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 Hilo which head into Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park bring visitors face to face with some of the youngest—and most active—stretches of land found anywhere on the planet.
Let your eyes adjust as you weave your way through lava tubes formed by subterranean rivers of lava, or scramble your way over rugged hiking trails to steaming volcanic vents which are heated by the activity below. Occasionally you can view spouting lava from right within the park boundaries, although the timing of which is ultimately up to Mother Nature. While Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open to all visitors, taking part in a tour from Hilo not only ensures that you don’t have to drive yourself to the Park, but also allows you access to the insider knowledge of local tour guides who can provide information on everything from local mythology to where to see the best volcanic activity for that day. Also, as a bonus, many of the tours from Hilo which head out to Volcanoes National Park will also make stops at some of the waterfalls or scenic sites situated around downtown Hilo.
For those wanting to guarantee lava sightings and really maximize their time spent in the area, however, there are few better ways of touring around Hilo and Kilauea volcano than by doing so on a helicopter tour. While helicopters carry a higher price tag than land based excursion, the agile choppers and skilled pilots are able to maneuver visitors into positions which are unreachable for those exploring the area by land. Watch as liquid hot magma descends right into the boiling Pacific and new Earth is created right before your eyes, or gaze in wonder at towering waterfalls along the lush Hamakua coastline as you circle your way back for a landing in downtown Hilo.
While there are a number of different methods for enjoying the beauty around Hilo, whichever tour from Hilo you choose it’s guaranteed to shed more light and provide more information on the area than if you were to try and see it all on your own.