Why Open Eye?
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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
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.
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,
"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
"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
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
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,
"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,
I loved everything about the tour. Would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Maui.
Mahalo Barry! :-)
Kristin Moon, Jaci, Shawna and Francine
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)
Why Open Eye?
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)..
(e-mail after the tour)
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My Flute Music
Makawao, HI 96768 USA
(808) 572- For