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 the unique climates and eco-system.Occassionally we get clients who are staying in Hilo 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 state laws. Tthe 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!