Value Times are October, November and December.
Excludes Holidays and Special Events
The Islands of Aloha are a veritable playground, offering activities to please even the most discriminating vacationer. Hike Hawaii’s lush rainforests. Cruise down a volcano on a mountain bike. Lounge on a secluded beach. Snorkel, whale and dolphin watch from many a seafaring vessel. Don’t forget to drink in the culture at a luau or tour of any of the historical sites. In Hawaii, the choices are as vast as your imagination.
By many accounts the most beautiful Hawaiian Island, Kauai is a relative newcomer to tourism. Miles of sugarcane fields and flourishing foliage flank tiny rural towns. The island's jagged mountains, plunging waterfalls, and isolated beaches have played supporting roles in films such as Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Body Heat, and The Thorn Birds television miniseries. Although Kauai receives more rain than other Hawaiian Islands, a visit here is well worth risking a few soggy days. Besides, the lush landscape is almost as stunning when wet.
Commonly referred to as the Big Island, Hawaii is so much larger than its siblings that the rest of the chain could fit inside it with room to spare. Hawaii is the only island with active volcanoes. With stark, ebony lava flows stretching for miles, it is also the most unusual-looking island. The beaches are white, black, salt and pepper, and even green. In sharp contrast to its volcanic moonscape, the island has rain forests, flower nurseries, and lush valleys.
Not all food sold in Hawaii is "Hawaiian food," although you may eat enough pineapples and macadamia nuts to satisfy you for a lifetime. Hawaiian regional cuisine incorporates fresh local products, meats and seafood in a multicultural infusion of flavorings, ingredients, spices, sauces and cookery methods. In addition, local ethnic culinary blending have resulted in the popular Hawaiian plate lunch, available from restaurants, cafes and street side mobile lunch wagons.
The islands also have everything from fast-food chains to Mexican, French and Asian cuisine. Do not leave without attending a luau. A traditional luau, or feast, is a celebration of Hawaiian culture, music, dance, and of course, food.
Shop for shells, seed and flower leis, koa and monkey-pod wood products, ahoha wear (Hawaiian shirts, blouses and skirts), jewelry, Kona coffee and macadamia nuts. (Try the chocolate-covered variety—pure heaven!) Hawaii also has some wonderful and rare children's books that are English translations of Asian fairy tales and Hawaiian folk tales, myths and legends that are difficult to find elsewhere. Prices range from very fair to extremely expensive, depending on shop, locale, brand name and quality. Be forewarned that while many prepared-food items (e.g., preserves and confections made from tropical fruit) and bouquets of cut flowers can be carried or shipped out of Hawaii with no difficulty, not all live or potted plants (such as tropical flowers) and fresh produce (mangoes, papayas, etc.) can be taken off the islands: At the very least, they will be inspected.
Don't be surprised if you see people waving their fists with the thumb and pinky extended. It's the shaka sign that is generally used in place of a wave when meeting or parting. It is a goodwill gesture that says "hi" or "how are you?"
Don't underestimate the power of the surf and the ocean currents. Newcomers to Hawaiian beaches should be exceedingly careful to follow all posted guidelines and warnings.
When you're out in the islands' strong sun, use sunscreen lotion, lots of it. The sun is naturally brighter and hotter in the tropics.
Hawaii has only two seasons-winter and summer. Winter is slightly cooler and wetter, but conditions are fairly similar year-round. Visitors will generally encounter more variations between elevations and coast exposures (windward or leeward) than seasons. The east sides of the islands are wetter because of exposure to the prevailing northeast trade winds, which bring rain to eastern shores. The west sides tend to be much drier. Individual islands also have slight variations.
A large number of airlines fly to the islands, most using Honolulu International Airport (HNL) as the hub of operations. Kahului Airport (OGG) on Maui, Lihue Airport (LIH) on Kauai, and Kona International Airport (KOA) on the Big Island of Hawaii offer direct flights to cities on the U.S. mainland and to Canada and some overseas destinations. Inter-island air service is provided by several airlines.
GETTING AROUND THE AREA
With Kauai’s sprawling, rural environment, a rental car is advisable. These can be picked up at the airport. On Oahu and Hawaii, you can use a shuttle from the airport and either walk to area attractions or pick up local transportation. Many tours include bus transportation, so a rental car may not be necessary.
The information contained here and within the Time Out Vacations website is believed to be correct. Every effort has been made to assure accuracy. Time Out Vacations and Global Connections, Inc. assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions.
The destinations listed are subject to change without notice or may no longer be available under this vacation certificate.