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Ecotourism in Hawaii


From our amazing beaches to our epic waterfalls, hiking trails and seemingly endless coral reef, Hawaii is a nature lover’s dream. Combine our Aloha spirit with our deep love and respect for the land, and Hawaii is an obvious choice for the eco-minded tourist.

Eco-tourism is a growing trend in travel which places an emphasis on minimizing environmental impact, respecting local culture, and contributing to conservation and sustainability efforts of the area traveled to. Here in Hawaii, we believe that we are one with all that surrounds us and we live with the guiding principles “Malama ka‘aina”, which means to care for the land, and “Malama ke kai”,  to care for the ocean. We believe that if we love, respect and care for our environment, it will care for us and conservation efforts have been a way of life for the people of Hawaii since the first settlers arrived.

Hawaii is home to more endangered plant and animal species than anywhere else on earth, and more than 20% of the marine life found throughout the islands is endemic. Preserving these species and sustaining our environment for future generations requires a collective effort which includes minimizing the impact of the tourism industry. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top Eco-friendly activities in Hawaii.

Snorkelling at the Molokini Crater

Part of the Marine Life Conservation District, the Molokini Crater is considered one of the top ten diving spots in the world. There are more than 250 marine species living in and around the crater, along with 30 varieties of coral and more than 100 types of algae. Thanks to its crescent shape, the area is sheltered which means there is a lack of sediment to disturb the view. In the early morning sunlight, you can see as far down as 150 feet!

Hakalau Forest Wildlife Nature Reserve

Spanning close to 40,000 acres of green space, the Hakalau Forest Wildlife Nature Reserve was established in 1985 to conserve bird species in danger of extinction like the Hammerhead (aki pola’au), the Hawaiian Creeper (‘akepa), and the Hawaiian Hawk (i’o). A series of habitat and wildlife management programs have been undertaken to preserve the ecosystem and reverse population decline. The reserve runs a public access program which allows visitors to hike through the forest providing an excellent opportunity for wildlife photography.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Hawaii’s biggest tourist attractions. Two of Hawaii’s three active volcanoes are located here along with more than 150 miles of hiking trails. Visitors can trek through varying terrains from desert to rainforest, and take in spectacular views of waterfalls, the ocean, and our famous black sand beaches. A one-time entrance fee is good for multiple visits and grants you access to the park’s museum and visitor education center.

Coffee Plantation Tours

Although coffee isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Hawaii, our Kona brew is one of the best in the world. There are several “Coffee Country” tours available giving tourists the opportunity to learn the history of coffee cultivation in Hawaii and discover what it is about the region that makes its coffee so special.

Atlantis Submarines

If you are an eco-tourist with an adventurous side, you’ll love Atlantis! With Maui, Waikiki and Kona locations to choose from, Atlantis Submarine will take you 100 feet below the surface for an up-close view of our coral reef, spectacular schools of colorful fish and abandoned ship wrecks. A true eco-adventure, Atlantis submarines are battery powered and emit no pollution to disrupt the eco-system of our marine life.

Zip lining

Zip lining has become one of the fastest growing eco-tourism activities around the world and there is no shortage of amazing canopies to explore here in Hawaii. Securely strapped in to a safety harness and accompanied by experienced guides, zip lining in Hawaii is an adventurous way to take in our breathtaking scenery.

These are just a few of the many ways to explore our beautiful islands with minimal environmental impact. Our concierge would be happy to help you book any of the above and can offer you some additional suggestions for eco-tourism activities here in Hawaii. Aloha and enjoy your stay in our beautiful state!