After hotel pickup in Hilo, your guide accompanies you by coach or minivan to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Youll see dormant volcanoes, lava beds, steam vents, volcanic craters, and more while discovering local legends meant to explain these natural phenomena.
En route, stop at Richardson Beach Park for a look at ancient Hawaiian fish ponds and one of the islands only black-sand beaches, and get a glimpse of towering Mauna Kea. Another stop is made at Rainbow Falls State Park, named for the rainbows that appear in the 80-foot (24-meter) cascade. Afterward, get a taste of Hawaiis favorite nut at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory (closed on weekends and holidays).
On arrival at the rim of Kilauea Caldera, visit the Jaggar Museum and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory for an understanding of volcanology. Seean exhibit of clothing and gear from scientists who got too close to the lava, and feel the heat as you watch volcanic steam seeping out of fissures in the ground.
Back in your tour vehicle, youll motoralongsidethe caldera via Crater Rim Drive. Experience the extreme environment, passing from rainforest into desert-like surroundings, and take in the ancient beauty of a tree fern jungle at Kilauea Iki Overlook. This 400-foot-high (122-meter) crater viewpoint boasts one of the parks most spectacular views.
Finish with a walk through the 500-year-old Thurston Lava Tube, where molten lava once flowed, and exit into a lush tropical rainforest before return transport to your Hilo hotel.