Best of Hawaii: Oahu, Big Island and Maui
Join locals to explore Hawaii with an insider’s perspective, learning about unique island ecosystems, viewing lava at Volcanoes National Park and snorkeling colorful reefs in Lanai!
Rating (5)
Program No. 21586RJ
9 days
Starts at
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9 days
8 nights
20 meals
8 B 5 L 7 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in is from 3:00 PM.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated Welcome Dinner with beverage options including coffee, tea, water.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Class, USS Arizona, Hawaiian Cultural Event
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Activity note: Walk around the USS Arizona Memorial.

Breakfast: Fuel up for the day's activities at the hotel's breakfast buffet.

Morning: After breakfast, receive an overview of Hawaii in an Introductory Hawaiian Culture Class taught by a local expert.

Lunch: Plated lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Experience a field trip to the USS Arizona Memorial National Historic Park - View a historical film in the theater, board the launch for a ride across Pearl Harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial, and explore the museum and book shop. Upon returning to the hotel, there will be some free time to relax or explore on your own.

Dinner: Plated dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Spend a fun evening sharing Aloha with a local Hawaiian cultural organization.

Oahu's East End, Papahana Kualoa, Heeia Fishpond
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile over parkland paths and some uneven ground.

Breakfast: Delicious buffet in the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Enjoy a field trip that takes us around Oahu's spectacular east end which leads along a coastal road providing spectacular views of the ocean and the Koolau Mountains (including views towards Molokai, weather permitting). The scenic route takes us by Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, and Halona Blowhole. Next, visit a local property on the windward side of Oahu and whose mission is to create quality educational programs focused on environmental restoration to exemplify a lifestyle respectful of kanaka (people), aina (land) and kupuna (ancestors).

Lunch: Buffet lunch where you will get to sample local-style foods.

Afternoon: Continue onto the next field trip at Heeia Fishpond -Fishponds were originally created by the Alii (chiefs) as stocking ponds to raise fish and provide for easy access to fish during the winter months when deep sea fishing was dangerous. The Heeia fishpond is a unique natural resource that was constructed over 600 years ago. Paepae o Heeia (Friends of Heeia) is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and restocking this 88-acre ancient Hawaiian fishpond to its original state.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, plated.

Evening: At leisure to prepare for tomorrow's departure.

Class, Fly to Hilo, Nighttime Lava Viewing
Volcanoes National Park (Volcano), HI
KMC Lodging

Activity note: Hiking up to 2 miles, returning after dark; uneven ground, slippery steps and lava tubes; sturdy shoes, water, flashlights required. Kilauea is a dynamic volcano; lava conditions can change often.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Learn about how the Hawaiian Islands came to be while attending morning class "Island Formation" by a local expert. After the lecture, check out of hotel and depart on motorcoach for airport.

Lunch: On your own at Honolulu International Airport before we catch our flight.

Afternoon: Fly to Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, upon arrival, depart on motorcoach to Volcanoes National Park for nighttime lava viewing.

Dinner: Enjoy a box supper before continuing on our field trip.

Evening: This evening's field trip is Nighttime Lava Viewing. Go for a drive to where you’ll see where recent eruptive activity has crossed and closed the road. Nature and Madam Pele permitting, you may be able to see evidence of the active lava flow, perhaps as a glow on the bottom of clouds near the top of the pali (cliffs).

Class, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park (Volcano), HI
KMC Lodging

Activity note: Thurston Lava Tube: Can be wet and slippery, 15 -20 stairs down to the tube and 15- 20 back up. Walking on uneven ground, on and off busses all day. Approx total 1-2 miles walking.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at our accomodation's Crater Rim Cafe.

Morning: Start the morning with a Hawaiian Cultural Discussion Class led by a local expert. Depart on a field trip of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Your exploration will include guided nature walks and hikes. Stops include: •Jaggar Museum and its overlook into Kilauea Caldera. •The Steam vents. Ground water seeps down to the hot volcanic rocks in this area and returns to the surface as steam. •A walk through a lush rainforest to Nahuku (Thurston) Lava Tube, a natural cave formed by ancient lava flows. •Devastation Trail. The Trail was formed in 1959 as a result of an eruption from the Kilauea Iki crater (Iki is Hawaiian for small). •Kilauea Visitor Center to see exhibits on volcanoes, rainforest, and island formation.

Lunch: Lunch is a delicious plated meal at The Rim Restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, continue on our Hawaii Volcanoes field Trip before returning to KMC. There will be time to relax before dinner.

Dinner: Crater Rim Café, plated

Evening: At leisure to prepare for early morning departure and full travel/field trip day in Maui.

Fly to Maui, Haleakala, Iao Valley
Kaanapali, HI (Island of Maui)
Royal Lahaina Resort

Activity note: Flight to Maui is about 30 minutes;The high elevation (10,023 feet) at the summit area of Haleakala National Park may complicate health conditions and cause breathing difficulties. People should consult their doctors prior to traveling to high elevations. -Iao Valley field trip: scenic drive with interpretation on bus. When you reach the Iao Valley park, there is an option of climbing 131 stairs to the top or staying at the bottom or on the bus.

Breakfast: Due to our early departure, breakfast will be take out style from the hotel to eat at the airport.

Morning: Leave early in the morning on motorcoach for Hilo Airport for our flight to Maui. Upon arrival, depart immediately on our first field trip of Haleakala National Park and the summit area of Haleakala, an active shield volcano. Learn about Hawaii's indigenous animals and plants, including the endemic Ahinahina (silversword). The park is recognized as an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations.

Lunch: Plated lunch at a local restaurant in Kula.

Afternoon: Continue on to our next field trip at Iao Valley State Park – Lush green Iao Valley is a sacred site to the Hawaiian people and is the historic location of a fierce battle between Maui warriors and the army of Kamehameha I. We will discuss the area's natural and cultural history.

Dinner: On your own to explore local fare

Evening: At leisure to relax after our busy day.

Free Day, Luau
Kaanapali, HI (Island of Maui)
Royal Lahaina Resort

Breakfast: Enjoy the resort's amazing breakfast buffet at leisure at Royal Ocean Terrace.

Morning: Free time to explore Maui on your own. You may wish to hang out at the world-famous Kaanapali Beach right in front of the hotel, book a day excursion through the concierge desk or explore the local Kaanapali/Lahaina area. You may also want to consider a visit to Lahaina. Vouchers will be provided for entrance to several Lahaina museums. Lahaina was a longtime residence of kings and chiefs of Maui, and served as the capital of the united kingdom of Hawaii from 1820-1845. It was also a key port for the whaling industry as well as a center of missionary activities. Today, this is some of the most expensive real estate in the islands.

Lunch: On your own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: Free day continues

Dinner: A Buffet Dinner will be included in this evening's Royal Lahaina Luau at 5:45 pm

Evening: Enjoy a luau in an oceanfront setting where a traditionally prepared pig, slowly roasted in an underground Imu, is the centerpiece of an elaborate, multi-course feast. Dance, music and song conjure the myths and stories from throughout Polynesia into an evening of unforgettable performances culminating in a spectacular Fire Dance Finale.

Snorkel Excursion, Whale Watch, Farewell Dinner
Kaanapali, HI (Island of Maui)
Royal Lahaina Resort

Activity note: Snorkel Dolphin Watch: Recommend motion sickness medicine if you are susceptible to seasickness. You are NOT required to snorkel during the Lanai Dolphin/Whale Watch excursion and can stay on the boat and enjoy the beautiful scenery while on board. Snorkeling skills and experience are not required; however we recommend you be a competent swimmer in order to snorkel. You should be comfortable in the water. You may enter and get out of the water as desired. Lifeguards are on-site.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on-board vessel during our snorkel field trip.

Morning: After departing fairly early from the resort, embark on our Snorkel/Wild Dolphin and Humpback Whale Watch. Discover why Lanai has been rated as one of the top 10 snorkel and dive spots in the world as you snorkel a dazzling coral reef, home to abundant fish and sea turtles. Wild dolphins are found off Lanai, too, including spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins, and occasional toothed whales. Sightings of humpback whales are common in winter. Each year northern Pacific humpback whales migrate to Hawaii to give birth and breed in Hawaii's warm ocean waters - they are present in the greatest numbers December-April.

Lunch: Lunch will be served conveniently on-board vessel to refuel after our adventurous morning.

Afternoon: Our field trip concludes at approximately 2:30 pm with the boat returning to the harbor. Although return to hotel is scheduled for 3 pm, there will be an option to remain behind to further explore Lahaina and return to hotel on own.

Dinner: Gather with your fellow participants and program staff for Farewell Dinner at the resort's Royal Ocean Terrace.

Evening: At leisure

Program Concludes
Kaanapali, HI (Island of Maui)

Activity note: Hotel check is by 12:00 noon.

Breakfast: Hotel breakfast buffet.

Morning: Independent departures. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!