Big Island of Hawaii ATTRACTIONS See all

Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory

Whether you’re a budding astrophysicist or just a fan of Big Bang Theory, take the opportunity while you’re on the Big Island to visit the Mauna Kea Summit and Observatory. At a lofty height of 13,796 ft (4,138 m) Mauna Kea is Hawaii's tallest ... 

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Certified reviews by travelers like you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

I have to preface this post by stating I do not ever book tour type things as I tend to like doing things at my own pace. Having said this, I have to give an amazing review to the toru company. We chose the zip, heli, and volcanoes tour, and I will say the full tour is exhausting, but in a good and informative way. We were kept busy all day and had plenty of time to explore each of the areas ourselves. Our tour guide Glenn was informative and entertaining. We were picked up on time and continued pickups until we hit the road to Hilo. For anyone staying in Kona, this is the best trip to see all kinds of things on the other side of the island without the hassle of driving. Even more so if you want to cram all the touring on that side of the island into a day, it's a long drive back and we were thankful to not have to drive that night. We came back with some souvenirs and tons of pictures and a lot better understanding of the big island all in one day's worth of touring. For this, I thank the tour group, and especially the tour guide!

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

David B
Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Excellent. Marka the guide was very knowledgable and made the excursion great fun. Incredible views from the top and the sunset was fantastic. Got to see Saturn, Jupiter and Venus through the telescope.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

David B
Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Excellent. Marka the guide was very knowledgable and made the excursion great fun. Incredible views from the top and the sunset was fantastic. Got to see Saturn, Jupiter and Venus through the telescope.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

This was an excellent tour which our family really enjoyed. Maka was an outstanding guide. His knowledge and communication skills made for a fun trip for everyone in our group.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

Tour guide excellent. The stars were spectacular and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.This tour group is very organized and well run.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

We had a great experience! We had to push the helicopter ride back one day because of weather. The crew with the zip line was awesome they did a great job and we had a lot of fun. The lava tour was really cool and we got a lot of good pictures. As stated above the helicopter ride we pushed back one day and hoped for better weather and we got great weather and a great ride. The view was awesome and got to see some lava flow we were told that was not normal all tour guide were great and we would recommend to anyone and will be sure to book again when we go back!

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Nate was our tour guide and we loved the experience he gave us. He was very knowledgeable of not only the Big Island, but the mountain and all the stars also. This tour was very informative and Nate made the entire experience what it was. This tour is at the top of our list of recommended tours.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Great experience, very competent and entertaining guide and amazing views on top of Mauna Kea !!

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Mako was a very knowledgeable guide.We enjoyed meeting the other members of the group. The food was mediocre but that wasn't what we were there for. We would recommend this tour.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Our guide Eugene was awesome and incredibly knowledgeable! The entire trip was nothing but sensational from start to finish. I would do this trip again in a heart beat

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

A totally absorbing trip. Our guide was highly knowledgeable. The views from Mauna Kea are breathtaking and the stargazing was amazing. It a "must do" trip on Big Island.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

The sunset was spectacular at the top of Mauna Kea. Be prepared for the cold. It was -30 with the wind chill. Parkas and gloves were provided which were much needed.

The star gazing was fantastic. We saw the whole Milky Way. I have never seen anything like it. Once in a lifetime experience!

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

My husband was a little hesitant about this, but the pilot and the staff was great and very informative. It was a beautiful day with very little cloud coverage. We fly close to the crator and were able to see the lave slowly flowing. We also fly along the coast and observed several whales, one with a baby. Also we saw a pod of dolphins and what the pilot said was a shark.

Doing what: 2-Hour Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Wonderful trip! Zip line in particular was awesome with more than normal safety features which was important for first time zip liners! Viator did a great job keeping us reminded of our trip and paperwork went through seamlessly. We were rained out for the helicopter flight but Viator refunded that portion with no questions asked in a very timely manner. Would recommend to everyone!

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2015

Had a great time, only drawback was that we couldn't get to the summit due to weather conditions. Would highly recommend this outing. Heavy jackets were provided, but I would also recommend layering underneath that.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2015

John our guide was great. He taught us so much about the stars. 80 mph winds kept us from the top which was a disappointing.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2015

The tour company called us to let us know there was a chance we would not be able to go to the summit due to icy roads. They offered us a discount if we continued with the tour. They said we would be able to get to the observatory. Our tour guide Makisp? was very good. He gave a lot of great information and was very patient with the know-it-alls. Dinner was tasty. We viewed the sunset from a area just above the observatory. It was beautiful!! Would it have been better at the summit, possibly but it was still very nice. The star show was awesome!! I have never seen so many stars. Maki did a great job pointing out stars and constellations.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

This 3 part Adventures tour of the Big Island (Viator is the tour aggregator) was worth every $ and every minute. Jeff picked us up at our condo complex in Waikoloa before daylight. He provided detailed knowledge of the geology, geography, and culture of the island as he drove us 2 hours to the main office in Hilo before our group of 11 loaded the van to the ziplines. The drive up to the ziplines is quite bumpy (we were warned), but not bad. A new zipline company, according to our guide was exactly that. Our guides Alex, Matt H, and Mike, were focused on our safety and making our experience fun (and funny) for even the oldest and most out of shape (me). We started with a brief "bunny" line to acclimate and zipped from tower to tower, with short walks, often across bridges, between lines. We stopped for a quick lunch (ordered in advance, wraps were pretty good, especially the veggie!) after Line 4, a trip over a stunning waterfall. At nearly 1/2 mile long, Line 8 is spectacular.

The helicopter tour was mostly over the lava fields and vents, with the friendly pilot pointing out the hot spots then making sure passengers on both sides of the aircraft had wide views. We've taken these helicoper tours on Kauai and Maui and this group on the Big Island is as consistently professional and safety-centered as on all the islands. Definitely the best of all of the helicopter tour companies.

We ended the day with a walking tour through a lava tube led by Jeff, who has a bottomless depth of knowledge and easy delivery to the group, then a large group dinner of all of the tour members at Volcano Inn (food was competent, but the view of the Kilauea volcano is SPECTACULAR), then a trip to the Jagger Museum where we watched the erupting volcano as the sun set. Utterly majestic.

A fabulous day we will never forget! Special Mahalo to Jeff, Alex, Matt H and Mike for making this the highlight of our stay on the Big Island!

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

great ride, got to see lava and snow! which was crazy. plus we saw lots of whales while flying up the coast line. the only con was that you get a little bit sick because the helicopter is always dipping and turning.

Doing what: 2-Hour Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2015

I had asked for grilled chicken as my entree, instead it received BBQ chicken which at best was mediocre. My husband had the BBQ chicken and did not like it.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
January 2015

i did pay extra and i hadthe worst seat back way all the way i did not like that at all going back way
the pilot explain something yu dont see at all or try to turn arround i had pain in the neck when i did finish
no never again i made a trip to Kone expecialy for that
the volcano lava was very small but view is nice

Doing what: 2-Hour Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
January 2015

The ride up to the summit was long and cramped...the seats were in odd numbers so some couples did not get to sit together... The meal was subpar, a piece of flat, dry chicken with BBQ sauce poured on top and a few pieces of cabbage. The guide was very knowledgeable, but easily frustrated. He couldn't figure out how turn the overhead light off in the cab of the van and repeatedly pushed buttons and then slammed the drivers door...harder and harder and harder then resorted to cussing at the light.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

Excellent trip. The weather was perfect so the view of the sunset and the stars was amazing.

The journey up isn't long at all, it's a little bumpy but really not a problem.

The guide was really knowledgeable and showed us the star formations and a nebula and the Milky Way.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

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