Hawaii’s National Parks: Exploring Four Islands from Volcanoes to Pearl Harbor
Join park rangers and historians on an exploration of Hawaii’s volcanoes, where you’ll learn about Hawaiian mythology, unique island ecology, natural monuments and sacred sites.
Rating (5)
Program No. 2810RJ
15 days
Starts at
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This was an exceptional experience that changed my perception of Hawaii as simply a beach-based tourist vacation. It included fascinating learning experiences about volcanoes, nature, culture, history and more. Flying in small planes out to visit the leper colony on Molokai was a highlight as well as seeing hot lava bubbling out of a volcano at night. Can't recommend this program enough for those who like the outdoors and who love learning. Loved this trip!
If you desire a trip to the Hawaiian Islands to be immersed in the beauty, culture, history, spirit, ecology, and people...this is the trip for you! I cannot believe how much territory and subject matter we covered in this 15 day excursion to four islands. I feel like I know the island better than any resort vacationer as we were immersed in everything Hawaiian. I highly recommend this trip.
For anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Hawaii -- both its land and its people -- this is the trip for you. Two of the national parks, Volcanoes and Haleakala, explored the geologic formation of the islands. The national historical parks explored the history of the Hawaiian people. Other excursions explored both. At the end of the trip was the Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor, so beautiful and moving. This trip was packed with activities and field trips, at times exhausting, but always interesting. I am left with beautiful photographs and even more beautiful memories.
Let me say that if you are a prima donna, reconsider this trip. You will stay in a military camp and a place that has no AC and has chickens and roosters. If you only know upscale type hotels, this is not for you, however we did stay in nice places as well. But, this trip is AWESOME!!! It was transformative for me. We saw active lava, steam vents, waterfalls, cliffs, amazing beaches and much more. We were a group of 17 plus our leader, Susan McGovern (amazing I must say) and we seemed to be cohesive and friendly. Going to Molokai and Kalaupapa was definitely not on the beaten path of tours, so that was introspective and amazing. I didn't want the typical touristy corny trip, so this trip fit my needs. If you are looking for a Luau that is commercial, you won't get it on this trip. We attended a real family gathering as the word "Luau" was coined by a travel writer in the l950s. In Molakai, we ate all types of REAL Hawaiian food, things you would never get at a Hilton hotel Luau. There were so many activities and experiences we had, but the capper was seeing the lava flowing at night. Swimming in amazing beaches was spectacular. Our food was wholesome and adequate but if you are a snobby foodie, you would not be happy. It was fine for me, but then again, I am a simple person!! This was a wonderful trip with an amazing leader (Susan McGovern) and I would recommend it to anyone who can walk the walk (up to 2 miles on some fairly rough terrain) and see the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.
This was my first Road Scholar trip and also my first visit to Hawaii. Overall, I was very happy with it. I probably now know more about the history, geology, and biology of Hawaii than of my home state. The group was big (32 people). Surprisingly, I found this more of a feature than a bug. It was a surprisingly congenial group and, moreover, uniformly on time for departures. My own interests are primarily nature photography, and the trip was not set up to cater to serious photographers (nor was it advertised to be). Although generally there was ample time for photography, sometimes -- as when the bus only slowed at a point of interest -- it was a bit frustrating. The trip met my photographic expectations, if not my photographic wishes. I did manage to take a lot of photos, as you can see at www.tinyurl.com/HawaiiRSBestOf

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