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The Big Island of Hawaii has a diverse ecosystem unlike anywhere else on the planet, and on this day-long nature tour, you’ll experience its beauty of its black-sand beaches and enormous, thundering waterfalls, and visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to explore the landscape of steam. If you’re lucky, you’ll find Hawaiian green sea turtles basking on the coast, or lava flowing through the rocks. Since the tour only requires a moderate amount of walking, it's an educational adventure for travelers of all ages, with snacks and refreshments included. 

Highlights

  • A tour of Hawaii’s biggest island highlighting its natural wonders
  • Visit the most dramatic waterfalls on the island, Akaka and Rainbow Falls
  • Taste local dishes during lunch at a favorite island hangout spot
  • Learn how the island was formed as you explore the craters, active steam vents and lava tunnels of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Make frequent stops for photos and to take in the lush scenery, as well as to spot wildlife at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach
  • Group size is limited to an 12 people to ensure a quality experience

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Big Island in One Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, and History Small Group Tour

Explore the Thurston Lava Tubes on this all day tour.

This full day adventure of the Big Island of Hawaii begins on the Kona coast, where you’re picked up from your Kona or Waikoloa hotel, and driven north on a scenic journey past historic Parker Ranch—which has operated as one of the largest ranches in America since 1847. 


As you pass through the ranching town of Waimea, watch as the landscape changes from pastures to green, tropical rainforest, as sweeping views of the Hamakua Coast start creeping into view. During a stop at Waipio Valley lookout, marvel at the way the vertical cliffs seem to explode from the green valley floor, and hear the tales of how King Kamehameha was raised in this valley as a child. The adventure continues as you wind your way down the Hamakua Coast, past roadside towns with singsong names until you reach Akaka Falls. 


Here at this popular Hawaii State Park, watch as a 442 foot (135m) waterfall explodes in the pool down below, and later on, at Rainbow Falls, watch as the light refracts through the mist to form a rainbow in the sky. Around this time, you’ll enjoy a lunch of teriyaki chicken beneath the shade of a banyan tree, and other options include grilled fish, seaweed salad, and rice (vegetarian meals available upon request). 


Heading south past the town of Hilo, you’ll head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the active Kilauea volcano, to hike through the Thurston Lava Tube that was formed by cooling lava. Walk through the steam vents and lunar landscape of Halema’uma’u Crater, and visit the informative Jaggar Museum for info on the current eruption. Depending upon the volcanic activity, there could even be parts of the park where it’s possible to see the magma in action, though it’s more than enough to marvel at the formations the lava has left behind.


From the often-cool summit of Kilauea, you’ll eventually make your way back towards sea level at Punalu’u State Park, where you’ll take a stroll on a black-sand beach and search for Hawaiian green sea turtles. Rounding the southern tip of the island, which is the southernmost point in America, the sun will begin to get low in the sky. Look out for Kealakekua Bay, the spot where Captain Cook was killed in a skirmish with Native Hawaiians. Finally, the tour finishes back in Kona with a drop off at your hotel, where you’ve earned the right to plop on the bed and relax after the full day adventure. 

Please note: Bring good hiking shoes, as well as multiple layers of clothing since the temperature and weather can vary. 

Customer Reviews

Charlene A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Loved it. Highly recommend . Our tour guide was knowledgable and friendly and kept us entertained. Don't forget to pack for rainy weather though.

Takahiro H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This one-day trip was incredible! We were extremely lucky to have such perfect weather, very little rain, and even got to see TWO giant sea turtles up close! Fantastic views. Perfection. Me and my girlfriend had a fantastic time, but what really made the trip perfect was our guide. Darian our tour guide was not only knowledgeable, but so friendly that we felt like we had a close friend giving us the entire tour. He was an expert on the history, geography, nature, and biology of the entire island. I was so impressed by his courtesy and kindness, particular when offering to take pictures of me and my girlfriend together. He really made a huge effort to make sure every single person on the tour felt special and taken care of. He went above and beyond my expectations, and really wish him well! Anyone with limited time on the Big Island should not hesitate. The tour goes quick, but you really do get a taste of the best things the Big Island has to offer.

KINAM S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Our tour guide - Kai was wonderful - so much knowledge of the Island's history! Thank you! Kinam

Michelle M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

The best way to see the island is a short amount of time. Our tour guide Darian was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and went out of his way to make sure everyone on the bus was happy! We got to see waterfalls, and volcanos, and sea turtles, and we were very lucky with the fantastic weather!
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting the big island!

Lorelle F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

As a local born on the island, our guide was very knowledgeable. The waterfalls were amazing and walking through the rainforest was unreal. So beautiful!

jwate03

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This is an excellent tour. Lasts a full day, around 11 hours from time of pickup to drop off. Great opportunity to experience the entire island in one day, with time to see everything without feeling rushed. Great experience.

David M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

The tour was amazing and the guide was very informative.

Kathy

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Great way to see the Island in one day Wow!! Gives you a full view of what the Island has to offer in one day! Tour guide Kevin was friendly, fun and knowledgeable! He provided suggestions/recommendations of other things to do and so for those with more days to explore. I requested a gluten free meal for lunch and they provided and it was hot and delicious! Tour. Tour included 13 plus driver and guidelines said under 12 ppl. But it was enough room in van. My only compliant for a full day of tour was they did not offer any gluten free snack options - they had snacks for other travelers. So be sure to pack your snacks if you have food allergies - it is a long day. They have plenty of water and juice!

sandra s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

What a great day! It was everything it promised to be! We saw all the major places and had plenty of time at each to get good pictures and walk around. We had some rain as we got to Akaka Falls but we were given rain jackets if we wanted. Mike was an amazing guide. He had lots of info and he absolutely loves waterfalls so we got to see an extra on the way back!! The best part is we saw all this and I didn't have to do all the driving myself!

Olivia Z

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This tour was AMAZING!! We were immediately impressed by the knowledge that was shared, even just in the first few minutes of the drive. Kala was our tour guide and we feel very lucky to have had him!! He kept the entire tour interesting with the little history lessons of the island! I highly recommend Kala for anyone looking for a thorough tour of the Island! Not only did we get to see some of our wish list places on this tour, but Kala was able to share information with us about other spots, which we were able to see on our own the next day!! I can't stress enough how amazing this tour was!!! Thank you Kala and Wasabi tours for the amazing experience!!

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