The allure of Hawaii's natural beauty is one of the strongest pulls on potential travelers' minds. Make the most of it when working with clients who are considering a Hawaii getaway by pointing out the abundance of trails statewide and the availability of customer-focused outfitters who are skilled in providing scheduled and custom outings.
There's the obvious benefit of hitting the trails with a guide, who can share history and specialized information about the surroundings, who knows where to stop for stunning photos and who handles food and other details. Beyond this, there's the fact that while a number of trails are on public land, some aren't; heading out with a reputable outfitter can mean your clients have special access to areas not available to the casual daytripper.
Clients heading to Maui, for example, can venture
Hikers head into rainforest acreage, pass by terraces where ancient Hawaiians nurtured taro, cross suspension bridges and take a freshwater swim at the turnaround point while the guide is preparing a deli lunch. At under five miles, the hike is manageable for the less athletic, but appealing to the more fit traveler, as well.
"Walking on the suspension bridges takes people to a different place," White says. "It's 'Indiana Jones meets the rainforest.'" He says that during parts of the hike, trekkers won't hear anything but themselves, and during wetter times of year, they're able to see massive waterfalls in the distance. What's especially striking to visitors, he says, is the size of the waterfalls' drop, as well as the experience of what it feels like to be in a large rainforest.
The five-mile hike is suited to families, says Kealy Pierce, office manager. Maui Eco-Adventures suggests that children be 6 or older to take part.
The hike departs daily, and starts at $120 per person. The
price includes pickups in South and
Hiking the Na Pali Coast
The 11-mile loop trail, rated moderate to strenuous, is suited for active couples and families. It descends gradually through a dryland forest populated by native and exotic plants and trees, and hikers may see such native birds as the elepaio. After passing through the forest, hikers catch the first of many views of the remote Na Pali coastline below. One of the highlights of the Nualolo/Awaawapuhi loop is the knife-edged ridge of Awaawapuhi itself.
Godinez says another especially memorable part of the hike is reaching the end of the Nualolo portion and seeing the reef of Kee in the far distance.
Also exciting, he says, is "leading folks the last portion of the Awaawapuhi trail, with their eyes closed, and having them open their eyes when I have placed their hands on the guardrail at the end of the trail—[they get] some incredible views of the very classic fluted ridges that dominate the small valley of Awaawapuhi below."
This full-day guided hike starts at $231 per person, with a two-person minimum. Transportation; use of day packs and rain gear; and lunch, fruit juice and bottled water is included.
In the meantime, active clients planning a Molokai
getaway may want to book a package at the
Guests can choose the culturally focused Halawa Falls Hike,
which is a guided exploration of this lush valley. Along the way, the guide
shares history and talks about what the hikers are seeing. There's a chance to
swim in the natural pool at
The "Beach Village Adventure Package" bundles lodging with daily breakfast and dinner served at the beachside Kaupoa Dining Pavilion, along with an activity credit of $30 per person per day. Through December 20, this package starts at $179 per person per night; there's a third- and fourth-person charge of $116 per person per night.