How to drive the Hawaiian islands with a guide for under $5A travel writer I follow on Twitter once tweeted a tip about Hawaii that got my attention:

I checked out Shaka Guide, a Hawaii-based audio tour company, since I was in Hawaii at the time, and although I haven’t used it yet, I can see that it’s highly rated in both the iOS and Android stores, so I’d definitely consider it if I’m ever driving around one of the islands. Essentially, the Shaka Guide app uses GPS (it doesn’t need cell service to work) to guide you to interesting places as you drive.

They’ve just released six new tours in Utah. These are the first mainland U.S. tours for the company. The tours are available on Shaka Guide’s new mobile app, which features all its tours – 27 self-guided excursions across Hawaii and Utah.

Individually, each tour costs $9.99. The tours are also available as bundles for anyone spending multiple days exploring Utah’s Mighty 5 and the surrounding area. There are three bundles to choose from:

Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef – get all three tours for $19.99
Arches, Canyonlands, Moab – get the Arches, Canyonlands and La Sal tours for $19.99
Utah & Mighty 5 Collection – get all six tours for $29.99

Currently, the tour bundles are 50% off on Shaka Guide’s website. Learn more about the tour bundles and save here.

The app gives you the freedom to know where to stop and what to do without being on a long, boring tour or stuck with a bunch of people you don’t want to be with.

Guides are available for all four major Hawaiian islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. The guides currently offered are:


  • Grand Circle Island Tour
  • Legendary North Shore Loop
  • East Oahu Shoreline Drive
  • Honolulu’s Backyard Rainforest Tour


  • Classic Road to Hana Tour
  • Loop Road to Hana Tour
  • Reverse Road to Hana Tour
  • Sunrise at Haleakala National Park Tour
  • Sunset and Stargazing Haleakala Tour
  • West Maui Coastline Tour


  • North Shore Kauai Driving Tour
  • Waimea & Na Pali Driving Tour
  • Wailua Valley and Waterfalls Tour
  • Poipu and Koloa Town Driving Tour

Big Island

  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour
  • North Island Jungle Adventure Loop
  • South Island Epic Coastal Journey
  • Kona Big Kahuna Tour
  • Kohala Coast Backcountry Tour

To give you an example of how it works, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour is four to six hours long with 45 narration points. It starts from either Hilo and Kona with directions to the National Park and takes you all the way to the end of the road in the park. On the way back, the tour continues on the return trip with interesting stories and Hawaiian volcano legends, covering both Crater Rim Drive and Chain of Craters Road (in both directions). Again, no cellphone data/service is needed as all the tours and maps work offline.

So if you’re traveling through Hawaii or Utah, you’ll want to download the Shaka app. Keep an eye on them for other destinations as it looks like they might be expanding. In the meantime, also check out HearHere, an app developed by Kevin Costner, that tells travelers the stories of the people, places and histories of the land they’re traveling through, presented in a travel podcast format. Check it out here.

4 Comments On "Driving Tour Apps That Are Essentially a Private Guide at a Fraction of the Cost"
  1. Richa Agrwal|

    Great article. As someone have just starting out in the world of blogging, I need all the tips I can get. I am so grateful for some simple, easy to implement advice.

  2. Wayne Brubaker|

    I’m sure this isn’t unique, but I loved a similar app for Gettysburg. With it you can follow what happened during the 3 day battle. Just search for it on the app store.

  3. Susan Speese|

    Love GypsyGuide – Yellowstone and many more.

  4. Linda Perry|

    I have used the Shaka app on Maui, Kauai, and Oahu. I love it.

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