Ultimate Hawaii

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Ultimate Hawaii

Destination

Hawaii

Current Grades

10th-12th

length

18 Days

view dates and prices
Airports

Arrive: Kona, HI (KOA)
Depart: Kona, HI (KOA)

Surfing, snorkeling, sailing, and hiking up volcanoes—the most epic outdoor activities you can do on our Hawai’i summer program! We will explore from the top of the Big Island’s parched volcanoes down to its verdant rainforests. We’ll swim with manta rays, exotic fish, and sea turtles, and we’ll learn how to help protect Hawaii’s fragile reef ecosystems. We will work with locals and give back to their communities with various service projects aimed at learning about the region’s ecology and connecting with community members. We’ll hike to thundering waterfalls and get up close and personal with wild dolphins!

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Itinerary

DAY 1-5: SURF THE KONA COAST AND NIGHT SNORKEL WITH MANTA RAYS

You can’t visit Hawai’i without learning how to surf! Throughout our trip, we’ll have three different days of professional surf instruction on the Kona coast, back at Kahalu’u Beach Park. This area is extremely well-suited for beginner surfers: A barrier rock wall shelters the cove, keeping the waves gentle. During our time on the coast, we’ll spend the afternoons relaxing on the white sands of the nearby Hapuna Beach, regularly voted one of the best beaches in the world. One night will be dedicated to a Kona specialty: snorkeling with manta rays! These gentle rays do not have sharp teeth or tail stingers, and we’ll get to float above and with them as they feed on plankton and glide in the lit-up water below. This is sure to be a huge highlight of the trip.
Accommodation: Camping

DAY 6: SAIL THE KOHALA COAST

It’s time to harness the tradewinds for a day on the Kohala Coast. On this part of our program, we’ll learn how to sail a catamaran and cover topics like safety at sea, knot-tying, trimming sails, and more! Students love gliding atop the water they have been exploring underneath! As we sail, we’re likely to cruise alongside spinner and bottlenose dolphins and maybe even false killer whales! We’ll take snorkeling breaks, joining the sea turtles for a swim in the cool Pacific waters. The stony coral colonies here are part of a semi-contiguous system, making it one of the longest reefs in Hawai’i.

Accommodation: Camping

DAY 7-8: SNORKEL AND LEARN REEF ECOLOGY IN KAHALU’U BAY

This is a favorite among our teen adventure programs, so we’ll start this trip in Kahalu’u Bay! Here we will discuss reef ecology with our knowledgeable guides and study different types of coral and exotic fish, along with reef etiquette to help protect the fragile ecosystems in the bay. This Hawai’i summer trip will include swimming and snorkeling alongside large populations of brightly colored marine life (parrotfish, peacock bass, eels, goatfish, and more) in Kahalu’u Beach Park. The water is shallow, allowing the sunlight to reach all the way to the floor and creating incredibly abundant coral and sea-life. Hawaiian sea turtles are known to frequent the area, so keep an eye out for them!

Accommodation: Camping

DAY 9-11: HIKE TO WATERFALLS AND EXPLORE HILO

The historic town of Hilo brings many more adventures! Over two days, we’ll hike to the 80-foot-tall, 100-foot-wide Rainbow Falls, officially known as Waianuenue. On sunny days, dazzling rainbows dance around the area as the water plunges over a lava cave and into the river below. To top off our trip to Hilo, we’ll explore a lava cave system north of town!

Accommodation: Camping

DAY 12: ZIPLINE OVER UMAUMA RIVER AND EXPLORE AKAKA FALLS

You may have to pinch yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming as you zipline over 14 rushing waterfalls, suspension bridges, and treetops. We will see beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the top of Mauna Kea and a view of a 100 foot waterfall! We will also cross a 200 foot suspension bridge that will take us 100 feet over a water filled lava tube! We will come down from the exhilaration of ziplining by hiking to see a view of 422 foot Akaka Falls. We will meander through the lush rainforest filled with wild orchids, bamboo groves and draping ferns to reach this magnificent view.
Accommodation: Camping

DAY 13-14: HIKE IN HAWAI‘I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Put on your hiking shoes and get ready to explore Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, home to the famous Kilauea and Mauna Loa, for two days. Kilauea, meaning “much spreading,” is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and we’ll get up close and personal with a hike around the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater! According to Hawaiian mythology, Halemaʻumaʻu is the home to Pele, goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes. Because of Kilauea’s continuous activity, the nearby landscape is largely barren, with a few endemic species thriving. This designated International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site is always a crowd pleaser for our groups!

Accommodation: Camping

DAY 15-17: SERVICE LEARNING

Get ready to learn about Hawaiian culture, native plants and invasive species as we dive into the community service portion of our program. We’ll camp with local families on their farms, and engage in projects like rehabilitating banana and macadamia nut trees, learning more about sustainable agriculture and how the local community utilizes abundant native species in the region. In addition, we’ll also volunteer at the local market garden and food hub while learning about sustainable Hawaiian farming practices. We will participate in a vetiver class, and if time allows we’ll also work to help eradicate damaging invasive species. Students love this portion of the program to learn more about their surroundings and connect with local families that Bold Earth has long standing relationships with. We are welcomed into local’s homes and are treated like family. We are so thankful for our partners in Hawaii who are able to expose us to Hawaiian culture and teach us more about the beautiful island we spend so much time exploring!

Accommodation: Camping

DAY 18: HIKE TO GREEN SANDS BEACH

Officially known as Papakōlea Beach, Green Sand Beach is a beautiful secluded beach on the southern tip of the Big Island that we will have the pleasure of hiking to. Part of the base of Mauna Loa, the bright green olivine crystals covering the beach were formed during an eruption about 49,000 years ago. Olivine is a Hawaiian mineral found in its volcanoes’ lava. After a meadowland hike down to this geologic oddity, we’ll explore the walls around the beach and admire the gorgeous teal water.

Accommodation: Camping

*Listed above is Bold Earth’s intended itinerary for this trip. All itineraries are subject to change in order to provide the best possible program quality.

Dates and Prices

Departure 1
  • Departure Day
    06/30/24
  • Return Day
    07/17/24
  • Grade
    10–12
  • Price
    $6,088
  • Availability
    Limited
Departure 1
  • Departure Day
    07/21/24
  • Return Day
    08/07/24
  • Grade
    10–12
  • Price
    $6,088
  • Availability
    Limited
Departure Day Return Day Grade Price Availability
06/30/24
07/17/24
10–12
$6,088
limited
07/21/24
08/07/24
10–12
$6,088
limited

Accommodations & Service

Community Service: Approximately 8 Hours
  • Kona Coast: Environmental project, where we remove an invasive species from a wilderness area.
  • Hilo Ranch: Help the local elderly population with various projects in the community.
Accommodations:
  • 17 nights of camping. All campgrounds are designated campgrounds with access to bathrooms. Bold Earth will provide comfortable 3-person tents.

Activities

Community service: 8 hours

Hiking

Sailing

Surfing

Ziplining

Snorkeling

Reviews

Eleanor, student from Chicago, IL

Bold Earth is a home away from home. I have been on two trips now and although each were very different I had an amazing time on both.

Sheryl O, parent from Honolulu, HI

This is a wonderful way to help you teen learn more independents, leadership skills, communication and confidence in this amazing safe Bold Earth camp. It was the best summer my daughter has ever had and can’t wait to return next year. We have seen so much growth and confidence in her since she has returned. Thank you Bold Earth! Can’t wait for next year!

Brody, student from Trabuco Canyon, CA

Awe inspiring.

Emma, student from Hahira, GA 

I just loved my community. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to share such amazing experiences with. Bold Earth has got everything right.

Karen K, parent from Brooklyn, NY

We have been huge fans and advocates of Bold Earth for years. For our older daughter I feel the experience was life-changing and super positive. Overall, it has been great.

Belinda F, parent from Easton, MD

My son had a wonderful time in Hawaii; he saw spectacular scenery, was engaged in all dimensions, enjoyed the cohort of kids, and loved snorkeling, sailing, and all the activities.

Becky, student from Newton, MA

The coolest thing was when we went to Mauna Kea and looked at the stars in our sleeping bags. Bold Earth was an amazing experience, and I got to try things I never would have otherwise.

Carolina, student from Guadalajara, JA

This trip was very special to me, I got to step out of my comfort zone and explore some really cool places. I love the connections I made and it felt very homey.

Alexa, student from Littleton, CO

I had a lot of favorite parts: surfing, snorkeling, riding the catamaran with the dolphins, stargazing, Waimanu Valley, the lava tubes, Rainbow Falls… I enjoyed pretty much everything! It’s such a cool experience to do stuff that you can’t with your family.

JoAnn L, parent from Kennebunk, ME

Bold Earth has fabulous leaders, and this trip was in a great location where my daughter made good friends. The trip leaders handled all issues very responsibly. Alex and Casey were a ton of fun, according to Jillian. They never failed to keep Jillian entertained and were very good listeners. They were always trying new things and getting out of their comfort zones. It’s the experience of a lifetime.

Jeramie R, parent from Wichita, KS

[Bold Earth is] the ultimate experience for a teen to challenge them in a safe, positive environment, gain confidence and leadership skills, all the while living in the present moment (which is sorely lacking in our digital world), learning new skills, growing an appreciation for the environment, helping local communities, and developing deep and positive relationships.

Lilia, student from Bloomfield Hills, MI

I would describe [Bold Earth] as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can’t imagine doing such fun activities without this kind of organization. The connections you make are just so amazing and it’s one hundred percent worth it!

See our 2024 trips!