Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Culture & History

Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

1. 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.

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From Kona and Waikoloa: Intimate Volcano Discovery Tour

2. 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.

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From Waikoloa: Big Island Tour with Lunch

3. 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.

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Ultimate Circle Island Explorer From Kona with Lunch

4. 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.

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Ultimate National Park Tour from Waikoloa

5. 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.

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Big Island: Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

6. 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.

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Kona: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour

7. 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.

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Hilo: Elite Volcano Hike

8. Hilo: Elite Volcano Hike

Your experience begins as you head out of Hilo to the Puna Coast, the location of the historic 2018 eruption and where your first stop of the Mackenzie State Recreation Area is. The highway there was closed by the marching 40-foot-tall wall of crumbly a’a lava as it continued to the sea. You will take a hike along the now-closed highway, and then follow the lava flow through the pine forest to the altered coastline and cliffs overlooking the new black sand beach. Isaac Hale Beach Park is next, where you can drive along the infamous “Fissure 8”, which erupted in the heart of Lelani Estate's subdivision. A picnic-style lunch will be served at the park, weather permitting. You will then travel to the crown jewel of the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You'll begin by briefly visiting the Kilauea Iki Overlook, before heading off on foot down the paved road to Keanakakoi. You can check out the activity there from the historic 2018 eruption, which buckled the road and caused racks and sinkholes. You’ll also get a birds-eye view of the Kilauea Caldera and the enormous Halema’uma’u Crater, along with views of the trail you will take into the Caldera. Throughout your 2-mile hike you can look for native birds, such as the yellow ‘amakihi and the red ‘apapane. Huge boulders came to rest at this location during ancient rock slides and eruptions, and you can look for marks left by previous visitors such as Benjamin Boyd and John Webster, just to name a few. Reaching the floor of Kilauea Calder there is an incredible rock slide to your left, evidence of the 2018 eruption, as well as the Halema’uma’u Crater which sits before you. The crater increased in size during the eruption, with the lava lake draining out of it leaving behind an enormous 1,000-foot-deep pit. Afterwards, you will return to the starting point.

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Hawaii: Private Guided Van Tour

9. Hawaii: Private Guided Van Tour

Create your dream tour of Hawaii with a customizable tour. Pick and choose the sites that interest you the most and avoid wasting time on an organized tour. Benefit from convenient hotel pickup and drop-off. With your private van and the personalized attention of your driver-guide, enjoy the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary according to your own interests and take in the sights at your own pace. See famous sights such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (entrance fees to be paid on site), or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters like the waterfalls along the Hamakua Coast. This tour is perfect for solo travelers, couples, families, friends, and special interest groups. It can also be customized to meet the needs of guests with mobility limitations.

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From Kona: Elite Volcano Hike

10. From Kona: Elite Volcano Hike

Explore Hawaii’s explosive side on foot with this tour. First, travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the tallest and biggest volcanoes on Earth. Learn more about the volcanology, geology, and history of these wonders from your National Park Service certified guide and enjoy an in-depth narration of the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you pass by. Afterward, explore Kaumana Caves, part of the lava tube system that brought lava as close as 1.5 miles from downtown Hilo in 1881 and take a peek inside the dramatic cathedral-like space. Next, head to Mackenzie State Recreation Area, where the historic eruption took place in 2018. Take a hike along the now-closed highway, and then follow the lava flow through the pine forest to the altered coastline and cliffs overlooking the new black sand beach. Afterward, head to Isaac Hale Beach Park. Be sure to check out the boat launch ramp, now sitting in a pond cut off from the ocean by a berm of lava and don’t forget to look for steam still rising from the cooling lava as you drive across it before stopping for a picnic-style lunch. Next travel to the crown jewel, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Briefly visit the Kilauea Iki Overlook before heading off on foot down the paved road to Keanakakoi. Get a birds-eye view of the Kilauea Caldera and the enormous Halema’uma’u Crater. Pass by the famous Sulphur Banks, through ancient forests of tree ferns, and look for native bird species and incredible rock slides. Enjoy some dinner after your sightseeing.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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What people are saying about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 13 reviews

The guide was kind to me, who is not familiar with the language, and I enjoyed participating. I felt Aloha's heart very much in his hospitality and explanation of Aaron, and in that sense, I am glad that I participated in this tour. His English was very easy to hear, so I thought it would be good to recommend it to Japanese travelers who want to challenge English.

Aaron was an amazing tour guide and tried to make our experience great. He had snack bars ready, took us to amazing spots for pictures and touring, and willingly went out of his way to bring us to great places outside of the tour. He even brought us to a warmer area for star gazing

Remarkable journey with an incredible tour guide. Dastan was our extremely intelligent and friendly guide. Very grateful to have spent a day on this tour.

The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the Islands. The restaurant chosen for our dinner was a great place.

Great day exploring the entire island. Adam our guide was very knowledgeable and we saw so many great things on the island.