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Over the course of our 17 day Hawaii teen tour, we will visit 2 islands, The Big Island and Kauai. Well visit Volcanoes National Park, get SCUBA certified, learn how to surf, kayak down jungle rivers, hike the Na Pali Coast, and volunteer on a service project with a local nonprofit. While we are on the islands, we will also visit Hawaiis best beaches, nicest waterfalls, as well as Hawaiis most important historical landmarks ancient temples, a city of refuge, the naha stone, and so much more!
Youll sleep in a tent each night. Well stay in national parks, county parks, and private beachside campgrounds. You will be with one or two other participants in a 3 person tent. Youll have the option each night to sleep on a tarp beneath the stars. Most of our sites are within a 30 second run (or a 2 minute walk) into the ocean. We camp in some amazingly beautiful places, definitely a highlight of our trip. All campgrounds have full bathrooms with flush toilets, showers, sinks, running water, etc.
Our Hawaii / Kauai summer teen tours begin at Honolulu International Airport where your trip leaders will greet you right off the plane. Once we are all together we will take a quick 30-minute flight to The Big Island where our summer adventure officially begins. We will pack our van, head to a nearby beachside campground, and enjoy our first dinner together as a group. We will spend the rest of the evening going over trip rules, playing get-to-know-you games, and becoming familiar with the group gear and camping equipment before setting up our tents and getting some well-deserved rest.
After breakfast we will load our van and make our way to Volcanoes National Park. Along the way well stop by The Wild Travelers favorite Big Island beach park for lunch and a swim in Hawaiis crystal clear waters. Once at Volcanoes National Park, we will stop by the visitor center, explore the famous Thurston Lava Tube, and get an awesome view of the active Kilauea Volcano. The following day, we will take an all day hike across the Kilauea Iki Crater. Well hike through tropical rain forests and across barren lava fields while passing steam vents along the way. The landscape at Volcanoes NP is surreal! In the evening well have a chance to witness (from a safe distance) the creation of land as lava flows into the ocean.
Next, our summer teen tours takes us to the historic town of Hilo for an authentic taste of The Big Island. Well have a chance to walk through the farmers market full of freshly picked tropical fruits (some you probably havent even heard of dragon fruit, lychee, bread fruit, noni, durien, and more!) Have an adventurous palate? Youll have a chance to try them all! After exploring Hilo we will stop at some of Hawaiis most important cultural landmarks such as the Naha Stone, Pukohola Heiau (an ancient Hawaiian temple), and Puuhonua O Honaunau Hawaiis best preserved City of Refuge. We will stop along the way to visit Akaka Falls and to swim at beautiful Hapuna Beach. Well set up camp at our beachside campground in time for a sunset dinner. This evening well have a SCUBA study session before the start of our SCUBA course tomorrow.
We begin our first day of SCUBA instruction. We will spend the first two days split between the classroom and the dive pool. Our SCUBA instructors are among the best on the islands and will work with each of you until you are comfortable with the necessary skills. Well take what we learned in the pool and spend our last two days in the ocean logging 2 shore dives (entering the ocean from the shore) and 2 boat dives (entering the ocean from a boat).
While earning your SCUBA certification youll experience all of Hawaiis underwater creatures including sea turtles, frogfish, sea cucumbers, moray eels, and octopi. On the last day of the certification course well have a chance to check out Kona Town and celebrate our accomplishments with an authentic Hawaiian feast.
The Manta Ray night snorkel is rated as one of the top 10 snorkels in the world. Well take a sunset boat ride along the Kona coast to the manta viewing site. Slip into the water with your snorkel guide and float above majestic manta rays as they somersault, glide, and pivot in the beam of your underwater light. Manta rays are filter feeders and feed on plankton attracted to light. They have very large mouths, but no sharp teeth. Manta rays do not have tail stingers. Its truly an unforgettable experience.
In the afternoon well say good-bye to The Big Island as we make our way to the airport for our 45-minute flight to Kauai. Once in Kauai well pick up some supplies and set up camp at a private beachside campground under the cover of banyan trees on a beautiful white sand beach. For the next week Hanalei Bay will be our front yard.
What better place to learn how to surf than the birthplace of surfing? Hawaiians refer to it as the sport of kings and have been surfing centuries before it caught on around the world. Over the next three days, we will take surf lessons from our beachside campsite. Before we enter the water, our professional surf instructors will teach us about ocean safety, surf technique, and surf lingo.
After three days, you will have the skills to be able to read the ocean and consistently catch beginner/ intermediate waves. After our first day of surfing youll have a chance to do your laundry, call home, and shop for group meals. The following two afternoons, we will learn about the Kauais natural and human history, where we will later volunteer on our service project.
Well trade in our surfboards for sit on top kayaks. After a quick lesson, well kayak down Hanaleis jungle river and out into picturesque Hanalei Bay. Once we have our paddling skills down, well test our balance with some kayak challenges. For lunch well kayak to a secluded white sand beach where you can choose to snorkel, swim, or just relax. On the way back, well surf some waves from our kayaks. In the afternoon well hike to the base of Kauais most famous waterfall for a leisurely, fresh water swim.
Well get an early start for our hike on the legendary Kalalau Trail along the rugged Na Pali coastline. This area is known for its dramatic landscape with cliffs up to 3,000-feet tall, accented with lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls, and sea caves below. We will hike out to Hanakapiai beach for a rest stop and then up to Hanakapiai falls for lunch and an invigorating dip in its refreshing waters before returning back to camp. We will spend the evening around a campfire playing music, games, and telling stories.
We will continue volunteering with the local non-profit, harvesting taro in the loi (taro ponds), and helping out with habitat restoration by planting native trees, such as the endangered Koa, along the hillside. After a hard, dirty, yet satisfying days worth of work, well get cleaned up before taking one last trip into town. Tonight well have our final banquet at a restaurant chosen by the group.
During dinner well hand out awards, reminisce about our summer teen tours experience, and laugh about the stories we created over the course of our trip. Well head back to camp to clean up our group gear and prepare for our early departure in the morning. The rest of the evening will be spent hanging out around the campfire with our new friends.
In the morning well finish packing up camp and head to the airport for our early inter-island flight to Honolulu. Once in Honolulu well have a chance to exchange insta accounts before your leader help you check in for your flight home.
With awesome new experiences, unforgettable memories, and lasting friendships, youll know that you were part of a unique experience that will last a lifetime. Youll have a full year to get excited for next years summer teen tours with The Wild Traveler!
The Kilauea Iki Trail starts in the rain forest on the craters rim. The trail descends 400 feet through the rain forest, with native birds in the canopy, to the crater floor. Well hike across the still-steaming crater passing lava trees and lava tubes along the way. In the evening well watch molten lava flow into the ocean!
Get PADI open water SCUBA certified! This 4 day course starts with the basic principles of SCUBA diving and takes you step by step from the classroom, to the dive pool, to the ocean.
Taking your first breaths under water is an incredible experience and opens up a whole new underwater world with manta rays, sea turtles, frog fish, and so much MORE! PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the worlds largest diver training organization. This certification is valid all over the world. Once certified, youre certified for life!
Take a boat ride in the late afternoon along the Kona coast to the manta viewing site. Slip into the water with your snorkel guide and float above majestic manta rays as they somersault, glide, and pivot in the beam of your underwater light. Manta rays are filter feeders and feed on plankton attracted to light. They have very large mouths, but no sharp teeth. Manta rays do not have tail stingers. This truly is an unforgettable experience.
Kayak down the Hanalei River and into Hanalei bay. Once we have our paddling down, test your balance with some kayak challenges. For lunch well kayak to a secluded white sand beach and have some time to snorkel and swim. On the paddle back, well surf some waves from our kayaks.
Hawaii is known as the birthplace of surfing, so theres no better place to take some surf lessons and try your hand at the sport of kings. Our professional surf instructors will teach us ocean safety, technique, and surf lingo. By the end of our lessons YOU WILL be riding waves.
Volunteer with a local nonprofit where we will harvest taro in the loi (taro ponds) and learn how to process and make the traditional Hawaiian staple, poi. Participants will also help with an ongoing watershed restoration project that Wild Traveler participants have been working on over the past 5 years.
Participants will help by planting native trees, such as the endangered Koa, and removing invasive plant species throughout the watershed. During our service project well learn about Hawaiian culture and the history of the area. By the end of your teen tour you will have accumulated 15 hours of satisfying community service!
Our food is great! Under the guidance of your leaders, you will be in charge of putting together a menu in your cook groups made up of 2 or 3 other participants. You can choose meals from the Wild Traveler Cookbook or cook up one of your favorite recipes you learned from home. You and your cook group will do your shopping at grocery stores and farmers markets.
Our meals are nutritionally balanced, plentiful, tasty and offer plenty of options. We will have snacks available throughout each day. We have no problem accommodating vegetarian diets. Any other dietary restrictions need to be approved by our office staff prior to your trip.