9. Ultimate National Park Tour from Waikoloa
Start your day by traveling south into Kona coffee country at Bay View Farm, a working 24 acre coffee farm nestled on the slopes of Mauna Loa Volcano just above beautiful Kealakekua Bay and known for the best Kona coffee since 1984. Here you’ll see coffee growing on the trees and learn about the various steps and processes in making coffee, all of which happen right here on the farm. Get the opportunity to 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.
Your adventure continues as you head through the South Kona and Ka’u Districts. Stunning views, alternating between stark lava flows and Hawaiian dry forest, are visible through the huge picture windows of your tour vehicle. Stop briefly at Punalu’u Bake Shop, the southern most bakery in America. Offering the finest time-honored Hawaiian sweetbreads since 1991, the Bake Shop offers an array of breads and cookies. Shortly thereafter, you’ll 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. Picnic-style lunch will be served here weather permitting.
Next travel to the crown jewel of the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visit the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the Volcano Art Center, and 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 here, then on to Mauna Ulu. One of the most culturally sensitive locations in the Park you will see a landscape at Mauna Ulu like no other on Earth. Photo ops abound here, and the closer you look the more unusual and striking shapes and fascinating colors you will see. Take a quick break at Volcano House, welcoming guests such as Mark Twain and Jack London to Kilauea since 1864. Enjoy the views or check out their gift shop before returning to your hotel.