We went on an ATV ride in Waipio Valley. First of all, Waipio Valley is a VERY LONG DRIVE from Kona. And there’s traffic on the single lane road to make it worse! So seeing that our ETA was close to the start time, I called the number given upon reservation informing them that we are coming and will arrive close to the start (and not be a no show). I didn’t appreciate the response i received when I called. I was told that they MAY wait for us? We weren’t going to be late by more than a couple minutes, depending in traffic (which we COULDN’T predict) Why would they ask us to call if they couldn’t even wait a couple minutes? As it turned out, traffic lightened up and we arrived with 5 minutes to spare.
Check in was speedy. We even had time to use the restroom (highly recommended) before we headed out. We took a van ride up to the ATV ride start location. Our group was pretty small with 7 side by sides plus the guide. We were in the first morning group, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND both for group size and to avoid late day traffic.
We were all given a briefing on rules, fitted with helmets, operating instructions and a driving test. I really appreciated that each participant was given a clean fabric cap to wear under the helmet. My husband and I each drove a side by side each with one of our teens. The side by sides are very easy to drive, just like a car in steering, braking, and throttle.
Our guides were AWESOME! We had an exhilarating drive up and down through the rain forest over NUMEROUS puddles. You WILL get muddy and dirty! They recommend long pants, but my family all wore shorts. I think that worked out better because it as a hot day.
We had 3 stops during our ATV tour. The first was a overlooking the valley but because it was still overcast. Our guide gave us a great history cultural lesson of the valley and people. Our second stop was the Lake of the Kings. We were given a variety of delicious snacks and the opportunity to swim in a lake where kings once swam. The water was cold but the swim was refreshing! Be sure to wear your swimsuit under your clothes! Our third stop was a view stop overlooking the waterfall. Absolutely breathtaking! The skies cleared up. We had sunshine and an million dollar view! One guide was kind to take photos of each group.
Despite the harsh response when I called as we were on our way in the morning, our guides were awesome and more than made up for it. The experience was fun, the views amazing, and the guides were the best! This is an expensive excursion, but my family LOVED it! Truly enjoyable for teens and parents alike!
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
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