Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Big Island Grand Circle Island Tour. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Great tour. Picked us up at King Kam in Kona and we were on our way- Wasn't sure what kind of day it would be as we moved slowly along the roadways of the many small coffee areas.. but Mack the driver was a great source of information about the islands geology, ecosytems, climates etc. The trip got only better as we moved along--you were left wondering what's next- the area just outside the Kona airport with its volcanic landscapes and impressive resorts was breathtaking. A long day but one filled with tons of new info thanks to driver John. As we departed everybody was of the opinion, "When I return to Hawaii....". There's not much else to say. Mahalo!
Great tour guide..."i gues your not interested in that so moving on"....might want to think about splitting it into a two day tour one around the north end and one around the south...would have love to see more of Hilo and area.
We had a wonderful time on this tour thanks mainly to our tour guide/driver Sal. He shared with us his knowledge of the island and passion for it as well as his dry sense of humour. Highlights were the Volcanoes National Park, black sand beach with turtles and the macadamia nut shop with free tastings.
Tour guide was very informative and customer friendly..transport was comfortable. Only downside the day was extremely long.
Positives: Had a great time. The tour guide was awesome very entertaining. We made a few of the optional stops. It was a great way to see the whole island and learn different spots for visiting later
Negatives: It is long! We left at 7am and didnt get back until 830 that night. Hit traffic and it put the trip behind.
The tour was great. We stopped at a lot of interesting places. Our driver was VERY imformative about landmarks. My only disapointment was not seeing lava, but had a great time.
It was a very good overview tour; afterward you could decide where you wanted to see in more depth. Our guide/driver, John was very knowledable, informative and had a nice sense of humor. The only negative would be that more time could not be spent in certain places like the Hawaii Volcano National Park. Other than that, it was worth the money.
This is a must do tour if this is your first time on the Big Island. Very long but the guide narrated for the entire 12 hours and we learned alot about Big Island history, which you would not know if you drove yourself around the island. Comfortable bus.
Went to all the Big Island sites. Very talkative and informative guide
If you visit big Island the first time, I'll recommend this tour. You can get a general idea about this island. The driver was very kind and humorous, he introduced us a lot about this island, including culture,history etc.
The view of the sea was very good, but the time we stay at each place are very short.
Informative it was a great way to start off on the island. The island is so diverse and fertile. I found the trip well organized and fun.
Very complete and comprehensive tour. It was a full and interesting day. Guide told us a lot about the Big Island with interesting stories.
The driver cum tour guide made this such a pleasant trip. His name is Tommy. Tommy ou are the world's best driver and guide. Well done, tommy of Polynesian tours
Great way to see the island! Our tour guide provided an excellent history of the island and suggestions for self day trips and historical sites
it was good fun. all Crew were helpful. It was long day but good fun. they stopped at choclate factory and nut factory where I didn't want to go but other place were good to visit and defenately worth of moneey
This was a very long day but worth it. Tommy our driver/guide was full of knowledge. I am glad I let someone else do the drive around the island. We had many stops plus extra ones and fortunately the weather was perfect.
This was a fine trip with much explanation by our guide. It is amazing that he was able to tell us so much and entertain for so many hours. Than you
The tour was very informative and gave us a great picture of the hi-lites of the island
Was an amazing trip! saw everything on the island. only complaint was that it was a long day but what can you do. Had great time at the volcano and lava flow sites, also seeing the black sand beach. Tour guide was helpful, full of knowledge and great to listen too.
Wonderful trip. The guide was knowledgeable and very pleasant. It did get started late due to people not being ready, and several mudslides along the route. We unfortunately did not get to see everything the guide wanted, but all in all was a good trip.
The tour itself was a great way to get to know the Big Island. There was a great variety of stops along the way with something for everyone in our family. We wish we could have stayed at the Black Sand Beach longer and maybe skipped the stop at the candy factory. The tour guide was very informative, funny, and we truly came away from the tour with the "aloha" feeling for which the Big Island is known. The only thing that was not very well done were the hotel drop offs at the end of the tour. We started dropping people off at 5 and didn't get back to our resort until almost 7:30. There should have been an option to meet the tour at a specific spot and drop those people off first, then those that wanted door to door transportation could have stayed on the bus the extra 2.5 hours. This was the reason I couldn't give this tour a 5 star rating.
It's was a nice trip ,, however it was really fast paced ,, you really didn't get a chance to relax and enjoy the trip,, you jump out of the shuttle take pictures and jump back to the shuttle ,, not to mentioned that the driver never came out and served as an actual tour guide.
ok, tour , long really long and stop on too many shopping places for me but it gives an idea on what is in the island to see . I would like to see more costal sites
the tour guide was pretty funny!
Some of the stops were a bit long - but it's a good way to get an overall view of the island.
Good tour. We went during the government strikes, so we were unable to see the Volcano (major drawback as this was obviously a major part of the tour). The highlight was the black sand beach where we saw four turtles on the beach (alive and wild) and another three in the water - it seems that they are commonly seen which is great. Our driver was great - very knowledgeable, however, he did seem to dismiss the fact that we weren't going to the volcano very quickly and not really acknowledge that deficit in the tour. The factories visited were good, with plenty of free samples. Lunch was offered (at an extra cost) and was a standard American lunch. Overall, we drove around the entire island and got to see several different aspects of the island. This was a good one day (12 hours for us) tour around the island.
I really enjoyed the tour. The driver was very informative and I learned alot about the Hawaiian Islands. I enjoyed the stops along the way. The only complaint is missing the Volcano and lava tubes. But I know that was out of the tour's control. Also, the tour was a little long for me. I think it would be much more enjoyable if it was broken up to a two day tour. Maybe a North tour and a second tour south with a little more time spend at each location. Aloha and Mahalo.
We definitely got to see most of the island. However, if I had to do it over again, I would have used our rental car. Our driver was marvelous, funny, and informative. But, we did not get a chance to spend a lot of time at some of the stops since he was on a tight schedule. The lunch provided was very good which surprised me for a tour lunch.
This was a satisfactory tour, but it was a long day (nearly 13 hours). Kimo/Jimmy was our driver and kept telling the same stories over and over again. Sometimes it would have been better to just not talk. Other times, he did have some great insights to let us know about.
The guide Sal was fun. The island was much bigger than we really thought. The trip to the coffee plantation was more of a pit stop. The black sand beach and the volcano were the best part of the trip. We had time at the different spots at the volcano to explore some. The beach was beautiful. Wish we had more time there. If we go back, I think I would focus on the volcano. The rest of the trip was more of a bus tour (viewing the island from a bus). Rainbow falls was nice but we had 15 minutes. We did get to stop at the orchid place but like the candy factory and the macademian nut factory, it was more of a shop than of interest. Neither of the latter two were in operation when we got there. Also, their current lunch place is on the pricey side.
The tour did give us a good overview of the island and if it were your first time and wanted to see what was available, it was worth it. We did have the discounted price.
Good trip but guide spoke non stop all the way and 12 hours is quite a long trip. An overload of info. Worth doing though!
My driver was on time and gave a lot of information. I liked his Aloha song at the end of the tour. I would not take another of your tours because the stops at all the stores you pushed on us. By the time we had our last stop at the macadamia nut store my party considered calling a cab.
jan our driver was very informative about the trip.the best parts were the volcano and the black sand beach . rainbow falls should be removed from the itinerary when you know it is not flowing and replaced with something else.
The trip was marred because the bus had a flat tire delaying us over an hour which required the driver to make some choices. Frankly, I think the driver made a wrong choice in not taking us to the actual rim of the caldera which I expected to go because of the photo on your website. In my opinion, if something had to be cut out, it should have been the ice cream stop since that had not been advertised or it could have been shortened. I thought we spent too much time there.
This tour gave a good overview of the Big Island but has the following issues:
1. We didn't get to go to any of the Volcano National Parks due to the US Govt close down and were not informed of this until after the tour started. It would have been good to be informed of changes to the tour prior to the day.
2. The place where we stopped for lunch was the worst lunch I have had in the USA. We stopped at a bakery prior to that and if I had known I would have purchased something from there instead.
Other than that, the day was good and the macadamia farm, botanical gardens and black sands beach were a highlight.
Did the tour despite of the govt shutdown that ensured we couldn't see the volcano national park. Tour wasn't anything to rave about. Lunch was very below average so I would suggest you take your own and don't pay the top dollar they suggest for the lunch. Good idea for the drivers to do commentary for the whole bus not just the front few rows. He kept answering questions from the front that the majority had no idea what he was talking about. I think his name was Sal or Sol or something similar. But I did hear him tell us he was their top driver! Also managed to hear his whole life story and that of his daughter in law who had just inherited a few million dollars and was on antidepressants. Not of any interest to anyone. Perhaps could have talked about the island instead. Would I recommend it? Perhaps not but there didn't appear to be many other options
I thought we would stop at more scenic spots and less stores eg. macadamia nut store , coffee store , candy store. Our bus driver Sal was rude and inconsiderate of his riders. Six or seven riders in the back were freezing and he would not turn down the AC. He called out the lady who complained and told her to adjust her vents which of course she had already tried with no success.He refuse to say Good Night when we left truly not a sociable tour driver.
It is not on a minibus. They do not even have them they said viator should not be advertising that. The tour overall was ok but very long. It was 2 hours of stops dropping people off at their hotels.
For me the tour was way too long. Almost 12 hours.......plenty of stops but you get off for 10 minutes for a photo then back on for another half hour drive. Was glad when the day ended
We were disappointed that we did not stop at more locations to take pictures. We also wish viewing from the bus would have been better.
Our driver, Sal, was pretty miserable and full of complaints about having to pick people up or wait for them. There were no short photo stops like the smaller tours offer. But otherwise was good.
A bad start to the day trip as it was more than a one hour journey to collect extra people for the tour!
Visit of the whole Island in one day, but too much marketing. Instead of stopping in the small villages for visits, stops were made at candy factories, coffee factories, bakery....it was all about buying souvenirs instead of a solid visit of the Island. The stay in the volcano park lasted 40 minutes. If you really want to see the Island, take a rental car. Roads are in good conditions and you can stop where you want. The more, you can skip these marketing stops. I cannot recommend this tour.