Big Island of Hawaii

Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group

Badge of ExcellenceHilo, United States
Hilo Shore Excursion Lava Forest and Falls
Likely to Sell Out

From $133.34

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 6 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


When your ship docks in Hilo, use your time in port to get acquainted with Kilauea, the most active volcano on earth. Embark on a tour through the Nanawale Rainforest, a lush, tropical landscape in the Eastern Rift Zone. Explore lava caves; stroll along the most recently formed black-sand beaches; feel the warmth from volcanic hot pools, and discover Rainbow Falls. Travel trough Hawaiian back roads and discover the destructive path of the volcano's most recent eruption. Round-trip transport from the port or hotel is included.
  • Explore Nanawale Forest Reserve, Rainbow Falls and the Ahulanui geothermal pools
  • See towns evacuated due to Kilauea's lava flows
  • Round-trip transportation from the Hilo port
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

What's Included

  • Port pickup and drop-off / Hilo Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Professional guide
  • Bottled water
  • Souvenirs
  • Gratuities
  • Lunch- Stop made by local vendor for customers to purchase

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to your preferred meeting point, or request pickup.

Meeting points

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Pickup points

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End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Following pickup at the Hilo cruise port, board a tour vehicle and set out over the back roads of the Big Island to explore its spectacular natural features. 

Arrive first at Rainbow Falls, known in Hawaiian as wainuenue, the falls crash over a natural lava cave, throwing up rainbows almost every sunny day in the rising mist. 

Drive through old-growth mango groves and through the verdant foliage of the Nanawale Forest, stopping to see the recent lava flow that caused the town of Pahoa to evacuate. See the few houses and commercial buildings that were burnt by the oozing fire. View dramatic scenery in spots where the burning lava met the cool, salty sea. Stop in Kaimu to see the site of the former Queen bath and town, both destroyed by a lava flow in 1990, now being reclaimed by the wild rainforest. View an exhibit showing what the area used to look like and snap photos of the active volcanic vent in the distance. Stroll down the black sand beach, reached via a 15-minute walk over old lava flows.

Continue to Lava Tree State Park, where lava burst from fissures in the ground and coated the Ohia trees, leaving amazing tree molds. See the warm springs at Ahalanui, geothermally heated by water traveling through lava tubes. 

Stop at a dramatic overlook, surrounded by salt cedar pine trees and home to the old Kings Trails. Admire views of the waves crashing below towering sea cliffs.

Your half-day tour ends with drop-off back at the Hilo port.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:

We will ensure your timely return to the Hilo port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Liliuokalani Gardens (Pass By)

Hilo (Pass By)

Rainbow Falls

20 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Kaumana Caves Park

20 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Pahoa (Pass By)

Lava Tree State Park

25 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Pohoiki Bay

20 minutesAdmission Ticket Free


10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Leilani Estates

10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Moderate tour - Involves walking over relatively unlevel terrain, possible gravel, lava, uneven ground and steep steps. Comfortable walking shoes recommended.
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately; light rain jacket or poncho
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A stop is made to purchase food
  • Worry-free Shore Excursion Guarantee
  • Exact departure time may vary depending on the cruise ship's disembarkation time
  • Not recommended for those who cannot walk over uneven ground or with poor health
  • Lava Tube: The steps to get into the lava tube are steep and the ground is uneven. You do not have to go into the lava tube if you feel it is too much for you.
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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97 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 97 reviews
Ellen was a Great Guide.
Miriam_B, Sep 2023
Ellen was an amazing guide with an excellent van to transport passengers. No wobbly plastic stool -- she had a real step-up running board. She was easy to hear in the back of the vehicle and she has personal stories and a lot of history of the lava flows -- she did the tour counterclockwise to avoid the big tour bus crowds.
Fun trip
Chris_C, Sep 2023
John gave us a great tour! Thank you,. Gave us some good information about the area. Beautiful scenery
Response from Host, Sep 2023
So glad you enjoyed all those beautiful areas down through the back roads of Hawaii! Really appreciate the review 😊
Great Hilo tour
Beth_S, Sep 2023
It was a great tour. Our driver Ellen was informative and very enthusiastic about showing us all the treasures on her island. We had a great time
Response from Host, Sep 2023
Love to hear you had a wonderful experience exploring the big island with our tour guide Ellen, have a wonderful day mahalo.😍
Great tour
Michele_L, Aug 2023
Our guide was very enthusiastic and we had a good time. Enjoyed all the stops. Loved the fact it was a 6 person van so it was a small group of people.
Great experience
Yesenia_G, Aug 2023
It was an awesome tour! Karen our tour guide was amazing and so enthusiastic and passionate about the island. He learned so much.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Love to hear that, thank you for joining us.❤️
Must Do
Warren_D, Aug 2023
Karen, our tour guide, was fabulous! We had a great group and saw so many amazing sights! The lava tubes, Rainbow Falls and the Portuguese hot dogs are a must!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Glad you enjoyed your Volcano guide Karen! Really appreciate the review 😊
Great tour!
Canaan_H, Aug 2023
The best guided tour I have been on. Our tour guide, Ellen, had great information and stories to tell throughout the tour.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
This really is a wonderful tour and so glad to hear you enjoyed Kilauea Volcano guide Ellen 😎
Hidden treasures
Carolina_A, Aug 2023
Our tour guide Junior was very welcoming and funny. I would recommend this excursion bc it was a little bit of everything without the large crowds. Our trip to Maui on the cruise canceled due to the fires. Junior was very accommodating and showed up to take us around. I felt like I saw the little hidden treasures that the locals know and it came w story telling that would have been missed had we gone on our own.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
So true! Hawaiian guide Junior really knows all those back roads on the east rift zone of Kilauea Volcano.Really is a stunning area.....and yes hidden treasures 😊
Awesome Tour of Hilo with Junior
Kathy_P, Aug 2023
Jr., Our guide, was awesome: He was alot of fun, laughed often, took us to amazing unusual places and explained, in detail, aspects of every area we visited. One of the best motor tours I've ever had!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the review
Wonderful tour of the big island!!
moi4short2, Jul 2023
This small group tour by C Big Island LLC had just 6 of us even though the description said a max. of 14. We loved this tour - our driver/guide gave us so much information about the big island and the volcanoes that continue to expand its size. We saw Rainbow Falls, walked through Kaumana Cave, drove through part of Kilauea’s Eastern Rift Zone, walked through Lava Tree State Park, drove across part of the 2018 lava flow, and stopped at 2 black sand beaches. It was a very full 6 hour tour with snacks provided but no lunch break. The tour description is very accurate. We would highly recommend this tour to all visiting the big island!!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Thanks for the wonderful feedback😆.
Awesome Experience!
Imani_W, Jul 2023
Karen was a lovely tour guide, she made sure we had water, snacks, and air conditioning throughout the tour. She provided a lot of insightful information about Hilo, and each of the tour stops. We had a great time, and would definitely recommend doing this tour!
Response from Host, Jul 2023
Mahalo Imani for your wonderful review! We are so fortunate to have Karen part of our Volcano Safari team. Thank you for the review
Relaxing & enjoyable tour of lava in Hilo
Valori_H, Jul 2023
Karen was absolutely fabulous. She has a true passion for the island and it shows in her soft, but very loving time when she’s touring her island home place.
Response from Host, Jul 2023
THank you Valorie for your wonderful review on Karen.
Volcano erupts
slgxtwo, Jun 2023
Spent the entire tour watching the volcano erupt, cancelling all other tour original destinations. Exciting and memorable. Great photos too
Response from Host, Jul 2023
That is so COOL!!!!!. Thanks for joining us.😄
Good, but not great!
Joseph_D, Jun 2023
Our tour guide Jr. did a good job. More information during the tour would have been appreciated. I resent reviews that force you to write more.
Response from Host, Jun 2023
Thank you for your feedback Joseph I will forward this to your guide. The issue of reviews that force you to write more would be a direct issue with Trip Advisor or Viator.
Great small group tour!
Amy_M, Jun 2023
Ellen was a fabulous knowledgeable guide! We learned so much about Hilo and took some beautiful pics. It was just my family and 1 other person and we loved having such a small group!
Response from Host, Jun 2023
Mahalo Amy for the awesome review! Sounds like you had a great experience with Volcano Guide Ellen! We need the smaller vehicle to get down some of those smaller Hawaiian back roads😊
Highly recommended!
Lorraine_C, May 2023
We highly recommend this tour, we all had a brilliant time with Junior, he was a fantastic host & gave us lots of information on the local area. One of our most memorable experiences in Hawaii.
Response from Host, May 2023
Aloha Lorrain for the awesome review for Hawaiian Volcano Guide Junior! 😊
Best of Hilo in a day
Judith_M, May 2023
Had a fantastic excursion and our driver Junior was full of information he was the best! Highly recommend
Response from Host, May 2023
Thanks Judith, for the review so happy you guys had a great experience with Volcano guide Junior 😊
Awesome Day
Sandra_S, May 2023
Great excision and would highly recommend. Our tour guide Paul was very knowledgeable and very pleasant. It was a very enjoyable day.
Response from Host, May 2023
Wow what a great review! Thank you so much !
Awesome visit to the Big Island of Hawaii
Beth_K, May 2023
We enjoyed our visit to Hilo, our guide Ellen was fabulous! She took care to show us her island and we appreciated her personal approach to our trip.
Response from Host, May 2023
Ellen knows her island, glad you guys enjoyed.
The landmarks. Amazing...
Vicki_M, May 2023
The landmarks. Amazing all the scale of the lava flow. Nice way to end at the Big Island candy store!
Response from Host, May 2023
Thank you Vicki!

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Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcano Safari Lava Caves, Falls & Highlights Small Group


6 hours
Free Cancellation

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