Hawaii isn’t all about lazing about on the beaches and soaking up the waves – although there’s plenty of that to go around. If you’re looking for a more adrenaline-fueled Hawaiian vacation, though, you’ll find quite a few adventure tours to choose from throughout the islands. Fill your need for thrills with these four adventurous ways to enjoy Hawaii.

Take a helicopter tour of Hawaii’s volcanos

The Hawaiian Islands are the result of millennia of volcanic eruptions, and the best way for thrill-seekers to see these erupting mounds is from above. Book a helicopter tour for an aerial adventure that showcases all of Hawaii’s natural splendor from open helicopter doors as the lava flows beneath you.

Zipline through paradise

Hawaii is filled with lush rolling hills, valleys and rain forests, but rather than hike your way through them, why not strap yourself to a cable and fly through them instead? Local ziplining companies offer high-thrill rides throughout the islands, giving you a whole new perspective on the beauty of the Aloha State.

Dive with sharks

Feeling particularly adventurous? Then why not take a swim with the sharks that call Hawaii home? On the island of Oahu, you can take a cruise out into the open waters, where you’ll climb into a shark cage and jump into the water as hammerhead, gray reef and sandbar sharks swim around you. If you’re not quite so adventurous, you can still see the sharks from the boat – plus, you’re likely to spot sea turtles, humpback whales and dolphins while out on the ocean.


If the thought of swimming with sharks is a bit too far out there for you, you can still enjoy the best of Hawaii’s marine life with a snorkeling tour off the islands’ shores. Take a tour out to the reefs for a look at schools of fish, sea turtles, corals and dolphins. For a more adventurous time, book a night tour to swim with giant manta rays off the Kona coast.


(Main image: M I K E M O R R I S used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

About the author

Marissa WillmanMarissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.

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