Shaka Guide is your local Hawaiian guide that you can fit in your pocket! Each of our audio tours are packed with tips and tricks to help you explore the island, and even learn something new!
How do the tours work?
On our tours you’ll hear fun stories, music, and precise directions that play automatically as you drive (or walk!). We do this by using your phone’s built-in GPS to determine where you are and which direction you are headed. Like a real tour guide, Shaka Guide will take you to all of the best attractions around the island (and even the hidden spots that most tourists miss! ;) Since your GPS does not require any data connection, you can download the tour to your phone, and then explore 100% offline!
Our goal at Shaka Guide is to give you the freedom and expertise to explore on your own. Unlike traditional tour methods, Shaka Guide allows you to travel at your own pace and stop whenever you like. So take the stress out of your vacation and let Shaka Guide lead the way!
So go ahead, get your Shaka Guide tour today and start exploring!
Create an account and log in to the app
Click on "Redeem Code" and type in your Unique Purchase Code: e.g. "SG_ABC123"
Tap on Redeem and then on Download Tour
Download the tours to your phone and hit OPEN when you're ready to start your Shaka Guide tour!
NOTE: Your Purchase Code is case sensitive and will only work with the right Shaka Guide Island app you bought your tours for.
How do I take the Shaka Guide Driving Tour?
To get started, browse through our list of walking and driving tours located in the ‘tours’ tab of the app. Once you’ve seen one you like, you can ‘preview’ the tour by watching a video or listening to sample audio. Purchase a tour by scrolling down to the ‘purchase options’ section in the tour page. Purchases are processed through your default payment method in the app store.
TIP: Download the tour over Wifi for faster download speed. Do not close the app until download is completed. If download stays frozen for longer than one minute, please close the app and then reopen it and select ‘restore purchases.’
That’s it! Once you’ve downloaded the tour, follow the steps on the screen, and start the tour by driving to the green flag located on the map. You can also use our ‘tutorial to starting point’ tool for directions to the tour starting point.
Green starting point flag
This may be due to either a poor internet/data connection, or the download timed out because you closed the app/turned off the phone.
Solution: Find a place with a good connection and keep the app open until it finishes downloading completely. If the download stays frozen, please force quit the app, reopen Shaka Guide and try again.
If the download is still stuck or frozen, delete the app, then download it again from the App Store or Play Store, and try again.
We recommend selecting a tour that works best for you based on your location and schedule. Our Circle Island Tour has starting points in Waikiki, Turtle Bay, and Koolina Resort so you have many options. However, our South Shore tour only has one starting point in Waikiki, but it is a shorter tour that takes only about 3-5 hours.
TIP: The best deal is to download the tour bundle which gives you a generous discount on all driving and walking tours. This also allows you to choose a tour that works best for your schedule.
All Shaka Guide tours come with the following:
The best way make sure everyone can hear the tour is to play it through the car's speakers. There are few ways to do this: bluetooth, USB cable or AUX cord. We recommend using a USB cable.
Check out our video tutorial to learn how to connect your phone to the car’s stereo.
Pro tip! Before you leave the car rental lot, confirm that you can play audio through the car’s stereo. Some rental cars are old or have broken USB ports. The rental car agencies will willingly change your car if the car stereo does not play from your phone.
Still need help? No worries. Below are detailed instructions for setting up the audio based on the different methods we've outlined.
1. USB Cable:
Depending on the make and model of your car, sometimes you are able to sync your phone’s audio through a USB cable. This is our favorite option because it also charges your phone at the same time. The most likely place to find the USB port is in the middle glove compartment, on the car dash or near the audio control panel.
Connect the USB to car stereo
From your car stereo, select “media player”, iPhone, CarPlay, Android Auto, or find the name of your device.
Look for signs of connectivity through the display on your car dash.
Play any of the tour audio to test if the audio plays correctly from the speakers.
USB still not playing audio?
Try some of the following, testing the audio after each attempt:
Make sure your volume is turned up on your car stereo.
Restart your device and restart your car stereo (turn off both devices and turn them back on).
Unpair bluetooth connection with phone (if you are paired).
Connect your device to a different stereo USB port (if you have one).
Try a different USB cable.
Update your device firmware.
Try playing audio from a different app to see if any audio will play.
NOTE: Trying to play audio through the USB cable in many older rental cars sometimes do not work for reasons related to a damaged USB port or car’s stereo firmware. Please consult your car rental company for further assistance.
2) AUX Cord:
Does your phone have an audio port? If not, move on to the next method.
If your phone does have an audio aux port, then you will need to get an auxiliary jack with two male ends: one plugs into your phone, the other plugs into the car. You can adjust volume from both the car radio and the phone’s volume.
Depending on the make and model of your car, sometimes you can sync your phone’s audio through a bluetooth connection. Here are the steps:
First go to your phone’s bluetooth and turn it on.
Then in your rental car, use your car’s dash system to activate the bluetooth connection of the car.
When you see your phone, select it to complete the bluetooth connection.
Play any of the tour audio to test if the audio plays correctly from the speakers.
Bluetooth still not working?
Try some of the following to troubleshoot:
Restart your device.
Make sure your device’s Bluetooth is turned to ON (check your settings).
Unpair both your device and car stereo from each other, restart your car, and then try to pair and connect your device again.
NOTE: In some older rental cars bluetooth appears to be connected but still doesn't play audio. Again, likely something not working with the car's bluetooth system.
Still can’t get audio to play through the car stereo?
Just use your device’s built in speakers and turn the volume up as loud as you can.
Yes! We can’t stress this enough. Make sure you download the tour before you go (preferably at your hotel). You don’t want to get on the road only to have a poor data connection and no access to the tour or offline map. Remember, you'll be driving in some remote parts of Hawaii!
If you download the tour before you go everything will work offline. While you’re downloading the tour make sure you leave the app open. Closing the app or switching over to another app may stop the download or cause problems.
If you didn't download the tour at your hotel before you left, don't worry, there are still some options for you!
1) Find a spot with WiFi like Starbucks or a local coffee shop. Pro Tip - McDonalds WiFi is super slow so look elsewhere!
2) Can't find a spot with WiFi - go to a nearby city (aka civilization) where data is likely to be stronger and download the tour over your data service. If you do this, we recommend you pull over and wait for the tour to finish downloading before you continue to drive.
This could be because of a poor internet/data connection, or the download timed out because you closed the app/turned off your phone.
If the download freezes on your phone, here are some steps you can take:
Still having problems? Use another device. Purchase again if needed, we can refund you later for the duplicate purchase.
Before a tour is purchased, the app uses the internet or data to display the map, images, and play sample audio. However, after a tour is purchased and downloaded it works 100% offline. This includes the map, audio directions, as well as tour highlights.
If you are concerned about your data usage, simply turn your phone on “airplane mode” while taking the tour. This will turn off your data while leaving your GPS signal on. But again, this is only needed if you are nervous about using data.
Note: Some older Android devices when turn on airplane mode will turn off your GPS signal. If this is the case for you, then go to your settings and only turn off Cellular Data and WiFi and keep GPS or Location on.
Yes! As long as you download the tour before you go. Even without service, the app will use GPS to access your location and give you turn-by-turn directions.
So, curious how the GPS works if there is no data connection? Good question! The GPS on your phone relies on satellites floating in space to determine your location, not your data connection. So with the offline map downloaded already, even with no data or WiFi service, your phone's GPS will still work.
One of the most important items to pack with you for your tour is a car charger. If you didn't bring one on your trip you can pick one up on island at Target, Walmart or ABC Store. Without a charger, you can expect your fully-charged phone to last about 4-5 hours and many of our tours take between 6-10 hours to complete.
However, many rental cars have USB ports that will allow you to charge your phone and connect to the car’s stereo. Check out your rental car before you head out for the tour and if you have a USB port, just bring your regular charging cable along for the drive!
Here are some tips to conserve battery throughout the day.
Yes! You for sure need to bring a car charger on your tour. Most rental cars now come equipped with USB ports so you can charge your phone and connect to the car’s stereo. However, if your rental car doesn’t have one, you can bring a charger that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter outlet.
Forgot yours at the hotel? Some rental car agencies have these available for purchase, but you can also check out a nearby Target, Walmart of ABC store!
Have you purchased Shaka Guide tours before on your last vacation and want to use them on our newest Shaka Guide mobile app?
No worries. Just watch the video tutorial below and migrate your tours to the new Shaka Guide Hawaii & Utah app.
Watch the video