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Hawaii Big Island Revealed Guidebook:
If you had to name the one thing the Big Island is most famous for, it would undoubtedly be Kilauea Volcano. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is the most fascinating place you may ever visit.
Lonely Planet Guidebook:
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: Hawaii’s Top 20
Top-notch ecotour outfitter with knowledgeable guides.
A wonderful company with an excellent environmental ethic — the tours are highly recommended.
If you do nothing else on the Big Island, do the volcano.
Since 1993, this locally owned and operated outfit has built a reputation for outstanding nature tours and eco-adventures. Sustainability and cultural sensitivity is a company mission. They have access to thousands of acres of restricted or private lands and employ expert, certified guides who are entertaining and informative.
It can vary based on conditions and other factors, but common stops include the summit Steam Vents, Chain of Craters Road down to the sea cliffs, Mauna Ulu, Keanakako'i Crater, Kilauea Overlook, Devastation Trail, and the Visitor's Center. Total time in the Park is about 4 hours. Time at the Lava Tube on private property outside the Park is around 1.5 hours.
2-3 miles, with the goal of not spending the day in a van but also being immersed in nature. It is a fairly easy tour, although guests should not be physically challenged or unable to walk short distances on uneven terrain (unless they are ok staying with the van for the hiking portion). The walk inside of a lava tube has some incline and is not paved, but it is not especially challenging. Walking sticks are available. Private tours have more flexibility and are recommended for parties who are concerned about their physical abilities.
Lunch & dinner selections are asked during booking checkout (although you can change up to 24 hours in advance).
Pre-made sandwich from local deli (turkey, ham, pastrami, or veggie), chips, cookie, and sodas / juice drinks. Gluten free and vegan options available.
Includes nuts & cheese
Warm picnic dinner options are Southwest Chicken Stew or Vegetarian Chili (vegan/gluten-free), served with a butter roll, dessert, and hot tea / hot chocolate.
The vans have limited space, so it would have to be a small collapsible wheelchair, and the guest would have to be able to get in and out of the vehicle with minimal assistance. They would also stay with the van during some of the short walks/hikes that are on unpaved and uneven surfaces, unless possibly with a private tour.
In early 2023, the lava viewing was quite good, although the level of the lava lake in the crater fluctuated daily. As of early March, the lava has paused but may resume at anytime. If lava is visible, the tour has a few viewpoints to choose from and will try to provide the best view of lava that is safe and legally accessible at the time.