Private: Volcanoes National Park With Naturalist
This unusual tour of Volcanoes National Park takes you one step beyond any other.
For almost 100 years, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has offered visitors a window into the past and astonished them with its breathtaking natural beauty.
Please note the restrictions section in regards to how you will meet your guide.
Get an in-depth look at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park during this fascinating, informative tour. Your tour guide, always interested by volcanoes, has made his passion into his livelihood. You will be the beneficiary of this knowledge and only you on this particular day. This private exploration into the whys and hows of these mysterious masses will begin with a discussion on how much of your day will be hiking and how much will be driving. This tour is entirely hikeable and your guide is very likable so enjoy your introduction to his world.
Your first stop is the Volcano House Hotel where you will receive an introduction to Kilauea and the geology of Hawaii, as well as an update on the largest eruption that has occurred on Kilauea in modern history (in the summer of 2018). From there you'll begin your walk to the steam vents and sulphur banks and get amazing views of the fully reshaped crater at the summit of the volcano, now an astounding 1600-ft deeper than it was prior to this most recent eruption!
Next stop, the Steam Vents. You'll feel the heat of the steam as your guide explains the formation and cultural significance of this area, where groundwater seeps down to the hot volcanic rocks and returns to the surface as steam.
The third stop is Kilauea Iki, a collapsed crater adjacent to the main summit caldera of the active volcano, Kilauea. Kilauea Iki erupted between August 14 and November 20, 1959 and caused earthquakes as well. Your guide holds a special permit for this site and here he will explain the reason and the result of the eruption. Learn about the highest recorded lava fountaining event to ever occur in Hawaii (reaching nearly 1,900 ft. in 1959).
Continuing on to the Thurston Lava Tube, you'll explore lava tubes in depth and examine their formation, which occurs when a river of hot lava cools and crusts over and the still-molten interior continues to flow downhill. Eventually, the lava drains out, leaving a cave-like shell.
A drive down Chain of Craters Road brings you to Mauna Ulu, a landscape formed in a five-year eruption that re-formed this magnificent land. You'll discover frozen lava fields and discuss fissure eruptions and lava trees. An optional 1-mile hike to the spatter wall is available prior to the end of your remarkable day at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
- The tour price does not include the entrance fee to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Admission is $25 per vehicle.
- Wear layers of clothing and sturdy shoes.
- Bring rain gear.
- We recommend bringing a reusable water bottle. There will be bottled water for sale and an area to refill your own bottle.
- This private tour requires your own transportation. If you are coming by cruise ship, we will give you our recommendation for car rental on your voucher. This company will have a shuttle at the pier to take you to the rental office. They do have limited vehicles so please make that reservation as soon as your tour is confirmed. Once you arrive at the park your guide will use one space in the vehicle. Please be sure to account for this space when making your rental car reservation.
- It will take you about 45 minutes of driving to meet your guide. We have taken that into consideration as your departure time for the tour is 1.5 hours after your ship arrives into Hilo. If you are at a hotel, please figure your drive time the day before so you are on time.
- This is a private program that requires a minimum of 2 people and can accommodate up to 7 people.
- This tour is not appropriate for clients with limited mobility, infants, young children, pregnant women, or those with heart or breathing problems.
- You will be required to sign a waiver at check-in on your excursion date.
Days offered: 7 days a week