We had 4 days in Honolulu, Hawaii and wanted a quick inexpensive tour to take us around the island of Oahu. I gravitated towards browsing on Groupon and stumbled upon the Full Day Deluxe Circle Island Tour by Aloha Circle Island Tour. It was 57% off plus an additional 20% from Groupon, so it was $52.80 before taxes. It has very good reviews, so we took a chance.
Purchasing the Groupon
Prior to purchasing, you should call them to ensure the dates you are looking for are available. When I called the date I had in mind was available and I can book over the phone, but they didn’t have the additional Groupon 20% discount, so as we were still on the phone, they waited patiently for me to purchase via Groupon. I provided them my confirmation code and they took my contact information. They will make sure you get an email and text as an official confirmation.
They will also mention their Pearl Harbour Tour, Ziplining and snorkeling tour, and the Dole Plantation Tour, but I said I wasn’t interested.
By the end of the call you should know the time and location for your pick up for the day of the tour you selected.
If you don’t want to call them, you can fill out a reservation form or use their live chat box on their website. I called because I wanted to get a hold of them right away.
My meet up time was 7am at Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel and they told us to show up 10 minutes earlier. As it is an early morning, make sure you have everything ready and packed. They want you to make sure you have:
- dry clothes
- beach bag
- camera (underwater case for your cellphone to capture snorkeling adventures)
We saw the vehicle and Uncle Anthony welcomed us and everyone else on the tour. There was around 27 of us on the bus.
Diamond Head Beach Lookout
It was a weekend and there was a cycling and running competition happening, so they closed the roads to the Diamond Head Beach Lookout. We missed this stop but Uncle Anthony made it up to us by taking us to a few extra stops along the way.
Hawaii Kai Scenic Lookout
At this quick stop, took a few photos for East Honolulu and Koko Crater. This scenic poiint is on Kalanaianaole Highway.
As we stopped, we got a taste of Taro Doughnuts from Kamehameha Bakery.
The views here were unbelievably beautiful. Uncle Anthony told us a little bit about the area.
A hilarious stop here to grab some beer and snacks. 7 Eleven is definitely different from North America. There is a lot of Hawaiian food and Japanese influenced snacks.
This natural structure is made of molten lava thousands of years ago. When waves crash into the crevices, it shoots water up in the air creating the blowhole.
Uncle Anthony sang us Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of Over The Rainbow.
Macadamia Nut Tropical Farm
At this stop, we can take a look at a local Macadamia Nut farm and see it grow from a flower to the nut. We can have as many macadamia nut samples, cups of Kona Coffee and got to crack out own nuts.
We are now on Oahu’s windward coast. This geological formation looks like a hat from China, this the name. Across the street where we were stopped is Maui’s hook.
Kahuku Shrimp at Fumi’s
It’s not Giovanni’s, but they still have very fresh shrimp and the truck is located adjacent to their farm. The most popular items are butter garlic shrimp and spicy garlic shrimp. The prices are higher at $13, but it was worth it. Make sure you bring cash as this is additional.
Sea Turtle Beach (Alii beach)
We got ample time to snorkel at this stop. We picked up out gear and headed down to the beach. As I am not a swimmer, I picked up a life jacket just in case.
Others were prepared with snorkeling shoes as the rocks hurt the bottoms of your feet. Also a waterproof iPhone case is good so you can take pictures and record video under the water. Or a waterproof go-pro is great as there were 2 sea turtles spotted in the waters.
Fruit stand at Kahuku Land Farms
You will see lots of fresh tropical fruits and banana lumpia. A lot of people bought cut fruit to get a taste. The banana lumpia was delicious!
We tried pineapple with Li Hing Mui Powder, a salty dried plum powder.
Dole Pineapple Plantation
A short visit was made here and we grabbed some dole whip and walked around the area. There is no time for the maze or train ride, but we weren’t interested in those activities.
The thing to do is get some dole whip and look at how pineapples grow. Since pineapples aren’t grown in Hawaii for export, it’s really just a tourist attraction.
End of Tour
We got back to our hotel around 3:30pm. The traffic was light, so we were back way before 5pm. The tour was worth the price that we paid. It hits most of the stops around the island. Uncle Anthony was a great guide, very enthusiastic and funny. The only downside is that some people on the tour found cockroaches on the bus that made its way into their bags. None of that happened to us as we weren’t carrying any food with us. Other that that, we didn’t have any issues.