ATV Tours in Big Island
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A different way to experience the Big Island's rugged coastline and wild ranch lands is through an off-road adventure—a real backcountry experience. At higher elevations, weather can be nippy and rainy, but views can be awesome. Protective gear is provided. Generally, you have to be 16 or older to ride your own ATV, though some outfitters allow children seven and older to be passengers.
ATV Outfitters Hawaii. These trips take in the scenic beauty of the rugged North Kohala Coast, traveling along coastal cliffs and into the forest in search of waterfalls. ATV Outfitters also offers double-seater ATVs for parents traveling with children or adults who don't feel comfortable operating their own vehicle. Old Sakamoto Store, Hwy. 270, Kapaau, HI, 96755. 808/889–6000 or 888/288–7288. www.atvoutfittershawaii.com.
Waipio Ride the Rim. A fabulous way to experience the extraordinary beauty atop lush Waipio Valley, the tour is led by fun and knowledgeable guides along private trails to the headwaters of the twin Hiilawe Falls, Hawaii's highest single-fall waterfalls. You stop for a swim in a ginger-laden grotto with a refreshing waterfall (disclaimer: it's cold!) and travel to a series of lookouts—at times crossing the still-active Kohala Ditch—where you can observe the valley and its black-sand beach from all angles. Bring a bathing suit and be prepared to get wet and muddy. Beginners are welcome. It's teen-tastically fun. (To drive your own ATV, you must be over 16.) Prices start at $179, or take the guided buggy tour if you're not up to driving. Waipio Valley Artworks Bldg., 48-5416 Kukuihaele Rd., Kukuihaele, HI, 96727. 808/775–1450 or 877/775–1450. www.ridetherim.com.
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