When I first booked my vacation to Oahu, I wondered how I would be able to see everything that I wanted to see without having access to a car or knowledge of the best places to go. So, I took to the internet to search for private tours. Type in Oahu tours in your search engine, and you will find hundreds of sites, tours and recommendations. It can quickly become frustrating to find a tour that matches your needs with your budget.

After searching for a couple of weeks, I came across several reviews of Cliff on TripAdvisor. Cliff had nothing but positive reviews. So, I checked out his website at http://www.tourguidecliff.com. Cliff offered a fully customized tour that would include everything on my must-see list, which is exactly what I was looking for. But of course, the cost, was the real seller. Cliff’s tours were much more affordable than many of the other tours I researched. Cliff didn’t charge for a second person, and offered to take photos during the trip. It was too much for me to pass up, so I booked a tour on Cliff’s website.

On the day of my tour, Cliff arrived at my hotel right on time. We briefly chatted about things that were on my must-see list and any restrictions or types of activities that should be limited or avoided. I told Cliff that my only real wish was to see some amazing views and that I’d leave the rest up to him. Cliff then promised that we would see some epic views along the way and we began our journey.

On the way to our first stop, Cliff took the time to get to know us and share his story. This definitely helped build trust and rapport, which is good when you are spending quality time with a complete stranger.

Our first stop was a nice luxury hotel that offered a quiet beach and had its own dolphins and manta rays. I don’t even want to know how much a night at that hotel runs, but it’s nice to dream.

The second stop on our trip is where Cliff began to deliver on his promise of epic views. We walked down some very uneven, rocky, stairs hidden in a quiet neighborhood that led us to some cliffs. Although the stairs were slightly difficult to navigate, the view was worth it. From these cliffs we could see monk seals and sea turtles swimming in the vast ocean along with caves known as the spitting caves which were nestled into the bottom of the cliffs.

From there, Cliff took us to another, more tourist-filled location with yet more amazing views. This location also offered a glimpse of an old military bunker carved into the side of a cliff.

Cliff then continued to deliver by taking us to some of the best beaches in the world and to the best lookout points on the island.

Cliff then mentioned that there was a Buddhist temple tucked away in the mountains that allowed visitors and offered to take us there on the way to our lunch spot. Now, I’ve never been to a Buddhist temple prior to this, but I have to say it is definitely one of the most serene and peaceful places I’ve ever been.

After leaving the Buddhist Temple, Cliff introduced us to Mike’s Huli Chicken. If you’ve read my blog on Mike’s you know that it was the best food I had on my trip. The chicken and pork were the most juicy, tender and flavorful that I have ever had. I would highly recommend making a stop at Mike’s if you get the chance.

Cliff then took us to a local market that sold fresh macadamia nuts in a variety flavors. We sampled a few of the flavors and took a few minutes to look around at some of the local items on display. Cliff was nice enough to buy us a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts which he said were some of the freshest you will find. That box barely made it through the rest of the day once we got back to the hotel.

Cliff then became excited as we were heading to the last stop of our tour. He took us via a back route that he had never been through before. The route travelled through a bamboo forest and at over a bridge that seemed to drop off over the edge. As someone who suffers from motion sickness, the route was challenging, but worth it. How often do you get to drive through a bamboo forest?

Our last stop was a lookout offering great views of Honolulu and Diamond Head. From there, we could see just how populated Honolulu is as compared to other parts of the island.

We then made our way back to our hotel where those macadamia nuts didn’t last long. Cliff’s tour gave me a perspective on just how unique each part the island truly is and why so many people want to travel there and live there. Cliff delivered on his promise to provide epic views and along the way provided a history of and interesting facts about the area we were in. I learned a lot more than I expected to. I know that I couldn’t have experienced all those amazing sites without someone who was as knowledgeable and determined to provide the best tour possible as Cliff. So, if you get the chance to book a tour with Cliff, do it. It’s worth it.

 

Check out my blog at www.getoutandhavefun.com for my full review including photos from this epic tour.