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Big Island Volcano Tours

This page describes a van tour oriented toward guests who are staying in the resort areas of Kona, Waikoloa, etc. For guests in Hilo or for those who don't mind the drive to Kilauea from the Kona area, we also offer an active volcano bike tour.

TWILIGHT TOUR: Adults: $189; Children 8-12: $159 (no children under 8 on twilight tour)

Departure is from the Hawaii Forest and Trail store in Kona OR a meeting point in the Waikoloa Beach area. Select your departure point when selecting the tour using the form at right. 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/from the Kona side of the island.

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. 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 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 continental-style breakfast. 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.

Once 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 and feel and smell steam vents where vapor is escaping the ground.

A picnic lunch 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.

This TWILIGHT 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.

On the way back to your resort, you’ll travel along the Hamakua Coast and pass through Waimea before returning to Kona. By the end of the day, you’ll have traveled over 300 miles and experienced an elevation change (we go up and down a few times!) of over 30,000 feet.

This tour includes a deli lunch with beverages, daypacks, bottled water, walking sticks, warm wear, and raingear, as well as a picnic style dinner typically served at an outdoor pavilion near the volcano. Tours are limited to a maximum of 12 guests.

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. This tour has a minimum age of 8.



This Kilauea 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.

Activity Tips

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!









Big Island Volcano Reservations


 Select Date


click on calendar icon to set date, or enter manually in mm/dd/yyyy format


# of adults

# of children (12 & under for AM Tour; 8-12 for twilight tour)


Please list each person's first name and lunch choice on the day tour, and lunch and dinner choice on the Twilight tour:

Lunch choices: turkey, tuna, veggie, or  ham & cheese sandwiches. Dinner choices on twilight are grilled chicken or vegetarian.


First Name

Last Name


Country (if other than USA)

Cell Phone

Day Phone

Evening Phone


Name of Hotel or Condo on the Big Island

I acknowledge that I have read the booking procedures below and wish to submit this reservation for processing.

Upon submitting your activity reservation for processing, one copy is sent to your e-mail address so that you have a record of your order. We will make reservations for you and send an e-mail confirming all of the details. These confirmations are often sent a few minutes after your reservation, but some activities take longer to confirm than others. You will receive an e-mail confirmation by the end of the next business day at the latest. There are no tickets that you need to pick up prior to your event. Your e-mail confirmation will have all the details you need to check in and enjoy your selected activity. This saves you precious time when you arrive in Hawaii. 

A credit card is required to guarantee payment for your reservations, but in most cases WE DO NOT charge your credit card when your order is placed. Your credit card is typically charged five days before you leave for Hawaii, and a voucher is faxed to the vendor. Some activities are charged at the time of check-in and your e-mail confirmation will inform you if this is the case. If you cancel your activity after your credit card has been charged you will receive a refund less 10% to cover our credit card processing costs.

We do have one vendor that requires payment at the time that your reservation is made. These activities are clearly marked on our website with the words, "Payment required at the time of reservation."

After making reservations, you may reschedule or cancel your activity up until 48 hours prior to its start (a few activities have 72 hour cancellation policies ... see your confirmation e-mail for details). Within 48 hours of the start of your activity all reservations are final and non-refundable (unless the event is cancelled by the vendor due to weather or other factors). Due to our incredible climate here, weather cancellations are rare.  No-shows and cancellations without adequate notice are charged in full on the credit card used to secure the reservation and are non-refundable.





Most rates quoted on this website do not include the Hawaiian state sales tax which adds 4.1667%, 

or the state harbor fee of 3% on boat excursions. Adventureinhawaii.com is a FREE reservations service;

 we have no hidden service charges or fees that we charge for servicing your reservation

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