I divided my 8 day Hawaiian vacation between two islands, Island of Hawaii and Oahu. As such, while on Oahu, I really wanted to make the most of my time and see as much of the island as possible. I was also looking to make a connection that I could personally recommend to my clients that I book for Hawaii. I met a tour guide in one of my travel agent forums and connected with him in the weeks before the trip to schedule a tour. Let me just say I could not have imagined the amazing experience we were about to have!
Kartikey, my tour guide, and I planned to meet at 9am in front of my resort. He was very prompt and patient with me as I was running just a few minutes behind. We had just arrived to the island the evening before and decided to go ahead and go to the grocery store AND make breakfast…all before our 9am tour! Boy, am I glad we did! There was a crazy amount of sightseeing packed into the day so I was happy that what we needed to get done was completed at the beginning of the day.
We were off! Kartikey picked us up in a very clean BMW for the tour. He immediately starts to point out landmarks as we leave Waikiki Beach and head for the North Shore. The first stop is at the Dole Plantation. There, you can get out and explore at your leisure. There’s a gift shop where you can get Dole Whip, pineapple soap, pick oysters for pearls, explore a maze, and many other exciting activities.
The next stop was to visit Haleiwa Historical Village and try World Famous Matsumoto Shave Ice. So yeah, that’s Japanese Shave Ice in Hawaii. We didn’t get too crazy with our flavor combinations though there were some interesting topping choices. One of them was a type of bean. It was sweet and cold. And popular. We tried it, just not on our shave ice…lol. Another interesting topping was sweetened condensed milk. We went with green apple, papaya, and banana. I liked banana the best. We all liked papaya the least.
From there, we headed on over to Laniakea Beach in hopes of seeing sea turtles. There weren’t any on the beach that day but we weren’t too disappointed since we saw sea turtles on the Big Island. Next it’s on to the Waemia Falls and Beach where you can get out and explore if you’d like. Along the way is a stop at the World Famous Giovanni’s Shrimp at Kahuku. It’s pretty popular so be prepared to wait in line a while. There are stops at roadside fruit stands, artist booths, breathtaking views and beaches, religious sites, and a breathtaking view from the top of Honolulu to Waikiki Beach after dark!
I highly recommend this tour at the start of your vacation to Oahu and then you can then return to any of the spots that were introduced during the tour. Bring your best camera as you’ll need it to capture the pure breathtaking beauty of many of the places you’ll see. Sadly, my pictures do not do this place any justice. Also, be prepared to be gone most of the day. I think we were gone a total of about 12 hours! We were pooped at the end of the day but we definitely got our money’s worth! Learn more about Kartikey and his Affordable Hawaii Tours here.
Have you been on this tour? Tell me your favorite part in the comments below!
Until next time,