Hawaii: Circling The Big Island
8 Day Inn Tour
There is no better way to explore the Big Island of Hawaii than by bicycle. Experience Hawaii’s myriad of different ecosystems first hand: from the dry, sunny coast of Kona, to the barren moonscape of Kilauea Caldera, to the lush rainforests of Hilo. As we circumnavigate the entire island, you’ll see black sand beaches and white sand beaches, palm trees, cacti and wild orchids. We’ll ride by stunning waterfalls, cattle ranches and hedges of colorful bougainvillea and poinsettias. It is arguably one of our most beautiful tours.
Long rolling hills and a couple optional long climbs. Moderate to advanced cycling level.
7 nights lodging, 5 breakfasts, 1 picnic lunch, 5 dinners, snacks, detailed cue sheets, van support & trained guides.
Fly into and out of the Kona, HI airport. Upon your arrival at the airport, take a taxi to our starting location.
"I also wanted to thank WomanTours for the amazing Hawaii tour. Cy and Sid were standout guides as usual and had their fair share of challenges but dealt with it with grace and patience. Thank you for the great route, accommodations and food available to us. I already want to prebook for next year on the beginner ride!"
DAY 1: We meet in Kona for an orientation at 1:00pm, bike pick-up, fitting and assembly at 2:00pm and then dinner. In the Hawaiian language, “kona” means leeward or dry side of the island. You may know it best for being the superb microclimate for growing some of the best coffee in the world. It should be sunny, warm and dry all day.
DAY 2: Today’s ride begins from the Kona Coast as we ascend into the hills of brightly colored bougainvillea, papaya and monkeypod trees. Then it’s back down to the ocean and the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau (“place of refuge”) National Historic Park, for a picnic lunch and optional snorkeling. If you’ve never snorkeled before, this is an easy place to learn. You can float and watch beautiful multi-colored fish swimming below you along the vibrant coral. Then it’s back on our bikes for a gradual ascent to the town of Captain Cook and our authentically Hawaiian Manago Hotel high above the ocean. 35 miles.
DAY 3: We begin the day with rolling hills along the spectacular coast of Ka’u and the southernmost point of the U.S. The van awaits us at the black sand beach of Punalu’u. Black sand is rare and caused from volcanic lava flowing into the ocean. Look for the sea turtles that love to swim and sunbathe on this beach. The van will take us up to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or you may choose to attempt the gradual 4,000’ climb to the top for a real challenge. 53 or 85 miles.
DAY 4: Today we explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with a fascinating 4-mile hike through the surrounding lush rainforest and then across the barren moonscape of the crater. We’ll walk through the Thurston Lava Tube and by vents spewing volcanic gases. Look for the nene, Hawaii’s state bird and an endangered species. Evolved from the Canada goose, its smaller feet are better equipped to walk on rocky lava flows, and it has learned to survive on moisture from fog and dew.
At sunset, we will drive down the Chain of Craters Road to try to get an up-close look at a live volcano. If the lava isn’t flowing, then we’ll check out the petroglyphs at Pu’uloa. The fascinating images in the hardened lava have been geologically dated back to the year 1200. 0 miles.
DAY 5: We’ll get on our bikes again this morning to circle the rim of Kilauea Caldera with close-up views of the Hale’ Maumau Crater. Take the time to stop at the volcano museum to learn more of this fascinating geological wonder. Then we’ll begin a glorious descent down to Hilo on the coast. You can break up the quick ride with stops along the way at a macadamia nut factory, an orchid garden, and to see the work of a wood carver craftsman. We are now on the windward or wet side of the island. If it isn’t sprinkling this evening, it likely will be tomorrow. 43 miles.
DAY 6: Today’s beautiful ride is along the wild, lush rainforest coast with lava-rock beaches, brilliantly colored flowers and fragrant guava trees. Cycling inland, we will follow the lightly trafficked Mamalohoa Highway through forests and pastures dotted with cattle and horses. Much of the land is part of the Parker Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the country and home to the paniolo, the Hawaiian cowboy. 25 - 58 miles.
DAY 7: As we pedal our way along the ridge of the Kohala Mountains, we will enjoy magnificent views of the island and sea before beginning the descent back to the warm, dry Kohala Coast. Along the route we'll stop in the quaint town of Hawi for a coffee or some shopping. We’ll overnight at an elegant five-star resort, where the beautiful white sand beaches were made for body surfing. We’ll celebrate our circular tour of the island at tonight's dinner. 46 miles.
DAY 8: We will shuttle you back to the Kona Keahole Airport by 11:00am, or you can spend the day at the resort on your own. Aloha!