Jungle Valley Adventure with Princeville Ranch Adventures Part I: Hiking, kayaking, and a hidden swimming hole

We asked Instagrammer michaeldizon to take us along as he and his wife Niki and kids Jake and Liam explored the Hawaiian Islands in December. Here’s their trip report:

Of all of Hawaii’s islands, Kauai is known for its bounty of natural beauty. Dozens of Hollywood movies have been filmed in Kauai, with its landscape filling in for everything from Jurassic Park to the alien lands of Avatar.

We decided that the best way to explore Kauai was to get up close and personal with the nature the island is known for. That’s where Princeville Ranch Adventures came in. The huge ranch offers a variety of tours including ziplining, ATV off-roading, and horseback riding. We chose the Jungle Valley Adventure, a five-hour tour that included a little bit of everything: hiking, kayaking, ziplining, and a dip in a hidden swimming hole.

My family of four (including two adventurous boys ages 8 and 11) was welcomed to the town of Princeville by its natives – chickens! They roam freely on the ranch and in the nearby area, squawking away at everyone they meet. Our true welcome came once we found the ranch, where two friendly and knowledgeable guides were eager to get us started!

Word to the wise: Princeville Ranch Adventures rents hiking sandals for just $5, and it’s the best investment you can make. The hiking trails are MUDDY, which just adds to the adventure! We hiked up a hill and past some curious cows, taking in the breathtaking scenery as we made our way to a nearby stream.

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Kayaks awaited us at the stream, and the guides made it easy for the novices among us to figure out how to go with the flow as we glided to our next destination. A short hike later we were high above the rainforest and ready to zip through the trees (more on that in part two).

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Our adventure ended with a nice picnic lunch and a cool dip in a hidden swimming hole with a waterfall before we hiked and kayaked back to civilization. We explored many places in Hawaii, but our boys enjoyed this true adventure the most!

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Hungry for Hawaii?

We asked Instagrammer michaeldizon to take us along as he and his wife Niki and kids Jake and Liam explored the Hawaiian Islands in December. Fair warning: Don’t read this if you’re hungry!

Click on each photo for all the delicious details!

Iselle & Julio Have Hawaii Surfers Riding High

While Iselle & Julio may be a rare (22 years to be exact) hiccup in the quest for vacation sun and sand, the back-to-back storms are also creating a dream playground and adventure for advanced surfers!

Beautiful South Shore on the Big Island of Hawaii is expecting giant waves. For the next few days, watch the live web cam now below!

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Travel Wishlist

With more than 500 hotels and resorts in our portfolio, Apple Vacations has options for every kind of vacationer – from basic budget to ultra luxe. We canvassed our immense hotel offerings and picked the top outrageous luxury offerings in the Apple family. From private islands to Lamborghinis, these resort options can definitely knock some things off your vacation bucket list!

Grand Velas All Suites Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya Stay and Luxury Drive package

Grand Velas All Suites Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya Stay and Luxury Drive package

 

Cancun Secrets The Vine Taking up more than a third of the 20th floor of Secrets The Vine, the Preferred Club Presidential Suite has dazzling views of Cancun’s modern hotel zone, the Caribbean Sea and Nichupte Lagoon. Featuring two bedrooms, luxurious Italian porcelain bathrooms and a chic, oversized private, furnished terrace, the Presidential Suite also includes all of the resorts Unlimited Luxury amenities and its own personal concierge.

Riviera MayaGrand Velas All Suites Resort & Spa Located on more than 80 acres of protected mangroves, jungle and natural freshwater cenotes, Grand Velas enjoys over 1,000 feet of carefully preserved, pristine white sand beach and is the only family-friendly All Inclusive resort in the Mexican Caribbean to receive AAA’s prestigious Five Diamond rating.Guests who book Grand Velas’ adrenaline fueled “Stay & Luxury Drive” package get the opportunity to race luxury cars and hot rods on the resort’s specialized courses. Guests can drive the car of their dreams, including a Lamborghini Gallardo, Lotus Elise, Ferrari F430, Camaro SS and Corvette Grand Sport. (Travel through Dec. 19, 2013)

Los CabosZoetry Casa Del Mar In addition to deliciously high-thread count sheets and towels, the guest rooms at Zoetry Casa del Mar feature Bvlgari bath amenities, aromatherapy pillows, sparkling wine and fresh fruit daily and a charming souvenir beach bag handcrafted by local artisans. Zoetry Casa del Mar guests receive Endless Privileges® which grant limitless access to almost all the pleasures this intimate jewel has to offer, including daily breakfast, lunch and dinner gourmet dining options with an assortment of organic food and beverage selections

Samana, Dominican RepublicLuxury Grand Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Located on an exclusive island almost a mile long, Luxury Grand Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado is a short ferry ride from the mainland, making it a perfectly romantic, adults-only getaway. On the island, there is only find the resort and a small market, giving you the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind. To leave the island, take the free ferry, or go big with helicopter or private boat service.

Punta CanaHard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana With 15 swimming pools, nine restaurants, the area’s biggest casino, exhilarating nightlife and legendary rock & roll memorabilia, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is a destination in itself. Every spacious guest room features a private balcony, LCD satellite TV and double Jacuzzi, but it’s the ridiculously fun Rock Star Suite that definitely stands out. Featuring three bedrooms, living room and full kitchen, the Rock Star Suite also includes a Baby Grand Piano, a pool table, Paul Stanley and Aerosmith Memorabilia and a digital safe larger than any other room in the resort.

Hawaii’s Big IslandMauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows Amidst mountains and the sea on the sunny Kohala Coast on the tropical Island of Hawaii, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is consistently rated one of the “Top Hotels in the World” by Travel +Leisure. Discover true luxury in one of the resorts five stunning Bungalows: Plumeria, Hibiscus, Orchid, Bird of Paradise and Heliconia. The 2,700 sq. ft. of indoor living space features an expansive living area, two spacious bedrooms, wet bar and a private kitchen for the chef at heart. A 1,300 sq. ft. outdoor area offers a private Jacuzzi and heated swimming pool creating a laidback setting for socializing or quiet enjoyment. Each bedroom features a spacious naturally lit bathroom with a soaking tub overlooking an outdoor shower and private garden. A guest bathroom is available off the living area.

Honeymoon Planning – Help!

Aloha Juice Readers!

 Hawaii

It’s been quite some time since my last post, but it’s good to be back.  I haven’t been lounging beachside, I’ve been off planning a wedding.  Thus far things have been pretty easygoing – not too much stress.  That was, until it came time for the honeymoon.

I know, of all things to stress about, the honeymoon?  I work for a travel company.  This should be a cinch right?  Wrong!  The number one question I have been asked this entire time is, “where are you going on your honeymoon”?  This is supposed to be THE trip.  The trip of a LIFETIME. That’s some pretty serious pressure.

So, after some serious back-and-forthing, we’ve made just a few decisions:

Now what?

Maui, Hawaii

Readers, this is where you come in.  Tell us what you think!  Any Honeymooning words of wisdom?  Where did you go? Have you been to Hawaii?  Can you offer a recommended “must see”?

As the trip gets closer, you’ll be able to following along with our planning, and your recommendations will become our reality!  And who knows, maybe we’ll drop you a few postcards along the way.

Mahalo for your help!

Shannon

 

The Big  Island

Aloha Friday – Step Up Your Stay at Starwood Resorts in Hawaii (Mexico & the Caribbean too)

We are in the final booking week of Sunsational Savings at all Starwood Resorts!

Book by July 22 and travel July 1-December 15, 2013 and bask in the splendor of Starwood Resorts on the sun-drenched beaches of Mexico, the Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands. Apple Vacations offers the most convenient and affordable ways to get there.

Apple Vacations is celebrating Starwood with a host of exclusive value-added extras like guaranteed room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, food and beverage credits, spa discounts and more!

Click here for specific resort details.

And check out our Pinterest board featuring Starwood Resorts here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Fourth of July from Apple Vacations!

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Oahu – Hawaii

Happy Fourth of July & It is #tbt (Throw Back Thursday). So I am re-posting my blog from last year featuring vacations that are Made In The U.S.A.
Enjoy!

I was in Macy’s this winter and a man came up to me and said “point me to the direction of clothes only made in the U.S.A,” that’s all he wanted to buy. The same applies to vacations. Some people want to keep their spending within the U.S. Others simply don’t have the funds for a vacation AND a passport.

I love traveling all over the globe, but for those who want to focus on travel within our beautiful country, this blog is for you. There are a variety of destinations Apple Vacations offers that are within the U.S. that I want to highlight. Imagine the fireworks, cook out’s and celebrations these destinations have to offer!

First up, is one of our most popular destinations and our 50th state – Hawaii. In Hawaii you can relax on just one island, or take a multi-island vacation and discover the unique characteristics of each. There is a perfect Apple Vacation for singles, couples, families, spa vacations, golf vacations and even girls getaways. Apple Vacations offers over 150 of the best hotels and condos on six islands to suit every preference and budget. Look to our Hawaii micro site to find the resort for you.

Hawaii is on my travel list! I can’t wait to go. I keep a book of the articles I read on Hawaii with the places I want to visit, hotels I want to stay at, islands I want to explore, food I want to try, and excursions I want to do. When I am ready to book, I’ll have it all ready.

Puerto Rico is another great choice. Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, citizens of the U.S. are not required to carry a passport to enter Puerto Rico. When I was young, I remember my dad taking off each winter for a golf vacation to San Juan with his friends. It always sounded so amazing and exotic. After all, the island is known asthe island of enchantment”. Puerto Rico features world class resorts, championship golf, 300 miles of shoreline, fabulous shops, exciting nightclubs and casinos. The Latin flare in Puerto Rico inspires amazing cuisine as well.

“No Passport Required” is the slogan for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Apple Vacations offers Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas. The U.S. Virgin Islands offer pristine beaches, warm weather, and crystal-clear waters. They are also culturally diverse as residents are literally from everywhere including Africa, England, Holland, Denmark, Spain, France, India and the United States. Visit St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S.Virgin Islands and home to one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. The most visited port in the Caribbean, Charlotte Amalie is known as the shopping mecca of the Caribbean with its winding streets of world-class duty free shops. St. Croix Turtle Beach on Buck’s west end has been voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by National Geographic. For a more laid-back vacation, bask in the mesmerizing natural beauty of St. John, the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands and a short ferry ride from St. Thomas. Two thirds of St. John is designated as a National Park, featuring spectacular trails, secluded coves and dazzling white beaches.

Last but not least, if the beach is not for you, head for the mountains. Apple Vacations offers ski & mountain vacations in 7 regions in 2 countries. Find the perfect one for you here.

Happy 4th of July to everyone!