A 2pm-8pm tour exploring 3 volcanoes followed by a sunset finale of crimson clouds reflecting the glow of active lava.
Ready to tread on a Sleeping Giant? Maunakea, dormant for 6000 years, is the first of 3 volcanoes you will walk on today. Time and tropics have covered its slopes with lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls- one lane "jungle tunnel" roads bring us to Akaka Falls, which plummets 442' into the misty waters below.
Volcano #2: Mauna Loa is home to the iconic Rainbow Falls and the raw and rugged Kaumana Caves- remnant lava tubes from the 1881 eruptions.
As we drive towards Volcano #3, Kilauea, we will see evidence of current volcanic events reflected in the sky! Although we cannot see flowing lava, we can certainly be awed by the dark, active fissure emissions mingling with the billowing plumes from ocean entry points.
In Pahoa, we walk on the 2014 lava flow that came within ¼ mile of this rural town and see where it entombed part of the Transfer Station.
At twilight we luxuriate at a local fine-dining spot waiting for evening to dim the sky so the red glow can then present its surreal celestial show.
Note: We will not be seeing red, flowing lava on this tour.
Pick up at your Hilo area lodging
Briefing at serene Queen Lili'uokalani Park
Drive along the Old Mamalahoa Scenic Byway, a "jungle tunnel" of one-lane bridges and waterfalls
Stop at the Onomea Bay overlook for scenic pictures
Akaka Falls! Saunter along a paved ½ mile loop (with stairs and railings) through the rainforest to see this magnificent 442' cascade
Drive to lovely Rainbow Falls, then on to
Explore the Kaumana Caves lava tubes! (Close-toed shoes are required for deeper exploration of the caves. )
Drive to Pahoa Village
Visit Pahoa area to visit the hardened lava flow from 2014-15 lava flow and see the plumes from the current eruption,
Dinner at our local eatery
Return to Hilo
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: I will pick you up at a place of your choosing in the Hilo area, (including the Puna District). If you are coming from the Kona side, my favorite spot to rendezvous is at the parking lot located at the east side of the Hilo side of Saddle Road, but I'm open to suggestions.
End location: I will drop you off at your Hilo/ Puna District accommodations, or a place of your choosing.
Duration: 6 hours
You will be escorted in a very comfortable, clean, well-maintained, air-conditioned 2000 Honda Odyssey Passenger van. Please note that although we list the maximum passengers as 5, there are seatbelts for 6. (A "co-pilot" seat, 2 captain's chairs, and a back, bench-style seat, which holds 3, but is more comfortable with 2.)
All transportation, admission fee for Akaka Falls, light snacks & beverages, ponchos & umbrellas (if needed), your own photo folder in the "Cloud", stories, jokes, and a knowledgeable, enthusiastic guide.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
25 USD - This will cover most complete meals at the restaurant. Entrees run $18- $25, local favorites $12-$18, burgers and sandwiches $10-$15. The extensive menu includes lots of choices, and a full bar with local beers and exotic cocktails.
The price of this tour does not include the meal at our fine-dining establishment in Pahoa, or purchase of items of a personal nature such as: souvenirs, "adult" beverages, any fruits or veggies purchased at the local market, etc.
- My tours are Hilo-based. If you are coming from the Kona side, my favorite spot to rendezvous is at the parking lot located at the east side of Saddle Road, but I'm open to suggestions.
- Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate passengers in wheelchairs.