Kilauea Volcano Tour

Guided tour of the world's most active volcano

Kilauea Volcano Tour Halemaumau Crater

Kilauea Summit overlooking the active Halemaumau crater

Kilauea Volcano Tour road buried by a recent lava flow

The road disappears underneath a recent lava flow

Kilauea Volcano Tour steaming

Lava entering the sea creates a billowing steam cloud

Kilauea Volcano Tour hot lava

Sometimes active lava flows are accessible with short hikes

Kilauea Volcano Tour hot lava

Not every day looks like this, but some do!

Kilauea Volcano Tour Kilauea Crater Rim

Lush tree ferns line one side of the Kilauea crater rim

Kilauea Volcano Tour walking through a lava tube

Walk trough a lava tube formed during an eruption centuries ago

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The geologic creation of the Hawaiian island chain, a timeless battle between the elemental forces of fire and water, is one of the world’s greatest natural history stories. There’s not a better place on earth to witness and understand the awesome nature of volcanoes than at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. At the park you’ll see splendid native rain forests, visit a lava tube, discover remarkable volcanic formations and a splendid diversity of geography and climate. Through detailed geologic and natural history interpretation, small walks, and driving, you will explore and learn about the world’s most active volcano. Evidence of Kilauea’s activity is everywhere in the park; you’ll see,  feel and smell steam vents where vapor is escaping the ground.

NEW Twilight Volcano Tour

Due to the closure of Volcanoes National Park, Wasabi Tours is offering different stops on their Twilight Volcano Tour.  Experience the Big Island’s most spectacular natural splendors with a professional local guide sharing knowledge of the history, cultures, and geology of the island.You will take a tour of Greenwell Coffee Farm, and learn about the harvesting and milling process.  Sample a warm cup of Kona Coffee too!  Also, dip your toes in the sand at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, and don’t forget to look out for green sea turtles on the shore.  Taste delicious Hawaiian sweet bread and malasadas at Punalu’u Bakery, the southernmost bakery in the US!  Then enjoy dinner at the Historic Kilauea Lodge Restaurant in the town of Volcano Village.  You will be mesmerized at viewing the lava glow (location depends on the lava activity) near the current eruption site.  And finally stargaze under the pristine night sky near Saddle Road through brand new Celestron Telescope (weather permitting).

Schedule: Daily * currently not running due to low lava activity

Pick up: Between between 12:20pm and 12:40pm if guests are staying in Waikoloa and Kohala area.  Between 1:20pm and 1:40pm if you are staying in Kona and Keauhou area.  Actual pick up time vary depending on location and sunset time.

Duration: 11-12 hours depending on the location of your hotel.

Tour includes: All admission fees.  Assorted juices, snacks, bottled water, and dinner at Kilauea Lodge.

What to Bring & Wear: Wear comfortable clothing in layers as temperatures vary from warm to cool. Bring a light jacket and wear covered walking shoes.

Gear Provided: Jackets and rain gear.

Group Size: Maximum 13 guests per vehicle

Restrictions: Ages 6 and older are recommended.

Cancellation Policy: Minimum 24 hours notice for groups of 1-5, 48 hours notice for groups of 6 or more, and 72 hour notice for private groups to receive a full refund.

Twilight Volcano Tour

This Kilauea Volcano tour has a late morning start time and offers volcano viewing at sunset. If lava is visible – it shows up the best just before dark! The drive back from Kilauea will of course be after dark.  There is no better way to explore the park than in the company of one of Hawaii Forest and Trail’s Interpretive Naturalists. They will show you the “must see” places within the park while you learn about their geological and historic significance.  You’ll really get an idea of how big the Big Island is during the course of this 11-12 hour full-day tour. And you’ll appreciate that someone else is doing the driving. Starting from Kona, you will travel up the coast over desolate lava flows for about a half hour before proceeding up the rolling pasturelands on the flanks of Mauna Kea. Turning onto the Saddle Road that traverses the island between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, you’ll see a dramatic and diverse landscape of ranchland, sub alpine dryforest and rainforest, with striking features such as cinder cones, lava flows, lava tubes and kipukas. You’ll stop for a short break and deli lunch. Continuing on, you will drop down to near sea-level on the way through Hilo where you begin the final climb to the summit of Kilauea and the lush entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

A picnic dinner is served en route during your adventure through the park. Depending on what’s happening with the active flow, you may walk out to view red hot lava! Close encounters with an active flow do not happen every day; viewing conditions change frequently and sometimes the lava pauses, goes underground, or happens in a remote area where it is too far to hike. Kilauea expresses its activity in several places, and there is currently an active vent that has been spewing rock, ash, and fume from the summit caldera which is easily visible from the overlooks. Ocean entries come and go; most days you will see steam clouds from the entry points.

By the end of the day, you’ll have traveled over 300 miles and experienced an elevation change (the tour goes up and down a few times!) of over 30,000 feet.  This is a laid back tour and you will see the glow from an overlook.

Schedule: Daily – This tour is currently unavailable due to the location and nature of the ongoing eruption that started on May 4, 2018.

Pick up: Between 10am and 10:30am depends on where guests are staying

Check In:  Departure is from the Hawaii Forest and Trail Store (73-5593 A Olowalu St., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 Click to view map) OR the Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa, HI 96738 Click to view map). Select your departure point when selecting a tour in your reservation form.

Duration: Approximately 12 hours

Reservations: For those staying in Hilo, we don’t recommend this tour as a large portion of the cost of this tour is for transportation to and from the Kona side of the island.

Tour includes: All entrance fees. Deli style lunch (turkey, ham, tuna, or veggie) with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water. Choices for dinner include Hawaiian Teri Chicken, Braised Kalbi Beef Ribs, and Yellow Thai Curry (vegan and gluten free).  All meals include rice, salad, and sweet potato Haupia Pie, assorted beverages, bottled water, and hot cocoa.

What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, long pants, and a light jacket.  Close toed shoes are required.

Gear Provided: Day packs, walking sticks, warm clothing and rain gear.

Group Size: 12

Restrictions: Guests should be in reasonably good physical condition and able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. This tour sometimes encounters cool, wet, or muddy conditions. Twilight Tour has a minimum age of 8.

Sunset Lava Walk

After explore the Volcanoes National Park experiencing what Kilauea Volcano has to offer, you will travel down the “Red Road.”  The scenery will amaze you as the tour weaves through the rainforest.  Stop at overlooks to take in the jagged cliffs above the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Then hike out to both the active lava flow front, and ocean lava ocean entry.  The hike is 3.5 miles round trip, an see lava in motion as it descends down to the sea.  The sea becomes alive in the darkness as the sun sets!  This hike is the shortest distance to and from the active flows anywhere on the island.

Schedule: Daily – This tour is currently unavailable due to the location and nature of the ongoing eruption that started on May 4, 2018.

Pick up:  7am in Waikoloa, 7:45am Kona, 8:10am in Keauhou, and 9:45 in Hilo

Duration: Approximately 14 hours

Tour includes:  Lunch, snacks (chips, mac nuts, granola bars), Aloha juice drinks, water and local dinner (choices include pineapple pork ribs with mac or green salad, shoyu ginger chicken with mac or green salad, tofu stir fry with rice, and Hawaiian nachos with lomi salmon and kalua pork)

What to Bring & Wear:  Comfortable clothing in layers, and covered walking shoes are required.  Bring pants for walking over lava in evening.   Recommend a backpack than a large purse.  Don’t forget your camera!

Gear Provided:  Flashlights and water resistant jackets.

Group Size:  11 pax

Restrictions:  Minimum age 5 and all children less than 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.  Children are required by law to have proper safety seats for travel in the van. Natural sulfur gases may affect those with respiratory problems.

Cancellation / Weather Policy: Tour itinerary may change due to weather or volcanic activity.   Views of Pu’u O’o vent and molten lava are subject to volcanic activity at time of tour.


General Information
Reservations: Due to high demand, these tours sells out weeks in advance.

Note: Volcanic emissions, including sulfur gas, may affect those with respiratory concerns.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours before the start of the event.

kilauea crater
Billowing plumes from the crater
lava flow
Witnessing lava flow is an unforgettable experience

CJack Harter Doors Offruise Ship Passengers

This Kilauea Volcano tour is oriented toward people who are staying in resorts on the Kona side of the Big Island and does not work for cruise ship passenger either in Hilo or in Kona. We suggest the Volcano Bike Tour as an excellent way to experience the volcano.  Another great option for Hilo cruise ship passengers is the Hilo Cruise Ship Volcano & Waterfall Tour.

Activity Tips

Kevin Ditamore – Owner / Manager

I can’t imagine going to the Big Island and not making the trip down to see the active volcano. Even on days when lava viewing is not possible the evidence of recent volcanic activity is everywhere. You’ll see steam vents and smell sulfur in the air. This park is rich in history too.

The drive to Kilauea from the Kona side of the island takes about three hours each way. Having someone else do the driving for you while you are free to look out the window and take in the view is something that you will very much appreciate. Your guide will not only drive for you … you’ll also LEARN about what you are looking at out the window. You’ll come away with an understanding of how the Hawaiian islands were formed and gain a great appreciation for our unique climates and eco-system.

Occassionally we get clients who are staying in Hilo and ask about this tour. The price of this tour includes round trip transportation from the Kona / Waikoloa area. We don’t recommend this tour for people who are staying in the Hilo area. If you are staying in Hilo you are only 35-40 minutes away from the volcano and you are better off just driving there in your rental car. Admission to the national park is $10 per vehicle and there are visitor’s centers, films, exhibits, and lots of rangers to assist you in answering questions during your visit to the park.

One of the advantages of doing this tour is the benefit of having an experienced guide with you to lead you out to the active lava flow if there is red hot lava accessible. You’ll have the confidence to experience the lava firsthand knowing that the guide knows where it is safe and where it is not safe to go.

Lava viewing conditions change … it is sometimes possible to get close to the active flow, but not always. There is no guarantee that you will see red hot lava on this tour. Sometimes the closest lava is miles from the nearest road and the hike just isn’t possible in the time constraints of this tour. Other times lava can be viewed with a short 10 minute walk.

One final consideration … alcohol is not permitted on these tours. We recently had some clients show up with a cooler of their favorite adult beverage and the tour operator did not permit the cooler to be brought on board. You can’t drink alcohol in the tour vehicle per Hawaii vehicle laws, and the tour operator is also concerned about the increased risk of a slightly tipsy individual falling while walking across lava field. Lava is basically rock made up of tiny glass particles and it HURTS if you fall on it!