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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Big Island Highlights Small Group Tour

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Hilo, United States
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Big Island Highlights Small Group Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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icon7 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is unlike anywhere else on the planet, where one of the world’s most active volcanoes sends lava dripping towards the sea, and a towering mountain lies dormant and ready to pop. On this tour of the National Park, hear the legends of Madame Pele, the mythical Hawaiian fire goddess, a tour from Hilo to the eastern coastline and climb to the rim of Kilauea volcano. On this small group tour, your guide will customize the pace and number of sights. When you book, note your lunch requirements in the checkout field.
  • Small group full-day tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Hilo
  • View the Halemaumau crater, said by native Hawaiians to be the home of Pele, goddess of fire
  • Get great views of Hilo Bay from Liliuokalani Gardens
  • Taste fresh coffee and Big Island style treats at a local chocolate factory
  • Take an easy walk to Rainbow Falls and look for sea turtles at a black-sand beach on the Keaukaha coast
  • Includes private vehicle and guide, bottled water, snacks, and hotel pickup and drop-off
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Professional guide
Bottled water
Hilo Harbor Port pickup and drop-off
Hilo Airport pick-up and drop-off
Hilo area Hotel pick-up (we will contact you directly if we need to arrange a meeting location)
Air-conditioned vehicle
8:30 AM

After booking, the operator will contact you about pickup time.

This activity will end right where it started.We provide pickup at the Hilo International Airport. Please provide your flight information at time of booking. If you are staying in Kona or outside of Hilo, we will meet you at the Hilo Mo'oheau Bus Terminal (329 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo). Please confirm at time of booking if you will meet at the bus terminal.
This tour begins when you’re picked up from your Hilo area hotel, Hilo Airport, or Hilo Port and meet your knowledgeable local guide for a day of exploring the volcanoes. Riding around in an air-conditioned vehicle, you’ll begin the day in town of Hilo by visiting a number of highlights, including the Liliuokalani Gardens that honor Hawaii’s former Queen. You’ll also have the chance to look for sea turtles on the outskirts of Hilo Bay, and see a beautiful black-sand beach that’s formed by eroded black lava. 

Outside of Hilo, make a stop at Wailuku River State Park and marvel at Rainbow Falls, where occasionally it’s possible to spot a rainbow when the light hits the curtain of mist. Later, upon entering Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, your guide will make sure you have ample time to experience the most popular sights, including the rim of Kilauea and Haleama’uma’u Crater.

Throughout the park, you’ll notice steam vents rising from the rock and land that’s just recently been formed, and when driving the famous Chain of Craters Road, the barren black landscape in every direction is a reminder this Earth is still raw.

At every stop throughout the tour, your guide is there to answer questions and elaborate on the history and geology, and since the tour itinerary is completely flexible, you’re free to enjoy a little more time at the places that interest you the most.

Finally, having scoured this UNESCO listed National Park and witnessed Earth being formed, this Big Island volcano tour finishes back at your original pickup location.l.
Stop At:  
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park including a visit to Kilauea caldera where you will witness the dramatic changes from our recent eruption, experience the steam vents and other volcanic formations from past lava flows.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Nahuku - Thurston Lava Tube
Enjoy a hike through the Hawaiian rainforest robust with native birds and tree ferns to Nahuku (Thurston lava tube). Traverse the 500 year old lava tube where molten lava once rushed through.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Chain of Craters Road
Explore frozen fields of lava from past volcanic eruptions and peer down into once active volcanic craters. Learn about the history, culture and geology of Kilauea volcano.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Rainbow Falls
View the majestic 80 foot waterfall of Waianuenue or Rainbow Falls. Enjoy the tropical landscape as you learn the legends of Hawaii.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Big Island Candies
Get your pep in your step with tasty hand-made chocolates, locally grown macadamia nuts and island fresh coffee!
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Liliuokalani Gardens
Immerse yourself in tranquility with a short stroll around Liliuokalani Gardens as you enjoy the fishponds, pagodas and picture perfect landscaping along Hilo bay.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Richardson Beach Park
Touch your toes in the black sand of Wai'uli beach and as you scout for Hawaiian green sea turtles along the rocky coastline.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately (be prepared for sun, wind and rain).
  • Covered walking shoes are required and a jacket is highly recommended.
  • A minimum of 2 people per booking is required and a maximum of 12 passengers per departure.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult and must have proper safety seats as required by Hawaii state law through age 7 (seats will be provided only upon request at time of booking). No lap children are allowed. Please confirm if you will be bringing a safety seat for your child.
  • HOTEL pick-up is offered for this tour in the HILO area only. We highly recommend accommodations in Hilo. If you are staying in Kona or outside of Hilo, we will arrange to meet you at the Hilo Mo'oheau Bus Terminal (please confirm at time of booking).
  • For CRUISE SHIP passengers, we pick-up directly at Hilo Harbor and will adjust the tour time as needed to accommodate your ships time in port.
  • For a one DAY TRIP to the Big Island, please make your travel arrangements to and from the Hilo International Airport. Please provide your flight details at time of booking.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Please contact us if you are traveling with a wheelchair or scooter (they must be collapsible). All passengers must be able to step up on a stool and into a 15-passenger van on their own. Some stops are not wheelchair accessible.
  • Please let us know of any food allergies.
  • Kilauea volcano is an active volcano, you may be exposed to volcanic gas on this tour.
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Mauka Makai Adventures
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

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Traveler Tips

  • "Josh also had umbrellas handy for us and took us to a local eatery that served pure deliciousness!" See review


53 Reviews
4 stars
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1 star

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 53 reviews
Great trip
, Jan 2020
Great spots visited. Very well explained the history and facts. All questioned answered. Great guide.
Touring The Big Island in a day!
Monica A
, Dec 2019
Me and the husband decided to Island hop for the day. After looking into like a hundred tours, we chose this one based on the reviews. I’m so glad we did!!! Josh the owner and guide was awesome! He took us to so many places, shared his knowledge and stories. We were picked up at the airport, and started on our adventure from there. Volcanoes, steam vents, craters, volcano tubes, gardens, parks, black beach, and a candy factory, not to mention a tasty lunch! I couldn’t have asked for a better tour! Highly recommended. You won’t be sorry !
swaped to older 15 passanger van
, Dec 2019
Charged for a modern travel van but was changed out to a Ford Van that can not be used in other states. At 71 I do not care to climb over seats to get to my seat. John was a very good guide . Viator over sold and went to subcontractors to fill the request.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Aloha, Thank you for the feedback. We apologize for the inconvenience and want to assure you that we strive to provide the best tour possible for all of our guests. Unfortunately one of us was sick on the day of your tour. We are a small family business and do the best that we can to take care of our guests at all times. John is a very experienced professional tour guide and works with us regularly. We have upgraded our fleet headed into 2020 but sometimes vehicles may be in the shop for routine maintenance, etc. Again we apologize for any misunderstanding or inconvenience. We wish you and your 'ohana a very happy new year! Mahalo, Jill & Josh
, Nov 2019
Josh is an excellent tour guide. He is very personable and gave a great tour. He provided great information everywhere we went and answered every question we had from the history, culture, folk lore, legends, animals, trees, and everything else. We were able to spend time at the various places as long or as little as we wanted to stay. Highly recommend.
Excellent Tour!
, Nov 2019
This was one of the best tours we've been on. Our guide, Josh was very personable and knowledgeable. The smaller vehicle was comfortable and so much better than being on a huge bus tour. There were only 8 of us and it was a great group! We saw so much in about 7 hours, but never felt rushed. Volcanoes National Park was amazing and Josh made several stops that gave a great overview. At every stop he shared his knowledge and very interesting information. The Hilo highlights included a lovely park with Japanese gardens, a black sand beach, orchid farm (beautiful!) and chocolate factory. The pace was steady and moderately active. Some areas were over uneven surfaces (lava). That we had a perfectly beautiful day was icing on the cake! We would highly recommend this tour!
Amazing Tour!
, Oct 2019
Our tour was awesome. Josh was our guide and he gave us a great, in depth tour of the Hilo’s popular spots as well as Volcanoes NP. I really enjoyed how he catered the tour to all the participants and we weren’t on a tight/rigid timeline the whole time. Definitely recommend this tour!
Great Tour with Outstanding Guide
, Aug 2019
This was our favorite guided tour during our entire week in Hawaii. Our tour guide/driver Jill was exceptional and every aspect of the tour was first class. Great lunch included with sandwiches from a local family restaurant and this is a truly great way to see this amazing National Park.
, Jul 2019
When traveling we always start with a tour around the city to help us set our points of interest for our itinerary. This tour was great but what made it the best was our tour guide and owner Josh. He was very friendly, funny, personable, knowledgeable and just made us feel very comfortable. It was raining but he modified the tour as needed and we never felt short changed on anything. We thoroughly enjoyed the small group and we were very comfortable in the Mercedes van. Josh also had umbrellas handy for us and took us to a local eatery that served pure deliciousness! Overall, I would highly recommend this tour but more than anything Josh really made it great! We really appreciated everything about our excursion!!!
Great tour, great host
Jeff S
, Apr 2019
The tour is run by Mauka Makai Adventures, and our guide was Josh, who owns it with his wife. Josh picked us up at our hotel at the arranged time and we were immediately off to Rainbow Falls. Josh proved to be a knowledgeable and personable guide, providing a lot of local and historical information about what we were visiting or the areas we were passing through. We were able to update the tour on the fly to skip a destination we were not interested in, and to delay another, which ended up a very good idea since we got to see Volcanoes before it started to rain. Josh never hurried us along allowing us to visit all the attractions for as long as we wanted
Hawaii vacation
, Feb 2019
We had a special tour of Volcano National Park, waterfalls, beaches and surrounding places of interest. Our tour guide was very awesome and would recommend this tour!

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