Volcanoes National Park & Rainbow Falls
This exciting excursion to Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls includes a 4,000-foot trip up to view all the magnificent glory of Volcanoes National Park. The Park highlights two of the world's most active volcanoes--Kilauea and Mauna Loa--and offers insights on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and views of dramatic volcanic landscapes. Explore the summit of Kilauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, via a portion of the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive. The road encircles the summit caldera and passes through desert and tropical rainforest, traverses the caldera floor, and provides access to many well-marked scenic stops and short walks.
Witness the amazing Thurston Lava Tube discovered in 1913 by Lorrin Thurston, a local newspaper publisher. Hike down on a 20 minute walk for a third of a mile through a tree fern forest and lighted, prehistoric, cave-like lava tube. It is an excellent place to stop and listen to the birds.
At Hawaii's renowned Jaggar Museum, you'll see plumes of sulfuric smoke with vast evidence of lava destruction, steam vents, and fascinating scenic lookouts. The museum features displays of equipment used by scientists in the past to study volcanoes, and offers a sheltered view, through large picture windows, of the caldera and the main crater of Halema'uma'u. The overlook outside the Museum also has a spectacular view of the volcano with interpretive displays about Kilauea. Your time in the park is approximately 2 hours.
As you descend the volcano, you will also explore some of Hilo's most interesting surrounding areas, including Rainbow Falls. These beautiful falls get their name from the rainbow that is often visible in the mist that rises as the water cascades to the rocks 80 feet below. You will also stop at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, where you will have the opportunity to purchase a snack and get a taste of the island.
Then head to the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, which has been the prominent grower of Cattleya orchids for over 40 years. View over 500 varieties of blooming orchids and learn how best practices of successful orchid growing.
As you make your return to the ship, end with a drive by the gardens named in honor of the Queen in 1917, Liliuokalani Botanical Gardens. Throughout the gardens are stone lanterns, gazebos, and torii gates, recalling the Japanese immigrants who came to Hawaii.
Please Note: Refreshments are not included on this tour. Guests with special dietary needs may wish to bring along a snack of some type, as tour is over six hours long. Smoking is not permitted in the National Park.
Reviewer: Verla Meints
We enjoyed seeing Rainbow Falls and walking on the lava bed. We were disappointed that we couldn't see the volcano because of the weather. Our walk through the lava tube was wet and muddy, but quite an adventure. Tour guide was great.
Reviewer: Joan Cox
Great tour leader, very knowledgeable
Reviewer: Donald Jensen
We liked the park. but we would have liked to have seen the volcanos a little more . If hat area was open. the bus driver was realy great he made the day a lot of fun.
Reviewer: Judy Heickman
The weather was drizzling the whole day, but it did not but a damper on this great tour. The tour guide was wonderful, upbeat and very informative on the history of the island. While we didn't see lava flowing, we did see the destruction caused by an eruption. The bus was very comfortable. This was one of the best excursions we have ever taken and I would highly recommend this tour.
Reviewer: bill doon
once again Roberts was terrific! The bus was waiting for us, new, sparkling clean and our driver well dressed Hank was amazing! Great sense of humor, funny, entertaining, great storyteller. He took us to places he knew on the island not listed on the tour having native hawaiian drivers gives you so much more insight to the places you are visiting shared so much knowledge of the culture, traditions, history, flora, fauna.... The bus ride was as lovely as the places we visited timing at each stop was good, this was a full day!