When the Big Island Visitors Bureau created its Trendsetters
Award late last year, Rob Pacheco of Hawaii Forest & Trail was
the obvious choice for the inaugural prize.
“Today there are many in the same field, but Rob Pacheco has led
the way in developing the eco-tourism market,” said George
Applegate, the bureau’s executive director.
Pacheco, who founded the company in 1993 with his wife Cindy,
said he tries to keep activities fresh and distinctive. Last year
the tour company served approximately 20,000 people.
“We’re constantly looking for new locations and listening to our
guests and industry partners as to what they’d like to do,” he
said. “We make small changes in our food service, a piece of
equipment used, the drive route or the walk.
“But most important, what really sets us apart, is the focus,
attention and training we do with our guides.”
Pacheco also works with landowners so he can offer tours such as
the new Hualalai Volcano Adventure, which visits privately owned
land 6,000 feet above Kailua-Kona.
Pacheco said several large groups already have booked the tour,
which is offered daily. Rates are $89 per adult and $69 per child
12 and younger.