Opportunities for EcoTourism in Hawaii Abound for Visitors
The concerns of the natural world were heard and addressed in one of the world’s most exceptional places to see the power and beauty of nature.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, held in Honolulu last year, made it clear to the world why Hawaii was the ideal host for such significant gathering and why it would be again.
The practice of malama aina (“caring for the land”) was deeply rooted in the everyday lives of early Hawaiians. This wasn’t solely because of the isolation of the Hawaiian Islands, but because nearly every plant, fish, bird, mountain, forest, valley and component of nature occupied a sacred place in Hawaiian culture. The good news for modern-day Hawaii? Many of the thoughtful methods of sustainability and caring for the land practiced by the first Hawaiians are still being taught and practiced today. And by more than people of Hawaiian ancestry.
Beyond Hawaii’s always breathtaking natural beauty, visitors can experience a unique take on traditional ecotourism by immersing themselves in the Islands.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeking fan of the great outdoors, a weekend adventurer, or an admirer of Hawaii’s culture and beauty, the diversified landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands offer an abundance of opportunities for inspiration and rejuvenation. From witnessing molten lava flows on the Island of Hawaii to soaking in views of Mount Waialeale while water tubing through the rainforests of Kauai, and viewing sunrise at the 10,023-foot elevation summit of Haleakala volcano to swimming with marine life on Oahu’s west side; a wide-range of eco-friendly adventure and excitement awaits.
- Oahu – From ocean and land adventures on Oahu’s rural North Shore, to the charm of gazing at Honolulu’s city lights post-sunset, the excess of wonderful experiences available to visitors and residents are energizing and empowering. Whether it’s flying above the tree tops on CLIMB Works Keana Farms’ zipline course, indulging in local delicacies at the Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market, or visiting the Honolulu Fish Auction for lessons on the quality and sustainability of Hawaii seafood, all are invited to discover the extent and wonder of Hawaii’s efforts to protect the environment and support local farmers and purveyors.
- Maui Nui – Maui, Molokai and Lanai – the three islands that comprise Maui County and are collectively called Maui Nui – each offer unique opportunities for visitors to discover their natural beauty. Stand on the summit of Haleakala volcano at sunrise to watch the morning sky light up. Snorkel in the clear waters of Molokini islet, a marine life conservation area showcasing a kaleidoscope of coral and more than 250 species of tropical fish. Or experience even more eco-friendly adventures on Molokai and Lanai. Maui Nui’s charms are guaranteed to captivate all visitors looking to tour green.
- Island of Hawaii – The youngest and largest of the Hawaiian Islands offers maximum adventure and inspiration. Stand on some of the newest land on Earth at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and witness the flow (or glow) of molten lava at Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. While on the volcano, explore a walk-in lava tube and hike the park’s 150-miles of volcanic crater, lava desert and rainforest trails. North of Kilauea’s indigo lava landscape, on the island’s Hamakua Coast, head to the luscious greenery of Akaka Falls State Park. A brief hike takes visitors through a rainforest filled with wild orchids, bamboo groves and draping ferns to the park’s two waterfalls: 100-foot Kahuna Falls and breathtaking 442-foot Akaka Falls.
- Kauai – The tropical beauty of Kauai offers visitors a colorful landscape for exploration. From the vibrancy of the many native Hawaii plants found at Limahuli Garden and Preserve to the exhilarating rush of adrenaline experienced while tubing through the mountains and rainforests of old Lihue Plantation, visitors will find excitement and rejuvenation everywhere on the island. An icon of Kauai’s natural splendor is the majestic 17-mile Napali Coast, accessible by air, sea and experienced hikers. The awe-inspiring panoramas found along this enchanted coast are just about guaranteed to replenish the spirit.
Written by Siera Duiser: Siera Duiser is a travel agent with Destinations in Hawaii. She loves helping plan incredible vacations at no cost to you. Contact Siera to book your next vacation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-771-1290. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.