Volcanic Sight-Seeing Activities
There are several ways to go lava-hunting on the Big Island of Hawaii. You can visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to the lava-viewing area in Puna, take a helicopter tour or explore a lava tube. Your budget and a desire to walk or hike vs. ride might determine how you pursue your lava-viewing pleasure. Be advised that no lava sightings are guaranteed. It all depends on Madame Pele’s mood on a particular day.
Cost: $10/vehicle, $5/individual (pass valid for 7 days)
Cost: Free (guides start at around $25/person)
The eastern part of the Big Island is riddled with lava tubes, but they are located in other areas of the island as well. Thurston Lava Tube is easily accessible because of its location within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Also located in the park is the pristine, 500-year-old lava tube, Pua Po’o. To protect the tube, only 12 people are allowed entry each week. Park employees ask participants to keep the location secret so no one harms the tube. Reservations are required a week in advance.
Cost: $182.95/person (50-minute “Circle of Fire plus Waterfalls” tour)
Other Helicopter Tours
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