On the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, Hilo offers better access than Kona to two of the island’s major regions—Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Hamakua Coast. Read on for more info about the top activities on this side of Hawaii’s largest island.
 
Volcano Tours
Just 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Hilo—compared to 100 miles (161 kilometers) from Kona—Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two active volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Tours to the park typically last six to nine hours and may include other stops at other sites such as Rainbow Falls, a black-sand beach, or a macadamia nut farm. Helicopter tours from Kona run for about 45 minutes and provide hard-to-beat views of smoke, lava flows, and even nearby waterfalls. Meanwhile, ground tours allow travelers to walk through a lava tube and listen to the hiss of steam rising from the ground—the better experience if you’re interested in the geology. Opt for a hiking or biking tour for a more adventurous way to see the park.

Zipline Tours
Hilo’s location just south of the verdant Hamakua Coast makes it a great departure point for a zipline adventure among the lush rainforest environment, where you can fly over treetops, rivers, and waterfalls. Tours typically last two to four hours, unless you book a longer day trip that also includes a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Courses generally feature seven to nine ziplines, some of which boast Pacific Ocean views and reach more than 2,000 feet (600 meters) in length.

Water Tours
While Hilo enjoys proximity to the Big Island’s many waterfalls, such as Akaka Falls, not all of them are swimmable, so book a tour that includes visiting a site safe for swimming if you’d like to take a dip. Other opportunities for getting out on the water from Hilo include introductory scuba diving or a day trip to Papakolea Green Sand Beach, one of only a handful of green-sand beaches on Earth. For snorkeling, you’re better off booking a tour from Kona.

Tours & Tickets

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Volcanoes and Waterfalls Helicopter Adventure from Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, null
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Volcanoes and Waterfalls Helicopter Adventure from Hilo

4.5 star rating: Recommended 124 Reviews

This Big Island helicopter adventure will show you the best of Hawaii – volcanoes and waterfalls – from the air! Starting from Hilo, you’ll journey over miles ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $274.00
Volcanoes and Waterfall Extreme: 45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight, Big Island of ... 
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Volcanoes and Waterfall Extreme: 45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 93 Reviews

Feel a Hawaiian volcano’s heat radiate from its crater as you experience live volcanic activity up close, with nothing between you and the lava! An open-door ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 50 minutes (approx.)

From USD $324.00
Helicopter Tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Waterfalls from Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, ... 
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Helicopter Tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Waterfalls from Hilo

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Tour the most geologically active environment on earth, with emphasis on the most current areas of volcanic activity and black sand beaches, from the comfort ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $259.00
Kilauea Volcano Bike Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Helicopter Tours
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Kilauea Volcano Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 67 Reviews

Join a guided Kilauea Volcano bike tour in the Hawaii Volcano National Park. You'll explore Kilauea Volcano, from its summit to the sea, as you bike down this ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 4 - 5 hours

From USD $150.00
Big Island Hawaii Volcano Adventure, Big Island of Hawaii, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
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Big Island Hawaii Volcano Adventure

4.5 star rating: Recommended 66 Reviews

See the lava fields on a comprehensive, full-day Big Island Hawaii Volcano tour. You'll explore Hawaii Volcano National Park, Kilauea Volcano and Big Island of ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $107.36
Evening Volcano Explorer From Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, Bus & Minivan Tours
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Evening Volcano Explorer From Hilo

4.5 star rating: Recommended 25 Reviews

Make Kilauea Volcano and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park your destination, and stay past sunset. Explore an active volcano on a fully narrated adventure that ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $155.21
Hilo Zipline over KoleKole Falls, Big Island of Hawaii, Night Tours
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Hilo Zipline over KoleKole Falls

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

Get ready for an exhilarating Hawaiian zipline adventure! Soar over cascading waterfalls and lush greenery on seven different ziplines – including one of the ...  Read more

Location: Honomu, Hawaii
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $187.45
Lava Expedition From Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, Ziplines
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Lava Expedition From Hilo

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

There is nothing quite as spectacular as seeing red molten lava, and nobody takes you to where the action is quite like KapohoKine Adventures! Join us as we ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $155.21
Hilo Volcano Special Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Nature & Wildlife
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Hilo Volcano Special Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. While lava flow sightings cannot be guaranteed, you are likely to ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $120.00
Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour from Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, Full-day Tours
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Volcanoes National Park Adventure Tour from Hilo

4.5 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

Waterfall & Volcano Adventure Tour. This tour will take you to all the tourist attraction in or near Hilo. Let this local operator make your day full of ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $105.00

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