Hawaiian Tours – Your Guide to the Best Tours Hawaii has to Offer

Home to pristine beaches, jungle paradises and Polynesian culture, Hawaii is a magical place like no other. Every year people flock to the majestic islands to experience the unparalleled beauty and laidback lifestyle that’s so unique to this exquisite corner of the Pacific.

The very same beauty and lifestyle means there’s no shortage of excursions and experiences for visitors to be a part of when visiting Hawaii and it’s one of the main reason people keep coming back.

IMAGE CRUISE DETAILS

  • Tour Duration: 7 Hours
  • Highlight: Traditional E’Ho Mai ceremony
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 9 Hours
  • Highlight: Visit around 17 Spots
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  • Tour Duration: 50 Minutes
  • Highlight: Fly in the same Helicopter used in Magnum PI shows
  • Price: $$$$
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  • Tour Duration: 4 Hours
  • Highlight: Hula Lessons and Fire Making
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 8 Hours
  • Highlight: 6 Mini Cultures in One
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Highlight: Amazing “60 Years of Aloha” Show
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Highlight: Jurassic Valley & Popular Movie Locations
  • Price: $$$
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  • Tour Duration: 6 Hours
  • Highlight: Narrated Circle Island Journey to Hawaii’s Historical Sites
  • Price: $$
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There’s never been more ways to experience every single type of Hawaiian adventure imaginable and Hawaii tours are the perfect way to make memories that last a lifetime.

We love absolutely everything about what there is to do on the islands – the Hawaiian luau’s, the turtle tours, a romantic Hawaiian dinner cruise, and everything in between.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeking adventurer who wants to take helicopter flights between waterfalls and mountains or you’re a history buff looking to soak in the fascinating Polynesian culture – going on one of the many Hawaiian tours available is guaranteed to provide you with the experience of a lifetime.

We’ve spent years personally researching the top Hawaiian tours across the four main islands, Oahu, Big Island (Hawaii), Maui and Kauai.

Part of our philosophy is doing our very best to share these experiences with people who want to experience the real Hawaii, by going on tours and take you on journeys that’ll make you feel a little closer to the beautiful islands and their people. Check out the very best of the best Hawaii tours below and start your adventure today!

The Top Hawaiian Tours in Oahu

Oahu, with its famous capital of Honolulu, is one of the most beautiful islands in Hawaii that’s perfect for everyone. Oahu tours make the most of thefact that there’s something that all visitors will enjoy. Its home to not only a city that has excellent transport links, renowned global cuisine and cultural ancestry – but also rolling jungle, impressive mountains and impeccable beaches. The legendary Pearl Harbor is also located here. Oahu is an enjoyable, convenient option for many visitors as its home to Honolulu International Airport meaning you don’t have to hop islands to experience wonderful guided tours and it has everything you could possibly want to have a true Hawaiian experience.

Oahu is famous for the exquisite beach resort of Waikiki, a popular neighborhood of Honolulu. Waikiki used to be a surfing retreat for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800’s. Waikiki is known for its beautiful man-made Waikiki Beach, one of six beaches in the district of Waikiki in Honolulu.

From luaus to dolphin encounters, Oahu is a favorite among people who want a varied taste of Hawaii and with so much to choose from it’s impossible to be disappointed with what’s on offer. We did a complete breakdown of the best tours in Oahu that can’t be missed, which you can check out here.

1. Best Hawaiian Luau – Chief’s Luau

When it comes to a luau in Hawaii, no one does it better than Chief Sielu Avea of Oahu, the original world champion fire dancer. It’s no surprise that it’s rated as the best luau in the state of Hawaii and when you’re enjoying the award-winning entertainment accompanied by a mouth-watering, world class Polynesian menu on the beautiful West Side of Oahu – it’s easy to see why. No other luau delivers the level of service and entertainment as Chief’s Luau and all for unbeatable prices.

Pros

4 hour trip from start to finish

Luau with audience participation

Located next to Wet N Wild Waterpark

Chief Sielu Avea

Buffet Style dinner

Accommodations for allergies and/or vegetarian preference provided

Activities including hula lessons, headband weaving, fire making, tattooing and spear throwing

Roundtrip transportation from Waikiki on the south shore of Oahu

Available daily

Cons

Costly compared to other luau’s

Transportation costs an additional fee

“Hawaii is such a beautiful place and with so many tours to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one!”

2. Top Cultural Hawaiian Tour – Polynesian Cultural Center

A Hawaii Tour for people who want to experience the proud heritage and magical culture of Oahu’s ancestry and beyond. Nowhere else on the islands will you find such an immersive and enriching cultural tour that’s guaranteed to have you feeling closer to Polynesian culture than ever before.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a full-day trip that gives you access to island villages, local people and an abundance of knowledge about Hawaii’s history. With activities throughout the day and different package options, this tour feels like a theme park filled with Polynesian hospitality, grace and laidback way of life.

Pros

Full day experience (9 – 13 hours)

Experience and learn about the culture of the Islands of Tahiti, Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa, and Samoa

Learn how to climb a coconut tree, husk a coconut, and make coconut milk

Individual seating at the show

Backstage tour

Souvenir DVD

Shell lei greeting

Round trip transportation

Two shows times (4:45pm and 7:00pm)

Cons

Transportation costs an additional fee

Experience is all day long

Closed on Sundays

3. Best Dolphin Tour in Hawaii – Premium Dolphin Swim

If you want to swim with dolphins in Hawaii then look no further. Dolphin experiences are one of the most popular tours in all of the Hawaiian islands and for good reason – its one of the classic magical encounters Hawaii is famous for and Premium Dolphin Swim delivers on all fronts. With a much bigger boat than most other tours, not to mention a bigger bus, you’re able to enjoy the tour with more like-minded visitors and make some friends along the way.

Spend your vacation swimming and interacting with wild dolphins and even get the chance to see giant sea turtles and whales if you visit in winter. This premium, fully inclusive tour is nothing short of spellbinding and you’re even guaranteed a free reschedule if you don’t spot any dolphins on the day of your tour!

Pros

Wake up call provided by driver

Two times to choose from – early am and mid morning

Meal provided on boat after activities

Activities include snorkeling, kayaks, stand up paddling (SUP), water slides, and trampolines

Snorkel gear provided

Complimentary transportation from select Waikiki hotels

Sights of tropical fish, spinner dolphins and Honu (turtles)

Cons

Books up quickly

4. Unmissable Hawaiian Driving Tours

Arguably one of the best ways to see the islands during your vacation, a Hawaii driving tour will take you on a spectacularly immersive journey through the unimaginable majesty to be found throughout the state. If your stay is relatively short and you want to cover a lot of ground before you leave or you simply just want to witness Hawaii’s raw natural beauty on the road, then the following tours are your best bet. Prepare to find yourself both driving and walking through open grasslands and lush jungle and past towering mountains and cascading falls.

There are many scenic places to drive like the beautiful valleys of the West Maui mountains, visible from the tropical getaway of Lahaina (the largest census-designated place in West Maui). Lahaina has some of the most expensive real estate in the islands of Hawaii. The Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts are located in Lahaina.

5. Road to Hana Private Tour

Maui is home to some of the most beautiful sights in Hawaii so it’s no surprise that the Road to Hana Private Tour made it onto our Top Hawaii Tours list. Experience the island’s beauty close up with a customizable route that’ll take you to the spots you want to see for as long or as little as you want to see them during your vacation.

Exploring mostly Maui’s scenic northern and eastern coasts, the Road to Hana Tour is family owned and operated and as a result has unbeatable service. It’s so popular in fact, that spaces fill up faster than any other Hawaii driving tour – so make sure you book quickly!

Pros

50 miles covered in 8 – 10 hours

Stops at Wai’anapanapa Beach Park, Ho’okipa Beach Park, Nahiku Marketplace, and others

Visit to the original stone missionary church from 1856

Exploration of the 3 tiered waterfall “Waikani”

Sights of Hawaiian green sea turtle and bamboo forests

Fresh banana bread and water

Complimentary transportation from Kahului areas

Cons

Transportation costs extra for areas outside Kahului (60 – 110)

Cost of transportation must be paid in cash to driver upon pick up

6. Haleakala Sunrise Tour

When it comes to the sunrise of a lifetime, this Hawaii tour is undoubtedly the best of them all. While perched above the clouds on top of Haleakala Crater, the tallest peak in Maui – you’ll get to watch the sun come up over the islands of Lanai, Molokai and Hawaii.

As if it wasn’t rare enough to find an experience so breathtaking, the Haleakala Sunrise Tour also includes a delicious breakfast, free pickups, local grown coffee and a spectacular drive through Maui and its beautiful agricultural hub. You’ll enjoy all this and what’s more, the tour is the cheapest of the sunrise Hawaii tours available in Maui.

Mt Kilauea and this Hawaii tour lets you experience your vacation it in all its fiery glory. You’ll be close enough to see the earth itself smoldering and smell the sulfur! Ideal for families and individuals, the Hawaii Volcano Eco-Adventure is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get close to one of our planets fiercest and most impressive naturally occurring phenomena.

Not only do you get to visit various craters and slopes around the Hawaii Volcano National Park, but you’ll be taken to Hilo Waterfalls, Big Island Black Sand Beach and the Jaggar Museum. A full day activity in one of the most impressive places on earth, this is one Hawaii tour not to be missed.

Pros

Great for last-minute booking

Cheapest tour on the list ($187/person)

8 hour tour with breakfast and snacks included

Visit to the Haleakala National Park at off-tourist hours

Exploration of the Maui Upcountry’s agricultural wonders and rustic towns

Cons

Bigger tour bus

Can get cold on top of Haleakala Peak!

7. Best Hawaii Helicopter Tour

Kauai is undoubtedly home to some of the most breathtakingly spectacular terrain in the world, let alone just Hawaii. The natural beauty of Kauai is made up from rugged terrain, towering waterfalls and thick jungle, so much so that around 70% of the island’s land is inaccessible by land.

So, what better way to see Kauai than soaring over it in a thrilling helicopter ride that offers views like nothing you’ve seen before. When it comes to Hawaii helicopter tours, the undisputed leader in the business and fully deserving of the title is the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour operator and their Helicopter Eco Adventure is the perfect way to soak in the sights of “The Garden Isle” of Kauai, making it a favorite among Kauai tours.

At 55 minutes long and for less than $250, you won’t find another airborne adventure that’ll take you to such impressive locations for this kind of value.

Pros

50 – 55 minutes of flight time

3,000 foot waterfalls cascading down the cliffs

Hovering over Mt. Waialeale, the heart of a dormant volcano

Incredible sights including the Hanapepe Valley, “Jurassic Park Falls”, Waimea Canyon, and the Na Pali Coast

Historic and manmade landmarks

Two-way communication with your pilot

Tour narration by pilots who are State of Hawaii Certified Tour Guides

A high quality, live DVD recording is made of your actual flight

Cons

Visit to Mt. Waialeale depends on weather

A High Definition, live Blu-Ray Disc or USB Stick recording available for purchase after flight

No scuba diving within 24 hours of helicopter tour

Tour times may vary based upon wind and weather conditions

The Best Water Tours in Hawaii

You can’t go to the big island of Hawaii and not take part in island tour packages that get you in or on the water. With so many great tours to choose from such as shark cage diving, it’s hard to choose just one. If you’re looking to be on the water, but not necessarily in the water, a jet ski rental or parasailing might be the way to go.

However, the islands are renowned for their aquamarine oceans and abundance of incredibly diverse marine life and underwater landscapes, so we suggest booking at least one sightseeing tour that gets you in the beautiful waters of Hawaii.

From dolphins to manta rays, the island waters are bursting with color and wonder that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere in the world. As far as a Hawaii island tour goes, on land experiences are fun, but the underwater adventures here are truly unforgettable.

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a novice in the water, there’s an experience for everyone below the waves and we’ve picked out the very best ones for you to choose from.

8. Top Hawaii Turtle Tour – Molokini & Turtle Arches Snorkel

An absolutely perfect island for your Hawaii vacation, Maui is renowned for its paradise beaches and world class surf, but below the waves you’ll find another paradise filled with turtles, dolphins and all manner of tropical sea life that’ll leave you spellbound.

None is more famous than the Hawaiian turtle and there’s no shortage of magical encounters you can choose from. Our top pick of Hawaii turtle tours is the Molokini & Turtle Arches Snorkel located on Maui island and we can guarantee that you won’t leave disappointed. Traveling to two premium snorkel sites under the supervision of Certified Marine Naturalists, you’ll get the chance to get to know the friendly turtles and their coral-carpeted home.

Popular among families due to the level of service and accessibility, this Maui tours adventure is the perfect way to experience Maui under the sea.

Pros

Two snorkel sites (Molokini and Turtle Arches)

5 hour tour

Breakfast, lunch, and refreshments provided

Snorkel gear provided

See and interact with over 250 deep-sea creatures such as manta rays, turtles, and more

Swim through lava arches

Certified Marine Naturalists onboard

Cons

Books up quickly

Tour can be a little long for some

9. Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona

Kona, meaning the “dry side of the island”, is one of Hawaii’s most popular districts. Kona is also the location of the Ironman World Championship. We decided to pick a more local experience as one of our top Hawaii tours based on the simple fact of how incredible this sightseeing encounter is.

Come face to face with a true ocean giant, the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Illuminated by the moonlight, expect to swim with enormous but harmless manta rays, one of Hawaii’s most celebrated ocean wonders.

Departing from Keauhou Bay off the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii, you’ll be paddled out to sea in eco friendly canoes, you’ll skip the local crowds and you’ll enjoy the snorkeling trip of a lifetime.

Pros

1.5 hour trip

Departs from Keauhou Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii

10 minute paddle out to location with Manta Rays

We use paddle-power—no motors at all

Double-hull canoe gives you an authentic Hawaiian experience

Only allow six people per tour (great for small groups)

Wet suit tops for adults and short suits for kids provided

Snorkel gear provided

For those who don’t want to get into the water – they can remain in the canoe and still get a great view

Snacks and water included

Cons

Maximum weight limit of 250 pounds

10. Napali Snorkel Adventure

The island of Kauai isn’t only just towering mountains and waterfalls, it’s also home to a stunning Jurassic-era coastline that houses an extensive network of beautiful sea caves and lava tubes.

Departing from Hanalei Bay on Kauai’s North Shore, you’ll be taken on an island journey along the spectacular Na Pali Coast State Park and regaled with stories about the Hawaiian explorers that settled there.

Dependent on weather and sea conditions you’ll also get the opportunity to snorkel in the surrounding ocean. For the thrill seekers amongst you, you can also book a ride on the Adventurer II Rafts; fiberglass vessels that are designed for high speed to give a sense of adventure like no other as you cut through the waves under the towering cliffs.

Pros

4 hour excursion

Two available departure times

Enjoy majestic views of the Napali Coast, with a dramatic departure from Hanalei Bay

Fresh locally made lunch provided

Soft drinks and bottled water included

All snorkeling equipment and instruction is included

We commonly see dolphins, sea turtles, and tons of tropical fish

No smoking on tour

Tour is barefoot – no shoes or flip flops

Cons

Children must be at least 6 years old for snorkel tours and 5 years old for non-snorkel tours

No expectant mothers

All tour routes and snorkel destinations are subject to change or may re-route due to weather and sea conditions

 

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