Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, USA
- Helicopter ride with Paradise Helicopters
- Bike & Hike to Lava Field with Kalapana Culture Tours
- Visit Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
- Helicopter ride with Paradise Helicopters: this is one of the best activities I have done on the Big Island. I know many of you think helicopter rides are expansive, which I agree, but it is one of a kind experience that you really shouldn't miss. We always save up money to do special experiences like these. Flying above island helps you to see things in a completely different perspective. We took the volcano and waterfall tour with Paradise Helicopters (front door off, rear door on). It was just such breathtaking experience! We watched the lava bursting out of the crater, how the original highway was blocked off by the lava and countless waterfalls flowing across the valley. The supporting staff, as well as the pilot of Paradise Helicopters, were just fantastic. They are friendly, thoughtful and professional, which made our tour truly enjoyable and unforgettable.
2. Bike & Hike to Kalapana Lava Field
This is another experneice that you definitely don't want to be missed on the Big Island. Watching lava flow up close and personal has been on our bucket list forever. So we were really excited to go on this adventure. We first drove drive along road 130 from Hilo to Kalapana, until the end of the road, which is right by the coast. Then we rent our bikes with Kalapana Culture Tours. It is one of the oldest and most realiable bike tour operators there. No hidden costs. Just quality bikes (even with shuttle service if you are really short of time). We were also supplied with rain poncho, torches and first-aid pack (which totally helped my son when he slipped during hiking). To get to the lava field, first you need to ride the bikes for about 25-30 mins (some people walked, but it would have taken us an hour to do it, so we rented the bike), then lock up the bikes, and hike another 30-40 mins to the exact location where hot lava is. We went around sunset time (which is the best time to view lava, in my opinon, as the glow of the lava is more dramatic when it is dark outside) and saw hot lava flowing right in front of our eyes. We were about 2 meters away from it, fairly close, and felt the tromendous heat it generated. The kids were so impressed by it. And on the way back, the sun had gone down and it was pitch black. So we walked about 50 mins (well, maybe we did a bit a d-tour since we coudn't see the clear way back) with the torches to our bike location.
3. Visit Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is located 45 miles southwest of Hilo and the home to two volcanoes including Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. It is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Hawaii and a sacred place. Kilauea is sometimes called "the world's only drive-in volcano.” We went to visit this volcano at night, when the glow of the volcano is most dramatic and you can see million of stars in the back.
So that's all for our Big Island trip, part 2. There is more to come! I know!!! There is so much to see and do on the Big Island. Stay tuned!