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Tour Choices and Customized Options

Your personalized day trip / land tour is available with or without walking or hiking, depending on how active and adventurous you wish to be. My private guide service is perfect for singles, couples, families, seniors, groups. Tours should reflect your special interests and needs.

Some will opt for a day of exploring exotic gardens, little tucked away villages, hidden bays, beaches, or seeing birds in a wildlife reserve.

Others would prefer a visit to ancient battle grounds, sacred sites, petroglyphs, monuments, churches, artists' studios, and beautiful parks with endless views.

Maybe you've been dreaming of swimming beneath refreshing waterfalls, or you're the type who'd enjoy a journey around the base of an extinct volcano or through tropical forests.

You might want to see as many different places as you can in one day, taking photographs, but basically relaxing and just enjoying the sites and scenery. Or, you may feel like going on some easy walks or more challenging ones. I'll help you come up with a plan for the day that's suited to you and works logistically.

Upon receipt of your reservation form, email inquiry, or phone call, I shall email you a menu of what you may encounter, region by region, to help you plan your special day.

Please be advised that the National Park Service is in the process of revamping their commercial use regulations, and until such time as they shall be issuing vendor permits to independent private guides, Open Eye Tours is not able to offer any tours within/inside Haleakala and Hawai'i Volcanos National Parks. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you in your holiday planning.

Each Open Eye Tour is a unique day, customized to your needs and interests. The possibilities are endless! Your special day tour with your very own personal guide can take on any form you'd like (within reason and feasibility, of course!)

While I am often asked to tour with folks on the road to Hana, Upcountry, Iao valley and other suggested points of interest around Mauna Kahalawai, I also get inquiries to plan something different or specific.

Here are some examples of custom tours initiated and enjoyed by other travelers:

  • Engineers and architects wished to see traditional Hawaiian archeological sites and thatched houses, as well as loko i'a (fish ponds), period Plantation houses, mansions and plantation village designs of the early part of the 20th century.
  • Doctors and others in the Healing profession have visited a traditional Healing sanctuary, where they could see the stones used to pound medicine, and learn about the plants still grown there which have medicinal value, and enjoy the spirit-filled serenity.
  • Photography tour - geared towards photo opps to maximize the opportunity to get the shots you want. Landscapes, flowers, typical village scenes, portraits, etc. have been requested. You got to shoot less seen places off the beaten path; settings you'd unlikely stumble upon on your own! With professional photography experience and longevity in the islands, consulting with me and having me guide you is a great use of your time.
  • Request to visit several secluded beaches and shorelines in different environments around the island, searching for the perfect place to scatter a beloved's ashes.
  • A mom and child were able to see the 3 finest private schools on the island, and executive homes within 2 miles of each school (meetings were scheduled with the admissions office for each).
  • Wildlife photographers visited wetlands, and wildlife preserves for bird viewing, upland forests to see native honey creepers, and also areas frequented by turtles and the occasional rare native Hawaiian monk seal.
  • Request to tour the oldest churches in a variety of districts on the island.
  • Folks in the music business were able to see traditional hawaiian hula implements and visit the various performance venues and recording studios.
  • Requests by families with children to learn some of the same Hawaiian Studies curriculum as the local children learn, at relevant sites, with hands-on activities throughout the day.
  • Repeat clients have asked me to show them the Big Island of Hawaii (where I lived and toured on for several years) and Kaua'i (which I have also toured for decades).
  • I've been requested by urban dwellers to visit the more rural and scenic splendors of Maui, both park-like settings and off-the-beaten-path serene locations.
  • Artists and designers wished to see Hawaiian Kapa (paper bark fabric made from the Wauke plant and from using natural dyes), Hawaiian print fabrics, Hawaiian quilts, Lau Hala (pandanus) weavings, tattoo designs, petroglyphs, and other crafts.
  • Japanese Hula dancers requested to visit the sites that many songs have been written about, so they could dance those songs on location (with Kumu Hula Uluwehi Guerrero in attendance, singing and playing 'ukulele).
  • Requests by honeymoon couples and couples renewing their vows to have me perform a traditional Hawaiian blessing, with lei exchange and honi (traditional Hawaiian greeting embrace), performed at one of many heavenly locations.
  • Gardeners, plant lovers, and botanists have requested to see flower farms, lo'i kalo (taro patches), nurseries, sugar cane, pineapples, orchids, proteas, lavender, and native plants in the wild.
  • History buffs can see remnants of times gone by, including World War II elements and those from the plantation era.
  • Sample local cuisine in a variety of forms in diverse locations and settings throughout the islands.
  • Honeymoon couples and families have visited waterfalls where they might bathe in the clean pools of water and be photographed for their Holiday Card.
    Please note: A refreshing dip may be possible in select locations, but diving or jumping off rocks or cliffs in any instance is strictly prohibited on all Open Eye Tours.
  • Request to visit sacred sites and learn some of the traditional protocol associated with being at such a space, with time to reflect, pray, and meditate.

"If you have a week to visit Maui, there are many places to go. If you only have a day, there's only one guide to go with..."
    N. & R.J. Seidel, V.P. Marketing Director,
    Chicago, IL

"Thank you for our two wonderful days together...As you know we have been to Hawaii about 10 times and our two days together were among the best we have ever spent. Our time together could not have been more special. As we were quite familiar with the traditional tourist stops you were able to design an itinerary filled with surprises and sites we would never have seen- the ancient Hawaiian refuge, the isolated cliffs with three humpbacks putting on a private show for us for almost an hour, the shell beach with locals helping in the search for shells, the raging rivers, the spectacular fruit lunch and the lunch at Hali'imaile General Store, the labyrinth walk. Mollie really appreciated your taking time to make special arrangements to visit "Native Intelligence". Learning from that experience, she bought more shell necklaces in Hana! We never felt we were "tourists" but close friends out to explore and enjoy Maui together. All in all a visit we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Thanks again for being such a wonderful host, guide and friend. Rest assured, we will let our friends know of our experiences."
    Mollie and Ron
    New Jersey

"Very enjoyable day. Educational. Customized tour, very pleasant and attentive. Overall wonderful experience, highly recommended! "
Scott and Maryanne Feldman
East Elmhurst, New York

(Flew to Hana, took tour from there.)

"Exhilarated, totally satisfied, very happy...the cultures, the legends, the history stand out; particularly liked the medicinal garden and everything. A fabulous day. Spectacular guide. Barry is exceptional."
Dr. and Mrs. Alan J. Wein
Gladwyne, Pennsylvania

"Dear Pono,
We write to let you know how much we enjoyed our birdwatching walk with you. We were delighted with the birds we saw at both sites. Actually we didn't have to walk very much! We suppose that you had earlier contracted with a large variety of lovely Hawaiian birds to come to us while we just stood on the shore of the pond or sat at that picnic table munching on the great snacks you provided. We enjoyed not only the birds but also your pleasant company, and we appreciate your sharing with us knowledge of the history of the areas we drove through and the advice you gave us about places to dine and what else to see. Thank you for a very enjoyable, bird-filled day on Maui! Feel free to share these comments with others."

    Sheila Feld & Martin Gold
    Professors, University of Michigan

"Having a personalized tour by Barry Pono is as if the spirit of Hawaii has selected this special person to reveal to us its hospitality. He is gifted as a teacher, and has a breadth and a depth of knowledge about his adopted home far beyond any travel book can offer. Pono's detailed descriptions were truly extraordinary by bringing to life for us Maui's history, folk lore, religion, legends, language, visual arts, music, herbs, geology, agriculture, and cuisine leading up to and including its current cultural context. He has the unique ability to see beyond one's expectations and reveal a side of Maui that is truly awe inspiring, offering an experience like no other from the seaside to Upcountry.
Pono took the time to get to know us. It was not just a private tour, but also truly a customized one. With knowing of my professional background in clinical sciences and spirituality and with my sister-in-law's counseling position, Pono had a special surprise for us, and took us to a traditional healing ceremonial sacred mound and taught us about the medicinal plants and the chants of offerings, something truly remarkable. Pono also took into account our husbands' professions as artists, and shared with them breathtaking, inspiring views. He also shared the fruits of his labor by giving us flowers and fruits from his farm.
Barry Pono Fried truly embodies Hawaii's gracious spirit and without this, our time here would not have been as wonderful.
Thanks again for making Hawaii alive for me,"

Dr. Karen Wright and family,
Greenwich CT

"Lots of thought and effort was put into our tour. Tour was customized to our requests down to the activity level and beverage selection. Barry covered every detail of Hawaiian culture with food, music during the drive and immersed us in the culture. Very knowledgeable. The humor and of course everything we saw exceeded our expectations- New experiences with someone who knew the history and the locals!!! He took many group photos for us! Sampling locally made and grown foods was really great! Yum, yum :-)- lots of fruit from his own farm!! We loved the leis made from fresh flowers from his farm. After the tour, we felt immersed, educated, relaxed, safe, wonderful. I loved everything about the tour. Would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Maui. Mahalo Barry! :-)
Kristin Moon, Jaci, Shawna and Francine
Camarillo, California

Amazing- best tour ever!!! It exceeded our expectations! Not your typical tour- it was very personalized for our family. Barry was great at explaining history and Hawaiian legends and even horticulture- he's warm and friendly- and even sang songs for us while playing his 'ukulele.. We had a great time and will not have another experience like this again. It was a magical day for us...unforgettable! It was a day filled with so many different activities-and perfectly fit together. (comment card after the tour)

DEAR BARRY, You and your wonderful day that we shared is still keeping us warm in the coldest of New York winters. I hope that you are well. The kids are in school and busy.. but they also look back with very fond memories of this trip. Keep a smile on.. We will come back one day.. cannot wait.. you truly do live in Paradise.. Enjoy some home grown pineapple for us. THANKS AGAIN FOR A MAGNIFICENT DAY... TALK TO U SOON,
Love Dayna, Yuval and the 3 munchkins (Daphne, Dean & Perry)..
Spector family
New York
(e-mail after the tour)

Introduction   Bio/Philosophy   Why Open Eye?   Tour Choices 

Customer Comments   Blog  Fees   Media and Links   Gallery

Reservation Form  My Flute Music


P.O.Box 324
Makawao, HI 96768 USA

(808) 572- For Great Tours Daily