My sister and I did this tour in November 2016 and Captain Rob was our guide - it was an amazing tour. We saw turtles at the black sand beach, stopped at the Shinmachi tsunami sight, visited the Japanese Gardens at Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, stopped at Rainbow Falls which were flowing and we could see the rainbow, the orchids were beautiful - and the free samples at the Macadamia farm were a bonus. We went into the Volcano Park for lunch at Volcano House which was pretty awesome as we had a view of the caldera - that was our first sighting of the volcano. After lunch we had some time to look around and walk down to the Sulphur Banks and then we got back on the bus and started going around and looking at different spots in the volcano park. We went everywhere - across old lava fields, into the Thurston Lava Tube, into holes in the ground. Our guide was really knowledgeable which made a huge difference. We drove down along the Chain of Craters Road with quite a few stops which was really interesting and ended up at the Holei Sea Arch on the coastline. From that point it is a 10 mile/16 kilometre hike to where the lava flows into the ocean - and there's no time on this tour to do that. From here we headed back up to the Jaggar Museum with a few more stops on the way back - and it also took us to the closest point to the volcano all day. The closest you get to the active part of the volcano is about a kilometre away at the Jaggar Museum at the end of the day - and that's for your own health and safety. It was worth the wait because as the sun is setting it is really pretty and better to see the lava bubbling away.
It is a long day - we had to be ready at 5am and were back at our hotel at 10pm. I would definitely recommend taking some insect repellant for the stop at the waterfall there were mosquitoes and a jumper/jacket as it was freezing by the time we got to Jaggar Museum. There is a domestic flight to get to the island and the rule regarding liquids being less than 100ml applies - for all liquids including sunscreen, insect repellant, etc. Anything bigger than that was confiscated or thrown away.
Overall, we would recommend this tour - it's whet our appetite to go back and see more!
Amazing Day! Well worth it if you can spare the extra time 15 hr day and expense. Our tour guide, Jane, did an outstanding job showing us everything she could with the time we had together. We visited parks, black sand beaches saw giant sea turtles!, macadamia nut factory, orchid farm, several craters, several lava fields, waterfalls, steam vents, and visited the active volcano day and returned at dusk. WOW! We were lucky enough to witness bubbling lava! Simply amazing!
I cannot say enough good things about Jane. She even took a photo or two of us together, something hard to get sometimes while on vacation. She was extremely accommodating and pleasant. Jane never rushed us but kept us on schedule at the same time....there is no way we could have experienced, learned and witnessed what we did on our own!
Jane alerted us when we approached the last rest stop for a while, she also alerted us to snack/souvenir opportunities, and gave us information/history about the island.
My only minor complaint is I feel the lunch should be included in the price. Lunch was served at the Volcano House and while tasty with ample serving size, a bit pricey at 17 for a burger.
DO NOT miss the opportunity!!!
Fantastic trip, and awesome views. We could've probably dealt with a few less scrambles over previous lava flows, but to end the day looking at the active crater was amazing.
All the other reviews I read before booking this trip said it was excellent. Those people didn't lie, and it was even better than I imagined it would be. Thank you!
GinnyB United States of ...
The sights we saw on the Big Island were astounding and our tour guide did a great job of explaining the sights while blending in interesting stories of the Hawaiian gods and myths. We had great weather and were able to see the lava bubbling out and shooting high into the air. There were people from a variety of countries on our tour and we enjoyed talking to them and sharing our experience with them.
A once in a lifetime opportunity and so glad we took the tour. Saw beautiful scenery and waterfalls and very interesting volcano sights.
Wonderful trip. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a day trip.
My wife and I enjoyed the tour very much, we wish we would have had more time to visit the Big Island. The tour guide was FANTASTIC! We loved it.
GUIDE REALLY CARED. EXTREMELY KNOWLEDGEABLE OF FLORA. GREAT TRIP.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Big Island. Loved all of the stops. The best part of the tour was our guide, Jane. She was awesome! We loved her commentary. I learned so much about The Big Island. It was like a classroom on wheels. The highlight was her stories about Pele. She was kind, thoughtful, funny and informative.
Mark S United States of ...
This excursion to the Big Island to see the volcanoes and area around Hilo was very enjoyable despite the weather from a passing tropical depression and the resulting closed roads limiting what we could see. It is a very long day and we traveled with an infant who was probably better than most teenagers. The departure time is about 5:00 AM from the Waikiki area and return is about 9:30 PM. It is a shame Viator does not include these sorts of times in their advertising. Of course, if booking directly with Polynesian Adventure Tours would have made questions easier to answer before booking.
excellent tour -- we saw so much and the tour guide Aki was great.
everything handled perfectly and very comfortable transportation.
Amy G United States of ...
My husband and I were staying on Oahu for 10 days. We booked this day trip to Hilo to tour the volcanoes and I am so glad we did. I really think this was the highlight of our trip. You really have no idea until you see the National Park the magnitude of the volcanoes. It's amazing. Captain Rob was our guide and he was terrific. He was so knowledgeable and funny. Be prepared for a very long day from the time you are picked up at your hotel, until the time you are dropped back off but you will not be disappointed. The waterfall we saw was picture perfect, the black sandy beach we stopped at was quaint, and everything else in between. We really appreciated the fact that if you didn't want to do a lot of walking you didn't have to. The shuttle bus took you everywhere and really I think there was only one point that an older person in our group was not able to participate in. and it was not something that he was deprived of, believe me Captain Rob even made sure to lock the bus when we were off exploring, so you never had to worry about your stuff. The lunch stop was great too! You ordered your food once you are on the bus so that the restaurant was prepared for us. Very well organized. We had the bacon cheeseburger and it was awesome! I was even amazed at the airport in Hilo. The departure lounge was nothing like I have ever seen in an airport before. Definitely Hawaiian. Very laid back and comfortable! I highly recommend this tour! If you are thinking about a day trip... just do it! You will not regret it!
We loved this day trip. We loved black sand beach and hardened lava flows.
The Big Island Trip was fantastic. A very long day but worth the sites. Sites I will probably never see again. The driver/guide was great and everything was wonderful.
This was a great day. Our drive Jane was great at pointing out all the interesting sights. The only problem was the weather which was out of everyone's control.
All travel connections went as scheduled and the tour guide was excellent. We learned a lot, saw a lot, and had a lot of fun.
Excellent experience. Learn a lot about the island, it's history, horticulture and volcanos. Our guide John was very knowledgeable and had a lot of great stories. He kept the tour moving along quite smoothly and got us to the airport on time.
Auntie Sharon was fabulous, humorous and knowledgeable at the same time.
Captain Rob was fantastic! He was very informative and personable. He was extremely entertaining. Kept everyone's attention.
A very long day but well worth it. Our driver /guide was Jane, she was very informative,entertaining and a pleasure to spend the day with.We feel we have covered most of the Big Island in one day,especially loved staying to twilight to watch the crater change colour.
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