Oahu Ultimate Circle Island Tour

Pickup: 7:30 - 8:15 am

Duration: 8-10 hours

8 max (shared tour)

Fitness: Easy

Highlights
  • Tour of Oahu’s historical, natural, and cultural sites with knowledgeable local guide
  • Scenic drive up the center of the island, along the North Shore, and down the eastern coast
  • Highlights include pineapple, coffee, & macadamia nut farms, beaches, mountains, and more
  • Includes hot lunch, tastings, all admission fees, and door-to-door transport
  • Small group tour of 8 max (often less), or private tour

Overview

Experience the highlights of Oahu on a full day “circle island” tour with a knowledgeable and fun local guide in a small group setting.

In newer premium vehicles, you will be picked up from your lodging and head up into the hills above Honolulu to the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater to where over 53,000 veterans were laid to rest from the many major wars of the 20th century. Then you'll head up through the middle of the island, stopping first at Green World Coffee Farm (coffee and chocolate tastings), then at Dole Pineapple Plantation (pineapple whip treat, cutting & tasting demonstration, and short gardens tour).

Next you'll visit multiple beaches on the North Shore, renowned not just for their white sand and turquoise water but also as the legendary surf capital of the world, especially in the winter with monster waves attracting surfers and spectators from afar. Stops include famous Sunset Beach and Haleiwa Beach, where turtle sightings are common.

A cooked-to-order hot lunch will be served from a popular food truck in quaint historical Haleiwa Town, where you can also check out some shops.

The tour will then take you for a short stop at historical Waimea Valley, as well as a cultural site on a cliff overlooking beautiful Waimea Bay.

You'll stop at a tropical fruit stand, where you will be treated to deep fried bananas and have the opportunity to pick up other local fruit or banana bread.

The tour will make its way down the eastern shore (“windward side”) with stunning coastal views on one side (including of Chinaman’s Hat) and scenic farms and mountains on the other. You will have the opportunity to enjoy macadamia nut tastings (and nut cracking) at a farm, and there will be many opportunities to stop to take pictures.

Against the backdrop of the majestic Ko’olau mountains, you’ll visit the Valley of the Temples including a replica of a 1,000 year old Buddhist temple in Japan, where you'll stroll the peaceful grounds, feed the koi fish, and strike the massive bell with a hanging log.

As you cross through the mountains, you’ll stop for a climactic view of the eastern coast and offshore islands at Pali Lookout. Before the tour concludes, you'll get a short driving tour of some of the famous sites of Honolulu, including historical palaces and famous museums.


TravelShack's Choice

WHY WE RECOMMEND THIS OPTION OVER OTHERS

  • For shared tour, smaller group (8 or less, whereas others are often more than 25) means more personalized attention from guide, more customization to your interests, better group camaraderie, less time waiting around for everyone to get on and off van, more time for stops, and no one being left behind (one major tour shuttle leaves people weekly!)
  • Includes some off-the-beaten-path stops/areas
  • No wasted stops at random souvenir shops to get you to purchase things (common with some others); there are shopping opportunities, but they are all unique on their own without any pressure to purchase

Key Details
Traveler Reviews

TravelShack Customer rating:

5 out of 5 stars

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Guidebook Reviews

Lonely Planet guidebook:

Oahu in 1 Day: Best Driving is Circle Island Tour.

Fodor's guidebook:

Guided tours on Oahu are convenient; you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot or getting admission tickets.

Byodo-in Temple: Fodor’s Choice. Peaceful surroundings set dramatically against the sheer, green cliffs.

Oahu Revealed guidebook:

Punchbowl Cemetery is an immensely moving place, guaranteed to put a lump in your throat.

Valley of the Temples: A Real Gem; the Byodo-In is the absolute essence of serenity, like taking a mini-trip to Japan.

Moon guidebook:

Top 8 Beaches on Oahu: Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay Beach.

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