Destination: Hawaii / Kauai
Length: 17 days
Arrive / Depart: Honolulu, HI
Tuition: $4,995 – All inclusive
Ages: 13 – 16
June 16 – July 2, 2017
July 5 – July 21, 2017
July 25 – Aug 10, 2017
Travel Hawaii and Kauai
Discover Volcanoes National Park
Get SCUBA open water certified
Snorkel with manta rays
Surf Kauai’s north shore
Kayak Hanalei Bay
Hike the Na Pali coast
Habitat restoration project
HAWAII / KAUAI – 17 DAY TEEN TOURS
Over the course of our 17-day Hawaii teen tours, you will visit Volcanoes National Park, get SCUBA certified, learn how to surf, kayak down jungle rivers, night snorkel with manta rays, hike the Na Pali Coast, and volunteer on a service project with a local non profit. You’ll also camp on Hawaii’s best beaches, swim at Hanakapiai falls, explore ancient Hawaiian temples, eat a lot of Hawaiian shave ice, and so much more! No experience required.
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
The Kilauea Iki Trail starts on the crater’s rim and descends 400 feet through rain forest, with native birds in the canopy, to the crater floor. Hike across the still-steaming crater, passing lava trees and lava tubes along the way, then spend the evening watching molten lava flow into the ocean!
PADI OPEN WATER SCUBA CERTIFICATION
Get PADI open water SCUBA certified on our teen tour! 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 underwater is an incredible experience and opens up a whole new world with manta rays, sea turtles, frogfish, and so much MORE!
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the world’s largest diver training organization. This certification is valid all over the world. Once certified, you’re certified for life!
Already certified? Awesome! You’ll go on boat dives with the other certified divers for the first two days, then we will all dive together.
MANTA RAY NIGHT SNORKEL
A late afternoon boat ride along the Kona coast takes you to the Manta Ray 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 a an unforgettable experience.
SEA KAYAK HANALEI BAY
Kayak down the Hanalei River and into Hanalei bay. (Once you have your paddling technique down, we’ll test your balance with some fun kayak challenges.) Later, kayak to a secluded white sand beach and take some time to snorkel and swim. On the paddle back, we’ll surf some waves from our kayaks.
SURF KAUAI’S NORTH SHORE
Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing, so there’s no better place to take some surf lessons and try your hand at the “sport of kings.” Our professional surf instructors teach ocean safety, technique, and surf communication. After 2 days of surfing YOU WILL be riding waves.
HIKE THE NAPALI COAST
Rated one of the top 15 hikes in the world. We will hike along the world renowned NaPali coast. This area is known for its dramatic landscape, with cliffs up to 3,000-feet tall, lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls, and sea caves below. We 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.
As part of our commitment to responsible travel, Wild Traveler leaders and teens volunteer with a local non-profit, where we harvest taro in the lo’i (taro ponds) and learn how to prepare the traditional Hawaiian staple, poi. Participants also help with a watershed restoration project that The Wild Traveler has supported since 2010. We plant native trees, such as the endangered Koa, and remove invasive plant species throughout the watershed. During our service project we learn about Hawaiian culture and the history of the area. By the end of your teen tour you will have accumulated 8 hours of satisfying community service!
DAY TO DAY TEEN TOURS ITINERARY
Our Hawaii teen tours begin at Honolulu International Airport, where trip leaders greet you right off the plane. We then take a quick 30-minute flight to The Big Island where our summer adventure officially begins. We pack the van, head to a nearby beachside campground, and enjoy our first dinner together as a group. We 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 load the van and drive to Volcanoes National Park. Along the way we stop at The Wild Traveler’s favorite Big Island beach park for lunch and a swim in Hawaii’s crystal clear waters. Once at Volcanoes National Park, we get oriented at the visitor center, explore the famous Thurston Lava Tube, and get an awesome view of the active Kilauea Volcano. The following day, we take an all-day hike across the Kilauea Iki Crater, walking through tropical rain forests and across barren lava fields, passing steam vents along the way. The landscape at Volcanoes National Park is surreal! In the evening we’ll have a chance to witness (from a safe distance) the creation of land as lava flows into the ocean.
Next, our teen adventure tour takes us to the historic town of Hilo for an authentic taste of The Big Island. We’ll have a chance to walk through the farmers’ market, bursting with freshly picked tropical fruits (dragon fruit, lychee, bread fruit, noni, durien, and more!) Have an adventurous palate? You’ll have a chance to try them all! After exploring Hilo we stop at some of Hawaii’s most important cultural landmarks, such as the Naha Stone, Pu’kohola Heiau (an ancient Hawaiian temple), and Puuhonua O Honaunau – Hawaii’s best-preserved City of Refuge. We stop along the way to visit Akaka Falls and to swim at beautiful Hapuna Beach. We set up camp at our beachside campground in time for a sunset dinner, and close the day with a SCUBA study session before the start of our SCUBA course tomorrow.
We spend the first two days of SCUBA instruction split between the classroom and the dive pool. Our SCUBA instructors are among the best on the islands and work with you until you are comfortable with the necessary skills. We spend our next two days in the ocean, logging two shore dives (entering the ocean from the shore) and two boat dives (entering the ocean from a boat). While earning SCUBA certification you’ll experience all of Hawaii’s underwater creatures, including sea turtles, frogfish, sea cucumbers, moray eels, and octopi. On the last day of the certification course we get 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. We take a sunset boat ride along the Kona coast to the 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. It is a safe and truly unforgettable experience.
In the afternoon we say good-bye to The Big Island and make our way to the airport for a 45-minute flight to Kauai. Once in Kauai, we 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 surfed for centuries before it caught on around the world. For two days, we take surf lessons from our beachside campsite. Before we enter the water, professional surf instructors teach us about ocean safety, surf technique, and surf communication. After three days, you will have skills to read the ocean and consistently catch beginner/ intermediate waves.
After our first day of surfing you have a chance to do your laundry, call home, and shop for group meals. The following two afternoons, we also learn about Kauai’s natural and human history, essential information for our service project.
We trade in our surfboards for kayaks. After a quick lesson, we kayak down Hanalei’s jungle river and out into picturesque Hanalei Bay. For lunch we kayak to a secluded white sand beach where you can choose to snorkel, swim, or just relax. On the way back, you might try surfing some waves from your kayak.
Today we have our free day. We’ll brainstorm activities as a group and choose what we do for the day. Some options include beach time with boogie boarding in Hanalei Bay, shopping around Kauai’s historic towns, hiking Waimea Canyon (also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), playing Spikeball, making sushi, etc. We can do just about anything.
Plan on an early start to hike 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, lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls, and sea caves below. We 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. We spend the evening around a campfire with music, games, and stories.
We volunteer with the local non-profit, harvesting taro in the lo’i (taro ponds), and helping out with habitat restoration by planting native trees, such as the endangered Koa, along the hillside. After a hard, dirty, and satisfying day’s worth of work, we get cleaned up and take one last trip into town for a final banquet at a restaurant chosen by the group. During dinner we hand out awards, reminisce about our teen adventure tour experience, and laugh about the stories we created over the course of the trip. Back at camp, we clean up our group gear and prepare for an early departure in the morning. The rest of the evening will be spent hanging out around the campfire with new friends.
In the morning we pack up camp and head to the airport for an inter-island flight to Honolulu. Once in Honolulu be sure to exchange contact information with new friends before your leaders help you check in for your flight home. With awesome new experiences, unforgettable memories, and lasting friendships, you know that you were part of a unique experience that will last a lifetime.
Hawaii / Kauai Summer Teen Tours
Getting your gear together (borrowing/renting/buying) is a fun and exciting time. All of the items listed below are important and will be used during our adventure tour, so please pack EVERYTHING on the list. With that in mind, please resist bringing additional items, because space is limited. Everything must fit in your large duffel bag and your daypack. If you have any questions about gear or clothing, email or call: We can help!
- 1 large duffel bag or large backpack
- 1 day pack
- 1 sleeping pad
- 1 sleeping bag (rated 40 to 55 degrees F)
With Hawaii’s average temperature in the upper 70’s The Wild Traveler recommends a 40 – 55 degree Fahrenheit rated mummy style sleeping bag. Synthetic bags tend to be a little bulkier whereas goose down bag will pack down small – great when you have a limited amount of space. Either works well.
- 1 compression stuff sack (medium or large)
- 1 mask and snorkel
The Wild Traveler recommends a soft silicone mask, which will better conform to your face and prevent unwanted leakage. There are a variety of snorkels available with different ways of keeping water out. Our team prefers a basic snorkel with a purge valve. Click on the appropriate link for more info on masks or snorkels.
- 1 breathable, waterproof rain jacket
- 3 pair shorts
- 5-7 t-shirts
- 5-7 pair underwear
- 5 sports bras
- 1 pair athletic shoes
- 1 pair hiking sandal – must have heal strap (eg. Tevas, Chacos, etc)
- 1 pair flip flops
- 2-3 pair jeans or other cotton pants
- 4 pair socks
- 2 swimsuits
- 1 light jacket/ fleece/ sweatshirt
- 2 bandanas
- 2 one liter water bottles
- 2 large tubes sunscreen (SPF 25 minimum)
- 1 pair sunglasses – dark lens, UVA/UVB protected
- 1 sunglass strap (eg. Croakies, Chums)
- 1 toiletry set (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene items)
- 1 bath towel
- 1 wash cloth
- 1 laundry bag
- 1 small insect repellent
- 1 journal w/ pens
- 1 bowl
- 1 hot/ cold cup
- 1 fork, spoon, knife (Lexan is best)
- 1 headlamp w/ extra batteries
- 1 large brimmed hat/ baseball hat to block sun
- 1 small tarp (approx 4 x 7 )
- 4 trash bags
- 5 zip-lock bags (1 gallon)
- 2-3 waterproof cameras
- 1 watch
- 1 camp pillow
- 1 camp chair
- 1 set stationary, envelopes, stamps
- 1 paperback
- 1 musical instrument
COMMON QUESTIONS – TEEN TOURS
Find out what to expect when you adventure with The Wild Traveler’s Hawaii / Kauai teen tours. Below are some of the more commonly asked questions regarding different aspects of our teen adventure tours. Have additional questions? Give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.
WHERE DO WE SLEEP DURING THE TEEN TOURS?
You sleep in a tent each night on our teen tours. The group stays in national parks, county parks, and private beachside campgrounds. You will be with one or two other participants in a 3-person tent, with the option each night to sleep out 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 amazingly beautiful places – definitely a highlight of each trip. All campgrounds have full bathrooms with flush toilets, showers, sinks, running water, etc.
WHEN WILL I SHOWER?
You have access to showers on all but one full day of our teen tours. All of our beachside campgrounds have running water, full bathrooms and showers available. Will you want to shower every day? Probably not, but you can if you want to! You’ll be in the ocean and freshwater pools often throughout your trip.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING ON OUR TEEN TOURS?
The Wild Traveler provides all of your gear for our teen tours except for a backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and mask and snorkel. Check out the gear and clothing list specific to your trip here. Please pack only the items on the list. Everything must fit into your backpack or duffle and daypack. Space is limited. Can’t find something on our pack list? Let us know and we can bring an extra one for you to borrow.
WILL I BE ABLE TO CALL FAMILY DURING THE TEEN TOURS?
Yes. You have a chance to call your family as soon as you meet your Wild Traveler teen tour trip leaders at the arrival airport, again midway through your trip, and finally on departure day. You can also send and receive mail through the United States Postal Service throughout your trip. Your family can follow your adventure as it happens on our online travel log, updated every 2 to 3 days!
HOW IS THE FOOD?
Our food is great! Under the guidance of your leaders, cook groups made up of 3 or 4 participants choose meals from the Wild Traveler Cookbook or cook up a favorite recipe from home. You and your cook group shop 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.
HOW DO WE TRAVEL?
During the teen tour you will ride in mini vans with luggage racks. We consider driving the most dangerous tour activity, and therefore keep road time to a minimum. The Wild Traveler leaders have clean driving records and experience driving passenger vans. We also take three Hawaiian Airlines inter-island flights (ranging from 30 to 45 minutes each) together as a group. Traveling together is often a big highlight!
WILL I MAKE FRIENDS?
Teens leave our teen tours with some of the strongest friendships ever. Living in close quarters with fun, like minded individuals, while sharing the experience of a lifetime – Not only will you make new friends – these friends will last.
WHAT WILL GROUPS BE LIKE?
Our teen tours bring together 8-12 enthusiastic, positive, fun individuals (like yourself) ready for the experience of a lifetime. They come from all over the country, and other parts of the world as well. Our groups are created with attention to age and gender balance, in order to ensure the best possible individual and group experience. Your group is led by two or three experienced and knowledgeable Wild Travelers. (Learn more about us under the tab “our leaders“)
WHAT WILL OUR DAYS BE LIKE?
Each day of our teen tours are fully scheduled with a variety of fun and adventurous activities, including kayaking, hiking, SCUBA diving, community service projects, surfing, AND MORE. Check out the Hawaii trip page for trip highlights and a day-to-day itinerary.
Still have questions? Let us know!
THE WILD TRAVELER REVIEWS
Check out our Wild Traveler’s trip reviews. After every trip, parents fill out our end of trip feedback forms. These are real answers from real parents. Do you want to hear more? You are welcome to speak directly to parents who sent their kids with us last summer. Just ask! We think you’ll be impressed with what you hear.
WHAT DID YOUR CHILD TAKE AWAY FROM THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH US?
“Our daughter gained more confidence within herself to socialize and work with others in her group.”
Laura – Mother – New York, NY
“Independence and a real sense of accomplishment. He loved the scuba diving, and also hiking volcanoes. And of course, the warm water!”
“Freedom!! He said that he finally felt like he’d gotten a taste of being on his own. A life without boredom!”
Marisa – Mother – Los Angeles, CA
Wendy – Mother – Rye, NY
“Franny has much more independence after this trip. Before the trip she was worried about how the other kids were going to be, but she loved all of them and didn’t want to say goodbye.”
Michelle – Mother – Signal Mountain, TN
Nan – Mother – Ventura, CA
“Scuba Certification! Knowledge and appreciation of camping. This was her first time flying without us so that was very big deal!”
Suzanne – Mother – Port Washington, NY
“He made new friends and saw many things he has never seen in his life.”
Andrea – Mother – Los Angeles, CA
“He feels like he has a lot more independence and wants to be more active.”
Nathaniel – Father – Brighton, MI
“Lexey feels very proud and accomplished from completing the scuba certification.”
Shanon – Mother – Anchorage, AK
“She liked challenging herself and learning new activities. She also enjoyed meeting new friends from around the country. Ellie really liked the trip and it was a great experience for her.”
Diane – Mother – New York, NY
WHAT DO YOU FEEL WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CHILD’S EXPERIENCE?
“The scuba diving and surfing were the most fun when we asked. Then it was the beautiful views and atmosphere of the whole experience.”
“It is so hard to say! She loved it all! One day I ask her her favorite part and she says Volcanoes National Park, the next she says scuba, the next surfing.”
“Franny always talks about how amazing the Manta Ray night snorkel was. I feel that was her favorite part.”
“Scuba, making new friends, hiking, and surfing.”
“The bonding and the shared group experience. Nice small groups!. Fulfilling her desire to go to Hawaii and to experience it as an insider. She loved the scuba and surfing!”
“He loved the diving, the lava, and the people.”
“The diving – totally. The preparation, training, and actual diving was the highlight. Second place was the hiking.”
“She made great new friends and had an awesome adventure! She learned that she can navigate through an airport on her own. She learned how to become a team with a bunch of people that she had never met before.”
“She gained some new skills and happy memories”
HOW WAS THE WILD TRAVELER AT PREPARING YOU AND YOUR CHILD FOR OUR PROGRAM?
“We were very prepared for the experience that was about to come our way.”
“Preparing was easier than we thought because the list was very clear of what we needed.”
“Responses were quick and thorough.”
“Fantastic! Ryan was so helpful and always got back to me immediately with answers to my questions. The packing list was completely perfect- nothing was unused.”
“Everything was very well laid on on the web site!”
“Great, we would do it again in a minute!”
“Great. All my questions were answered.”
“Yes, every questions and made recommendations for equipment to be prepared for the trip.”
“Great, anytime I would call or email I would promptly get a reply!”
HOW WAS THE WILD TRAVELER AT ADDRESSING QUESTIONS BEFORE AND DURING OUR PROGRAM?
“I could not have been happier with the info I needed to make me feel at ease.”
“Ryan did a great job preparing us for the trip and all the information provided on the website was very helpful.”
“Ryan was very responsive to answering my questions and concerns through out the prep and throughout the trip.”
“They always answered our questions respectfully and quickly.”
“My daughter and I were prepared.”
“Ryan was fantastic, kept me at ease from day one all the way through.”
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF OUR TRAVEL JOURNAL?
“I looked forward to it and was very thankful it was in place. As a parent it made me feel that my child was safe and in good hands. I loved to actually see what they were doing.”
“I checked it often and really enjoyed seeing the photos and hearing about the days!”
“Fun! Loved it, kept me feeling good about it all, especially being so far away.”
“Awesome! I felt like I knew what was going on all of the time! The trip log was so helpful! I must have checked it five times a day just waiting for new updates”
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE WILD TRAVELER OVER ANOTHER OUTDOOR COMPANY?
“I like the small group size, the lack of access to tech, the camping and cooking aspects, in addition to the fabulous locations and site that you visit.”
“Great value as well as the variety of activities. Most of the places I looked had a scuba trip, or a hiking trip, or a community service trip. Your trip was the only one that had a great mix of different activities.”
“The Wild Traveler had the option of scuba diving which is what Franny really wanted to do. Also we had some friends do this trip and they loved it.”
“The program sounded great and very comprehensive. Ellie got to do a number of new activities like surfing, camping and scuba. She also was able to experience the beauty and natural wonders of Hawaii.”
“Looked like fun, Ryan was reassuring and I trust him.”
“The small group and personal attention.”
“You offered the best combination of experiences, and reference checks with past customers were very reassuring.”
“We really liked the choices of activities!”
“After I spoke with Ryan I was convinced the program was going to be fun and safe!”
“Best location and program.”
ANY OTHER COMMENTS?
“You have exceeded our expectations! Thank you for taking care of our daughter and sharing such a wonderful time with her.”
“The trip was everything I hoped it would be for him.”
“I am so happy with the whole trip, Anna had the most awesome time, she lights up when she shares her experiences, its has given her so much confidence, and she loved all the different aspects of the trip, from scuba diving, surfing, hiking to beautiful waterfalls, seeing lava light up the night sky, camping on awesome beaches, Ryan did an awesome job choosing many great places to visit and stay!”
“It was a fantastic experience!”
“You guys did an excellent job!”
“Just keep doing what you are doing! It was a great trip. Aspen was happy to be home for about a day. Then she wanted to go back! 🙂 ”
“Thank you again for taking such good care of Cooper and for showing him how fantastic the big wide world can be. Ryan, Cooper hasn’t stopped talking about how fun you and Erinna were. Thank you.”
Read The Wild Traveler reviews. Would you like to get more reviews? Give us a call and we can put you in contact with parents from all over the country (and other parts of the world) who have sent their children on one of our teen tours! Click to contact us.
IT’S ALL INCLUDED
3 inter-island flights
2 experienced Wild Traveler trip leaders 24 hour supervision
Group gear (tents, cooking equipment, etc)
National Park entrance fee
All meals snacks
SCUBA Open Water Certification
All activities, equipment (surf boards, kayak, SCUBA gear, etc)