Wild Latitudes


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Birds, Beaches, and Geology

Interested in this tour?

Escape the chill of winter and join us to experience the wild side of Hawaii! See rare endemic birds and plants. Learn about Hawaii’s evolution, ecology, geology, and pressing conservation issues. Along the way, we’ll take time to relax on sunny beaches and go snorkeling to visit the world beneath the waves.

Tour Highlights

 Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

 Looking for rare endemic birds in Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge.

 Taking in the vistas at Waimea Canyon on the island of Kauai.

 Snorkeling in Hawaii's warm water to see fish and sea turtles.

KonaVolcanoesNational ParkHiloHAWAIIThe BIG ISLANDKAUAINHanalei BayLihueWaimeaCanyon

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1

Aloha and welcome to the Big Island of Hawaii! We'll gather the group and get settled in at our hotel.

Day 2

Birding in the area around the town of Kona.

Day 3

Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to witness the power of geological forces.

Day 4

A full day of exploring the native habitats and endemic birds of amazing Hakalau Forest refuge.

Day 5

A relaxing day in the the town of Hilo. Options include snorkeling, museums, and the farmers market.

Day 6

Birding in highland sites across the Big Island on our return to Kona.

Day 7

An exciting pelagic birding trip this morning, then fly to Kauai in the afternoon.

Day 8

Visiting Waimea Canyon on Kauai. Enjoying Poipu beach in the afternoon.

Day 9

Birding at the famous Kilauea Lighthouse.

Day 10

A relaxing day around Hanalei Bay.

Day 11


COST: $4,695


START DATE: Dec 8, 2022

DURATION: 11 days

GROUP SIZE: Up to 12

TRIP FOCUS: Natural History


  • Guiding services
  • Double-occupancy lodging
  • Ground and water transportation
  • Breakfasts and lunches
  • Excursions and park fees

Get the brochure for this tour

The PDF brochure includes:

  • A detailed itinerary
  • Tour Map
  • Registration Info


Ivan Phillipsen, Co-owner of Wild Latitudes, is a passionate naturalist with a background in scientific research. He holds an M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in zoology. Natural history is Ivan’s true passion and what he is most excited to teach to others. Although he is fascinated by just about every aspect of nature, Ivan is particularly fond of birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, plants, and geology. Everything is interconnected in nature and Ivan takes a holistic approach when teaching about the natural world.

Steve Backus is an avid birder and naturalist with a background in the maritime industry hailing from North Carolina. An infinitely curious person by nature, he is drawn to explore the life around him and the environments they occupy. As a mariner, waterbirds are of particular interest to Steve and his time as a ship’s naturalist, a captain of wildlife cruises, a point counter at migration hot-spots, and many other employments and community science efforts has deepened his appreciation of birds.

If you love nature travel, you’re in good hands with us

How We Travel

We gauge the success of a tour on how well it was enjoyed by all. Providing a rich, rewarding experience for each individual is our top priority. Our tours generally have an easy pace so that everyone gets to experience all a region has to offer.

We create a friendly, non-competitive atmosphere that encourages tour participants to help each other in the field. Just as safety and comfort are cornerstones of our tours, so are humor and the simple joy of learning. The good cheer and camaraderie on our tours often inspire post-trip get-togethers and new, life-long friendships.

Our Focus

We’re crazy about birds, but they are only part of the story.

Our tours offer a holistic experience by taking the time to appreciate all of the animals we encounter– including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. They all interact and play vital roles in their ecosystems. We also take time on our tours to explore the plants and geology of the regions we visit.

Fostering a deeper understanding of new cultures is one of our goals. On your tour, you’ll taste exotic cuisine and hear local music. You’ll have time to peruse the market, stroll through villages, and share stories with the people you meet.

Protecting the Wild

Ecotourism is a powerful tool for protecting the wild regions of the world. For example, parts of Uganda are now devoted to the conservation of the Mountain Gorilla. Though still endangered, ecotourism has pulled this species back from the precipice of extinction.

We aim to make a positive conservation impact wherever we travel. We often use local guides and stay in small, locally-owned lodges. On every trip, we donate to a local conservation organization that works to protect a native species or ecosystem. When you travel with Wild Latitudes you are helping to protect wild places and the amazing species that call them home.

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