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Hawaii Teen Trip

Ultimate Hawaii

Find your bold with: 18 days of action-packed surf, sun and reef ecology on the sandy beaches of Hawaii.


Destination: Hawaii


Hawaii Main Island

2019 Dates

June 30 - July 17
July 21 - August 7


18 days



Trip Highlights

    • Surfing: Kona Coast 3 days
    • Sail: Kohala Coast 2 days
    • Snorkel Colorful Coral Reefs
    • Hike to Waterfalls & Beaches
    • Cultural Immersion & Exchange
    • Zipline over waterfalls
    • Reef Ecology Kahalu’u Bay
    • Night snorkeling with Manta Rays
    • Community Service: 8 Hours


*The itineraries below are from summer 2018. The 2019 itinerary will be finalized in October 2018.




Enjoy three days of surfing on the legendary Kona Coast, as we learn from professional guides who take us to beaches perfect for beginners and more experienced surfers. After mastering Hawaii’s favorite pastime, we snorkel, enjoy beach time and paddleboard beside giant sea turtles, vibrant coral reefs, and exotic marine life. Topping it all, native Hawaiians teach us the ancient island sport of outrigger canoeing aboard authentic Polynesian sailboats!


We head into the tropical valleys of Northwest Hawaii for the hiking and cultural exchange section of Bold Earth’s Hawaii summer camp. In the historic Waipio Valley, we stay with a native Hawaiian family on their beautiful Taro farm before an early morning trek on the lush Muliwai Trail. Our spectacular hike leads us through lush rainforests to an overlook of the valley and black sand beach. Waipio is ripe with mango trees, towering waterfalls and the island’s longest black sand beach! This is one of Bold Earth’s highest-rated hikes anywhere! To cap it off, after we leave Waipio we will test our flying skills by taking a zip line tour over waterfalls.


Our water adventures continue as we harness the winds of the Kohala Coast, sailing alongside spinner dolphins and stopping at incredible beaches and reefs to snorkel. In Volcanoes National Park, a night hike leads us to views of glowing lava, and we explore an amazing Green Sand beach at the southern point of the Island. We also work with Park Rangers to eradicate invasive species and give back to this incredible ecosystem. At 4,000 feet above sea level, Volcanoes National Park provides an incredibly diverse environment and a stark contrast to the oceanside paradise we've just traveled from. Crystal clear night skies allow for unparalleled stargazing from the Big Island's highest region.


Beautiful Kahalu’u Bay is our home for two days of experiential learning, marine biology, snorkeling, and community service. Kahalu’u is famous for spectacular coral reefs and exotic marine life, including an abundant sea turtle population. Working closely with experienced local instructors, we spend our days in the water, collecting ocean data, snorkeling, and learning hands-on about reef ecology. By the end of our training, we are certified PADI snorkelers. Our last night brings us to Kona, where we celebrate our incredible journey and the amazing bonds we have formed!
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Day 1
Aloha & Welcome to Hawaii!
Welcome to Bold Earth and Ultimate Hawaii! Your trip begins at the Kailua-Kona International Airport. Upon landing, you will meet your trip leaders and call home to confirm your safe arrival. Once all group members have arrived, we will drive a short distance to our first beautiful beach campground and start getting to know one another. During our orientation, we learn to set up camp and go over what to expect in the days ahead, including our daily routine, jobs and safety rules. We go for a short hike to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean and then return to our campsite for dinner. On Day One, your cook leaders will prepare a delicious meal for you, but for the rest of the trip, you'll be in charge of planning and preparing our daily menus!
Day 2-5
Waipio Valley Service Project!
Service Project and Cultural Exchange - Ultimate Hawaii offers an epic 3-day trip that leads us past thundering waterfalls and into hidden valleys rarely experienced by most visitors to the Big Island. We work and camp in the magnificent Waipio Valley where the rich Hawaiian culture, history and spirit of giving come alive! Together with a native Hawaiian family, we collect coconuts and fresh vegetables in preparation for our traditional Hawaiian feast. We also plant coconut trees for future generations of Hawaiians and visitors to enjoy. Our Hawaiian hosts share ancient myths and legends and teach us how to make jewelry using endemic plants and leaves.
Day 6-7
Hilo: Waterfalls, Zipline, Swimming holes, and history!
We take time to resupply and check out the historic town of Hilo! Just outside of town we check out Rainbow falls and cool off at secluded swimming holes while enjoying the tropical setting of this beautiful coastal town. One morning we experience the island from the sky on a Zipline tour. This well-deserved day of rest and relaxation allows us to recharge our batteries and get prepared for an amazing trip to Volcanoes National Park!
Day 8-9
Volcanoes National Park!
For the next two days, we explore one of the most fascinating biological landscapes on earth: Volcanoes National Park. We hike around the rim of the Kilauea Crater, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and explore lava tubes running underground. On Day 2 we give back to this amazing park with a service project aimed at returning the park to its natural state through invasive species removal and fire prevention/restoration. Our evenings will be spent marveling at the natural wonders of the volcanoes, including nightly meetings by the glow of the caldera under the Hawaiian sky. Clear skies seen from the center of the Big Island provide for some of the best star viewing in the world!
Day 10
Authentic Polynesian Canoeing!
Along the epic shores of the Big Island, we learn the ancient Hawaiian sport of outrigger canoeing. Early Polynesian voyagers navigated the Pacific Ocean aboard these boats, eventually settling the islands now known as Hawaii. A local canoe club will provide instruction and history of this popular island sport!
Day 11
Green Sands Beach!
Today we travel to the southern tip of the Big Island to explore Green Sands or"Papakolea Beach" - 1 of only 4 green sand beaches in the world! Our hike takes along the coast to this unique phenomenon, where the green sand meets blue Hawaiian waters. We enjoy lunch and swimming at the beach and then explore South Point, the southernmost locale in the United States! In the afternoon we return to Volcanoes National Park to cook dinner and enjoy a nightly meeting by the fire!
Day 12-13
Reef Ecology at Kahalu'u Bay!
Beautiful Kahalu'u Bay is our home for two days of experiential learning, reef ecology, snorkeling, and community service. Kahalu'u is famous for spectacular coral reefs and exotic marine life, including an abundant sea turtle population. Working closely with experienced local instructors, we spend our days in the water, collecting ocean data, snorkeling, and learning hands-on about reef ecology. By the end of our training, we are certified PADI snorkelers. We will even gear up one night to go night diving with Manta Rays!
Day 14-15
Surfs Up!
Hang Ten! No trip to Hawaii would be complete without surfing the swells of the Pacific. We spend 3 days on the legendary Kona coast learning the basics of Hawaii's favorite pastime. Our lifeguard certified guides give a safety orientation and teach us how to "read" the ocean. By the end of our first day, everyone will feel confident catching waves; by the end of the third day, we'll all be pros!
Day 16
Sailing the Clear Blue Waters of Hawaii!
While camping in North Kona we sail off the Kohala coast, learning how to sail as well as learning about the amazing ocean life we witness around us. Sailing offshore on this 50-foot Catamaran, we will learn sailing terms and practice sail handling with USCG licensed Captains. Hawaiian spinner dolphins are common companions in these crystal clear waters and we get up close and personal with the island's magnificent marine life while snorkeling from the boat.
Day 17-18
Final Beach day and Homeward Bound!
All great things must come to an end. On our last full day together in Hawaii, we clean all group and personal gear, spend one last day on Hawaii's incredible beaches, take showers, and celebrate our successes with an authentic Hawaiian feast exclusively for Bold Earth. Together, we share our memories and challenges and say our goodbyes. On the last day, we head to the airport in Kona looking and feeling confident, tan and strong after the most incredible summer of fun, friends, and adventure.

Will there be beach time?

ABSOLUTELY: Ultimate Hawaii is full of sun, sand and water!

+ Beach Bonfires+ Beach Volleyball+ Beach Tan+ Beach Camping+ Sail with Dolphins+ Snorkel with Sea Turtles+ Marine Biology Service Project + Surf Lessons + Stand-Up Paddleboard = Life’s A Beach!

What is the Big Picture of Ultimate Hawaii?

ALOHA HAWAII! 21 days of WOW on the Big Island of Hawaii. Need we say more?

Ultimate Hawaii has it all. A non-stop adventure program for campers interested in adventure, beaches, culture, friendship, challenge and marine biology. Ultimate Hawaii is Bold Earth’s most popular trip. Wondering why?

IT’S A NO BRAINER! This trip has it all: • Camping on the Beach • Sailing with Dolphins • Epic Snorkeling • Marine Biology Service Project • World Class Surfing • Community Service • Native Hawaiian Culture • Awesome Backpacking •  Volcanoes National Park • World-famous ‘Kona Coast’ • Lots of Beach Bonfires

In a nutshell, Bold Earth has spent the last 30+ years building Ultimate Hawaii into an adventure which is HUGE FUN and incredibly meaningful. Campers leave Hawaii with enhanced leadership skills and a deep understanding of marine biology and Hawaiian culture. Campers return home loving adventure travel, independence and teamwork.

What is the community service like?

Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands-on community service projects that are active, engaging and rewarding! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.

Service Credit: 20 Hours

Project #1: Marine Biology! The beautiful Kahalu’u bay is our home for two days of experiential learning, marine biology, snorkeling, and community service. Kahalu’u is famous for spectacular coral reefs and exotic marine life, including an abundant sea turtle population. Working closely with experienced marine biologists, we spend our days in the water, collecting ocean data, snorkeling, and learning hands-on about reef ecology. By the end of our training, we are certified to educate visitors about human impacts on marine environments across the globe (12 hours).

Project #2: Our second project takes us to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The past and present lava flows throughout the park creating a moonscape where the life cycle is forced to repeat itself time and again. We help the park regain its natural state by participating in environmental conservation projects such as collecting seeds, removing invasive species and planting indigenous trees (4 hours). To learn more about the park, visit: Volcanoes National Park.

Project #3: Hawaiian Culture! In the spectacular Waipio Valley, we work and stay with a local family in the valley famous for its mystical beauty and the traditional lifestyle. During this cultural exchange, we gather ingredients, such as coconuts and Ti leaves, for our traditional Hawaiian feast of Lau Lau. We also plant coconut trees as a gesture of good will for future generations to enjoy. (4 hours)

Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects

I want to know about Hawaii's history!

”Hawaii” is not only the name of the state, but also the name of the largest island in the archipelago, also know as, the “Big Island.” The Big Island is larger than all of the archipelago islands combined and is the largest island in the United States. The Big Island is approximately the size of Connecticut.

The southern most point in the 50 United States is ‘Ka Lae’, (South Point) on Hawaii. Mauna Kea, an active volcano in the center of the island, is the world’s tallest mountain from it’s base at the bottom of the ocean, taller than Mount Everest is above sea level.

Captain James Cook’s first documented visit to Hawaii was in 1778. During the 1780s and 1790s, the Hawaiian Islands were ruled by chiefs who often fought for power. After a series of battles that ended in 1795 and forced cession of the island of Kauaʻi in 1810, all inhabited islands came under a single ruler who became known as King Kamehameha the Great.

By 1893, Queen Liliʻuokalani was overthrown and replaced by a Provisional Government composed of members of the Committee of Safety. American lawyer Sanford B. Dole became President of the Republic in 1894 leading to the Westernization of the Islands and statehood in 1959.

Hawaii’s overall population is 1.3 million. The state is 38.6% Asian, 24.7% White, 23.6% from two or more races, 10.0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 8.9% Hispanic, 1.6% Black or African American. Hawaii is demographically unique because it has the highest percentage of Asian Americans and multiracial Americans, as well as the lowest percentage of Caucasian Americans of any state.

Where Do We Stay?

Mostly on or within walking distance of the BEACH – Sweeeeeeet!

Most Ultimate Hawaii teenagers are looking for the quintessential summer at the beach, plus the challenge and exhilaration that comes with new activities, new friends and an amazing new place. Bold Earth provides tents and you will share with 2 or 3 other campers of your same gender– such a great way of getting to know each other! You are probably not exactly sure about camping but what about: • Sitting around a beach bonfire with a group of friends for life? • Hearing the waves crash as you fall asleep? • Counting shooting stars? • Yoga at sunset on the beach? • Taking a sunrise run? YES!

Bold Earth in Hawaii is a summer ON THE BEACH, fun and comfortable – PERIOD.

On Ultimate Hawaii campers stay at beautiful campgrounds that are carefully scouted by Bold Earth for safety, beauty and comfort. Campers regularly have access to toilets and shower.

Bold Earth is NOT your average Hawaii teen tour. Whether camping on a farm outside of Kona, a black sand beach in Waimanu Valley, or under the stars in Volcanoes National Park, Ultimate Hawaii enjoys the best camping on the Big Island.

What should I pack?

Over the last 30+ years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Ultimate Hawaii Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the Big Island. Click to view: Ultimate Hawaii Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything necessary gear not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? On airport day, campers will check the large duffle bag and backpack. We recommend using the small daypack as a carry-on. Campers should either bring a credit card or enough cash to check their bags home.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor Team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.

What is the group size like?

• Maximum of 13 Campers (grouped by age) • 2 Adult Trip Leaders

Small group size = SUCCESS! Especially on an adventure and community service style trip. Bold Earth campers are motivated teenagers who seek independence, responsibility and fun. We know teenagers and we understand that a small group size is ESSENTIAL to camper success – especially on Ultimate Hawaii.

Bonding and friendship are essential to the success of any summer program. Bold Earth leaders are carefully trained in group dynamics and leadership. Also, Bold Earth leaders are the MOST FUN PEOPLE EVER! Your two Trip Leaders will take a hands on approach for the success of every individual. Bold Earth campers make friendships that last a lifetime.

Each campers will be Leader of the Day (LOD) and will have the opportunity to step into a leadership role and help to run the trip! The challenges and rewards of Ultimate Hawaii bring the unity and bonding of the group together.

Is Ultimate Hawaii authentic?

YES! Every Bold Earth trip is an authentic experience. This is so much more than a teen tour. Bold Earth is MORE fun, MORE interesting, MORE service, MORE adventure, MORE leadership, MORE friendship and MUCH MORE authentic than a teen tour. Campers who choose Bold Earth want real adventure; night snorkel with sea turtles, eat local food and have sand between their toes! With 30+ years of experience in Hawaii, Bold Earth has scouted the coolest locations, hired the best leaders and found the sweetest host beaches. Bold Earth is the REAL DEAL!

How Do We Travel?

We travel by 15-passenger vans, with a roof-rack on top to store all of our gear. The van will be driven by your experienced and carefully screened leaders. All travel is carefully planned to minimize time spent in the van (we try to never drive for more than two hours) and optimize the trip experience for active adventure. By staying entirely on the Big Island, Bold Earth cuts down on excess travel team between multiple islands.

What's the weather like?

The perfect summer weather! Weather in Hawaii is very consistent, with only minor changes in temperature throughout the year. There are really only 2 seasons in Hawaii: summer (called Kau in Hawaiian) from May to October and winter (Hooilo) from November to April. The average daytime summer temperature at sea level is 85º F. (29.4 C) while the average daytime winter temperature is 78º (25.6º C). Temperatures at night are approximately 10º F. lower. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!

Good news: The wettest months are from November to March. We explore the Big Island in peak sunshine months!

Hawaii’s water temperatures remain comfortable throughout the year. The average summer water temperature is 80º F. (26.7º C). This makes swimming very enjoyable 🙂

Sunscreen: It is VERY sunny in Hawaii. Therefore trip leaders ensure that campers are covered.

What if I've never surfed before?

No experience is required! Bold Earth’s professional surf guides will teach you everything you need to know. Guides are with you in the water to make sure you are safe, having fun and catch lots of waves! All we ask is that you have a willing spirit and you’re up for giving your best effort! We are flexible. Some students take to surfing more than others. There is always a volleyball game, body surfing, hang time, tan time and time to rest and relax if you find that you’ve had enough.

What are the surfing guides like?

Bold Earth surf spots require permits, so the line-ups are uncrowded and we enjoy having room to surf. Our guides are literally professional surfers and will give you some epic pointers and show you the perfect spots. Trust us – the surfing is incredible.

What is the backpacking like?

The backpack into Waipio and Waimanu Valleys is often the highlight of the entire trip. Bold Earth has exclusive access to an enriching cultural experience on both ends of our backpack: A private Taro farm in Waipio called “Alberta’s.” Alberta’s is an incredibly beautiful place, owned by a native Hawaiian family that has hosted Bold Earth for years. Their incredible Aloha spirit welcomes us and prepares us for an amazing hike into Waimanu Valley on the Muliwai Trail.

No experience required! The backpack from Waipio Valley to Waimanu will be the most beautiful hike of your life. We hike together, sing, play games and marvel at the scenery. We have ALL day to complete the hike – there is no hurry. Yes, the hike is the most physically challenging aspect of Ultimate Hawaii – but the reward is totally worth the effort! Your experienced Bold Earth Trip leaders will teach you all the fundamentals you will need for a successful and inspiring backpacking experience.

Can I combine Ultimate Hawaii with another trip?

Yes! Ultimate Hawaii and all Bold Earth trips are designed to be combined. If you are interested in combining Ultimate Hawaii with a particular trip, please contact our Colorado office at 303-526-0806 for more information! A Bold Earth Trip Advisor will handle all the arrangements to create an incredible summer for you!

What is the food like?

DELICIOUS! Yes, the food will be healthy, delicious, local, and fun. Campers and trip leaders plan and cook food together. Our trip leaders are incredible cooks and will teach campers all the tricks to the trade.

We learn to cook new meals, eat plenty of local Hawaiian food and truly enjoy the amazing fruits, fish, and varied cuisines in Hawaii. Yes, we will enthusiastically accommodate vegetarians, gluten free, kosher, allergies and most special diets.

Cooking on Ultimate Hawaii is a combination of planning, preparing, grocery shopping, cooking our own food and eating out. Approximately twice per week during your trip, you and three other campers will have the chance to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for the group. Most campers find this to be incredible fun and rewarding! Your leaders help you as much or as little as necessary and of course everything is included. We eat out several times per trip to celebrate our accomplishments and enjoy a night out between adventures.

My family wants to travel to Hawaii too!

GREAT! YES! SUPER! Some campers will vacation in Hawaii after the trip with their families. This is a great idea! Campers will know Hawaii and have wonderful stories to tell – allow them to show you their newfound expertise with the Big Island! Contact the Bold Earth office and we can arrange a drop off/pick up point with you and your family.

Is Ultimate Hawaii right for me?

Ultimate Hawaii is a very authentic Hawaii teen adventure trip – specifically designed for high school students who want to enjoy Hawaii for 21 days. Campers experience a perfect blend of adventure, service, challenge, culture and water sports. Bold Earth’s Ultimate Hawaii program has been in operation for over 30 years, and during that time it has become our most popular trip.

Bold Earth has deep connections in Hawaii, enabling us to provide an itinerary and camping experience unparalleled to any other teen travel company. A summer with Bold Earth Teen Adventures means travel in a different way – discovery through leadership, education, and FUN! Please view The Ultimate Hawaii Blog for a students perspective of Ultimate Hawaii

Can I speak to Ultimate Hawaii references?

Over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and over 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programing and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like. We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose us and our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic. To receive a list of references call the Bold Earth office 303-526-0806 or email!

Additional FAQ: Click Here

Ultimate Hawaii

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information!

Every Trip Has a Story

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
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Ultimate Hawaii was truly the best summer I have ever had and probably ever will. I loved the group I was with and everybody was super fun, nice, and had a great attitude. Our leaders were absolutely outstanding and made it possible to do so many fun activities like surfing, snorkeling, sailing, and hiking to waterfalls. I hope to come back next year to another extraordinary Bold Earth trip!

- Nash R.

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