A lush and historic town with a funky, old-school type of charm, many of the tours from Hilo focus on the volcanic splendor of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located only an hour drive from downtown Hilo (versus 2.5 hours from Kona), tours from ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

The morning started with a short safety session hold at the office in Hilo airport, and review of proper gear and equipment. The team made sure we had warm clothes as we had chosen to do the Open Door Helicopter tour. We then headed to the heliport, where the helicopters were being readied for our trip. It was funny to see the doors removed and put aside! After we were safely secured in the helicopter, we smoothly took us and headed to the most recent lava fields, close to Pahoa. Some of these lava fields started June this year and went through forests and towards town and houses. Though there was no active lava coming through when we flew over, we still managed to see some red spots of lava, thanks to our pilot who was great at spotting these within the fields. The most amazing part of the tour was when we flew over Puʻu ʻŌʻō, the other active volcano within Volcano National Park. Lots of steam vents, giving an amazing contrast of white smoke against the dark black color of lava rocks. Our pilot was great to fly left and right to ensure all sides of the helicopter had equal good views. There again we were able to see some hot red lava spots! This was really an unbelievable view! We returned back to Hilo, checking a couple of waterfalls like the Rainbow Waterfall. I was glad we went for the Open Door experience, as this really gives you an unobscured view all around, and you get a feeling of total access to the scenery. One note though – make sure you are dress warmly – a good fleece, wind jacket, turtleneck and some light gloves really help make a difference! This is a once-in-a-life time experience, and the whole team, both on ground and the pilot, were true professional, very friendly and ensuring we had the best of tour possible. This is a must-do while in Big Island, and I really recommend this tour for a unique feel – how often will you fly with no door?

Doing what: 45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight

Anonymous

Anonymous

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

The experience started with a short safety video and briefing at the Helico company's office inside the Hilo airport terminal. The staff made sure we wore warm clothes (doors off flight!), that all cameras had straps and that each passenger knew its sit number (I was on the righthand rear sit). After that it was off to the Helico tarmac! Shortly after take-off, the flight headed south of Hilo, towards the town of Pahoa which had been threaten by very recent lava flows. There, the pilot took us around lava fields, bordered with still burning forested areas. The pilot pointed at red dots and thin scarlet scars of hot lava. Impressive to see vast areas of the forest split by black streaks of harden rock. The highlight of the tour came right after Pahoa with the flight over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō volcano which was blasting out white and yellow smoke. The pilot did a few back and forth circles around and above the crater to allow all sides of the helicopter to get the good views. We stayed long enough and close enough to see some melted lava areas inside the crater (when the smoke allowed) and to appreciate the forces of nature in action as well as take a good number of video clips and photos. The rest of the flight included a couple of waterfalls north of Hilo. An awesome, highly recommended experience! Note on Doors Off: absolutely a must if you know you won't be scared, however, it got really cold up there specially with the wind chill-factor. I was glad to wear a good number of layers, windbreaker with hood and gloves!

Doing what: 45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

The morning started with a short safety session hold at the office in Hilo airport, and review of proper gear and equipment. The team made sure we had warm clothes as we had chosen to do the Open Door Helicopter tour. We then headed to the heliport, where the helicopters were being readied for our trip. It was funny to see the doors removed and put aside! After we were safely secured in the helicopter, we smoothly took us and headed to the most recent lava fields, close to Pahoa. Some of these lava fields started June of this year and went through forests and towards town and houses. Though there was no active lava coming through when we flew over, we still managed to see some red spots of lava, thanks to our pilot who was great at spotting these within the fields. The most amazing part of the tour was when we flew over Puʻu ʻŌʻō, the other active volcano within Volcano National Park. Lots of steam vents, giving an amazing contrast of white smoke against the dark black color of lava rocks. Our pilot was great to fly left and right to ensure all sides of the helicopter had equal good views. There again we were able to see some hot red lava spots! This was really an unbelievable view! We returned back to Hilo, checking a couple of waterfalls like the Rainbow Waterfall. I was glad we went for the Open Door experience, as this really gives you an unobscured view all around, and you get a feeling of total access to the scenery. One note though – make sure you are dress warmly – a good fleece, wind jacket, turtleneck and some light gloves really help make a difference! This is a once-in-a-life time experience, and the whole team, both on ground and the pilot, were true professional, very friendly and ensuring we had the best of tour possible. This is a must-do while in Big Island, and I really recommend this tour for a unique feel – how often will you fly with no door?

Doing what: 45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

The tour was terrific. A perfect combination, exercise, information, natural beauty and fun!

Doing what: Kilauea Volcano Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This tour was amazing!

Doing what: 45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

My husband and I had a fantastic time on this tour! Our tour guides were funny, informative, and energetic. We learned so much about the Volcano National Park and had fun while we were at it! What a great way to see all this beautiful park has to offer!

Doing what: Kilauea Volcano Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This was the best tour! The tour guides were wonderful! The food was great! I could not have asked for a better experience! They were very patience, educational, encouraging, and knowledgeable. The equipment was well kept and the bike ride was a great 14 mile work out for my family from age 14 to 53. We had a great time saw beautiful country! Thank you for this wonderful experience!

Doing what: Kilauea Volcano Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Driver was informative and friendly. Beautiful scenic ride to the volcano. Falls aren't as impressive as we expected. They are in town not in the mountains.

Doing what: Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

I booked this for my husband, my father, and myself. We went doors off. It was an experience of a lifetime. Our tour guide was great and customer service very friendly. Out guide would bank the helicopter both ways so that both sides could get the view. Would go again in a heart beat.

Doing what: Fire and Falls Helicopter Adventure from Hilo

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

This was my first time ziplining and I couldn't have asked for better place to try it. The guides were great and very reassuring about what the whole process. I would certainly do it again.

Doing what: Hilo Zipline over KoleKole Falls

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Absolutely fantastic. Gabe and Ninoa were great guides and Brian made a ride there and back special. I know it probably wasn't as profitable for you but we loved the VIP treatment that came with being the only two on the excursion.

Doing what: Hilo Shore Excursion: Hamakua Coast Zipline over KoleKole Falls

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

This was a wonderful experience. I booked my husband and I on a "doorless" flight. Despite my fear of heights, once I opened my eyes I enjoyed every moment. It may seem warm on the ground but without doors it gets very cold. Viator was good enough to call the night before and remind us about the jacket, it was about 90 on the ground....we had no intention of doing this. The staff and pilot, Joyce, were great. Joyce sensed my reticence and inquired about my state of mind...which helped. As I said, go for it.

Doing what: 45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

Outstanding way to see the volcano!

Doing what: Fire and Falls Helicopter Adventure from Hilo

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