Guided Big Island Tours
If you simply want to learn more about Hawaii’s Big Island and get a feel for the history and culture of the area, you can take one of many guided Big Island tours. Trips go to Kailua-Kona’s coffee plantations, Kealeakekua Bay Overlook, Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea Iki Crater, Thurston Lava Tube, Fern Tree Jungle, Steam Bluffs and Crater Rim Drive, Jaggar Museum and Hawaii Volcano Observatory, Big Island Candies, Rainbow Falls, Orchid Nursery, the Hamakua Coast, and Parker Ranch. Literally, there are tons of Big Island tours to choose from.
Volcanoes and Rainbow Falls Tour
Starting At: $98.22/Person
Heat up and then cool down on this excursion to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Wailuku River State Park and misty Rainbow Falls. Other attractions include an Orchid Nursery and Macadamia Nut Factory.
Guided tours are an excellent way to explore an area or landmark in a more in-depth way. Big Island tours to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, for example, will do more than simply show you Mount Kileuea or let you into Jaggar Museum—indeed, a knowledgeable professional will narrate the trip site-by-site so that you can understand how long the volcanoes have been erupting, what their impact on the region has been, and how they are significant to the indigenous cultures of the Big Island. The same goes for adventures to Rainbow Falls, where the guide will inform you not only about the picturesque cascade itself, but about the indigenous life forms that buzz about throughout Wailuku River State Park.
So if you’re looking for more than just the surface-level beauty of the places you’ll see, guided Big Island tours are a great way to go. They’re intellectually stimulating, visually enriching, and always family-friendly.
Big Island Historic Excursions
The Big Island is a fantastic place to appreciate the past and present alike. Whether you’re into the histories of war or religion, elaborate architecture, or dramatic natural landmarks, there’s a sight to be seen on this, the largest of the Hawaiian Islands.
The History of Kona Tour
Starting At: $58.22/Person
If you find yourself in port at Kona, there’s no better way to sample the Big Island than on this shore excursion.
The Big Island is full of historic places that offer insights into its long and storied past. At the Mookini Heiau State Monument, you can check out a 1,500-year-old Hawaiian temple, known by locals as a heiau. Nearby you can check out the birthplace of Hawaii’s famous king, Kamehameha the Great, who unified the Hawaiian Islands in 1795. One interesting fact is that the Hawaiian Islands are named after the Big Island’s alternative name, the Island of Hawaii. Kamehameha, upon his conquest of the other islands, named the entire archipelago after his native island. To explore further the history of this legendary king, you may also want to head to the Waipio Valley Lookout, where you can look down on the place in which he was raised, and out to the skyscraping Hiilawe Falls, which stand over 1,000 ft. tall.
Another fascinating historical site is Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park in southern Kona. Here you can find the remains of a city of refuge, to which criminals once ran in order to escape death, as well as the Big Island’s 17-ft.-thick, 10-ft.-tall Great Wall. The insights into ancient Hawaiian culture are limitless! Meanwhile, for a look into British and American involvement on the island, check out Kealakekua Bay, where Captain James Cook first arrived (and, less than a year later, was killed); or Mokuaikaua Church, which dates back to 1820 and thus bears the honor of being the first Christian church on the Hawaiian Islands. There are several operators that offer historical Big Island tours to these amazing sites.
Big Island Sightseeing
If natural wonders are more your cup of tea, there’s no better place to go than Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This 333,000-acre attraction circumscribes two of the island’s five volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, the latter of which has been continuously erupting since 1983. As mentioned above, there are plenty of Big Island tours to this park; however, you can also go it alone if you wish. You can walk some of the 150 miles of hiking trails in the park, and discover the many rainforests, deserts, craters, and lava tubes that pepper its grounds. For those who want to learn about the forces that have created and continue to power these volcanoes, check out the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum. Or, for an easy sightseeing excursion, take the Crater Rim Drive that loops around the Kilaeua Caldera and takes you to breathtaking spots such as the Halemaumau and Kilauea Iki Craters, as well as the Thurston Lava Tube, through which you can actually walk!
Big Island Volcano Adventure
Starting At: $186.03/Person
Set out for Hawaii’s famous volcanoes on this tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This inspiring landmark contains Mount Kilauea, one of the most famous and active volcanoes in the world.
One last thing to see on the Big Island are its waterfalls. From the historic town of Hilo, Wailuku River State Park is just a hop, skip, and step away, and offers breathtaking views of Rainbow Falls, Pe‘epe‘e Falls, and the unique phenomenon known as Boiling Pots. The natural holes or “pots” are not really boiling, but only appear to be, due to the flow of water into and out of lava tubes. Finally, get on the Hamakua Heritage Corridor and take it past scenic Onomea Bay to ‘Akaka Falls State Park. There, you can behold the Big Island’s most popular cascade, ‘Akaka Falls, and neighboring Kahuna Falls. Additionally, there are many Big Island tours to these dramatic places.
As you can tell, there’s no shortage of natural wonders and historic attractions on the Big Island. So grab a map or schedule a Big Island tour and get started—you’ve got a lot of ground to cover!