The Best Volcano Tours in Hawaii

By Hawaii.com Team

If you’re looking to see lava, your best (and safest) bet is to book a Hawaii volcano tour. The best ways to see lava on the Big Island are by boat, by helicopter or by hiking across the dry lava fields. Keep in mind that, because you’re dealing with mother nature, lava viewings are not guaranteed and certain safety risks do exist. Check with tour operators or call 808-985-6000 for recorded updates of volcanic activity. That being said, here are the best volcano tours in Hawaii to get you safely to Pele’s red hot molten lava!

Lava Ocean Tours

See Lava by Boat!

Epic lava viewing from your front row seat on the LAVAONE, the only US Coast Guard inspected lava boat. Feel the HEAT as lava sizzles into the sea! Special rates for juniors 4-12 years old. No children under 4.

Tour time: 2 hours.

$180 and up BOOK NOW

Lava Ocean Tours will take you out on the water in the only US Coast Guard inspected lava boat, the LAVAONE, which offers the Big Island’s best lava boat tour! Get up close and feel the heat and hear the sizzle of molten lava flowing into the ocean. The best time of day to witness this wonder is early morning before sunrise or at sunset. However, no matter the time of day, you will be watching as new earth is formed on the Big Island. Passengers must be 4-75 years old, under 250 pounds and in good health.

Hawaii Volcano Tours by Helicopter

Volcanoes and Waterfalls

Fly over Kilauea, the most active volcano on earth, and search out glowing red lava. Then take in the tropical rainforests and spectacular waterfalls of Hawaii Island.

Tour time: 45 minutes

$249 BOOK NOW

Volcanoes and Waterfalls - No Doors!

Feel The Heat! Take a ride in our Hughes 500 helicopter with no doors, and find out for yourself why the Travel Channel calls this the “hottest helicopter ride on Earth!” See live volcano activity and cool off over tropical waterfalls.

Tour time: 45 minutes.

$299 BOOK NOW

Paradise Helicopters offers a ride over the most active parts of Kilauea volcano. This 40-50 minute ride will have you feeling the heat and then cooling down as you fly over some of the islands magical waterfalls. This Big Island volcano tour is offered with or without doors!

Volcano Air Tour from Kapalua, Maui

Volcano Air Tour with Mokulele Airlines

Operating out of beautiful Kapalua, Maui, this air tour takes you on a scenic ride over Maui, across the Alenuihaha channel, over Hawaii Island and onto the parts of the volcano with the most current lava activity. Tours departing 9:30 am daily.

$499 BOOK NOW

If you’re staying on the island of Maui and looking for a tour that will take you to see the volcano, check out Mokuele Air Tours departing from Kapalua, Maui. Though the highlight is the southern lava tubes of Hawaii Island where lava often flows into the sea, you will also get to see picturesque parts of Maui, cross the Alenuihaha channel and fly over stunning coastlines and mountains on Hawaii Island.

Not All Hawaii Volcano Tours Will Take You to See Lava

There are a lot of volcano tours on Hawaii Island, but not all of them will take you to see the lava flowing into the ocean. Most volcano tours will take you sightseeing around the island and on a trip through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. But, this does not necessarily mean you will see the lava flow.

Big Island Volcano Day Trip from Another Island

The source of lava is Kilauea volcano which is located on the southeastern coast of Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island. If you’re visiting Hawaii but staying on an island other than Big Island, it might be worth it to book an inter-island flight over for a day trip. The two main airports on the island are the Kona International Airport (KOA) and the Hilo International Airport (ITO). If you’re flying to the Big Island and renting a car, keep in mind that the Hilo Airport is closer to the lava than the Kona Airport is. However, it’s still about an hour drive to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park from Hilo, so be sure to get an early start and plan accordingly. Some tours will offer airport pick-up, just check your tour details or call the company.

See also: Visiting the Volcano (Information about visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.)

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