North Shore Eco Tours / FAQs

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions we have received from our guests over the years. If you have a question that does not appear below, feel free to contact us directly and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.

Q: How does North Shore EcoTours differ from the rest?

A: Since we operate on private property no other company can show you O’ahu nature like us.  We have Native Hawaiian guides that present Hawaiian history and environment from a “Native Perspective.” Therefore, unlike some other companies, with North Shore EcoTours guests will get the best in Hawaiian nature & culture! Read more…

Q: How many guests can each tour accommodate?

A: Hiking adventures can accommodate up to 10 people. Off-road excursions can accommodate up to 8 people. (For larger groups, call 1-877-521-4453 for availability)

Q: What about safety?

A: Small groups ensure safer hiking experiences.  Each guide is CPR and first aid certified.  They are also equipped with a first aid kit and a cell phone for communication purposes.

Q: What happens when it rains?

A: Rain ensures that plants live, streams flow, and off-road mud bogging can occur. 🙂 Our tours go out rain or shine; rain ponchos are provided.

* North Shore EcoTours reserves the right to cancel tours in the rare event of adverse weather resulting in unsafe hiking conditions. We assess weather daily and will only make these types of decisions on a day-to-day basis.

Q: What kinds of trail conditions should I expect?

A: All foot and 4wd trails traversed by North Shore EcoTours are real mountain trails, these are not paved, gravel paths through botanical gardens. Guests need to expect slippery conditions from mud, rocks, roots, and moss, ridgeline drop-offs, and water filled streams. There is always a chance for rain in Hawaiian rainforests. On off-road tours the ride can be quite bumpy and riders can be subject to abrupt movements, branches and leaves, and mud during vehicle operation. Please see the individual tour descriptions for more details.

Q: Are advanced reservations required?

A: No but since we are a small operation, they are highly recommended.  We take walk-ins if space permits.  We encourage however, at least a 1 week advanced reservation.

Q: Where is North Shore EcoTours located?

A: Our hiking tours operate out of Haleʻiwa town on Oʻahu’s North Shore.  All guests need to meet at the Hale’iwa pick-up site at least 10 minutes prior to their scheduled tour.

A: Our off-road tours operate out of Waimea Valley on Oʻahu’s North Shore.  All guests need to meet at the Waimea pick-up site at least 10 minutes prior to their scheduled tour.

Q: Does North Shore EcoTours provide transportation to Haleʻiwa O’ahu?

A: Yes, round-trip transportation services are available for guests staying in Waikīkī or Kapolei (Koʻolina, ʻAulani Resort, etc.). Click here for more information.

Q: Can I drive on my own to the North Shore pick-up site?

A: You most certainly can. In fact, if you are staying outside of Waikīkī or Kapolei then you will most likely have to drive yourself since we currently donʻt provide transportation services outside of those areas. Click here for driving directions to our North Shore locations.

Q: What is the cancellation policy?

A: Full refunds are offered for cancellations made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled tour time. Cancellations within 24 hours of scheduled tours and/or “no-shows” will be charged full price.

* In the rare occasion that North Shore EcoTours cancels a tour due to inclement weather or malfunctioning vehicles, guests will receive a full refund.

Q: Which tours are “child friendly”?

A: The ʻIkena Haleʻiwa is an easy hike that children ages 8 and above can participate in.  The Huakaʻi Iki and Huakaʻi Nui are more difficult and not for children less than 10 years old.  For safety purposes, no child under 8yrs of age can be allowed on any Off-Road Tour.

Q: What should we bring on the tours?

A: Covered shoes are a must on all hikes and are highly recommended on off-road tours as well.  Guests that participate on either the Huakaʻi Iki and Huakaʻi Nui hikes will get wet and should bring water shoes or rubber sandals (for stream crossings), a towel, and extra clothes.  Snacks for the kids are good.  Personal medication if any, is a must.  A camera…charged and ready to go.

* See individual tour for detailed information.

Q: Is there a safe place to park our vehicle while on tour?

A: Hiking tours: The parking location is in the North Shore Marketplace parking lot. It is Hale’iwa’s largest mall and is located on the main road with high visibility and a roving security guard. Off-road tours: Waimea Valley is a private area and its parking lot is constantly monitored by park staff.

* North Shore EcoTours, North Shore Marketplace, and Waimea Valley are not responsible for any stolen items or damaged vehicles due to break-ins. Please do not leave any valuables in your car and keep bags and other items out of sight.

Q: What kind of “gourmet lunches” are provided?

A: North Shore EcoTours offers lite, healthy, Asian summer rolls on all of our hiking adventures. These refreshing lunches feature locally grown produce and are a perfect accompaniment to any physical outdoor activity. View the menu here.

Q: Are vegetarian meals offered?

A: Yes. We offer the same type of Asian summer rolls, as mentioned above, that are vegetarian with tofu. View the menu here.

Q: Are there restrooms on the tour?

A: There are lots of trees. 🙂 In other words, do your business at the North Shore Marketplace or Waimea Valley pick-up sites prior to tour departure. There are no other restrooms on the tour route.

Q: Why do you require guest signed liability waivers for all tours?

A: Safety is our main concern. Despite taking every precaution to provide a safe hiking environment, we require signed waivers for a couple of reasons. First, so the guest is aware of the inherent risk involved in typical outdoor activities. Second, to serve as a precaution to protect ourselves and the organizations who own the land we operate on. These waivers are similar to ones required from every eco-tour operation on O’ahu.


About us

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North Shore Eco Tours will help you gain tremendous insight into the cultural traditions of Hawaiʻi from alaka'i (guides) who are actually Hawaiian educators and/or cultural practitioners.