Big Island of Hawaii ATTRACTIONS See all

Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory

Whether you’re a budding astrophysicist or just a fan of Big Bang Theory, take the opportunity while you’re on the Big Island to visit the Mauna Kea Summit and Observatory. At a lofty height of 13,796 ft (4,138 m) Mauna Kea is Hawaii's tallest ... 

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johnnie_bean

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

What a blast! Our pilot, Ryan, was awesome!! He explained where we were headed before we took off with a map of the island. He played great music that matched the ride. Professional and funny. Because of the weather winter in Hawaii he modified our trip--yes, he let us know that in advance--he took us to the north coast for the waterfalls, too many to count. He made sure that everyone got to see the sights no matter what side of the helicopter you were on. Not only did we get to see fantastic views of the island, we saw whales too! Great experience, yes, I'd go back in a heart-beat.

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

Lawrence L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

This is an outstanding tour! If you are considering booking it, I'd suggest asking for Glenn.

My girlfriend and I took this tour with Glenn as our guide and I cannot say enough good things about him. He is knowledgeable in the local history and culture, the geology of the volcanic activity, and botany and zoology, among many other things I'm sure. His passion for the culture and the natural beauty of Big Island really shines through and adds to a very strong itinerary.

Each of the separate activities ziplining, helicopter tour, and walking lava tour lives up to billing and the combination makes for a very full and enjoyable day. My personal favorite was probably the lava tour - the sight of lava bubbling at night is pretty magnificent - but it's a close call and, aside from driving between activities, I didn't feel that there was any wasted time.

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

Michael G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Amazing tour. Met and exceeded our expectations. Our guide was knowledgable and answered all of our questions. He was also incredibly chatty, which was great for us because it allowed us to learn a lot about Mauna Kea and Kauai. Incredible view from the summit and stars at the visitor center were breath taking. Definitely worth the money. A once in a lifetime experience and I would not venture up that road with a rental car something we tossed around for quite some time before booking this tour. Overall, great experience and would recommend to anyone looking to see a beautiful sunset and observatories at 14,000 feet.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit Small Group Stargazing Tour from Hilo

Jill R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

The travel guide Daisy was fabulous...had much knowledge about the Island, and Botany!I would recommend this trip to absolutely everyone who has an adventurous spirit..

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

Robert D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

This was worth every nickel, you see more of Hawaii in two hours then anyway else. Getting to look down into the volcanoes was awesome. Really learn to appreciate our Earth seeing all the different things that are happening to it right from a short distance above.
Mother Earth at it's best, and we got to see it up close

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

ldviator

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2017

This was a mixed experience.

On the good side, we had fantastic weather and viewing conditions. Edmund, our driver, was informative and friendly. From other reviews, we understood that dinner would be a cup of ramen, so no surprises there.

On the very bad side. the van we were in was awful. I think it was a 14-seater rental van, and it was very uncomfortable. Our group happened to be the last to be picked up, and a previous group was a spreader group where 3 people took up 5 seats. As a result, our group of five was jammed into the very back rows where we had a lot of trouble hearing Edmond on the inadequate sound system, and the heating/air conditioning didn't work very well you need both on this trip.

A better van would have changed our review to 5 stars.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

Vivian F

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
January 2017

We were not allowed to get to the top due to bad weather. The tour operator should have re-schedule and keep us informed earlier.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit Small Group Stargazing Tour from Hilo

Takahiro H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

This was an excellent tour for a first-time Big Island visitor like my girlfriend and I. We thoroughly enjoyed every part of this tour. Our guide Hank was extremely knowledgeable and knew the entire place and route like the back of his hand. Driving up the rocky mountain side in a 4-wheel drive van, I knew that it wasn't something I wanted to try myself! He expertly guided us to the best spot, and gave a great star show. The stars were amazing, even though there were clouds in the sky, they were unnoticeable because the stars were so bright. I would recommend this tour to anyone who really loves star gazing.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

Autumn Parker P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

We had a great time on this tour and would definitely do it over again! Our guide Lawrence was amazing, the pilot Wesley was very friendly and our zip-line crew was very fun. Everyone was great and we enjoyed the experience! Seeing the lava in the volcano was unforgettable.

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

kathleen h

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

An amazing tour of the island. Being able to see the island from the air and follow the lava flows from the volcano to the ocean and see how they are building new land in front of our eyes was just amazing. And then flying from the volcanoes over and into the forest and seeing in such a short time the changing beauty of the island was just breathtaking. Highly recommend this trip.

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

Sharon E W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Tour guide Edmond fabulous as well as the comfort of the SUV to drive us to the top of Mauna Kea. Great tour. Would recommend this to anyone and request Edmond if possible.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

lp_500

3 star rating: Worth doing
December 2016

Glad we did the tour, thou as most comments before, was very expensive per-person for a driver and vehicle inc special 4x4 with driver the vehicle had 7 seats and was full. Dont know why they offer a pot noodle or powder hot drink, but hey better than nothing. As mentiond was glad to have the opportunity to visit, would we do it again a big NO.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit Small Group Stargazing Tour from Hilo

Harsh S

3 star rating: Worth doing
December 2016

The tour was great as you can get very close to seeing the stars. The night becomes lighted with 1000s of stars. The Visitor center guide talks about the various stars and how the stars guided the ancient Hawaiins navigate the seas. The tour guide was knowledgeable and was very friendly and took some great pictures. However, I felt that the tour was too steeply priced and being served with a Soup for dinner was not good value for money.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

Sandra

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Absolutely amazing! Summit and sunset spectacular. Guide entertaining and knowledgeable. Dinner left much to be desired, only negative. That aside, this was a must do, so glad we did it!!

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

Victor M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Great trip and very knowledgeable guide Nate. We had a wonderful clear night at the summit and learned a great deal about our galaxy.
Very much recommended.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

Anja Germany

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

The Trip was wonderfull. We were pickend up by our Guide Edmond on time and we starten our Trip to Mauna Kea. On the Way we made some Stopps and he told us a lot about history, nature and People in Hawaii. It was Perfect. Of course he cared a lot about our Safety. The Sunset was wonderfull ...Thank you for this wonderfull Time ..

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit Small Group Stargazing Tour from Hilo

jessica b

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Once in a Lifetime experience. The hospitality was amazing!

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

Clay J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Awesome adventure. The view and stars where magnificent. Our guide was very engaging and had a lot of interesting stories. I would highly recommend it.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

Carol S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Highly recommend this tour. Nate our guide was a wealth of knowledge and very professional. The sunset was amazing and the stargazing left one speechless!
Bucket List........Check!

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

Laurel K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Truly a worthwhile experience. We were driving up the mountain on a clear night, the night of the November 2016 supermoon. Our guide, Derek, was full of interesting information about the Hawaii volcanos, geology and supermoon event. The group was small 5, ideal for good conversation. Sunrise was gorgeous, and the summit wasn't crowded at that hour, so we were able to pick and choose our camera positions to capture a glorious morning.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Above the Clouds Sunrise Tour

spanish-services

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

All of the people involved in this trip were amazing! Glenn, our driver was very knowledgeable and super nice. Tony, Koby and Kailoa from the zip lines were also kind and reassuring. Ethan our helicopter pilot also went the extra mile to make sure we got great views of the volcano. He was also a wealth of information as to when and what had occurred with the volcanoes and their eruptions that created what we see today. Make sure you pack a good jacket for the wine tasting and volcano tour as it gets very cold and windy!

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

William R W

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

Great trip going up to the top of Mauna Kea to see the sunset! Very pretty! The parkas and gloves were a must for folks not traveling with winter clothes. Unfortunately the star gazing was weak due to cloud cover. Mother Nature just didn't want us to see her jewels!

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

Erik O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Activity was great! Beautiful sunset and wonderful view of the stars.

Tour was really small van could only fit 7 driver, and there was only 4 of us for a lot of it. Tour guide was a bit bit of the sexist type and a bit full of it. I'd recommend the tour, not the guide Edmund.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

Lilabeth P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Great guides, Mike and Daisy! So nice to have warm gear included so you do not have to pack in your suitcase. Ramen not so tasty, but hot chocolate hit the spot. The altitude did greatly affect me, but so glad we did!

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit Small Group Stargazing Tour from Hilo

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