Hilo
Volcano Activities

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Our most recommended Hilo Volcano Activities

Big Island: Volcano National Park Tour with Lunch and Transfer

1. Big Island: Volcano National Park Tour with Lunch and Transfer

Start your day with guided visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. Stop at the Waipio Valley lookout, where you can admire a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs that drop into the sparkling blue ocean. Continue riding along the Hamakua coast as more postcard-worthy views pass by your window. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an up-close view of Akaka Falls and the famous Rainbow Falls. In the afternoon, explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Explore steam vents and the Halema’uma’u and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, and take a short hike along the crater rim trail. Then relax and take it all in at Punalu’u Beach, where you can spot marine life from the black-sand shore.

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Big Island: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

2. Big Island: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

Explore Hawaii’s youngest and largest island and change the way you see the Big Island with this narrated, self-drive road trip. Visit historic sites, popular attractions, world-class beaches, and scenic hikes. Hear local stories, legends, and fun facts about the places you’re visiting and listen to unique Hawaiian music to entertain and relax you along the way. Drive across barren lava fields that are wedged between two active volcanoes. Visit a black sand beach and taste Hawaiian coffee and macadamia nuts on local farms. Be adventurous and go cliff diving or take advantage of the beautiful nature and take a scenic hike. See the tallest mountain in Hawaii at night for the ultimate stargazing experience. This adventure is great for families and solo travelers alike.

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From Hilo: Kilauea Lava Flow Tour with Lunch and Dinner

3. From Hilo: Kilauea Lava Flow Tour with Lunch and Dinner

Start with a drive through Hilo along the historic waterfront, and head out to the old fishing village of Kalapana. Move on to Mackenzie State Recreation Area, take a hike along the now-closed highway. Follow the lava flow through the pine forest to the cliffs overlooking the new black sand beach. Enjoy a picnic lunch amongst the pine trees. Stop by Star of the Sea Painted Church, moved twice to save it from lava flows. Head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to visit the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook, and Steaming Bluffs. Hike out to Keanakakoi Crater and walk over the most recent cracks and sinkholes left behind by the eruption of 2018. Later, enjoy a delicious dinner.

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Big Island: Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

4. 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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Hilo: Elite Volcano Hike

5. 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: South Big Island Self-Guided Driving Tour

6. Hawaii: South Big Island Self-Guided Driving Tour

Experience Hawaii's Big Island at your own pace with a self-guided driving tour. Your tour of the Big Island is split into 2 halves. The first half begins outside the quaint town of Kailua-Kona, to see the historic Hulihe’e Palace, once the vacation home of the island’s royalty. Then 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. Beyond that is the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. Then see the Honaunau Rodeo Arena and learn all about Hawaii’s cowboys. Next up is Pebble Beach, to get to know the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. Have the option to check out the Kula Kai Caverns, left by ancient volcanic activity. 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. This half of the tour concludes by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can explore the island’s volcanoes up close. The second half of the tour picks up farther to the east, in the picturesque town of Hilo. Then, cruise through the scenic Liliuokalani Park and Gardens. Watch surfers catch waves next at Honoli'i Beach. After that is Onomea Bay, featuring a hiking trail with incredible views. Then, admire the astonishing flora at the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. Arrive at the surprising sight of the Honohina Hongwanji Mission, a historic Buddhist temple. Pass the Laupahoehoe Train Museum before reaching Laupahoehoe Point, a spectacular ocean vista. Do not 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 2 beaches, Hapuna Beach, the largest white sand beach on the island, and Beach 69, beloved by locals. Arrive at the Kings Highway Foot Trail, to 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 the first half began.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Hilo

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What people are saying about Hilo

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 9 reviews

Way more options than you can possibly do in one week! I loved the Volcanoes National Park tour. It steered us to the best sites and which scenic pullouts were not needed after already seeing craters and lava. The arch is worth the drive. Also used a portion of the Southern island audio for the other National Park. Hope to come back and do other sights that we missed the first time.

We had a great time. Nick was very informative about the island and the volcanos. We heard some really good stories about his local experiences around the island also. Would definitely recommend taking this tour if you have a whole day. The hikes over the lave flows and by the crater were fun.

Beautiful hike, with several stages to see the lava flow, the volcanoes national park, the Kilauea caldera, all fascinating and interesting. The visit to the vinery with tasting and dinner was also very good. Recommended excursion.

This audio tour gives a lot of information and was entertaining as well, great directions and very timely but, be sure to DOWNLOAD ALL the tours you never know and many areas have no WiFi to download later, happy travels

An amazing your, excellent guide but a thing to recognize is that they respected our reservation and we did the tour only 2 people. Very responsible team. Highly recommended!!!!