Tour The Big Island of Hawaii With Mauka Makai Adventures
On our very first visit to the Big Island of Hawaii a few seasons ago, my wife and I had the distinct pleasure of taking a small group tour with Mauka Makai Adventures, and what a great day it was!
Of the many tours this company offers, we decided on the Full Day 🌋 Volcano Adventure Tour taking us to – 🏞 Volcanoes National Park.
This was a perfect tour for us while spending a few days on the Hilo side of this enormously huge 🏝 Island of Hawaii.
Full Day Volcano Tour Highlights
This is a full 7 to 8 hour day tour, which includes a healthy picnic lunch and is perfect for those who have the entire day to spend on this side of the island.
If you’re arriving by 🛳 Cruise Ship, you will be picked up and dropped off right at the Pier for this tour. Others like ourselves, will meet at a specified location in Hilo Town.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This fully guided tour takes you to and includes admission to Hawaii 🌋 Volcanoes National Park.
When in the Park, you’ll get a chance to view active volcano fields, craters and lava tubes.
After being picked up by Josh (your host and owner) in a comfortable air conditioned 🚌 van, we then made our way from Hilo Town out to the National Park.
The drive takes about an hours time, with a brief ☕ coffee and 🚻 potty stop along the way.
After arriving in the Park, our first stop was at a spectacular view point!
From this vantage point, we we could view the huge 🌋 Kilauea Caldera Volcanic Crater and active steam vents. The molten lava is still flowing, with volcanic activity taking place in the distance.
An incredible site to see!
From there, it was on to a part of the crater rim, where we were able to 🚶 walk a short distance on a marked pathway.
We first started 🚶 walking in between a very lush and 🌴 tropical rain forest, making our way along the crater rim to one of the ancient lava tubes.
It was absolutely incredible to see and actually walk inside one of the massive lava tubes, created by mother nature.
We then pressed on to a section in the Park, where we could take a walk on and view solidified lava fields created from past volcanic activity.
What a site to witness first hand the immense destruction that is caused by volcanic activity, and which still continues to this day on the island.
It was like witnessing Armageddon!
Even though it was a cold and 🌧 wet day during our time spent in the National Park up at an elevation of 4000 feet, Josh had ☂ umbrellas at the ready!
We continued on as if it was sunny and 80 degrees, never missing a beat
His knowledge about the history of this area and what is still occurring today was exceptional!
Although misty, cold and rainy during our time in this area of the Park, it certainly didn’t take away from the incredible experience visiting this site.
As you made your way walking among these molten lava fields and actually experiencing the force of mother nature, was amazing!
Even among all this destruction around you, new growth appears everywhere, with new life forming out of the soft sandy lava fields.
The Akatsuka Orchid Gardens
Because of the wet weather 4000 feet above sea level, instead of a picnic lunch outdoors, we made our way to the beautiful 🌼 Akatsuka Orchid Gardens Nursery on the Island.
Here, enjoyed our box lunch, with plenty of time to walk among the many beautiful varieties of 🌼 Orchids in the nursery.
Big Island Candies
After lunch and with the ☀ sun shining back down below, we drove back to Hilo Town for a brief stop at a local favorite and long standing business called – 🍫 Big Island Candies.
Here, we were given a chance to sample and view mouth watering chocolates, signature shortbread cookies and more!
All their goods are local, and you can actually observe them all being made in front of you through the large viewing windows.
This is a great opportunity to purchase locally made 🍫 chocolates, 🍪 cookies and ☕ coffee, before heading back to your ship or elsewhere.
Majestic Rainbow Falls
It was then on to view spectacular 🌈 Rainbow Falls located right in Hilo.
Because of the recent heavy rains, the 🌊 Falls were rushing at full force, making for amazing viewing!
These 80 foot Falls magically create 🌈 Rainbows against the sun at times, thus the name Rainbow!
We actually saw one appear with the sun shining through the mist of the Falls during our visit!
A very easy stroll up from the Falls and definitely worth checking out, you will find one of the largest Banyan Trees you will ever see on the Island!
It’s amazing how they just branch out and keep growing and growing.
Black Sand Beach and Turtles
For our last stop of the day, we made our way to the shoreline in downtown Hilo, stopping at a beautiful black sand beach park.
A very picturesque spot to view the Hawaiian coastline, take some 📸 pictures and watch the 🐢 green sea turtles sunning on the rocks.
What a great way to finish this outstanding full day tour on this part of the Big Island of Hawaii!
Ive said it time and time again in our travels, that taking a small group personalized tour far outweighs that of your typical crowded and restricted large 🚍 bus tour.
In many cases, the extra cost is minimal and worth every penny!
Our day spent with owner and guide Josh along with the others in this small group mini-bus tour, was one of the best tours that we have ever experienced in all our travels around the globe.
Josh loves to talk, and is passionate about his birthplace and home of Hawaii.
Along with his business partner and wife Jill, they are deeply concerned about the environment, and very knowledgeable about the history of the Hawaiian Islands and its people.
His attention to detail along with his bubbly personality, makes him the ideal professional tour guide!
What I really enjoyed, was that Josh wore a microphone headset while driving, to ensure those sitting in the back of the mini van, could easily hear what he had to say throughout the duration of the tour.
Something we had never experienced before on a smaller mini-bus tour, and was excellent!
We had a wonderful day despite some of the periods of cold and rain. This is a tour I would highly recommend to those planning a visit to the Big Island of Hawaii.
Be prepared for increment weather on this tour. It may be sunny and warm down below, but the weather changes fast when heading up to the National Park – 4000 feet up!
Mauka Makai Adventures – Personalized Tours Offered
There are a number of personalized tours available to choose on either side of the island with Mauka Makai Adventures. They offer;
Volcano – Lava – Historic Kona – Hawaii Island – Volcano Zipline – Hamakua Coast – Puna – Kohala Tours
Many of their tours are specifically designed and catered to those arriving for the day by Cruise Ship. 🚢
This Volcano Tour is perfect for those who are arriving by ship to the Hilo side of Hawaii, and have the day to spend touring the volcano fields and attractions in and around the city of Hilo.
All tour rates include transportation, applicable entry fees to National and State parks, snacks and bottled water. Lunch is also provided for this Volcano Adventure Tour.
One final note for those curious what – Mauka Makai in Hawaiian refers to.
Mauka (mow-kah) means on the mountain side of the road in the context of directions.
Makai (mah-kigh) means on the ocean side of the road in the context of directions.
I’ve also listed the Official Hawaii Tourism Authority link below to their website page on 🏝 The Big Island of Hawaii for your convenience.
It’s filled with excellent information on everything this beautiful 🌴 Hawaiian Island has to offer.
Safe and Healthy Travels!
Although our Tour was in collaboration with Mauka Makai Adventures, rest assured all content and opinions are that of the author and reflect my personal experience only.
✨ Did You Know
“Hawaii Volcanoes National Park On The Big Island, Is One Of The World’s Most Active Volcanoes.”
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