupahoehoe Point, site of devastating tsunami of 1946; and Honoka'a, the largest plantation town on the north shore.
 Lunch: Lunch in Honoka'a town; sample this town's famous "malasadas" or Portuguese donuts.
 Afternoon: Waipi'o Overlook - dramatic scenery of taro fields still used today in the largest valley on the island; Pu'ukohola Heiau (Temple on the Hill of the Whale) National Historical Park - includes Ranger talk of the history and significance of this temple to the eventual conquest of all the Hawaiian Islands under the rule of King Kamehameha.
 Dinner: Dinner Buffet at hotel 6:00 pm
 Evening: Preview of next day's activities
   
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Tsunami & Marine Discoveries
(Wednesday, February 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Class: Introduction to Hawaiian Language; visit Hilo Farmers Market - the largest on the island, local farmers and unusual tropical fruits; Pacific Tsunami Museum - located across the street from Hilo Bay, hear first-hand accounts of Hilo's devastation in 1946 and 1960.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant
 Afternoon: Marine discoveries at Mokupapapa Discovery Center or Richardson's Ocean Center - learn about the colorful critters that occupy the tidal zone and depths of the ocean.
 Dinner: Dinner On Own (1 of 2) - chance to experience various local cuisines, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American, etc.; numerous places to eat within walking distance of hotel in Hilo
   
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Astronomy & Star-gazing
(Thursday, February 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: 'Imiloa Astronomy Center - situated on a hill overlooking Hilo Bay, self-guided and docent enhanced exploration of astronomy from both Western and Polynesian perspectives; bi-lingual exhibits in Hawaiian and English; inter-active, computer and 3D features. Includes Planetarium Show about the importance of Mauna Kea (White Mountain), the tallest mountain in the Pacific, to understanding our universe.
 Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant
 Afternoon: Native Hawaiian Plant Garden - brief stop to see some of Hawaii's rare and endangered native plants, some of them found nowhere else in the world. Late afternoon departure (15-pax vans) for ride up to Mauna Kea Visitor Center (9,000' elevation).
 Dinner: Picnic Supper as we enjoy sunset at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center, 9,000' elevation.
 Evening: Acclimatize to the high elevation by first viewing introductory film about Mauna Kea at the Visitor Center; after dark, go outdoors to join other visitors for star-gazing through telescopes set-up for public viewing. Astronomers on-hand to assist with identifying various planets, stars, moon, and other "out-of-this world" sightings. Warm clothes recommended for this "really cool" outdoor experience.
   
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: East Hawaii to Volcano
(Friday, February 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Check-out, load luggage & depart for East Hawaii's Puna District (15-passenger vans), includes stops at historic sites and Cape Kumukahi, the easternmost point of the island.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at local park en route
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Puna's geothermal features; arrive at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, at 4,000' elevation. Check-in at KMC Lodging, mountaintop cabins with fireplaces, in the national park; located across the street from the rim trail in the summit area of Kilauea volcano.
 Dinner: Dinner Buffet at KMC Cafeteria 6:00 pm
 Evening: Hawaiian Hula and its Role in Ancient Hawaii
   
Accommodations: KMC Lodging
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Geology of Hawaii & Kilauea Visitor Center
(Saturday, March 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at 7:00 am
 Morning: Class: Pele, Hawaiian Goddess of Fire; followed by Morning Lecture: Geology and the Formation of Hawaiian Islands by volcanologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
 Lunch: Lunch at KMC Cafeteria
 Afternoon: Nature Walk along Crater Rim Trail (2 miles round-trip) - view geological features and native plants in the region; Kilauea Visitor Center - film and exhibits; return to KMC on different segment of Crater Rim Trail
 Dinner: Dinner Buffet at KMC Cafeteria 6:00 pm
 Evening: Preview of next day's field trip
   
Accommodations: KMC Lodging
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Field Trip: Crater Rim Drive & Lava Flow Area
(Sunday, March 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Field Trip: Crater Rim Drive (15-passenger vans) - stop at Jaggar Museum of Volcanology, with view of Halema'uma'u Crater, site of most recent volcanic summit activity; walk through Lava Tube; time permitting, walk along Devastation Trail to see area of 1959 eruption of 2,000' high fountains, tallest eruptions on record.
 Lunch: Lunch at KMC Cafeteria
 Afternoon: Field trip down to lava flow area - since 1983, Kilauea Volcano has been erupting and sending lava flows into the ocean creating hundreds of acres of new land. Depending on where it's flowing and accessibility to the flow front, we may have to drive one or more hours to get to the area. Once there, we may have to walk/hike several miles on rugged, uneven terrain, to witness the current activity.
 Dinner: Brown Bag Picnic Supper at flow front area on the "newest land on earth."
 Evening: Views of lava glow at night; best time to view activity is at night in the dark. Flashlights required.
   
Accommodations: KMC Lodging
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Crater Hike
(Monday, March 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Kilauea Rainforest Hike - 2-4 miles, depending on weather conditions and participant stamina. This is a guided hike through some of the national park's volcanic terrain and forested landscapes.
 Lunch: Lunch at KMC cafeteria
 Afternoon: Free afternoon
 Dinner: Dinner Buffet at KMC Cafeteria 6:00 pm
 Evening: Hawaiian Music
   
Accommodations: KMC Lodging
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: South Point & Kona
(Tuesday, March 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Check-out, load luggage, and depart for Kona, going south along Highway 11, with stops along the way including Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, where we may have a chance to see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles swimming in the bay; Na'alehu, the southernmost town in the USA; etc. This southernmost district is the largest on the island, but the least inhabited. Historically, it's probably the first place that the Polynesian explorers landed some 2,000 years ago, after weeks of sailing across the Pacific from the southern islands of Marquesas and Tahiti.
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch en route
 Afternoon: Arrive in Kona, check-in Royal Kona Resort (former Hilton Hotel), seaside hotel in Kailua-Kona. Time for quick swim or sunset drink on the ocean terrace.
 Dinner: Dinner in dining room 6:00 pm
 Evening: Hula Class - learn simple hula with steps and hand motions
   
Accommodations: Royal Kona Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Historic Kailua-Kona
(Wednesday, March 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Snorkel Class at Kahalu'u Bay - group instruction at local beach popularly known as "the snorkel beach." Chance to see colorful reef fish, coral, and maybe turtles. Snorkel equipment available at the beach and cost is included in the program. Participants should bring their own footwear, such as water shoes or old pair of sneakers.
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch at the beach
 Afternoon: Walking tour of Historic Kailua-Kona Village, including visit to Hulihe'e Palace, summer palace of the royalty; Moku'aikaua Church, the first Christian Church in Hawaii established by the missionaries; Ahuena Heiau, Hawaii's first capitol established by King Kamehameha in 1810.
 Dinner: Dinner at Thai Restaurant in town
 Evening: After dinner, enjoy the sights and sounds of the town as we stroll along the seawall back to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Royal Kona Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Kona Coffee Country
(Thursday, March 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Field Trip to South Kona - visit historic coffee farm to learn how coffee was grown and processed, taste genuine 100% Kona Coffee, recognized as gourmet coffee worldwide. The Kona Coffee Living History Farm brings the coffee pioneer’s story to life by depicting the daily lives of early Japanese immigrants during the period of 1920-1945. Visitors may walk through the coffee and macadamia nut orchards, tour the historic farmhouse, and visit with the donkey and chickens.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at park
 Afternoon: Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park - Sanctuary of Hawaii’s past where traditional Hawaiian lifestyle is preserved. Ancient temples and ki’i (wooden images) whisper stories from the past. This place provided refuge to Hawaiians who came here. Today, the park continues as a sanctuary for visitors seeking a peaceful place and as a safe haven for all of the native wildlife living here.
 Dinner: Dinner on own (2 of 2) - chance to sample the variety of seafood and ethnic flavors in town; numerous options for dining within walking distance of our hotel.
   
Accommodations: Royal Kona Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: North Kona & Lu'au
(Friday, March 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Field Trip to North Kona - visit the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii (NELHA) at Keahole Point, the westernmost part of the island. Learn how NELHA and its tenants are using sunshine, seawater and ingenuity to bring economic development and diversity to the State of Hawaii; hear about the state's most innovative ocean science and technology park where NELHA is growing sustainable industries for the 21st century, including Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch at nearby park
 Afternoon: Field Trip continues along West Coast to include visit to petroglyph fields, some of Hawaii's oldest and most extensive reminders of ancient Hawaii.
 Dinner: Lu'au and Polynesian Show at the hotel - oceanfront setting, sunset views, all-you-can-eat buffet, and award-winning show of music, costumes, and dances of the Pacific, including famous champion Fire Dancers.
   
Accommodations: Royal Kona Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Kohala & Ranching
(Saturday, March 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am
 Morning: Field Trip: Kohala - head to the northernmost tip of the island, Pololu Valley, and the isolated valleys where cool climate allowed apple and pear trees to grow; on clear days, it's possible to see the island of Maui across the channel. This area is also famous for the constant winds, experienced as we encircle the district on the mountain road.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at the King Kamehameha Statue park in Hawi
 Afternoon: Field Trip: continues to Waimea - home of the famous Parker Ranch; visit Parker Ranch visitor center and museum and learn about the history of Hawaii's paniolo (cowboys). Hawaii had cowboys ("vaqueros" from Mexico) who came to help control cattle long before cowboys appeared in the "wild" West.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel 6:00 pm
 Evening: Aloha Program and Lei-making - chance to make a souvenir lei of fresh flowers and leaves that you can take home to show family and friends, as well as a reminder of your visit to Hawaii.
   
Accommodations: Royal Kona Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Aloha & Mahalo
(Sunday, March 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am. Program officially ends after breakfast around 8:00 am. Independent departures to airport by taxi. Hotel check-out at 12:00 noon.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768