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3 of 5 bubbles Review of Kaumana Caves Park

Kaumana Caves Park
Ranked #18 of 80 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Libertyville, Illinois
Level Contributor
158 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2013

We tried to visit the caves during rainy weather in Hilo. There are no good paths to get to the caves and the ground is uneven and rocky. Because of the rain the one cave that I visited had water dripping from the ceiling. I got to the mouth of the cave and called it a day. Too rocky and too dark. The only light was from the flashlights we were carrying and they did not provide much light. Some of our party continued into the cave but were stopped by the water and not knowing where to go. They went into to other cave and found that water there blocked the way also. I would recommend this attraction for physically fit people who have adequate light during a time when there hasn't been lots of rain.

Visited February 2013
Thank VickiLGreenOaks_IL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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194 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Fun Stop, Even Without a Flashlight”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Our family of four stopped by the caves on our way from Hilo to Kona. The rainforest around, on, and in the mouth of the cave was gorgeous. Although the name implies multiple caves, it's really one lava tube that had part of its roof collapse. You enter the tube by descending stairs down through the opening made by that collapse. I'm not sure which view was more stunning, the one looking down into the tube or the view from the cave floor.
At any rate, we explored both sides of the tube as far as we could go with a penlight, which was not too far past the entrance of each end of the tube. It made for a fun, quick adventure. Would love to go back with proper cave gear and explore the entire tube.

Visited August 2012
Thank Loopylews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“LOVED it!”
Reviewed February 22, 2013

My boyfriend and I stumbled on these caves--not knowing what to expect--and absolutely loved them! The caves are huge and have a diverse array of amazing lava textures. We chose to explore the cave on the left, going the entire length until we literally reached light at the end of the tunnel. It was great not knowing what to expect or when the tunnel would end!

As we are used to hiking and exploring in flip flops, we were fine exploring these caves. However, as the lava is different textures--sometimes sharp--and the ground is also wet in places, you may want to wear more sturdy shoes to ensure greater sure-footedness. Sturdier shoes may also come in handy when making your way back to the car after you exit the cave, as the path is not well traversed (in some places you have to look hard for it) and is covered with dense brush. This path leads directly back to the small parking lot across the street from the cave entrance.

We would also suggest each person having their own flashlight. We only had one headlamp between us, which was fine for us, but this does slow down your pace, if that matters. Also at one point, my boyfriend went ahead to see how much further the cave spanned. However, when he did this, I was left in a pitch black cave for what seemed like a long time. I'm not afraid of the dark, but I will admit it that during my time alone, it was quite concerning not being able to see anything at all, not hearing anything in the cave except silence, and not being able to really walk around given the sharp and sometimes rocky terrain inside the cave (hence, the need for my own flashlight!).

In sum, we really enjoyed our unexpected adventure at these caves, loved that no one else was around when we went, and can't wait to go back!

Visited February 2013
2 Thank Mr0wl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Kaumana Caves”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

These caves were one of the highlights of my husband's and my trip to the Big Island. Here's the basic info:

-you can park in small lot across the street from the caves
-the cave to the right only extends back a few hundred feet
-the cave to the left extends much further back, as long as you are wiling to duck and crawl a bit through a section where the tunnel ceiling gets pretty low -- after this area, the tunnel opens up substantially and you can travel through the tunnel much further
-it is 100% pitch black in the left cave after the ducking and crawling portion
-flashlights and sneakers/hiking shoes are essential if you actually want to walk through the caves past the main entrance -- the ground is composed of uneven, sharp lava rock, and many portions are quite slippery
-it is pretty isolated -- we only saw about 6 other people there, and only one group actually walked through and explored the caves as we did
-no costs involved -- the caves and the parking are free
-there are bathroom facilities
-we were there for about 45 minutes to 1 hour -- the time you spend really depends on how far you want to venture into the caves

Essentially, we thought this was a really unique and special experience. It's much better than the lava tube in Volcano, and it was a relief to be at an attraction without tour buses pulling into the parking lot. Just be safe and smart when you go - falling on that sharp lava rock would definitely be painful!

Visited February 2013
3 Thank Sarah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roberts Creek, Canada
Level Contributor
207 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,348 helpful votes
“Right On The Side Of The Road - Easy To Experience!”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

We had friends with us on this trip and decided to visit some old favorites on the Hilo side and it was fun for us to revisit sights we hadn't seen in years. These caves (apparently an old lava tube) are just a few minute's drive North of Rainbow Falls, near the 4 mile marker on Kaumana Drive - park across the street (parking for a dozen or so cars) and cross the street to the stairs that lead you down into these caves. There are no lights here but you can proceed a fair distance inside with the ambient daylight or, if you planned ahead and brought a flashlight, you can make your way much further in. The forest is slowly engulfing the entrance which provides these caves a natural look, nice and cool on a hot day. Wear good footwear as there is uneven footing inside but they are easy to explore otherwise and actually a nice quiet refuge, despite being a roadside (and free!) attraction. Restroom facilities and a small covered picnic area, complete with tables makes this a worthwhile stopping place. There's even a resident rooster who (cautiously) greeted us on our visit. Be sure not to leave any sign of your visit (garbage) at this worthwhile stopping place.

Visited January 2013
13 Thank Bruce L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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