Easily one of the best place to visit in the USA, Hawaii is popular for good reason. But, with such popularity comes lots and lots of tourists. All of the Hawaiian Islands have complex ecosystems that are easily affected by outside influences. Sustainable travel is set to be a huge trend for 2020. So, it’s important to do eco-tourism experiences in Hawaii to play your part.
There’s many ways visitors can help locals keep Hawaii more sustainable for generations to come. Interested in eco-tourism things to do here? There’s farm and agricultural tours, botanical gardens and more that showcase the islands’ unique environments. Here’s our top picks…
Top Eco-Tourism Experiences In HawaiiHow do these rankings work?
1. Whale Watching on Kauai
From December to May, you can catch a glimpse of a majestic humpback whale, off Kauai’s shorelines. These gentle giants come to the warm Hawaiian waters every year to breed and give birth to new calves.
Schedule a tour or charter a boat to spot these magnificent animals. Regulations ban boats from approaching within 100 yards of a whale. P.S. You should never swim with or touch whales or any other marine animals.
2. Go on a Farm Tour in Oahu
Head off on a farm tour to learn about the farm-to-table processes that are such a huge part of Hawaii’s food, and see Native Hawaiian plants and flowers at Honolulu Botanical Gardens’ five diverse sites on Oahu. It’s a must for nature and food lovers!
Check out the island’s many farmers markets, too. You’ll enjoy locally grown Oahu products, North Shore beef, Manoa honey, Kahuku corn, Waialua chocolate and Waimanalo greens.
3. Visit the Kanepuu Preserve
Come here for a self-guided tour to see 48 species of Hawaiian plants. Protected by the Nature Conservancy, learn how this fragile ecosystem continues to survive in Lanai today. Four-wheel drive to this remote area and then take a short, self-guided tour using the self-guiding maps at the forest entry.
The beautiful rare ecosystem is home to 48 species of native plants.
4. Stroll Through Kula Botanical Garden
Take a walk back in time through gardens of native plants at the Kula Botanical Garden. Walk through pretty rock formations, waterfalls, ponds and have a picnic with an incredible view of the valley and west Maui mountains. Continue to the 30,000-foot summit of Haleakala and you just might meet the state bird, the endangered nene (Hawaiian goose).
5. Take a Kayak Tour in Maui
Ocean kayaking is a popular activity in Maui and Maui Kayak Adventures is one of the top eco tour operators helping keep Maui clean and protected. With five tours available, the company feels one of the most valuable things they can do is teach the importance of caring for the aina (land) and kai (ocean).
Maui’s ocean and coastlines are wonderfully diverse ecosystems. These tours are a kayak adventure that goes far beyond snorkeling and wildlife watching.
6. Go Hiking in Kamakou Preserve
This lush area is is a place so hidden and pristine that it might feel like you’re the first to discover it! Nature Conservancy staff and volunteers lead a monthly hike from April through October along a narrow boardwalk through Kamakou Preserve.
You’ll hear rare bird song and see more than 250 rare Hawaiian plants, 219 of which can be found nowhere else in the world. It’s ideal for getting out and about during your holiday.
7. Go on a Hana Highway Tour
This amazing eco-tour takes you on one of the most breathtaking drives on earth down the road to Hana Maui. The Road to Hana has 617 hairpin curves and 59 unforgiving one-lane bridges, not to mention an incredible number of blind spots along the way. A tour with Valley Isle Excursions means you can safely travel the road, and cut down on carbon fuels by car-sharing.
The views make this one of the top eco-tourism experiences in Hawaii.