Insider's Guide to Big Island of Hawaii

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 109 Reviews

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  • Location:Kona, Hawaii
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

Head to the Mauna Kea Observatory, nestled high in the mountains of the Big Island, and experience an intriguing and provocative journey through space and time. Discover Hawaii from the top of the island's tallest peak, Mauna Kea, also known as 'White Mountain,' located 13,796 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level. Limited to 12 people, this small-group star-watching tour ensures a personalized and unique experience at the enchanting Mauna Kea summit.


  • 8-hour Manua Kea stargazing tour on Hawaii
  • Enjoy a private star-gazing show through telescopes at the Mauna Kea Observatory
  • Learn about the history, culture and ecology of Hawaii as you enjoy the sunset and gaze at the stars
  • Indulge in a picnic dinner at a historical ranch
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 participants, ensuring a personalized and unique experience with a naturalist guide

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

Ride to the Mauna Kea summit in comfort and safety aboard a specially equipped 4x4 van, and gain access to parts of the Big Island that most travelers will never see!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

View a spectacular sunset from the top of Mauna Kea and enjoy a unique stargazing experience on this Big Island adventure tour. After pickup from a central location in Kona, you'll travel through Hawaii's historical Parker Ranch in a 4x4 luxury van to Mauna Kea summit.

Enjoy a hot, picnic-style dinner (see sample menu below) at a Hawaiian ranch where you're provided with a warm, hooded parka. Then prepare to make the climb to the top of Mauna Kea, learning about the Big Island's cultural, natural and ecological history from your naturalist guide en route to Mauna Kea Observatory.

From the summit, enjoy views of Mauna Loa and see Maui's volcano, Haleakala, along with other special points of interest. Stand among some of the earth's most powerful telescopes at the Mauna Kea Observatory as you enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime sunset view.

After sunset, travel to the Mauna Kea Visitor Station at 9,000 feet (2,743 meters), where your guide sets up a telescope for a personal, entertaining and educational star party. Learn how Mauna Kea's unique geography draws scientists from all over the world to study the heavens, and also allows for incredible nighttime views of the stars.

Enjoy hot beverages and chocolate macadamia nut cookies as your guide gives a personal astronomy lesson before your return to Kona.

Picnic Dinner Menu (please specify at booking):

Hot Entrée Option
Barbecue chicken with mild Korean BBQ chili sauce (served hot)
  • Warm homemade cornbread
  • Cole slaw with blond raisins
Cold Vegetarian Entrée Option
Vegetarian Spinach Wrap (served cold)
(Wrap includes: hummus, lettuce, tofu, cucumber, tomato, carrot, avocado, bell peppers and tomatoes served with a side of sesame soy dressing)
  • Glazed carrots
  • Tabouleh
Gluten-Free Option
Grilled chicken breast with lemon garnish (served hot)
  • Rice
  • Glazed carrots
  • Chocolate brownies

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The guide was excellent

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The Mauna Kea summit view is breathtaking. Even the drive up is amazing. What is even better is the star gazing after. The skies are so clear, you feel like your in on of those dome light amphitheaters. SO MANY STARS! You can see the Milky Way, Andromeda, the ISS all with the naked eye! Dinner was delicious and desserts w/hot cocoa really topped off the night.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

It is an amazing and unforgettable tour! It was super cold up on the summit but the view totally worth it. The jacket they provided is basically for wind and rain, so better to prepare clothing layers, gloves and hat to keep you warm. Due to winter time, our dinner was a little early at 3:30pm. Bring some snacks if possible, as the tour ends around 9:30pm. The tour guide Nick is very knowledgeable and wiling to share. He controls the time really well and knows how to avoid the crowd. We all enjoy the time seeing the nature from the ice age and how incredible about the super sunset, the cloud, and of course, the hundreds of thousands of stars!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Excursion was above what was expected. Our guide, Joe, was outstanding! Very knowledgable
and a great personality.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Amazing place to go. Beautifull sunset over the summit with some Astronomy.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Incredibly good! Gene was so knowledgeable that I felt like I was dealing with a guy with multiple Ph.D.s - geology, history, archaeology, astronomy, etc. Definitely give that man a raise! The trip itself was wonderful. I saw Saturn for the first time. I also enjoyed seeing all the observatories and hearing about the issues involved in the protest against the new telescope. Thank you!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Awesome! Is my one word description. Best birthday shared with my lovely wife!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Excellent worth every dime. Food average. But you are there for the sights not food.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

very good tour. amazing stars to seen.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Great experience. Great guide. Amazing to see the stars at that altitude!

From USD $ 207.29

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Tour code: 2804MKS


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