This tour wasn't really what I expected. The tour starts in the morning with a stop at Rainbow Falls, which is nice. You get a quick tour of the city of Hilo. Then you make a stop in the Mauna Loa macadamia nut factory. You will not leave here without buying something in the gift shop. They give you free samples and that is enough to make you start looking in the store for these items. The Hershey Kisses with the macadamia nut are excellent! Then, you go to a Orchid green house which I could have skipped. Then lunch. This consumes half your day. Then you finally get to the Volcano National Park. I expected to see lava with everything I read and seeing an active volcano. The only thing you see is steam coming from the crator. At night this steam glows red. Most people flew in for the day, but I stayed on the Big Island. The city of Hilo (pronounced HE-lo) is one of the wettest cities in the world so expect rain. My recommendation is to stay on the Big Island for a couple of days and do this tour as a self guided tour. It is interesting to see. You will want to go to the Mauna Loa. I would have spent more time there than the tour allowed. The Big Island is beautiful with white sand, black sand and even a green sand beaches.
I found this trip very exciting. We saw two sets of competitive pods (males fighting for the female). Crew was great. We went on the 12:00 noon boat. There were only about 15 people on the boat so we didn't have the crowds like the earlier boats. Great trip. Would highly recommend.
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