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Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Midlothian...
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Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

My husband and I have been to Oahu twice, and Maui and Kauai once, but have not yet been to the Big Island. We really want to see the Volcano National Park. On our next visit, should we book a couple of nights on the Big Island or should we do an all day tour from one of the other islands? We were thinking about a week in Kauai and another in Maui. My husband would like to see the volcano at night, and I have seen that some of the tours let you experience that. We live on the East Coast, so we treat each visit like it might be our last. Looking for the best experience, but are cost conscience.

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Why not just spend a week on the Big Island? There's a lot more to see than just VNP. I wouldn't recommend a day trip, it's expensive and you won't likely see any lava action unless you at least spend the night, although right now there are no accessible surface lava flows and the only visible active lava is the glow from the lava lake inside Halema'uma'u. Spending just a night or two though seems a shame when you're in Hawaii that long and could explore the whole island. But it's doable. You'll want to fly in and out of Hilo and stay either in Hilo or Volcano, although Volcano offers the best access to the Park.

Healy, Alaska
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2. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Here is a thought - how about a week to 10 days on the Big Island? Or at least a few days just for VNP - it is really an amazing island!! It is my second favorite island after Kauai - and we spend 3 days exploring VNP and still didn't quite see it all. :)

ON, Canada
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3. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Agree with Shea ... we had vacationed on Oahu, Maui and Kauai on previous trips and decided last year that we should try the BI. I hadn't anticipated enjoying the BI as much as we did ... we spent 13 nights there and would have been happy to stay longer. A split stay between the west side (the Kohala coast has the best weather and nicest beaches) and Volcano (for exploring VNP and east side sites) is ideal. If you spend a week on the BI (although longer would be better), I would do 2 nights in Volcano and 5 on the west side.... fly into Hilo and out of Kailua Kona, or vice versa, so that you only have to drive across the island once.

Edited: 9:11 pm, April 22, 2014
Midlothian...
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4. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Wow! Thanks for the prompt responses. We will look into spending as much time as possible. We are able to travel with our Marriott Timeshares, and unfortunately, there are no options for us at the Big Island, so we will need to be creative with our lodging to be able to swing this. Maybe we will drop one of the other islands and try to stay at least 5 days on the Big Island.

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Ah, I see. Well maybe save the BI for a time when you can spend a week or more there and perhaps also the lava activity will have improved. It's very difficult to try to see both sides of the BI with less than a week because of its size. With only five days you may feel like you're spending most of it on the car.

If you do decide to just spend a couple of days to explore VNP, either this time or a later trip, do self-drive rather than take a tour. The Park itself is worth at least one full day, more if you want to do some more hiking, and self driving allows you to avoid crowds, get off the beaten path, and explore this amazing ecosystem and special place of great historical and cultural significance.

N S
Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Hi Shea,

We're coming into Kona this weekend. I have 2 young kids (1 and 6) - what is the best way to show them the volcano? My 6 year old really wants to see the lava activity.

Thanks!

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

VNP is not safe for a child as young as one year old. The air quality can be very poor and can hurt developing lungs. At any rate there is no accessible surface lava activity right now and even when there was it would not be safe to take small children anywhere near it.

USA
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8. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Hi,

We are coming to the Big Island on May 18th. Would like to ride bikes down the Volcano, but wondering if it's possible without doing the tour....any suggestions?

Healy, Alaska
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9. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Bob - I think you are meaning the bike ride down Haleakala, which is a dormant volcano on the island of Maui. I don't believe there are bike rides of that sort in Volcano National Park . . . and it is an active volcano, not dormant.

ON, Canada
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10. Re: Day trip to Big Island Volcanoes vs. few day stay there

Bob - you can bike at VNP independently - this link might be of help: www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/bike.htm

Edited: 1:36 pm, April 24, 2014