It was a really long day, but totally worth the day trip to the Big Island. It made me want more adventure though! A couple of stops were so beautiful or made me want to venture deeper, but were too short of a stay. I guess I will have to make another vacation for the Big Island to hike the volcano and hang out at Black Sand Beach longer.
Also, I don't know if it's just me wanting to know the plan, but I felt out of the loop from the pick-up at the hotel, to the airport heading to the Big Island. We waited for the bus to pick us up at 5 am, so we were out there at 4:50am, but that's when the bus STARTED pick-ups. We were the last to be picked up.. Then after going through security at the airport, I felt lost on where we were heading. I would've felt comfortable having a guide because I was nervous that we'd miss the plane.
Tip: Bring a jacket! It rained on and off the entire day (September).
Tip: Eating at Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory is cheaper than the restaurant they take you before the volcanoes. The restaurant wasn't too bad though, just a little expensive.
In the end, I would recommend this tour because we did A LOT in one day! I would totally look for another tour like this for future vacations.