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Tours Recommended?

makeup4ever
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Tours Recommended?

Do anyone recommed joining a tour or just self tour?

I will be in Big Island for about 4 days. I was wondering maybe to join a tour to Hilo for a day and stay in Kona.

Would you recommed joining a tour or just driving yourself to visit all those places?

Please advise

Mauka Makai Adventures
Sightseeing Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Cultural Tours
Big Island Aina Tours
Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Washington DC...
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1. Re: Tours Recommended?

Depends if you want to drive yourself in a rental car. If so, you can easile drive to Hilo from Kona, getting an early start, and even go to Volcano National Park, which I think is very interesting and once you have drive all that way, it is less than an hour from Hilo.

Sydney
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2. Re: Tours Recommended?

My personaal opinion is that you should drive yourself. The roads are so quiet so driving isn't too difficult and you can then keep your own schedule. Hilo was nice (stayed there for 4 days)but in all honesty a day is about all you need to see it. Your decision to stay in Kona is the right one.

If you plan on visiting the area where the lava flows in to the sea, that really needs to be after dark for the best viewing. During daylight all you really see is lots of steam! Go after nightfall and you will see the lava glow and every now and then something a litle more interesting.

Kona, Hawaii
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3. Re: Tours Recommended?

Aloha, There are some wonderful tours you could join, especially if you have specific interests. If you are looking to just get a nice over view of the island, which is the most you can do in 4 days, I would self tour. If you are island hopping I would consider flying into one airport and out of the other, this will safe you some driving time. The 2 airports are Kona and Hilo. Find a spot on the West side to stay for 2 nights.. Kailua-Kona or Kohala and a spot on the East side, I would do Volcano Village. Try to spend a full day at Volcano National Park, the rangers there are very helpful and it is easy to self tour.

VNP

http://www.nps.gov/havo

On the Kailua-Kona/West side check out:

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park http://www.nps.gov/puho/

If you like to snorkel think about a nice snorkel trip:

Dolphin Discoveries (AM trip: Kealakekua Bay and Pu'uhonau o Honaunau aka Place of Refuge) www.dolphindiscovery.com

Seaquest

http://www.seaquesthawaii.com/

Sea Paradise (Kealekekua Bay) http://www.seaparadise.com/

Hula Kai (2 sites south of Kealakekua) www.fair-wind.com

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Kailua-Kona
Kailua-Kona
Island of Hawaii, HI
Honaunau
Honaunau
Island of Hawaii, HI
Kealakekua
Kealakekua
Island of Hawaii, HI
makeup4ever
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4. Re: Tours Recommended?

Hi , thanks, can you let me know where is the lava flow? Is there a lot of people going to see the same thing?

Sydney
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5. Re: Tours Recommended?

From memory it is route 130. You can't miss it as it has cut the highway!

One other thing we wish we had known. The viewing area for the ocena vent doesn't open until 2pm. If you decide to go during the day and head off early you'll just have to come back later in the day.

Kona, Hawaii
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6. Re: Tours Recommended?

Yes and bring flashlights (viewing is best at night), warm things to put on if it gets cold, good walking shoes and water.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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7. Re: Tours Recommended?

It won't get cold at the viewing area like it does at VNP, because it's at sea level -but it can get real wet real fast, so bring an umbrella. Take it from someone who lives here who still forgot to bring an umbrella on the trail (even though I had 3 of them in my car) -- because sky was totally clear.

Hah - right at sunset the heavens opened up and soaked us to our skin. Our feet were squishing in our shoes. I was hard pressed to save my camera from getting soaked.

If you haven't found the location before you leave, which you should, there is a map and directions posted at VNP.

However, if you're not clear on the roads out there in this dark and rural area, you could get lost when you leave. So study the map for the Kalapana-Pahoa area and how the roads connect.

Volcano, Hawaii
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8. Re: Tours Recommended?

It depends on what you want to see, how your itinerary is set up, where you will be staying, how comfortable you are with driving on unfamiliar roads under unfamiliar conditions, if you prefer to have certain things taken care of for you, if you want to gain "private access" to certain areas, and what your budget has room for. There is a lot to see between Hilo and Kona, and quite a few tour companies out there with very different things to offer. What are you interested in?

Being a tour guide I am one of the few who likes to recommend tours. They can make your experience ten times better and without having to worry about certain things or stress over others.

In most cases you dont "need" to go on a tour to see some of the best things this island has to offer, but it can be nice to have a guide doing the driving for you on unfamiliar/dangerous roads, having equipment/gear supplied, hearing stories/information enroute to your destination, or having somebody there to assist you at all times.

The current lava flow activity is at the end of HWY 130, about 45 minutes from Hilo, and almost 3 hours from Kona. If you decide to see the flows, the best time is at night to see the red, however this means driving back on roads with dangerous drivers, unfavorable weather, and not so good traffic statistics - at night.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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9. Re: Tours Recommended?

>>>If you decide to see the flows, the best time is at night to see the red, however this means driving back on roads with dangerous drivers, unfavorable weather, and not so good traffic statistics - at night.

I just want to back up what lavaguyd said about the roads. He's not exaggerating in hopes of getting more business. Many people are doing this drive on their own, but it's also true that this is one of the most dangerous highways in the state.

Aside from the road and the weather, there are far too many drivers on the road in the Puna District who long ago lost any right to a drvier's license, who take drugs, drink, and drive, and who are bad drivers in any case.

It may look all nice and peaceful, but a lot goes on in Puna that you as a visitor have no idea of and would be shocked to know.

Add that to all the tourists driving unfamiliar territory.

I do drive down there, and have gone down for the lava, but I also know there are risks and am glad to get home safe. Not a joyride.

I'm not against tours. I don't like big tours, and tour buses. Small tours are wonderful options, if one can afford it.

If you are going all the way back to Kona at night, I'd definitely advise a tour. If not going back to Kona at night, you can do part self tour and part guided as well. Drive over to Hilo and then meet a guide. This would be for a day tour.

10. Re: Tours Recommended?

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