2810
Hawaii
Hawaii’s National Parks: Exploring Four Islands from Volcanoes to Pearl Harbor
Join local experts on an exploration of Hawaii’s volcanoes, where you’ll learn about Hawaiian mythology, unique island ecology, natural monuments and sacred sites.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 2810RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
7,199
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15 days
14 nights
41 meals
14 B 13 L 14 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Introductions
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
D
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

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 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 tasty buffet in our private room with beverage options including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will have brief introductions but will call it an evening early to allow us to adjust to the time difference and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Orientation, Hilo Walking Field Trip, Lyman Museum, Class
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, streets, sidewalks, parkland trails for morning and afternoon field trips. Getting on/off bus; driving approx. 5 miles one way to the hotel. This day has been modified from its original due to the closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet includes choices such as eggs, pancakes, fruit including pineapple, oatmeal, breads, muffins, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone 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 questions. Travel and transfers will be via bus, and/or van depending on local conditions and schedules at the time of the program. Periods in the schedule labeled and "Free Time" and "At Leisure" offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. After Orientation, we’ll then head out on a walking field trip led by a local expert to an overview of historic Hilo to learn about its history and culture.

Lunch: At the end of our walking tour we will arrive at a local restaurant. Enjoy a plated meal with choice of entrée, iced tea or water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll take a short walk after lunch to the Lyman Museum Earth Heritage Gallery for a docent guided tour. At the museum, walk through a lava tube and experience multiple island climate zones in the “Habitats of Hawai`i” exhibition. Go from alpine snow to open ocean and view full-size models of sea life found in Hawaiian waters, including a 10-foot tiger shark! See the only display in the world of the bones of two flightless birds unique to Hawai`i – the Hawaiian Rail and a flightless goose. A one-of-a-kind model of the flightless goose allows you to see what this extinct bird looked like. At the conclusion of our visit, board a shuttle back to the hotel for some free time before our late afternoon class. We’ll be joined by a local expert for a presentation on geology and formation of the Hawaiian Islands.

Dinner: At a local restaurant overlooking Hilo Bay for a plated dinner which includes entrée, non-alcoholic beverages and dessert. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At Leisure.

DAY
3
Puu Huluhulu, Kaumana Caves, Kalapana
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach for multiple stops throughout field trips; driving approx. 50 miles on field trips; about 2 hours total aboard motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day on varied terrain; Lava Tube can be wet and slippery; about 50 stairs total up and down. This day has been modified from its original due to the closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Breakfast: Hotel breakfast buffet

Morning: Join your group leader for Big Market day at Hilo Farmer's Market. On Big Market days, over 200 local farmers, artisans, crafters, retailers, and food vendors line the streets. The market opens at 6am if you are an early bird.

Lunch: At the Hilo Farmers market, choose from a wide variety of food items.

Afternoon: Depart on bus for Puu Huluhulu for an expert led hike to see a giant cinder cone which sits between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea Volcanoes. Next we will set out for Kaumana Caves Park, a skylight in a 25 mile long lava tube where you will descend stairs down into the lava tube to explore. Departing the Caves on bus we will head to Kalapana for our evening excursion. Kalapana is a town and a region in the Puna District. In 1990, lava flows from the Kupaianaha vent of Kilauea destroyed and partly buried most of the town, as well as Kalapana Gardens and nearby Royal Gardens subdivisions. In July 2010, lava from Kilauea continued into the Kalapana region partly covering the 1986–1992 flow field again. In May 2018, destructive new lava vents opened in nearby Leilani Estates. Access to Kalapana was restricted to residents until July 3, 2018, when the road was reopened to all motorists. Along the way we will make stops at the areas black sand beach and Painted Church before arriving to our evening destination, Uncle Robert's. Uncle Robert’s is a well-known community gathering place which started in the 1990's shortly after the devastating lava flows ravished this small rural town. Uncle Robert's house was spared and he started his first version of a farmers market outside of his home to help the community recover financially. Robert was raised on this land and raised 11 children on it too. Today, Uncle Robert’s extended ohana (family) includes 33-grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Most of the grown children still live in Kalapana, as do 20 of his 33 grandchildren. The small farmers market has grown to a large, eclectic and vibrant venue filled with local artisans, local musicians and local foods. Many of Robert's family members run the inner workings of this very special gathering place.

Dinner: At Uncle Robert's, choose from a wide variety of food items.

Evening: Return to hotel.

DAY
4
Pacific Tsunami Museum, Imiloa, Rainbow Falls
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach for multiple stops throughout field trips; driving approx. 15 miles on field trips; about 1 hour total aboard motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day on varied terrain. This day has been modified from its original due to the closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Breakfast: Hotel breakfast buffet

Morning: We’ll depart via bus on our field trip, heading first to a small museum where we can learn about the effects of tsunami's in the Pacific, and learn from personal accounts of survivors before departing for lunch.

Lunch: At the Imiloa Sky Garden Restaurant, we will enjoy a decadent buffet meal, plus nonalcoholic beverages. Located at the Astronomy Center and overlooking Hilo Bay. Enjoy scenic views in a relaxed park setting.

Afternoon: After lunch we will have a guided tour of the Imiloa Astronomy Center. ‘Imiloa's exhibits are divided into two major areas: "Origins" and "Explorations." Within each area you will learn about Hawaiian and scientific beliefs, theories and practices related to Maunakea, the stars, and the world around us. Our last stop is at Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is home to an 80ft tall waterfall. You can choose to hike to the top of the waterfall or view it from the ground level before heading to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant you will have a plated meal with non-alcoholic beverage.

Evening: At Leisure.

DAY
5
Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit, Puuhonua o Honaunau NHP
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Courtyard by Marriott's King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 110 miles total throughout the day with stops; about 2.5 hours aboard motorcoach. Walking approx. 2 miles; uneven trails, sandy paths. Puuhonoua is considered a sacred site; observe guidelines, stay on marked trails and paths, take only photographs.

Breakfast: Hotel breakfast buffet

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer on bus to Kona, on the west coast of the island. Our first stop will be at Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit where we will be joined by a local expert for a guided exploration – This 116,000 acre unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a place of dynamic volcanism, rich Hawaiian traditions and a fascinating history of ranching. It is a site of struggle and restoration for many unique plant and animal species of Kau. At the conclusion of this field trip we will depart for lunch.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Naalehu, the southernmost town in the US, we will have a plated meal, plus nonalcoholic beverages.

Afternoon: Our next field trip is to - Puuhonua o - Honaunau National Historical Park, along lava flats of the Kona Coast. A local expert will lead our exploration. The entire complex covers about 420 acres including significant sites that recall four centuries of Hawaiian history. This location was a sacred sanctuary and place of refuge in ancient times. We’ll then proceed to our hotel in Kailua-Kona and check in.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant plated meal with beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Kaloko-Honokohau NHP, Puukohola Heiau NHS
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Courtyard by Marriott's King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 70 miles total throughout the day with stops; about 1.5 hours aboard motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles; park-maintained, coastal, sandy and rocky trails.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel restaurant, Honu's on the Beach.

Morning: We will depart on bus to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawaii's newest, established in 1978 and a culturally significant Ancient Hawaiian settlement. We will then travel to Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, "The temple on the hill of the Whale.” Built by Kamehameha I in 1790-1791 to incur the favor of the war god, Kukailimoku, this was the last major heiau (temple) built in the islands.

Lunch: Boxed lunch at a coastal beach.

Afternoon: We’ll linger at the beach to relax in the Hawaiian breeze. We’ll then return to the hotel with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a plated meal, plus nonalcoholic beverages.

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

DAY
7
Fly to Maui, Iao Valley
Kahului, Maui, HI
B,L,D
Maui Beach Hotel

Activity note: The flight is short but the trip could take 3-4 hours due to transfer times. Flight departure is subject to schedules at the time of the program & could be before or after lunch. Boarding bus; driving approx. 14 miles; up to 45 minutes depending on Maui Traffic. Walking on uneven ground, standing during field trip. Up to 2 miles walking during the course of the day. During the Iao Valley field trip, there is an option of climbing 131 stairs to the top or staying on the bus.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer with luggage via bus to Kona International Airport. We will fly to Maui Island. Upon arrival, we will collect our luggage and ride via motorcoach to Kepaniwai gardens for lunch.

Lunch: Boxed lunch in Kepaniwai Gardens upon arrival to Iao Valley.

Afternoon: We will be joined by a local expert for a guided visit to 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. We’ll proceed late afternoon to our hotel and check in.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we will have a buffet meal with non-alcoholic beverage. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will be joined by a local expert for a lecture, "Where did Everybody Come From".

DAY
8
Road to Hana
Kahului, Maui, HI
B,L,D
Maui Beach Hotel

Activity note: The drive to Hana is about 50 miles but can take time due to hundreds of curves, many hairpin turns, & 54 narrow bridges. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, consider an appropriate remedy. Getting on and off bus, driving approx. 100 miles, altogether 3.5 hours on bus. Up to 2 miles walking during the course of the day.

Breakfast: Hotel plated breakfast.

Morning: We’ll embark on a field trip to Hana in the East End of Maui, one of the most isolated towns in Hawaii. The journey takes some time — and stamina! — but we will be rewarded with views of the last undeveloped tropical paradise on the island, and the only coastal rainforest reachable by vehicles. Lush landscapes dotted with waterfalls on one side and rugged shoreline on the other, the pristine natural beauty provides a vivid sense of how the islands used to be. Commentary en route.

Lunch: Picnic lunch along the coastline in Hana.

Afternoon: After lunch we will take a short stroll over to the Hana Cultural Center for a docent guided tour. We will view some ancient artifacts and learn about the unique history of this small and very isolated town. We’ll being our return trip to the hotel late afternoon. Upon arrival back to hotel there will be some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a plated meal, plus nonalcoholic beverages.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Haleakala National Park, Plantation Towns
Kahului, Maui, HI
B,L,D
Maui Beach Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 90 miles total throughout the day with stops; about 3 hours altogether. Walking up to 1 mile for the day; some uneven terrain and dirt trails.

Breakfast: Hotel plated breakfast.

Morning: Via motorcoach with a local expert, enjoy a spectacular day in 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. Departing the park we will travel to a Plantation Town, Makawao for lunch and exploration. Makawao is located on the mid-slopes of Haleakala and is known for its rich history and thriving arts community.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Makawao you will enjoy a delicious buffet meal. Non-alcoholic beverages included.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will stretch our legs and join our expert instructor for a guided exploration of the town before returning to the hotel.

Dinner: At the University of Hawaii's Culinary Arts Center. Tonight you are invited to dine on a multi course meal prepared just for you by the Culinary departments students. You will meet and mingle with the students who prepared your meal. A true one of a kind experience.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for transfer in the morning.

DAY
10
Ferry to Molokai, Check In
Kahului, Maui, HI
B,L,D
Hotel Molokai

Activity note: Walking on sidewalks in Lahaina town. Ferry ride is approximately 2 hours, depending on local conditions. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, consider an appropriate remedy.

Breakfast: Buffet at Pioneer Inn in Lahaina

Morning: Check out of the hotel and depart via bus for breakfast in Lahaina. After breakfast, board the ferry for the ride to Molokai island.

Lunch: At a local Molokai restaurant, plated meal.

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Molokai we will board a bus and depart for our Molokai Museum and Cultural Center field trip features the former Rudolph W. Meyer Sugar Mill (1878), now restored to operation with its century-old steam engine, mule-driven cane crusher, and other vintage equipment. A museum docent will take us on an historical walk through the Mill, on the State and National Register of Historic Places. We’ll examine the original Mill equipment and handwritten records of the German-Hawaiian family who started it all. In the museum gallery exhibit on Kalaupapa history, artifacts from patients are on display. At the conclusion of the field trip we will depart on bus for the hotel and check-in.

Dinner: At a local Molokai restaurant, plated dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Air Shuttles to Kalaupapa National Historical Park
Kaunakakai, Molokai
B,L,D
Hotel Molokai

Activity note: Shuttle flights of approximately 15 minutes will be via 9-passenger, twin-engine prop planes. Getting on/off a school bus (non-A/C) in Kalaupapa, light walking. 20 miles to and from Molokai airport.

Breakfast: At the hotel, plated.

Morning: We’ll transfer to Molokai Airport and board small commuter planes for the short flight down to Kalaupapa National Historical Park. There, we’ll board a school bus for our field trip to the isolated peninsula where Father Damien ministered to leprosy patients. Hansen's disease (leprosy) was first diagnosed in the Hawaiian islands in 1853. Little more than a decade later, it had spread, causing great fear. After several attempts at creating care and treatment centers in different places, those with the disease were required to move to an isolated settlement on Molokai in 1866. A number of religious workers and other volunteers came to provide care for the residents. The most famous of these was Joseph De Veuster, a Belgian who became a priest in the Roman Catholic order of the Sacred Heart and took the name Father Damien. He was a dynamo of activity, not only providing medical care to settlement residents, but also building houses, organizing activities, and pressuring the kingdom of Hawaii to provide more resources. Father Damien’s efforts attracted worldwide attention for those with Hansen’s disease and the needs of those on Molokai in particular. The settlement gradually became a place to live rather than die. After working in the settlement for 12 years, Father Damien contracted Hansen’s disease. He died in 1889 at the age of 49. His life of devotion inspired multitudes, and he was canonized as Saint Damien of Molokai in 2009.

Lunch: Boxed lunch at Kalaupapa.

Afternoon: When our field trip ends, we’ll return via bus and air shuttles to Molokai Airport and back to the hotel.

Dinner: Transfer in vans to Molokai Museum and Cultural Center for Hawaiian Paina/Luau. Experience a traditional luau in your honor through food, and music. The luau is prepared by the staff with an array of local food selection.

Evening: Return to hotel, prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
12
Nene Sanctuary, Papohaku Beach
Kaunakakai, Molokai
B,L,D
Hotel Molokai

Activity note: Field Trip in 15-passenger vans while in Molokai (except Kalaupapa). Driving approx. 55 miles, 1.5 hours aboard vehicles. Walking on grassy lawn at Molokai Museum, paved walkway at Kalaupapa overlook. Walking up to 2 miles including grassy terrain & sandy beach.

Breakfast: Hotel, plated.

Morning: The Nene, a species of goose that is Hawaii’s state bird, has struggled for many years to survive the effects of human depredation. Conservation efforts including breeding programs are helping. We will visit the private property of a non-profit organization that supports Nene breeding to see and learn more about these endangered birds. We’ll walk to a pond where we are likely to see some of these birds — the most endangered goose in the world — and other birds of the Hawaiian flyway. We’ll hear from an expert and will also walk out to see sand dunes to learn about indigenous plants.

Lunch: Boxed lunch at a west end beach.

Afternoon: We’ll have some time to go beachcombing on Hawaii’s longest, white sand beach. Dip your toes in the ocean!

Dinner: At a Molokai restaurant, plated dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Fly to Oahu, USS Arizona, Punchbowl
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B,L,D
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Activity note: Boarding bus; driving approx. 20 miles; up to 1 hour depending on Honolulu Traffic. Walking up to 1.5 mile during the course of the day on streets and sidewalks. Be aware that boat rides out to the USS Arizona Memorial are sometimes suspended or cancelled due to high winds or strong water currents or other safety hazards. This decision is made by the U.S. Navy, which operates the boats to the memorial, and is for the safety of all guests.

Breakfast: At the hotel, plated.

Morning: Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for our flight to Oahu Island.

Lunch: A plated meal at a local restaurant, choose from a select menu of dishes available.

Afternoon: After claiming our luggage, we’ll transfer via motorcoach to Pearl Harbor where we will visit the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. While here, we’ll view a historical film in the park theater, take a launch boat ride across Pearl Harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial with National Park Service rangers, and upon returning, have some time to explore the museum. From there we will drive through The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, commonly known as “Punchbowl.” We are not permitted to get off the bus but will have commentary aboard. We will transfer to our Waikiki hotel and check in later afternoon.

Dinner: We will walk to a popular Waikiki restaurant near the hotel to enjoy a delicious, plated meal with beverage options including soft drink, iced tea or coffee; other beverages available for purchase

Evening: At leisure. Suggested Evening Activity: Visit the original site of the Hawaii Calls radio program, the Banyan Court, at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel.

DAY
14
Oahu East End, Pali Lookout, Historic Honolulu
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B,L,D
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Activity note: Boarding bus; driving approx. 40 miles; up to 2 hours depending on Oahu Traffic. Walking up to 1.5 mile during the course of the day on streets and sidewalks.

Breakfast: Enjoy a filling breakfast buffet at the hotel's Ilima Café, lobby level, before the day's activities. The breakfast buffet includes choices such as eggs, pancakes, fruit, breads, muffins, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We begin the day with a drive around Oahu’s spectacular east end by Diamond Head along a coastal road providing spectacular views. We’ll continue with a scenic stop at the Koolau Mountains’ beautiful and historic Pali Lookout, and a drive through Historic Honolulu including Chinatown, downtown Honolulu, and the historic capitol district with a local expert before returning to the hotel.

Lunch: Plated lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: At leisure.

Dinner: Enjoy a wonderful farewell plated meal served with nonalcoholic beverages at a local restaurant that boasts spectacular views of Waikiki. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Say farewell to new Road Scholar friends and prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
15
Program Concludes
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out is by 11:00 am.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. 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! Aloha!






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