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Volcano Explorer Tour from Kailua-Kona

visit the world's most active volcanoes

You’re standing on what feels like the top of the world as a surreal landscape engulfs you. Here, at the top of the Kilauea volcano, a patchwork of jagged rocks, boulders, and craggy outcroppings are the result of ancient volcanic eruptions. Renowned scientists and scholars have stood in your footsteps before, studying this active volcano said to be governed by the Hawaiian Goddess of fire, Pele. It is a humbling experience that fills you with a deep sense of respect for the power and unpredictability of nature. This is the heart of Hawaiʻi — its volcanoes — and you are feeling its pulse in the company of your small group of friends or family for a memory that will last a lifetime.

Inclusions:

Day Time Tour:

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This 8-hour Volcano Explorer tour takes you through the spectacular Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to the Kilauea Volcano, with minimal stops along the way. Admire the scenery that makes Hawaiʻi so special. Designed for visitors short on time, while leaving you free to explore the most amazing natural landscapes of Hawaiʻi Island without the usual tourist stresses. The Express tour includes: beverages, snack baskets, lunch or dinner, park fees, and transportation.

Tour pickup:
Begin your tour at the designated meeting point in central Kailua-Kona at the Target on Makala Boulevard. Relax in comfort en route to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park which is considered to be one of Hawaii’s top natural attractions. Leave your vehicle in peace knowing it is in a well-lit and monitored lot.

Punalu’u Bake Shop:
We stop at the southernmost bakery in the United States to enjoy freshly baked Hawaiian sweet bread and pastries. They are airy, deep-fried, and sprinkled with granulated sugar! You are in for a tasty treat, that is a local favorite! The bakery has a wide spread of flavors for its pastries and a full selection of goods available for purchase.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park:
The crown jewel of the Big Island contains two of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa. We explore the Visitor’s Center, feel the heat from the steam vents, and venture to the Kilauea and Kilauea Iki craters. It is then a short 20-minute hike through a 500-year-old cave called “Nahuku” or the Thurston Lava Tube. This cave sits at 3,900 feet elevation, which is only a fraction of the Mauna Loa peak at 13,679 feet elevation. The visitors’ center hosts interesting and interactive displays. Please note: In the event of an active lava flow or an eruption that poses a threat, we will not be able to access certain parts of the park for safety reasons.

Rainbow Falls/Hilo Town:
The scenery on this side of the island is the postcard-perfect example of Hawai’i — a lush rainforest that is home to the 80-foot-tall Rainbow Falls. The waterfall plunges over a natural lava cave and into the Wailuku River below. It is said that the Hawaiian goddess Hina, mother of the storied demigod Maui, dwells in the lava cave behind Rainbow Falls. On a sunny day, rainbows reflect off the mist of the falls, and it is perfectly magical.

Tour drop-off:
When your tour comes to an end, return in comfort to the drop-off point in central Kailua-Kona where your adventure began.

This 8-hour Volcano Explorer tour takes you through the spectacular Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to the Kilauea Volcano, with minimal stops along the way. Admire the scenery that makes Hawaiʻi so special. Designed for visitors short on time, while leaving you free to explore the most amazing natural landscapes of Hawaiʻi Island without the usual tourist stresses. The Express tour includes: beverages, snack baskets, lunch or dinner, park fees, and transportation.

Tour pickup:
Begin your tour at the designated meeting point in central Kailua-Kona at the Target on Makala Boulevard. Relax in comfort en route to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park which is considered to be one of Hawaii’s top natural attractions. Leave your vehicle in peace knowing it is in a well-lit and monitored lot.

Punalu’u Bake Shop:
We stop at the southernmost bakery in the United States to enjoy freshly baked Hawaiian sweet bread and pastries. They are airy, deep-fried, and sprinkled with granulated sugar! You are in for a tasty treat, that is a local favorite! The bakery has a wide spread of flavors for its pastries and a full selection of goods available for purchase.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park:
The crown jewel of the Big Island contains two of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa. We explore the Visitor’s Center, feel the heat from the steam vents, and venture to the Kilauea and Kilauea Iki craters. It is then a short 20-minute hike through a 500-year-old cave called “Nahuku” or the Thurston Lava Tube. This cave sits at 3,900 feet elevation, which is only a fraction of the Mauna Loa peak at 13,679 feet elevation. The visitors’ center hosts interesting and interactive displays. Please note: In the event of an active lava flow or an eruption that poses a threat, we will not be able to access certain parts of the park for safety reasons.

Rainbow Falls/Hilo Town:
The scenery on this side of the island is the postcard-perfect example of Hawai’i — a lush rainforest that is home to the 80-foot-tall Rainbow Falls. The waterfall plunges over a natural lava cave and into the Wailuku River below. It is said that the Hawaiian goddess Hina, mother of the storied demigod Maui, dwells in the lava cave behind Rainbow Falls. On a sunny day, rainbows reflect off the mist of the falls, and it is perfectly magical.

Tour drop-off:
When your tour comes to an end, return in comfort to the drop-off point in central Kailua-Kona where your adventure began.

What is the group size of a Volcano Explorer Tour? Kailani Tours prefers small-group experiences, generally booking no more than 12 guests per vehicle. The Mercedes fleet consists of 15 passenger vehicles. If you’re looking for something even more intimate, private tours can also be arranged.

 

How crowded does it get at the stops on a Volcano Explorer Tour? While we cannot predict the crowds at popular destinations, we can assure you that our tours have itineraries best suited to avoid the most popular windows of time at specific destinations. We also have daily standing reservations with the Winery to ensure our groups are shown priority attention.

Can you accommodate wheelchairs? Though we have a compact collapsible wheelchair available for guests, our guides cannot push/assist with wheelchair mobility. Our tours are active and require some physical exertion. While on tour guests may experience some or all of the following: a large step up into the van, tight aisles, steep hills in either direction, stairs, uneven surfaces, wet surfaces, and loose sand. If you have any questions or would like to know more details about the physical aspects of your specific tour, please contact Kailani Tours staff at 808-938-4057 or [email protected].

What should I bring on a Volcano Explorer Tour? Kailani Tours Hawaii will provide your meals, snack baskets, beverages, hiking gear, jackets, parkas, umbrellas, flashlights, other related gear for all weather conditions, and items to help with car sickness/nausea. Please come prepared with close-toed shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and a camera.

Is this tour all-inclusive? This tour includes a variety of refreshments and snacks in the vehicle and covers all tastings, meals, and entrance fees required. We work closely with coffee roasters, wineries, and other establishments on the island to bring you exclusive tastings and experiences.

Can you accommodate dietary needs and restrictions on this tour? We want to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergy requests as much as possible for each of our guests. Please, notify us immediately if anyone in your party is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, or has any food-related allergies. By notifying us early, we can be best prepared for your tour meal/snack basket/beverage needs. Should there be no contact by 2:00 PM, the day prior to your tour, the meals ordered on your behalf will default to regular with no restrictions. Since gathering these details is time sensitive, we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Who is this tour suitable for? This is the ideal Big Island tour for families, couples, friends, and solo travelers who want to see what the Big Island has to offer in a shorter amount of time. We achieve this schedule by picking up at one centralized location in Kailua-Kona. We welcome ages 5 and up on this public Volcano Explorer Tour. Choosing a private tour option is required for children under 5 years of age.

I’m traveling with children, what should I know? Infants, toddlers, or children under 5 years of age are not permitted on public tours, a private tour will need to be secured for families traveling with small children. To abide by Hawaiʻi State Law all children 3 years and younger must be in a proper safety seat. Children ages 4 to 7 who weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and are less than 57 inches tall must be in a booster seat. We have all child seat options available upon request. Please, notify us of your children’s age and seat requirements as soon as possible.

How much walking do you do on a Volcano Explorer Tour? This tour allows people to explore the island at their fitness and comfort level. It is our “Easy” tour. You will be given the opportunity to exit the vehicle to enjoy the lush and unique landscapes of Greenwell Coffee Farm, Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Volcano Winery, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, and Rainbow Falls. All walks are optional and it is up to you how far you walk at these destinations. The Thurston Lava Tube is the most strenuous part of the tour with roughly 15 steps down, a twenty-minute or 1/3 mile hike through the tube, and roughly 20 steps up.

Is alcohol allowed on tour? Hawai’i laws do not permit the consumption of or an open container of alcohol in any vehicle. There are stops on the tours that offer adult beverages that you are able to purchase specifically. We ask you to remember restrooms are not always readily available and motion sickness is already a common occurrence on island roads. We ask that you drink responsibly while in our care. Kailani Tours reserves the right to ask a guest to disembark if necessary.

What locations do you pick up from? In order to keep our driving time to a minimum for the Volcano Explorer Tour we offer only one centralized location for this tour. You will meet your guide at the Kailua-Kona Target parking lot near McDonald’s on Makala Boulevard.

Are tips or gratuities required? Tips and gratuities are not required, they are greatly appreciated though. Your guide works hard to keep you safe, entertained, and satisfied for 11+ hours. The wealth of information you’ll be exposed to is impressive. The guides spend a lot of time training and perfecting their skills for you. So, if you enjoy yourself, if your guide gives impeccable attention to your needs, and if you feel safe in their care, then show them your appreciation for a job well done! Of course, this is only a recommendation but common tipping for full-day excursions ranges between $20-$40 per person.

What are the benefits of a Private tour? The most common reasons for guests to choose a private tour over a public tour include: the ability to go at your own pace, a customizable itinerary with tour flexibility, customizable timing, customizable pickup/drop off locations, upgraded meals/snack baskets/beverages, no other personalities/strangers, not waiting on rouge public participants, more intimate, any age is permitted, and you’ll be placed with a tenured guide. We have luxury SUVs available for smaller parties (1-5 passengers) and Mercedes Sprinter or Streamliner Vans for larger parties (5-12 passengers).

The Experience

YOUR GUIDE TO THE VOLCANOES
Your knowledgeable guide will teach you about the science of volcanic activity on the Big Island — the different types of volcanoes, how they form, and the impact they have on the surrounding environment. You’ll be as close to the action as possible throughout the day! 
INTIMATE AND PERSONALIZED SERVICE

You’re not paying out of pocket for anything on this all-inclusive day tour around the Big Island. Expect hot or cold towel services aboard a luxury Mercedes Sprinter, refreshments, and expert local guidance among other amenities on this all-inclusive volcano day tour. 

A FEAST ON THE SENSES
From the many microclimates the Big Island possesses from the Kona and Kaʻū coastlines and the expansive rural countryside to the action happening within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park — your senses are ignited at every turn.
CONNECT WITH NATURE

You’ll feel steam rise from rocky crevices of the mighty Kilauea volcano. It’s the result of ground water that seeps down into the rocks, where it meets magma deep below the surface, turning the water into vapors. It’s one of many moments on this express volcano tour where you find a new respect for the raw power of nature.

CUSTOM TOURS

Explore Hawaii on your terms with our tailored, custom tours crafted to match your unique preferences and requirements.
Reach out to us directly to discover our exclusive collection of custom tours.

Reviews

“Fabulous tour with an excellent tour guide Zackary! Big Island Circle Tour and Volcano: Coffee, Wine, Waterfalls and Hamakua Coast Zackary provided a fabulous all day experience as our tour guide! Pick up was prompt, and Zack even offered the front passenger seat if we were prone to motion sickness. Zack was very friendly & knowledgeable which made all of us feel welcomed.”
 

Z3782VIgaryd on Trip Advisor
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“Exceptional Volcano tour -- can't miss!! Hawaii Small-Group Volcano Experience with Lunch and Restaurant Dinner We booked the deluxe volcano tour and absolutely loved it! So many incredible sites to see on the Big Island -- coffee farm, a beautiful black sand beach with turtles, and of course the erupting volcano…”
 

Lisa N on Trip Advisor
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“We loved our Circle Island Tour with Kailani Tours! This is a great way to see the island and learn all about its people and history.”
 

Emily Gabriel on Google
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Great Tour Guarantee

At Kailani Tours, our top priority is delivering unforgettable Big Island experiences. We’re confident that you’ll find our tours enriching and well worth your time. If for any reason you feel otherwise, please tell us. We’ll make it right, whether that means inviting you on another tour, issuing a refund, or providing a voucher for a future visit. Your time is precious, and we’re honored that you choose to spend it exploring the Big Island with us.

Here’s what we cannot guarantee:

You will see active lava flows

Mother Nature has her own schedule, and while we wish we could promise a spectacular lava show, it’s truly up to the forces of the earth.

You’ll have full access to every part of the parks.

Volcano National Park areas are subject to closures based on safety assessments by park officials. As always, safety is our top priority and we can easily adapt our itinerary to make sure you get the best experience possible.

You’ll experience perfect weather

The Big Island’s weather can be as unpredictable as it is beautiful. We can’t guarantee sunshine and clear skies every day, but the dynamic weather is part of the island’s charm.

We value your decision to discover the Big Island with us, and we’re committed to making your tour a highlight of your Hawaii visit.

FREE CANCELLATIONS

With Trip Protection (Highly Recommended)

For a small fee (15%), Trip Protection allows you to cancel or reschedule your tour at any time – for any reason – up to 1 hour prior to trip departure. You will be reimbursed for the FULL amount of each ticket, less the cost of trip protection and processing fees. 

You may opt in or opt out of Trip Protection at the time of booking, either online or over the phone.

Without Trip Protection

You may cancel or reschedule your tour up to 48 hours before your tour’s scheduled departure to avoid fees or penalties. 

Refunds are not possible within 48 hours of your tour’s departure time, however, we will make every effort to accommodate rescheduling your booking to another date, if you so desire.

Please Note: Our tours operate rain or shine, though itineraries may be adjusted in response to severe weather conditions. Access to certain parts of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, including during events like active lava flows or eruptions, may be restricted or closed by park officials without notice. In such cases, Kailani Tours does not offer partial refunds for any part of the tour affected by these restrictions.

With our vast experience navigating these occasional closures, you can trust that we will make the absolute most of your day with us, no matter the conditions.

Lowest Price Guarantee

We guarantee the absolute lowest price on all experiences we sell. If you find the same product cheaper within three days of booking or while you’re in your destination, we’ll refund the difference.

It’s Easy To Do: 

Gather your information

Assemble your Kailani Tours receipt and the proof of the lower price you found.

Send it to us

Email [email protected] with the documents, your name, and your home address. 

We’ll review 

We’ll examine your materials and get in touch as soon as we can. 

Receive your refund 

If everything checks out, we’ll refund you the difference between the two prices.