Kailua-Kona
National Parks

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Our most recommended Kailua-Kona National Parks

Big Island: Eco-Friendly Twilight Manta Ray Adventure

1. Big Island: Eco-Friendly Twilight Manta Ray Adventure

Experience an exciting 75-minute nighttime snorkeling expedition. Get up close and personal with stunning manta rays as they gracefully soar through the water. Your underwater adventure will take place in clear warm waters near protected reefs abundant with marine life.   After the sun sets, head off into the nighttime waters to see a fascinating "manta ray ballet" along the Kona coast near the mouth of Keauhou Bay. This point of departure is one of the island’s most successful and consistent manta ray viewing locations. Your snorkeling guide will outfit you with all the necessary gear needed to embark on your experience including snorkel gear, wetsuits, and flotation devices. After a quick safety briefing, plunge into the dark waters and be captivated by these graceful creatures as they feast on plankton. Grip onto the flotation swim ring with high-illumination blue water lights that attract the plankton on which the mantas feed. Soon afterward, rays will glide through the water almost at arm's length opening their enormous mouths to feast. After your remarkable underwater adventure, return to your boat and warm up with a nighttime snack of hot chocolate and cookies

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Big Island: Small Group Waipio Valley and Waterfall Tours

2. Big Island: Small Group Waipio Valley and Waterfall Tours

After hotel pick-up from Kona and Kohala area hotels, head toward Waipio Valley while passing through Waimea and Parker Ranch, before switching to a 4WD van to descend into the majestic Waipio Valley. As you traverse shallow river streams and pass by taro fields surrounded by native flora and fauna, your guide will share the stories and legends of this special place while you marvel at Hawaii Island’s tallest waterfall, Hi’ilawe Falls, which cascades down 1300 feet in the back of the valley. Marvel the rugged sea cliffs and mile-long black sand beach as you head back to Waipio Valley lookout for the stunning views as you enjoy a gourmet lunch. In the afternoon, continue the drive down the scenic Hamakua Coast and visit the towering Akaka Falls, which plummet 442 feet into a stream-eroded gorge. If weather permits, you will get to swim or kayak under a private waterfall to cool down after a short hike. In Hilo, you will visit the famous Rainbow Falls, and explore an ancient lava cave to learn more about the volcanic processes that continue to shape the Big Island. The adventure ends with the return to Kona or Kohala Coast resorts via Saddle Road nestled between the world’s tallest sea mountain, Mauna Kea, and the world’s most massive mountain.

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From Kona and Waikoloa: Intimate Volcano Discovery Tour

3. From Kona and Waikoloa: Intimate Volcano Discovery Tour

Begin your adventure with a scenic drive over the stark and beautiful saddle road to set the stage for the day overlooking mesmerizing views including a stop to view the famous Rainbow Falls. If the Twilight option is selected, you will stay in the Park past sunset to view the eruption's glow. From there your first stop will be the Hawaii Volcanoes, National Park. Discover all the “must-see” spots within the Park including the dramatically changed Halemaumau Crater. After immersing yourself in the magnanimous history and culture of Volcanoes National Park and enjoying your picnic lunch, you will be driven to Hawaii Forest and Trail's private lava tube, Kauhi Cavern. Explore this unique cave with ceilings as high as 35 feet, expansive rooms, bright golden walls, and an “upside-down” forest of roots hanging from the cave ceiling. Upon returning to the surface from the lava tube exploration, enjoy a light afternoon snack with your fellow travelers and guide while reflecting on your in-depth volcano experience.

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From Waikoloa: Big Island Tour with Lunch

4. From Waikoloa: Big Island Tour with Lunch

Circle the Big Island of Hawaii, stopping at many of its iconic attractions in just 1 day. Get picked up from your accommodation. Head to a Kona coffee farm for a private tasting tour to sample one of the island's most important products. Then stop at one of the black sand beaches the island is known for and spot giant sea turtles sunbathing. From there, head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the island's natural crown jewel. Visit the Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook and Steaming Bluffs before taking a walk through the famous Volcano House to view smoking and steaming Kilauea Caldera. Journey down the lush eastern side of Kilauea Volcano to your next stop at Big Island Candies, an island institution boasting an assortment of high-quality, handmade confections. Peek through the windows into the factory or browse the selection of gorgeous jewel-box gifts. Next, head to the fertile Waipio Valley where taro farmers have tilled the land for nearly a thousand years. Catch sweeping views of the valley from the overlook and even glimpses of native wild horses if you're lucky. At the end of an epic day, enjoy drop-off at your hotel.

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Big Island: Volcano National Park Tour with Lunch and Transfer

5. Big Island: Volcano National Park Tour with Lunch and Transfer

Start your day with guided visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. Stop at the Waipio Valley lookout, where you can admire a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs that drop into the sparkling blue ocean. Continue riding along the Hamakua coast as more postcard-worthy views pass by your window. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an up-close view of Akaka Falls and the famous Rainbow Falls. In the afternoon, explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Explore steam vents and the Halema’uma’u and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, and take a short hike along the crater rim trail. Then relax and take it all in at Punalu’u Beach, where you can spot marine life from the black-sand shore.

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Big Island: Kilauea Volcano Hiking Tour

6. Big Island: Kilauea Volcano Hiking Tour

Experience an ohana tour with friends and family in style. Get exclusive access to an active volcano in the infamous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Wander through lava tubes off the beaten track and stay until after dark for magnificent views of molten lava spewing from the Halemaumau Crater. Your tour includes 2-3 miles of hiking through the Big Island's lush and varied scenery, a knowledgeable guide who will teach you about the flora and fauna unique to Big Island, and round trip transportation from Kona or Waikaloa. Enjoy snacks, beverages, a Deli-style lunch prepared by Christine's Deli, and dinner, which are all included in your 10-12 hour day trip. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime view of the glowing lava at one of the last remaining active volcanoes in Hawaii. Have your camera ready to capture the orange glow of lava against the night sky.

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Big Island: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, & Coffee Farm Day-Trip

7. Big Island: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, & Coffee Farm Day-Trip

The morning is filled with guided visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. The views stop you in your tracks at the Waipio Valley lookout, where a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs drops into the sparkling blue ocean. Continue riding along the Hamakua coast as more postcard-worthy views pass by your window before visiting Akaka Falls and the famous Rainbow Falls. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an up-close view and plenty of photo opportunities. In the afternoon, explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including steam vents, the Halema’uma’u and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, and take a short hike along crater rim trail. From here, relax and take it all in at Punalu’u Beach, a great place to spot marine life from the black-sand shore. On the leisurely drive back around sunset, you’ll see views of South Point, the southernmost point of the United States, and Kealakekua Bay. Finally, enjoy a visit to Kona Coffee Farm. Stroll through the orchards with your guide and learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling a warm cup of Kona-grown coffee.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kailua-Kona

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What people are saying about Kailua-Kona

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 9 reviews

It was a wonderful day, and an unforgettable experience. Our guide Jon Knight was very knowledgeable and also followed an interpretive guide methodology so he was great at using storytelling to captivate our imagination. He was good at getting to know his crowd. Because of this, I’d say that it was a great experience for all kinds of people, from solo travelers to couples and families. I loved the experience of seeing lava from afar at a very safe distance, as well as visiting the lava tubes, boulders, and various geological types of impacts that the volcanoes have created. It was nice to get to know Madame Pele, the goddess of volcanoes! Recommend to be prepared for rain, as you’re going to be in tropical as well as dry areas. If you’re not prepared, they will supply some jackets, (and snacks and meals). If you’re up for an adventure, this is for you!

We loved the whole journey! It was a great learning experience in the amazing world of geology and volcanoes. We explored many places, from dry Mars-like landscapes to deep rain forest, All the way to observing lava bubbling. We had very pleasant dining. The staff accommodated our dietary restrictions and we had two meals sitting all together, and plenty of snacks along the way. Our guide, Jon Knight, was very kind, knowledgeable and patient. He answered all our questions and enriched every step with great stories and anecdotes. The overall experience took the whole day but it went very fast, very suitable for families with kids.

The tour is covering most of the things you need to see on the island. No wonder is a 12hr tour! Maybe if you need specific experiences you can go with other tours focusing on different areas of the island.

Great day exploring the entire island. Adam our guide was very knowledgeable and we saw so many great things on the island.

Truly enjoyed each stop along the route which was very informative and breath taking.