This past weekend we embarked on one of the craziest adventures while fulfilling some of our bucket list ticks all thanks to Circle Island Tour in 24. The tour is the ONLY tour that can give you a 24 hour experience of all that is Oahu; if you are extreme enough that is. Yes, literally, a 24 hour non-stop activity, adrenaline infused, guided tour by founder, Dan. THE man! Fortunately for us, we headed off on an 8 hour tour. I can only imagine how epic a 24 hour tour is because we were completely exhausted and it wasn’t even half a day worth of activities! Maybe with enough caffeine and pre-workout drinks we’d be able to accomplish that 24 hour tour…one day (we can’t wait to experience this!)
An overlooked aspect of exploring foreign regions is getting around – Dan eliminates that AND the anxiety of planning the adventure. Dan picked us up at our home (or any location the customer is comfortable to meet) so there was no worry of packing our vehicle or obtaining directions while on the go. Although we were given a list of potential activities for the day, it was entirely customizable. If you are a visitor, or even a local, and have never been to a certain spot but have always wanted to go, I can guarantee you that Dan has been there and is more than willing to show you. Matter of fact, he can probably outwit most locals with hikes and ancient Hawaiian knowledge. He is very cooperative and willing to go out of the way to what the customer desires. That being said, our engagements were hiking and kayaking new places with a splash of History (which Reid loves!).
Our first stop was in Nu’uanu Valley in town-side. Here, we walked along a very simple trail that within five minutes we were at this site, Kapena Falls. It was a strange feeling being surrounded by forest, boulders, and a waterfall in the middle of the city…right above this little ridge (behind the waterfall) is the Pali Highway.
For once, instead of a waterfall, this was our goal! I didn’t know Oahu had petroglyphs this preserved. According to Hawaiian legend, a dog roamed the area who scared people off (read: demon dog haunting the area for years?). Other ancient carvings include men with spears and more dogs, as they were a huge part of ancient Hawaiians way of life. There are approximately a dozen or more petroglyphs throughout the area, all of which are surrounded with rebar to safeguard the artwork – Please Kokua and do not cross the rebars, it’s to preserve an ancient culture.
After visiting the petroglyphs, we headed to a Heiau (Hawaiian Temple). The Ulupo Heiau is a State Historic Site and is the tallest Heiau on Oahu. Again, call me ignorant but, I had no idea such things existed on our home island of Oahu. Dan really knew his stuff because we didn’t need any descriptive plank to gather information of the area – The Heiau was believed to have been of agricultural importance as the surrounding landscape is now marsh lands but evidence shows the bay extended far into Kapaa/Kailua valley hundreds of years ago.
The freshest of fresh! Dan cut open a coconut for the all exclusive, true native, experience! It tasted great – very sweet!
After getting our history game on, we commenced the adventure portion – the hikes! The first hike was Crouching Lion (or crouching dog according to Hawaiian legend, which makes more sense). This hike was on our bucket list for quite a while and I’m glad to say we can check this one off. We will be back for sure! Dan continuously shares tips and historical knowledge throughout the entire hike which is a great tactic to forget the pain your body may be feeling!
What a great hike recommendation by Dan! It was entirely worth it. The views were marvelous.
After a strenuous hike we had to eat! Now, there’s a difference between local food and Hawaiian food but I won’t get too detailed about that in this post. However, if you are looking for HAWAIIAN FOOD specifically, Waiahole Poi Factory is the place to go. This was our first time eating legit Hawaiian food from a restaurant and we have to admit, it’s the best we’ve tasted so far.
Kalua Pork on the left and haupia to the right. The texture and the taste of this haupia is literally the best we have ever tasted. Also, don’t forget to order their Kulolo with ice cream. You will not regret it! (we went back a week after for some more!)
Stomachs filled, sunscreen on, and paddle ready – we were prepared for our final stop. This was one of the coolest and fulfilling experiences to behold. For months, we have plotted, planned, and canceled due to weather or other abrupt appointments for far too long. Thanks to Dan, he helped us get there, no ‘ands’, ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’.
It was a lot quicker and easier than paddling to the Mokulua islands and maybe since it was our first time there, it was a lot more fun to do another hike on this little habitat. It was serene to be the only ones on top of this island, as if we were the only ones that dared to venture into the ocean. It was humbling and fulfilling.
Storm clouds began to roll in over Kualoa Ranch, so we called the day little earlier than expected. There is still a beach that is yet to be set foot on by us! Although to be perfectly honest, I was completely gassed after the day’s activities. I have to say, Dan is completely capable of taking care of you; he never seems to tire. He also helped carry our belongings while hiking which he didn’t have to; he volunteered. There’s not enough great things to be said about this tour.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from: born and raised here or first time visitor, Dan will tell you something you didn’t know and if he doesn’t have an answer to your question, he’ll find out for you without making up a bulls**t answer. Our preferred tour package was an onslaught to our bodies but if you just want a driving tour, Dan can do that too! To be able to customize tours/experiences around your capabilities is very unique. It is a very intimate tour and the Aloha Spirit thrives in Circle Island Tour in 24.
Dan: Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts. It was truly a wonderful experience and very well informed – It is a memory that will last forever – Thank you!
For more information on Circle Island Tour in 24 visit here.
“I don’t want an uneventful and safe life, I prefer an adventurous one.”
– Isabel Allende