Big Island, Hawaii
Volcano Activities

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Our most recommended Big Island, Hawaii Volcano Activities

From Hilo: Fly over Volcano National Park and Waterfalls

1. From Hilo: Fly over Volcano National Park and Waterfalls

Take a helicopter ride over ever-changing scenery at Volcano National Park with this tour from Hilo. Journey over black sand beaches where lava once flowed into the sea. Take off from Hilo and fly directly to Volcano National Park. See the caldera of the Kilauea volcano. Admire the Pu'uo'o' volcanic cone. Snap pictures of the massive volcanos Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Discover new lava fields that are forming and go over old lava fields. View how waterfalls create a deep blue pools amid jungle greenery.

Big Island: Volcanoes National Park Group or Private Hike

2. Big Island: Volcanoes National Park Group or Private Hike

See it all on a group or private hike in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, uncovering its natural wonders. Journey with your expert guide through native Hawaiian forests and the Kilauea Iki Crater to an active caldera, then travel into the center of the earth to explore Thurston Lava Tube. Start your trek at the Kilauea Visitor Center where you'll meet your friendly guide and get ready for your adventure. Venture into the lush rainforests and experience incredible views over the solidified lava lake in Kilauea Iki Crater. Weave your way between a field of steam vents and into a native Hawaiian forest to reach the caldera of a volcano. Observe the gigantic volcanic walls and feel the heat close against your skin. Finish your hike in style as you delve into the iconic Thurston Lava Tube, a stretching, subterranean cave formed by ancient flowing lava. Feel the wonder of one of the park's most popular attractions before heading back to the visitor center.

Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

3. Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

Enjoy a fully narrated adventure starting with a stop at a Kona Coffee Farm. Walk through a lava tube and orchards with your guide to learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling a warm cup of Kona-grown coffee. Continue through the scenic view of the Kealakekua Bay and South Point, the southernmost point of the United States. Relax at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach to spot marine life, like Hawaii’s green sea turtles, from the shore. Next, go to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tour the Chain of Craters Road for the “mountain to sea” experience. Stop by and learn about volcanic eruptions and flow sites, the park coastline, and the Holei Sea Arch. Visit Kilauea Iki Lookout, steam vents, Halema’uma’u Crater, and crater rim trail. After enjoying dinner at a local café near the park, visit a secluded location for stargazing. Depending on weather conditions, observe stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

Kona: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour

4. Kona: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour

First travel south into Kona coffee country for the first stop at the Bay View Farm, a working 24-acre coffee farm nestled on the slopes of Mauna Loa Volcano, just above beautiful Kealakekua Bay. See the coffee beans growing on the trees and learn about the various steps and processes in making coffee, all of which happen right on the farm. Sample 100% Kona Coffee at a gorgeous overlook with stunning views of Kealakekua Bay and the monument to Captain Cook standing on the only sliver of British land in the United States. Continue the adventure as you head through the South Kona and Ka’u Districts. Enjoy the stunning views of the region, alternating between stark lava flows and the Hawaiian dry forest, which are visible through the huge picture windows of your tour vehicle. Stop briefly at Punalu’u Bake Shop, the southernmost bakery in America. Offering the finest time-honored Hawaiian sweetbreads since 1991, the Bake Shop offers an array of breads and cookies available for purchase. Shortly thereafter, arrive at picturesque Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. Lined with swaying coconut palm trees, this is one of the best black sand beaches on the island. Stroll along the beach and look for honu (Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles) feeding just offshore, or sun-worshipping on the sand. Enjoy a picnic-style lunch here, weather permitting. Next, travel to the crown jewel of the Big Island, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visit the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the Volcano Art Center, and the famed Sulphur Banks. Take a hike out to Keanakako’i Crater and step over the sinkholes and cracks in the roads left behind by the historic 2018 eruption. Then make your way to Mauna Ulu, one of the most culturally important locations in the Park. Take a quick break at Volcano House, which has been welcoming guests such as Mark Twain and Jack London to Kilauea since 1864. At the end of an epic day, enjoy drop-off to your hotel.

From Kona and Waikoloa: Intimate Volcano Discovery Tour

5. From Kona and Waikoloa: Intimate Volcano Discovery Tour

Begin your adventure with a scenic drive over the stark and beautiful saddle road to set the stage for the day overlooking mesmerizing views including a stop to view the famous Rainbow Falls. If the Twilight option is selected, you will stay in the Park past sunset to view the eruption's glow. From there your first stop will be the Hawaii Volcanoes, National Park. Discover all the “must-see” spots within the Park including the dramatically changed Halemaumau Crater. After immersing yourself in the magnanimous history and culture of Volcanoes National Park and enjoying your picnic lunch, you will be driven to Hawaii Forest and Trail's private lava tube, Kauhi Cavern. Explore this unique cave with ceilings as high as 35 feet, expansive rooms, bright golden walls, and an “upside-down” forest of roots hanging from the cave ceiling. Upon returning to the surface from the lava tube exploration, enjoy a light afternoon snack with your fellow travelers and guide while reflecting on your in-depth volcano experience.

From Waikoloa: Big Island Tour with Lunch

6. From Waikoloa: Big Island Tour with Lunch

Circle the Big Island of Hawaii, stopping at many of its iconic attractions in just 1 day. Get picked up from your accommodation. Head to a Kona coffee farm for a private tasting tour to sample one of the island's most important products. Then stop at one of the black sand beaches the island is known for and spot giant sea turtles sunbathing. From there, head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the island's natural crown jewel. Visit the Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook and Steaming Bluffs before taking a walk through the famous Volcano House to view smoking and steaming Kilauea Caldera. Journey down the lush eastern side of Kilauea Volcano to your next stop at Big Island Candies, an island institution boasting an assortment of high-quality, handmade confections. Peek through the windows into the factory or browse the selection of gorgeous jewel-box gifts. Next, head to the fertile Waipio Valley where taro farmers have tilled the land for nearly a thousand years. Catch sweeping views of the valley from the overlook and even glimpses of native wild horses if you're lucky. At the end of an epic day, enjoy drop-off at your hotel.

Ultimate Circle Island Explorer From Kona with Lunch

7. Ultimate Circle Island Explorer From Kona with Lunch

Start your action-packed day of discovery on the Big Island by visiting some of its most popular and spectacular landmarks. During your guided tour of the Island you will visit landmarks such as the Kona coffee farm, including a private tasting and tour, a Black Sand beach for turtle viewing, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island Candies, Akaka Falls, and the Waipio Valley Overlook. Next, travel to the crown jewel of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visit the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook, and Steaming Bluffs. Take a walk through the famous Volcano House to view the smoking and steaming Kilauea Caldera. Dropping down into the lush eastern side of Kilauea Volcano your next stop is Big Island Candies. Founded in 1977, Big Island Candies are famous for their quality. Big Island Candies welcomes everyone with samples of their amazing confections, still handmade using only the highest quality ingredients. Peek through the windows into the factory or browse the selection of gorgeous jewel-box gifts. Waipio Valley is still home to taro farmers as it has been for a thousand years. Look closely from the overlook where glimpses of the wild horses that roam the valley floor might be possible. Afterwards, you will return to your hotel.

Big Island: Kilauea Volcano Hiking Tour

8. Big Island: Kilauea Volcano Hiking Tour

Experience an ohana tour with friends and family in style. Get exclusive access to an active volcano in the infamous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Wander through lava tubes off the beaten track and stay until after dark for magnificent views of molten lava spewing from the Halemaumau Crater. Your tour includes 2-3 miles of hiking through the Big Island's lush and varied scenery, a knowledgeable guide who will teach you about the flora and fauna unique to Big Island, and round trip transportation from Kona or Waikaloa. Enjoy snacks, beverages, a Deli-style lunch prepared by Christine's Deli, and dinner, which are all included in your 10-12 hour day trip. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime view of the glowing lava at one of the last remaining active volcanoes in Hawaii. Have your camera ready to capture the orange glow of lava against the night sky.

Big Island: Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

9. Big Island: Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

Start with a drive through quaint Hilo town where you’ll drive along the historic waterfront before heading out to the old fishing village of Kalapana. Your National Park Service certified guide will discuss the volcanology, geology, and history of Kilauea Volcano, as well as providing in-depth narration on the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you’ll be passing by.  Hike out across the lava flow to the new black sand beach. Stop by Star of the Sea Painted Church, moved by the community twice to save it from advancing lava flows in 1990, this decommissioned church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Next travel to the crown jewel of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. V isit the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook, and Steaming Bluffs. Stop in at the famous Volcano House for incredible views of Kilauea Caldera, and hike to the cracks and sinkholes in the paved roads left behind by the historic eruption of 2018.

Hawaii: Big Island Self-Guided Driving Tour

10. Hawaii: Big Island Self-Guided Driving Tour

Experience Hawaii's Big Island at your own pace with a self-guided driving tour. Stops include Hulihe's Palace, Magic Beach, and the Lekeleke Burial Grounds. Your tour of the Big Island begins outside the quaint town of Kailua-Kona. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. As you drive, you’ll see the historic Hulihe’e Palace, once the vacation home of the island’s royalty. Continue south to Magic Beach, where the sand sometimes simply disappears. After that is Kahalu'u Beach, a perfect place for snorkelers, followed by the sacred Lekeleke Burial Grounds. Next, pass the remnants of Hikiau Heiau, an important religious site in ancient Hawaii. Past that is the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park for those looking to learn more about the island’s history. See the Honaunau Rodeo Arena and learn all about Hawaii’s cowboys. Next up is Pebble Beach, where you’ll get to know the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. You’ll also have the option to check out the Kula Kai Caverns, left by ancient volcanic activity. Continuing on, reach the startling Punalu'u Beach, which features totally black sand. The route then passes an old sugar plantation, followed by the huge volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Pass by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can explore the island’s volcanoes up close. After that, drive through the picturesque town of Hilo. Then, cruise through the almost impossibly scenic Liliuokalani Park and Gardens. Find surfers catching waves next at Honoli'i Beach. After that is Onomea Bay, featuring a spectacular hiking trail with views that can’t be beaten. Then, admire the astonishing flora at the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. Continuing on, you’ll arrive at the surprising sight of the Honohina Hongwanji Mission, a historic Buddhist temple. Next pass the Laupahoehoe Train Museum before reaching Laupahoehoe Point, a spectacular ocean vista. Don’t forget to snap some photos. Anyone hankering for a snack will definitely want to stop at the Hamakua Harvest Farmers Market before continuing on to the cowboy town of Waimea. Up next are a pair of great beaches: Hapuna Beach is the largest white sand beach on the island and Beach 69 is beloved by locals, so take your pick. Then you’ll arrive at the Kings Highway Foot Trail, where you’ll have the chance to see the ancient Waikoloa Petroglyphs. After that are another few scenic overlooks, followed by the beautiful Kekaha Kai State Park. Your tour concludes here, just north of where it began.

Frequently asked questions about Big Island, Hawaii Volcano Activities

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What people are saying about Big Island, Hawaii

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 14 reviews

The guide was excellent. We were fortunate to see a double rainbow and an active volcano. I was disappointed that one family brought a 7 year old child on a 12 hour tour that lasted late....we had to leave the active volcano early because he was whining and ready to go to the car but they couldn't go to the van unless we all went to the van....not the child's fault....it was the parents fault. I think you should be able to choose an adult only option. Other than that, it was great. One suggestion though would be to give out headlights instead of flashlights so participants have both of their hands available for balance in the lava tube.

Be sure to follow the directions for downloading the audio to go with your trip. Otherwise, customer service was very helpful in helping us find our errors. Excellent narrative as you go along the given route.

Es war ein langer, toller, interessanter Tag. Voller Erinnerungen die ich mit nach Hause nehmen darf. Mahalo Aaron, dem Guide . Er war so super!!!

girl power! We really enjoyed the flight. Pilot top. We felt very comfortable. Mahalo

Nice and informative tour to explore the island. Everything went well.