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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Hilo: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Waterfalls Flight

1. Hilo: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Waterfalls Flight

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, Waterfalls, & Coffee Farm Day-Trip

2. Big Island: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, & Coffee Farm Day-Trip

The morning is filled with guided visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. The views stop you in your tracks at the Waipio Valley lookout, where a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs drops into the sparkling blue ocean. Continue riding along the Hamakua coast as more postcard-worthy views pass by your window before visiting Akaka Falls and the famous Rainbow Falls. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an up-close view and plenty of photo opportunities. In the afternoon, explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including steam vents, the Halema’uma’u, and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, and take a short hike along the crater rim trail.  From here, relax and take it all in at Punalu’u Beach, a great place to spot marine life from the black-sand shore. On the leisurely drive back around sunset, you’ll see views of South Point, the southernmost point of the United States, and Kealakekua Bay.  Finally, enjoy a visit to Kona Coffee Farm. Stroll through the orchards with your guide and learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling a warm cup of Kona-grown coffee.

From Kona and Waikoloa: Kilauea Volcano Discovery Tour

3. From Kona and Waikoloa: Kilauea 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.

MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

4. MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Maunakea Stellar Explorer. The in-house stellar explorers are the best and most experienced in Hawaii, with one having created the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center and operated it for a decade. Staff have written noted articles and reviews for well-known astronomy magazines and have worked at world-class observatories. Next, you’ll travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the tallest and most massive volcanoes on Earth. Your National Park Service trained guide will discuss the volcanology, geology, and history of these monstrous wonders, as well as providing in-depth narration on the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you’ll be passing by. While you’re taking in the breathtaking terrestrial views, your guide will prepare some heavenly views just as stunning. Setting up a state of the art solar telescope for your viewing pleasure, your specially trained guide will let you safely watch the sun come alive in true color with vibrant solar flares, sunspots, prominences, and any other current activity, weather permitting. Lastly, your guide will take you to one of the preferred locations on Mauna Kea for nighttime stargazing. You’ll observe deep sky and planetary objects through a large aperture Dobsonian telescope under one of the darkest and most pristine skies on planet Earth. The Dobsonian telescopes are a true purist’s experience to view the night sky. Their fast focal ratio enables you to see sprawling wide field views of objects that simply aren’t possible with the types of telescopes used by other tours. Depending on what is visible in the current sky and weather permitting, you’ll observe galaxies, nebula, star clusters, planets, double star systems, the moon, and much more; all the highlights and showpiece objects like you’ve never seen before. 

From Oahu: Big Island Volcano Helicopter Adventure

5. From Oahu: Big Island Volcano Helicopter Adventure

Experience Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on an inter-island adventure from Oahu. Explore the Big Island via helicopter, discover the area around Hilo town with your driver-guide, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Meet at the Honolulu International Airport and fly from Oahu to Hilo on Hawaii Island. At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, peer into the depths of Halema’uma’u Crater, which has doubled in size since the recent 2018 eruption that drastically altered the island’s landscape. Watch steam clouds form as groundwater seeps into hot volcanic rock at the famous Steam Vents. Drive down the scenic Chain of Craters Road. Enjoy an included take-out picnic lunch from Millie’s in the park to refresh and relax. Take a 45-minute helicopter tour over the areas with the most recent volcanic activity, weather permitting. See the largest rainforest in the USA and Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and recently erupted Mauna Loa.

Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

6. Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

Enjoy a guided 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, head to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Drive on the Chain of Craters Road. Learn about volcanic eruptions and current and past lava flow sites. Visit the Kilauea Iki Lookout, Lava Tube, steam vents, Halema’uma’u Crater, and the crater rim trail. After enjoying dinner at a nearby cafe, return to the park to view the lava glow at night and stargaze. Depending on weather conditions, observe stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

Volcano: Volcanoes National Park E-Bike Ride with GPS Guide

7. Volcano: Volcanoes National Park E-Bike Ride with GPS Guide

Experience the thrill of a lifetime: E-bike around the rim of an erupting volcano. Follow a GPS map tour using your smartphone. This day of unbeatable excitement begins at Bike Volcano Headquarter in Volcano Village (less than a mile from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park) where there is secured parking, restrooms, a general store, and a restaurant. Here you will be fitted with an e-bike and helmet and given a safety lecture under the canopy staging area. The GPS system will then lead you on a voice turn-by-turn navigation from Volcano Village into National Park on a bike trail through a lush native Hawaiian Rainforest. Your first stop will be Waldron's Ledge where you will get your first panoramic view of Kilauea Volcanos Caldera and the active lava in Halemaumau Crater (volcano-dependent). Next, your ride continues a paved trail along the rim of the Caldera to the Steam Vents where you will feel the heat of the volcano and get another incredible view of the Kilauea Volcano's Caldera. Continue biking along the crater's edge, getting incredible vast views unseen by most visitors to the park. Stop at the Kilauea Overlook and the Summit of Kilauea. Adventure abounds as you head to the opposite side of the crater and bike through the lush Hawaiian rainforest to see the incredible Kilauea Iki Crater before taking a short hike through the Thurston Lava Tube. The journey continues down Devastation Trail and leads to the closest viewing point to see the active lava in the Summit Crater. Why walk when you can e-bike? You will end your journeying by biking back to Volcano Village where you will say "A hui hou", until we meet again.

Big Island: Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

8. 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.

From Waikoloa: Big Island Tour with Lunch

9. 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.

Big Island: National Park, Coffee, Cloud Forest, and Brewery

10. Big Island: National Park, Coffee, Cloud Forest, and Brewery

Discover some of the highlights and diversity of Hawaii's big island on this half-day tour. Explore the beautiful Kaloko-Honokohau National Park, head on a unique cloud forest walk, find out about how coffee is produced at a plantation, and enjoy a refreshing drink at a local brewery. First, head to the picturesque Kaloko-Honokohau National Park and learn about early Hawaiian settlements on the rugged Kona coast. See petroglyphs, a sacred temple, and fishponds that highlight the engineering skills of native Hawaiians. If you're lucky, you may also spot a sea turtle or monk seal. Next up is a guided stroll through the only cloud forest in the United States. Find out more about one of the Big Island’s many microclimates as you admire the distinctive plants, flowers, and trees that thrive at 3,000 feet on the slopes of Mauna Loa. Nestled on the slopes of Hualalai, Hawaii Island’s third most active volcano, Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation offers tours, tastings, and a gift shop where you can purchase their coffee. Take a guided tour of the plantation and sample some of the different coffees that are produced here. To finish, sip on a local beer, cider, seltzer, or sampling flight from a community and employee-owned brewery. Ola Brew Co. sources most of its ingredients from local Hawaiian farmers, helping to sustain the local agricultural economy.

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What people are saying about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 299 reviews

This was an amazing experience. I would have enjoyed more hiking. But the stops were all incredible and I loved everything we viewed. The steaming crater was amazing. The private lava tube was absolutely spectacular and a truly unique experience. I really enjoyed the fissures and the cinder cone. And the view from the cliffs at dinner was awe inspiring! Maddie was a great guide and took care of everything you could want on a full day tour. The food and snacks were delicious and dinner hot and a wonderful. I highly recommend this excursion!

Since it was my first time to experience a helicopter, I felt very scared at first and only look at the scenery in the camera. The team worked well together. The pilots have great skills and can chat and explain the scenery. The process of tilting at the view is very exciting. I feel like it's a roller coaster ride. However, as the plane flew through the clouds, it felt like my dream had come true.

Very knowledgeable guide, friendly and helpful. LOVED the wine tasting! I recommend the driver and activity. Drove completely around the island, stopped at many scenic locations, discovered the areas we wanted to go back to and spend more time exploring. Well worth the time.

It’s a great trip and really worth it! We visited many unique sightseeing points that really showed the beauty of Mother Nature.

Our guide Maddie was terrific. She made it interesting and fun.