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The History of Hawaii

Of all the things that make Hawaii special and unique, the history of the islands are something that separates it from the rest. Dating back hundreds of years, the long and complicated history of Hawaii is unlike any other place in the world. From the creation of the islands, to present day, Hawaii is truly on its own in the history books.

The earliest settlers of Hawaii are believed to have arrived around 800AD on voyaging canoes from the Marquesas Islands. While the actual year is unknown, indications are that the islands were inhabited around this time, and a second wave of settlers arrived 200-300 years later. It was during the second wave of arrivals that the first line of chiefs were installed, a set of laws were put in place, and many of the customs and rituals that would survive for hundreds of years were introduced.

Long before the settlers arrived, the islands were formed, and while there is still plenty of mystery surrounding the formation of the islands, the hot spot that is currently erupting on the Big Island played a central role in the eruptions and formation of the mountainous islands. Underwater volcanoes exploded and broke the surface of the ocean, and continuous eruptions formed more and more land, and as the Earth’s crust moved and earthquakes shifted the ocean floor, the hotspot moved, creating the islands as they are today.

The earliest documented contact with European explorers in Hawaii comes around 1780, believed to be in 1778. Exposure to European explorers brought new customs, religions, and disease, including measles, smallpox, and Leprosy, which would later create a colony of the island of Molokai.

Hawaii was ruled by a line of royalty, beginning with King Kamehameha the Great, who unified the Hawaiian Islands under one rule. To that point, each island was ruled by a chief, but King Kamehameha was the first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and created the succession of rulers until the overthrow of the kingdom in the late 1800’s.

Following the overthrown, the islands remained as a territory of the United States until 1959, when statehood was officially granted. During its time as a territory, the islands would operate as a military post for the United States, and would fall victim to the tragic attacks of December 7, 1941, targeting Pearl Harbor and the naval fleet of ships.

In the years since, Hawaii has become one of the most sought after vacation destinations in the world, welcoming nearly 9 million visitors in 2015. The islands combine stunning sites with fun activities, and a unique history that only adds to the allure. Not only that, throw in beautiful beaches and the best weather on Earth, and it is easy to see why Hawaii is a dream vacation destination for so many, no matter which island you visit.

Due to the high volume of visitors traveling to Hawaii year round, our Hawaii tours and activities sell out quickly. In many cases, tours sell out weeks or months in advance. To ensure your spots on tour, we recommend reserving your tours today. Call our office or book online to take advantage of our low price guarantee today.


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