This is a question many visitors to paradise often struggle with. Please allow us help with your decision.
First off, we do not offer a sunrise tour for several reasons.
For us its a life style decision, it also cuts out any possibility of you, and us, getting stuck inside a giant wet cloud on top of a 10,000 ft mountain at 5am and missing the sunrise altogether.
If you really want to see the sunrise you can always drive up in your rental and see it on your own instead of being stuck in a van for hours during the dark hours of the morning. This also keeps you from paying an inflated tour cost of seeing the sunrise.
Here are a list of reasons why we think its a good idea to skip the sunrise altogether.
We think its over-rated, sure it can be beautiful but there is always the chance that you will not see it at all, our tour cuts out this possibility.
Its too early to wake up for on your vacation. Do you really want to be picked up from your hotel at 2am to be shuffled around the island for a chance to maybe see the sunrise, nothing is guaranteed.
Bike Tours are not allowed to let you ride your bike inside the National Park anyway, all bike tours must start on the outside of the Park entrance regardless of what they advertise. So there is no advantage unless you prefer to bike when its colder.
You could always go to the summit to view the crater and see a sunset later in the day when its not so cold and be able to see with your own eyes if the weather is worthy of the drive up the mountain or not.
Sunrise is too crowded, over the years its become the standard for large groups of hundreds of tourists to gather at the craters edge, huddled together in one small spot to view sunrise. We suggest going later in the day to avoid the crowds and watch a good ole’ fashion sunset instead of getting up so early to see the sunrise and see the sunset with 500 of your best friends.
Come with us on our bike tour at 9am and you still have plenty of time to hang around Paia Town after the tour ends at 1pm, and then decide later if you want to make the haul up to the summit to view the crater and watch a magnificent sunset free of crowds.
One of the reasons we have maintained a steady stream of excellent reviews over the years is because we do not offer the sunrise, its just over-rated and not all its led on to be.
People are usually tired and disoriented after such a long morning waiting to see sunrise which can create unsafe biking conditions. Also hangovers, dehydration, little to no sleep, oxygen deprivation and people that haven’t eaten are a couple of other commonly overlooked factors on sunrise bike tours.