Insider's Guide to Big Island of Hawaii

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 85 Reviews

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  • Location:Kona, Hawaii
  • Duration:9 hours (approx.)

Small-Group Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Evening Lava Adventure

From striking black lava and verdant tropical rainforests to the stunning sight of volcanoes at night, experience the Big Island's most spectacular natural splendors on a volcano tour of Hawaii. This full-day adventure to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park allows you to see different aspects of the volcanoes in one day with a ranger-trained guide who provides educational and insightful narration. Plus, you’ll feast on a delicious sit-down dinner. Choose a departure from Waikoloa, Kona or Hilo. Enjoy personalized attention on this small-group tour, limited to 13 people.


  • Full-day adventure to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Visit the Thurston Lava Tube and Jaggar Museum
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch (Kona only) and an included sit-down dinner at the Volcano House
  • Includes pickup and drop-off from selected hotels (Kona and Waikoloa only)
  • Small-group tour limited to 13 passengers ensures a personalized experience from an expert guide

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

It's a cool opportunity to enjoy a twilight walk across a volcano, complete with flashlights and walking sticks. You can share your impressions with your fellow travelers over a casual dinner before the drive back to either side of the island.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Small-Group Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Evening Lava Adventure

The Hawaiian name Kilauea means "spewing" or "much spreading".

Board your tour vehicle upon hotel pickup in Waikoloa or Kona (Hilo departures meet at a central location), and enjoy a fully narrated small-group adventure to the Kilauea Volcano and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Departing from Kona, start with a picnic-style lunch at a local coffee farm, home to the world-famous Kona Coffee. After lunch, hike through a Natural Area Reserve forest, home to rare native plants and birds. On the way to the national park, visit the famous Punalu`u black-sand beach and keep an eye out for giant sea turtles.

If you depart from Waikoloa or Hilo, you'll drive through Kalapana, a village completely destroyed by the advancing lava. Your first stop is a walk across recent lava flows to a black-sand beach that was once the best swimming beach on Hawaii. Next, head to the lava-viewing area in Kalapana, where your vehicle drives over the lava flows that overran the highway. On your way to the next stop, the Painted Church, look for any current volcanic activity.

Once at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, your guide leads your small group past active volcanic craters and steam vents, with the opportunity to explore the Thurston Lava Tube, formed by a river of lava and discovered in 1913. Enjoy a 20-minute walk through a tree fern forest and along an illuminated path through the cave.

Finish at the historic Jaggar Museum, where an outdoor overlook offers a panoramic view of the Kilauea Caldera. See interpretive displays about one of the world's most active volcanoes and perhaps view the ongoing gas eruption of the Halema'uma'u crater.

After experiencing the volcanoes, enjoy a delicious dinner at The Rim, the Volcano House restaurant that overlooks the rim of the Kilauea caldera. Watch for current volcanic activity and enjoy island cuisine sourced from local ranchers and farmers as the sun sets before returning to your hotel in Waikoloa or Kona, or the starting point in Hilo.

Please note: As volcanic activity changes constantly, molten lava cannot be guaranteed and may not be seen. Tour runs rain or shine.


Sample Dinner Menu (subject to change)
Choice of included beverage
  • Iced tea, hot tea or coffee

Choice of one main course:
  • Grilled herb chicken, served with garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed local kale, and a lemon macadamia nut butter sauce
  • Coconut-crusted fried Mahi Mahi with jasmine rice, stir-fried bok choy, and a ginger mango sauce
  • Island tofu and vegetable stir fry, served with coconut jasmine rice and fresh pineapple

Kids' choice:
  • Hot dog: all-beef frank on a Punalu'u Bake Shop roll, served with french fries
  • Pasta: Waimea tomato marinara sauce or butter and cheese
  • Pizza: pepperoni or three cheese

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The guIde was excellent

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Outstanding tour guide! Enjoyable tour. Well worth the price. I thought the dinner at Volcano House was mediocre, however.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed this group tour. It was a small group, which I like as opposed to a larger group of people. It made it more comfortable and easy to ask questions. Our tour guide Kale was awesome! He was so informative and even witty. He made it a really fun day.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

We loved it! Our tour guide Robin was awesome and we felt lucky to be in her van.
The night Glow is a once in a lifetime experience. Don't miss it!
Rebecca, Nancy, Alex and Deborah from Santa Fe and Dallas.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This tour was excellent. We would never have seen all that we did had we tried to do this trip on our own. Zane was the best tour guide ever. He attended to our every need. He is very knowledgeable about the Island and we came away knowing about the Island's history and especially about mother volcano. We would highly recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

We had a fantastic day, made particularly great by our tour guide, Chris. Definitely would recommend this tour to anyone visiting the Big Island!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This was an excellent tour, culminating in a night-time show of the glowing volcano beneath a clear sky with a crescent moon! The tour guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. I recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Best tour operator . Best service and wonderful and knowledgeable guides . We enjoyed the whole very much. Very comfortable transport.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Our trip was excellent. The guide Richard couldn't have been more help or informative. It was such a pleasure to have a knowledgeable guide

Diane Z

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This tours was very involved and had a great tour guide in Angelica. She was from the area that the lava flow reached and told us some amazing stories and showed us some really great off the road spots. There is a lot of walking but it is absolutely worth it for the view of the black sand beach. The dinner at the hotel was very good and the evening view of the volcano was stunning. A great day!!

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Tour code: 5413LAVA


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