Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Top 5 Must-Do Activities in Hawaii USA

Part of the dream destinations list among all of us would have Paris, Venice, or maybe something nearer like Japan or Hong Kong. Hawaii may or may not be part of it but ever since we've visited that island in the pacific, we immediately fell in love with it.

Believe it or not, It's a place where I actually wanted to live after my first visit there a couple of years back. In my mind, it was not part of the top ten lists of must visits. Most of us would dream of going to Paris, London, Iceland, New Zealand, but surprisingly, Hawaii is one of the top of mind destinations for honeymooners.

Unlike Venice, another honeymoon destination, Hawaii is not all glitz and glamour. To describe it in a few words, we can say that it's a perfect little rock in the middle of nowhere. Located 3,200 kilometers south of the US, it has 8 wonderful islands. Of which, we have visited 4. Our itinerary brought us to Oahu and made that our home base. We flew to the Big Island and other islands from Oahu. Here are 5 must-do activities when in Hawaii.

1) Helicopter ride over the volcanoes
Flying Hawaiian airlines from Oahu, we landed at Hilo International Airport (ITO) on a foggy morning. We were scheduled to fly around 9am and after our briefing, the staff informed us that we cannot fly due to heavy fog and rain. Our spirits were dampened by the rain (no pun intended), but we just thought of our safety instead. Apparently, the 930am flight were able to go ahead because the weather improved. Anyway, I still included this as part of the must-do activities because it really is a must-do after checking some video footage in Youtube. It was a so near yet so far experience for us because we finished briefing and dressing up and all but, alas, such is life.

Check out the video below and let us experience the helicopter tour via the video:
(Video footage not mine. Copyright of the owner/ uploader)

Approximate cost: $589 USD per pax

2) Shark cage diving
I first thought that the only place I could experience shark cage diving is in South Africa. I was surprised that it was included in our itinerary in Hawaii! But, don't get your hopes up just yet. On the morning of our shark cage diving schedule, we woke up very early. It was December 25 or 25, I think. Sadly, it was also cancelled due to rough seas. Tough luck! Anyway, it might just mean I have to visit South Africa for it. Here's a video of what to expect when going shark cage diving in Hawaii.

(Video footage not mine. Copyright of the owner/ uploader)

Approximate cost: $150 USD per pax

3) Pearl Harbor tour
If you are a history buff or a guy fond of toys for the big boys, like guns, warships, subs, and more, this is a place to visit. Well, regardless, going to Hawaii, specially when you are in Oahu elicits a visit to the Pearl Harbour Museum. But, let me tell you in advance. This visit is not a stroll in the park. It requires some mid-level experience strategizing. Why? A LOT of people visit this place and tickets go out fast. Apparently, this time, we weren't cancelled and we got the best guide to be with us. Her name was Kanoe. She was assigned to us when we booked a tour via the tour agency, Discover Hawaii. This is not a sponsored post. We got all our Hawaii tours from them and Kanoe was one of the best. In fact, all their guides were excellent. It was just Kanoe knows a lot of tricks that made our Pearl Harbor tour smooth.

Inside the museum, you can expect the usual film watching, displays of replica items used in the world war and even visiting the historical memorial site. The highlight for me was a visit to the UU Missouri! We were able to go in, out and around the mighty warship. Oh, the line to buy snacks outside the warship can be loooong.

Here's what you can see inside the warship:

(Video footage not mine. Copyright of the owner/ uploader)
Approximate cost: $72 USD per pax for the Pearl Harbor Passport (All sites)

4) Tour around Hana
Hana is a beautiful island located in the county of Maui. It is one of the most isolated communities in the state of Hawaii. And I'm not sure but this might be the place where the term "Hana Banana" originated. Yes, it's a must to have a stop at the half way to Hana and buy their freshly baked banana bread. It costs $6 if I remember correctly.

The tour takes you around the island to experience nature and more. Passing through thrilling twists and turns through the rain forest to stepping on the black sand beaches of Hawaii. It's really a must to get a feel of Hawaiian countryside.


Approximate cost: $435 USD per pax. Includes inter-island airfare because we flew from Honolulu.

5) Swim with the dolphins
Another super fun experience was the swim with the dolphins. It wasn't the best weather as it was freezing cold but the wet suite (they provide rental for $10) helped a lot. To date, I still follow their Instagram account and freshly reminisce on my experience with them a few years back. The best part of this tour is that it isn't staged. Like any nature tours, there was no assurance of dolphin sightings.

Prior to jumping in the freezing water, we were briefed and snacks were offered as well. Their cheese burger was something to die for. It was literally mouth watering. Perfectly paired with some spicy Hawaiian chips, it was enough to make me forget I was sea sick. Although a couple of us really had to deal with the choppy seas by having a bucket in front of some of us, thank God it was all alright! Here's a video I took (finally, my own footage) taken from my instagram account.

A post shared by Alvin (@aqc) on

Yea! That's the best I can do that time. We had a lot of encounters that day with the dolphins and it was a memorable trip. It's a must-do when in Hawaii!
More info: https://secure.andyoucreations.com/booking/dolphin

Approximate cost: $156 USD per pax

As I mentioned, Hawaii is not all glitz and glamour when comparing it to another honeymoon destination, Venice. But it is not at all cheap. If there is one take away from our trip, it's that unlike other honeymoon destinations, Hawaii is a place where you would want to be back after you have your own kids already. They would also love it there!

'Til next time, Hawaii! Mahalo!

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