By Jennifer Jones

Welcome to a thrill seekers paradise   

The islands of Hawaii are like no other places on Earth — especially when it comes to providing the perfect backdrop for a getaway packed with loads of adventure. Having long been a hotspot for adventure seekers across the globe, the Hawaiian Islands have an endless list of activities for nearly every age and skill level.

Each of the six major islands that make up the Hawaiian island chain has its own distinct personality and offers its own adventures, activities, and sights. No matter if you want to explore paradise on foot, under water, or by air, be sure to consult your Affluent Traveler Collection travel specialist to learn which islands best suit your need for adventure.


If you want to capture Hawaii’s true “aloha spirit”, consider spending some time on the gorgeous island of Oahu and setting out on foot to get up close and personal with the lay of the land by visiting one of Hawaii’s most recognized sights, Waikiki’s famous crater, Diamond Head. It’s only a one-hour hike up the side of this now extinct volcano, and well worth the trip. Hawaii is all about scenic views, and this is indeed the “granddaddy.” It’s hard to find a more spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach than the one from the 760-foot summit of Diamond Head.

Now, imagine peering into an active volcano 200 miles away and then climbing a 13,000-foot mountain, and carefully cat-walking atop cliffs that plummet into a deep blue sea below. It’s all in a day’s play at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaii (also known as the “Big Island”). The altitude in the park ranges from sea level to the summit of the earth's most massive volcano, 13,677-foot Mauna Loa. Kilauea, the world's most active volcano, offers visitors views of dramatic volcanic landscapes.


 Any land tour of the Hawaiian Islands will provide you with a lifetime of spectacular scenery, but you’ll need to dive in to experience all the incredible life teeming just below the ocean’s surface. A day spent snorkeling or scuba diving should definitely rank high on your roster of activities. After all, they are the most popular outdoor activities the Aloha State has to offer those in search of adventure.

Clear waters off the coast of Hawaii make for some of the best marine conditions anywhere on Earth. So, grab your flippers and face masks because it’s time to glide along gentle currents, swimming through schools of brilliantly colored tropical fish, exploring exotic coral reef beds, twisting and turning through caves and caverns.

The Big Island is consistently rated the world’s number one dive destination and it’s ideal for beginner divers with its unbeatable shallow water snorkeling. Waikiki and the North Shore of Oahu boast some of the state’s most well-known spots. The island of Lanai is renowned as one of the world’s premier destinations and Molokini Inlet, off the shores of Maui, has crystalline waters and abundant sea life. And, with dive shops and operators located throughout the Hawaiian archipelago, you’ll be sure to find all the equipment you need and the certification necessary to dive right in.

Another great way to get a look at Hawaii’s underwater universe, without getting wet, is by plunging below the surface in a submarine. You’ll not only be face-to-face with the friendly denizen, but have a rare chance to have a close-up of a coral reef and investigate sunken shipwrecks.


While there are many ways to explore each of the Hawaiian Islands, taking to the skies on a helicopter tour will provide a very unique perspective of the land. An aerial tour will show you hidden secrets and exotic locations of each island that can only be seen from the air. From remote rainforests and unseen caves to vast pineapple fields and waterfalls, a helicopter tour gives you a birds-eye view of the islands’ most scenic spots.

Each island offers its own unique aerial adventure. You’ll hover right next to Maui’s majestic Haleakala Crater and get close enough to see the fiery sights of the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island (maybe even be lucky enough to see some real lava flows). Don’t forget, the flights are fully narrated by knowledgeable pilots and usually video recorded so you can relive the experience after you’ve come down.

Prefer an aerial tour that’s certain to get your adrenaline pumping? Then paragliding’s for you! There’s nothing like being strapped in and soaring high above the sun-kissed coastline. Take one of the kids or your partner up with you on a tandem ride and experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure side by side.

Find Your Perfect Hawaiian Island Match

Island of Hawaii — the “Big Island”

It’s easy to feel awed on Hawaii Island. From the molten magma flowing from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to the snow-capped heights of Maunakea; from the green rainforests of the Hamakua Coast to the jet-black sands of Punaluu Beach; Hawaii Island is an unrivaled expression of the power of nature. The dramatic size and scope of the largest Hawaiian Island create a microcosm of environments and activities. On this island’s vast tableau, you’ll find everything from extravagant resorts and incredible golf courses to modest local towns and sacred Hawaiian historical sites. This is also where you’ll find the birthplace of King Kamehameha I and Hawaii’s first missionary church in Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona).


Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is sometimes called the “Garden Isle,” which is an entirely accurate description. The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires, and jagged cliffs, aged by time and the elements. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers, and cascading waterfalls. Some parts of Kauai are only accessible by sea or air, revealing awe-inspiring views. Beyond Kauai’s dramatic beauty, the island is home to a variety of outdoor activities. Kayak the Wailua River. Snorkel on Poipu Beach. Hike the trails of Kokee State Park. Even go zip lining above Kauai’s lush valleys.


Sometimes called “The Gathering Place,” Oahu certainly lives up to its name. The third largest Hawaiian island is home to the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population, a fusion of east and west cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the Native Hawaiian people. It’s this fundamental contrast between the ancient and the modern that makes discovering Oahu so enjoyable. Here the clear blue waters of Kailua Beach meet the metropolitan cityscapes of Honolulu. The historic architecture of Iolani Palace meets the timeless memorials of Pearl Harbor. The big city of Waikiki meets the small town of Haleiwa on the North Shore.


Unspoiled and virtually untouched, Molokai reflects a Hawaii of the past with no skyscrapers or stoplights in sight. Hawaii’s fifth-largest island, Molokai is only 38 miles long and 10 miles across at its widest point. Molokai is home to the highest sea cliffs in the world along its northeast coast (3,600-3,900 feet) and Hawaii’s longest continuous fringing reef. On foot, by bike or by 4-wheel drive, this is an island of outdoor adventure. With a high percentage of its population being of Native Hawaiian ancestry, Molokai is place where Hawaiian culture thrives. The people of Molokai continue to preserve their rural lifestyle thanks to their love of the land and you can feel the aloha spirit from small town Kaunakakai to sacred Halawa Valley.



You won’t find a single traffic light here and that’s exactly how the people of Lanai like it. Only nine miles from Maui yet a world away, Lanai can feel like two places. The first is found in luxurious resorts where visitors can indulge in world-class amenities and championship-level golf at The Challenge at Manele and The Experience at Koele. The other is found bouncing along the island’s rugged back-roads in a 4-wheel drive exploring off the beaten path treasures like Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods) and Polihua Beach. In fact, only 30 miles of Lanai’s roads are paved.


Want your kids to experience what it’s like to stand above a sea of clouds high atop Haleakala volcano or watch a 45-foot whale breach off the coast of Lahaina? How about losing count of the waterfalls along the road as you safely maneuver the hairpin turns of the Hana highway? One visit and it’s easy to see why Maui is called “The Magic Isle.” The second largest Hawaiian island has a smaller population than you’d expect, making Maui popular with families who are looking for sophisticated diversions and amenities in the small towns and airy resorts spread throughout the island.

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