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“A full and interesting day!”

Hawaii Forest and Trail
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Hilo Tropical Waterfall Tour
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Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
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Volcano National Park Small Group Twilight Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The vision of Hawaii Forest & Trail is to share the splendor of Hawai’i Nei and inspire a deep connection with our natural world.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

The volcano twilight tour was long, but very interesting. The total time it took was almost exactly 12 hours. The return to the starting point alone took 3 hours, so considerable travelling was involved. Our guide, Maka, was articulate and knowledgeable, and he made every possible effort to answer questions and consider the comfort and enjoyment of the passengers.

Do not expect to be close to any lava; the closest we came was seeing the glow in the distance after dark.

1  Thank Bill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 16, 2013

I booked to do the one day volcanic national park trip with the company in mid-September. We had to be at the store for 6.30am but it wasn't too long a drive from my hotel (Kona Coast Resort) and there was plenty of parking on site so I was able to leave my car there all day.

The group size was small and our tour guide (Justin) made everyone introduce themselves at the start of the day which was great-a very simple thing but something that doesn't always get done! It was a long drive to the NP but we had a great little morning tea to break up the miles. The food was lovely-lots of variety of snacks and beverages. We went to the Thomas Jagger museum first and had a look at the craters within the craters. We then checked out a lava tube and did a short walk on the lava to get closer to the crater. We then drove to the sea caves, had lunch (great food, again), checked out another crater, stopped at a tourist centre and then went to the black sand beach (where there were turtles!). We also stopped for a number of photo opportunities along the way. We covered about 300 miles in the day and llearned a lot about the history of the park, as well as the science behind how it was formed.

I was expecting a little more of a serious hike but if I had to choose between walking for three hours and seeing everything I saw, I'd pick the later. The company seems well run and very well organised. I received a call the day before, confirming the time and place to meet, which was appreciated.

On the gently sloping downside, I think perhaps the price could be a little cheaper. I paid $180ish and I think $150 would be more reasonable. But overall though, I was very happy with the service that I received and the knowledge that Justin shared.

Thank Silpa101283
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

If you can choose your guide Matt or Matthew was an exceptional tour guide. His humor made me laugh out loud repeatedly. Maybe I just got all his jokes... he's highly informative on the islands ins and outs. He keeps your attention at all times during history lessons and makes the folklore stories come to life as he brings you to their locations. He makes you feel welcomed and makes us all tourist treat eachother like family. My boyfriend and I loved every minute of the day long tour. He made Hawaii Happen for us with unforgettable sight and teaching us so much we never learned on our own. We were lucky to be in an active group and we able to make more stops to see more than other groups can see in a day. Such as the devils throat. Massive hole in the ground I could not even see the bottom! Tour was an all day event. Driving thru Hilo, stopping at rainbow falls, meals were delicious, lava tubes and walking thru forrest at night time was beautiful. I loved the fact that I did not have to worry about poisionous snakes or plants because well, there are not any! I felt very safe and comfortable with Matt as our guide, he's a great guy.
One thing though, we all left our wallets in the shuttle and could not buy anything at the gift shop. So, take your wallet when hiking up to observatory during the day. When you return at night the gift shop will be closed. Gift shop has beautiful murals of the story of pele you learn from Matt during the tour. Outside the gift shop there is a fountain you can refill your bottle water with real rain water which tasted great!
I learned so much from Matt that when coming home I was eager to learn more about Hawaii and its culture.
You do not really need jeans or long sleeve shirts. It gets Windy too no loose sun hats or dresses. Good pair of sneakers/hiking shoes because the lava rocks made my feet/ankles sore by end of the night. Then again I was always up front keeping up almost passing up Matt. Bring camera with good zoom for volcano close ups.
Once again, best time ever!

Thank Ana R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

My new wife and I visited the big island and decided to go on the twilight volcano tour as recommended here on trip adviser.

We had an amazing guide, Maka. He was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. We visited 2 lava tubes, tracked along the 5 year lava flow destruction, visited the caldera during the say and at night to see the red lava glow. During twilight we visited a secluded lookout which had an extraordinary view of the caldera.

We honestly couldn't have asked for a better tour guide and day! I would highly recommend the twilight volcano tour! And make sure you visit the 100 year old lava tube and treck along the volcanic destruction. This was a day we will both never forget. Thank you Maka and Hawaiian forest and trails!

Chris & Asherly

1  Thank Chrisbradac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We chose to do the twilight volcano walking tour and our guide was Mark. He did a very good job, considering the varied group we were with. At least on that day’s tour there was definitely not a lot of walking, which may have had to do with the demographics of the group: from families with school-age children to middle age people to grandparents with grandchildren. The tour company does highly recommend that participants dress appropriately – long pants and closed toe shoes, but it doesn’t seem to be a requirement, since numerous people on the tour were wearing flip flops and shorts – I wonder if that had any relation to where we “hiked”, or didn’t hike?

The food for lunch (eaten at a state park on Saddle Road) and dinner (we stopped somewhere in the National Park near the Jagger Museum – the double rainbow was a definite treat) was fine – I had the veg options for both meals, and my husband had the chicken - they are box lunches.

Viewing the lava glowing in the crater at dusk was great –and I’m really glad we did it. It rained intermittently throughout the day and got quite heavy while at the Jagger Museum (hence the rainbow(s) mentioned above). The company provides a rain jacket – it was definitely needed and used! It was also very crowded at the Jagger Museum overlook into the Halema'uma'u crater in spite of the rain, so expect to jockey for position to get optimal photo ops.

If you are fine with driving late at night to your hotel (consider that you may be dealing with a time change, an unfamiliar rental car and no street lights on a curvy two lane highway, i.e. Saddle Road) then maybe you could just do this trip on your own. But for us, I was fine with letting someone else get us there and back. I’d be happy to book another trip with them.

1  Thank orkdldy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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