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The Big Island packs a big punch in terms of things to see, and the dry, sunny climate of Kona makes it a popular base for exploring the island. From volcanic peaks and lush valleys to island circumnavigations, here are the best day trips from Kailua-Kona.

Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii’s youngest island still has three active volcanoes, and one of the best places to learn about volcanic activity—and witness it firsthand—is at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On a guided tour to this popular Big Island attraction, visitors might find themselves strolling with sea turtles on a black sand beach, standing inside a lava tube, or watching the glow of lava inside Halemaumau Crater from the Jaggar Museum observation area.

Waipio Valley
The famously steep Waipio Valley boasts spectacular lookouts, cliffs a thousand feet high, plummeting waterfalls, and a rich history. To experience this magical place on the northern Hamakua Coast, ride an ATV through the Valley of Kings to see Hawaii’s tallest single-fall waterfall and the longest black sand beach in the state. Or opt to see the valley from above on a helicopter tour of the island.

Mauna Kea
If you want to throw snowballs in the morning and build a sandcastle at sunset, plan a day trip to the summit of Mauna Kea. Topping out at 13,796 feet (4,205 meters), the peak is Hawaii’s highest point and home to an observatory offering some of the best stargazing in the archipelago. Day trippers can choose between morning or evening tours, which include transportation in a (required) four-wheel drive vehicle. 

Circle Island Tours
For time-crunched travelers, it’s possible to see all of the Big Island’s highlights in one long day on a circle-island tour from Kona. Stops along the way might include Volcanoes National Park, Akaka and Rainbow Falls, Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, and one of the coffee farms in the cool uplands of the Kona coffee belt.

Pearl Harbor on Oahu
Travelers based on the Big Island shouldn’t miss out on one of Hawaii’s top attractions, Pearl Harbor. On a day trip to Oahu from Kona, visit the site of the Japanese attack that thrust the country into World War II. Stand above the sunken remains of the USS Arizona and climb aboard the USS Missouri. See other notable Honolulu attractions, like Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, and Punchbowl National Cemetery before returning to the Kona coast.
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87 Big Island of Hawaii Day Trips | All Big Island of Hawaii Tours

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Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History

Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History

star-5
The Big Island of Hawaii has a diverse ecosystem unlike anywhere else on the planet, and on this day-long nature tour, experience the beauty of its black-sand beaches, thundering waterfalls, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. If you’re lucky, find Hawaiian green sea turtles basking on the coast. Since the tour only requires a moderate amount of walking, it's an educational adventure for travelers of all ages, with snacks and refreshments included.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$193.21
From
$193.21
Taking safety measures

Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights

Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls and Highlights

star-4.5
Sample a cross-section of outdoor sights on the Big Island during this shore excursion exploring Volcanoes National Park, waterfalls, orchids and more. Discover the postcard-perfect Rainbow Falls before visiting the amazing volcanic steam vents and unique geology around Kilauea Volcano. Before your day is done, check out a botanical garden filled with rare orchids, snack on macadamia nut treats at a local farm, and visit a gorgeous black sand beach. A guide, park entrance fees, snacks, and round-trip port transport are included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$153.34
From
$153.34

Small Group Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

Small Group Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

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Pack in some of Hawaii’s most mesmerizing sights during this Big Island twilight volcano tour. Sample Kona-grown coffee from a local coffee farm, keep an eye out for sea turtles at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, and taste Hawaiian sweet bread at Punalu’u Bakery. Then, explore Volcanoes National Park before ending your experience by stargazing in a secluded location—perfect for taking in views of the night sky.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$207.83
From
$207.83
Taking safety measures

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Hawaii Volcano Adventure Tour from Hilo

Hawaii Volcano Adventure Tour from Hilo

star-4
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is famous for its ever-flowing lava and the planet’s most massive active volcano. This tour journeys to top natural landmarks in and around the park. Visit Rainbow Falls, Richardson black sand beach, Historic Banyan Drive, Liliuokalani Gardens, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, Akatsuka Orchid Nursery, and the active volcano of Kilauea. You also get the opportunity to walk through a lava tube.
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.00
From
$109.00
Taking safety measures

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

star-4.5
Experience big skies and incredible nighttime views on this Mauna Kea stargazing trip with a small group. Join no more than 28 guests for a pre-trip picnic at a historic Hawaiian ranch, proceeded by a ride in a 4x4 luxury van to the summit of the Big Island's tallest peak. After admiring a sunset view, continue down to 9,000 feet (2,743 meters) for a stargazing session, complete with a telescope, hot chocolate, and dessert. The trip also includes a guide and a hooded parka to keep you warm.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$235.60
From
$235.60
Taking safety measures

Big Island Circle Tour and Volcano - Coffee, Waterfalls and Waipio Valley

Big Island Circle Tour and Volcano - Coffee, Waterfalls and Waipio Valley

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Spend a full day exploring the Big Island with visits to waterfalls, beaches, tropical valleys, stunning viewpoints, and so much more. Learn about Kona’s coffee culture with visit to Kona Joe’s coffee farm, where you go behind the scenes and taste award-winning locally gown coffee. See Hawaii’s natural beauty at Punalu’u Black Sands Beach and lookout for Hawaiian green sea turtles. Enjoy lunch, then explore stunning waterfalls and a panoramic view of Hilo from Waipio Valley.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$229.32
From
$229.32

Volcano Adventure - Most Recent Volcano Active Zone

Volcano Adventure - Most Recent Volcano Active Zone

star-4.5
Discover Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and other attractions on the Big Island on a full-day tour from Waikoloa, Hapuna, Kailua-Kona, or Keauhou. Your guide shares highlights including Rainbow Falls, Saddle Road, and Punaluu Black Sand Beach. You'll get great views of the two active volcanoes: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, and experience the natural beauty of Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. It'll be a stress-free trip as it includes a guide, transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off from select hotels.
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$229.00
From
$229.00
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Big Island Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kona Coffee Farm

Small-Group Big Island Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kona Coffee Farm

star-5
On this tour from Kona to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, experience some of the Big Island’s best sights in a small group capped at 10 people. In addition to stopping at Punalu’u Beach Park to walk down a black-sand beach, you have the chance to sip Kona coffee on the plantation right where it’s grown, as well as hike through a lava tube that was formed by Kilauea volcano. What’s more, receive an iPad to use on the tour. Use it for photos, videos, and info, as well as playing games or watching movies while traveling between the sites.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$186.99
From
$186.99
Taking safety measures

Kona Shore Excursion: Hawaiian Sea Turtles , Historic Kona & Coffee

Kona Shore Excursion: Hawaiian Sea Turtles , Historic Kona & Coffee

star-4.5
Spend a full day exploring Kona. See greens turtles, learn how Kona coffee is made, and visit archeological sights. Make the most of animated amount of time with a varied tour encapsulating Hawaii’s history, natural beauty, wildlife and culinary culture. Stop at white sand beaches, walk through lava tube, sample locally frozen coffee and hand made sweets, then choose from a variety activities depending your tastes. Opt to snorkel, go souvenir shipping, or relaxant local brewery, before returning the port.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$139.00
From
$139.00

Small Group Waipio Valley and Waterfalls Adventure

Small Group Waipio Valley and Waterfalls Adventure

star-5
See three of the Big Island's most famous waterfalls in a single day on this guided tour. Travel along the Hamakua Coast to Akaka Falls, Hi’ilawe Falls, and Rainbow Falls. You also sample seasonal fruit and macadamia nuts at a fruit farm in Hilo, swim at a private waterfall, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$207.83
From
$207.83
Taking safety measures

Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

star-4.5
Explore the fascinating world of active volcanism, biological diversity and past and present Hawaiian culture at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visit Kalapana, a village destroyed by advancing lava, and the black sand beach on the island. Learn about everything from active volcanic craters and steam vents to the historic Jagger Museum. Enjoy dinner at Volcano Winery, featuring a private tour with wine tasting, then watch for current activity at Kilauea Volcano, the most active of the five volcanoes in Hawaii. Hotel pickup and drop-off provide for a seamless experience.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$187.43
From
$187.43

Discover Volcano Country

Discover Volcano Country

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the tropical paradise of the Big Island for a 7-hour exploration of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and local island culture. Discover highlights of the island’s most famous volcanic region during stops at 'hotspots' like the Thurston Lava Tube and Halemaumau Crater. Continue your exploration with a visit to a gorgeous black-sand beach frequented by sea turtles and then a local coffee plantation where you’ll sample tasty treats like honey, chocolate and macadamia nuts. A guide, entrance fees, lunch and round-trip hotel or port transport are also covered.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$187.43
From
$187.43
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Eco Tour

Private Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Eco Tour

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Explore the world’s most active volcano on a private eco tour around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. These 3- and 6-hour, education-based explorations focus on the native flora and fauna, the geology and the amazing Hawaiian culture that still thrives on the volcano today. Experience the highlights of Kilauea’s summit area, including a sunset eruption viewing or hike to both the hidden and highlight areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$200.00
From
$200.00
Taking safety measures

Maunakea Stellar Explorer from KONA

Maunakea Stellar Explorer from KONA

star-4
Hawaii’s natural wonders aren’t only on land and in the sea—the Big Island is also a prime spot from which to admire the wonders of the solar system. This tour is the only one that includes both afternoon solar viewing and nighttime stargazing, accompanied by astronomy experts. Visit different destinations and use a state-of-the-art solar telescope and Dobsonian telescope to spot solar flares, galaxies, star clusters, and planets.
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$198.73
From
$198.73

Pele's Creation Day Tour from Hilo - Puna 2018 Lava Flow (Hawaii)

Pele's Creation Day Tour from Hilo - Puna 2018 Lava Flow (Hawaii)

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The 2018 eruption wreaked havoc upon the subdivision of Leilani Estates. While there is currently no active surface lava on the island, the destruction is still evident here. You will hear first-hand accounts from real homeowners and see Fissure 8, the largest fissure from the eruption. We have exclusive access to visit 4 different properties destroyed in the eruption. A portion of our sales goes to those who tragically lost their homes.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$190.00
From
$190.00
Taking safety measures

Kohala Waterfalls Small Group Adventure Tour

Kohala Waterfalls Small Group Adventure Tour

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Delve into Hawaii’s history and prepare to get wet on this full-day waterfall adventure tour of the Big Island’s Kohala coast. Begin with a drive up the Kona coastline past lava flows, and take in sweeping views from the old Kohala Mule Station lookout. Rumble through the rugged landscape in an off-road vehicle and hike along the tunnels and aqueducts of a historic sugar plantation. Admire the seven Kohala waterfalls and cool off with a dip under the final cascade. A picnic lunch and hotel transport are included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$198.95
From
$198.95
Taking safety measures

Volcanoes Adventure Tour from Hilo

Volcanoes Adventure Tour from Hilo

star-4
Embark on an epic adventure on this Volcanoes National Park tour from Hilo. Journey into the largest and most active volcano on earth with your friendly, professional guide, and pay a visit to the Richardson Blacksand Beach. Learn about the incredible landscapes that roll out before you and gain insight into the geological and ecological implications of Mother Nature on this stunning park. See the Akatsuka Orchid Nursery, Rainbow Falls, the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory and so much more on this memorable tour that hits so many of Hawaii's hot spots.
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.00
From
$109.00
Taking safety measures

Big Island Photo Tour: Waterfalls and Tropical Botanical Garden

Big Island Photo Tour: Waterfalls and Tropical Botanical Garden

star-5
Explore the Big Island through the eyes of a photographer on this full-day tour. Traveling with a photographer guide means you and your small group of just eight people will have the best possible chance of getting frame-worthy vacation photos. Highlights include the scenic Saddle Road, the black lava fields, Hawaiian snow, Rainbow and Akaka Falls, and the Waipio Valley Lookout, among others.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$197.39
From
$197.39
Taking safety measures

Hawai'i's Volcanoes National Park from Hilo Only

Hawai'i's Volcanoes National Park from Hilo Only

star-5
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is a blockbuster sight on the Big Island, but reaching the park from the Hilo port on your own can be time consuming. With this driving tour, save hours with port pickup and head straight to the park’s highlights, including the steam vents and Kilauea Caldera overlook. This leaves enough time to visit the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, Hilo Coffee Mill, and Mauna Loa macadamia farm.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$160.26
Price varies by group size
From
$160.26
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Endangered Native Habitats

Endangered Native Habitats

star-5
Discover Hawaii’s remarkable wildlife on a full-day, small-group birdwatching tour into the Big Island’s Mauna Kea Forest Reserve. Travel on foot and by four-wheel drive as you explore dry forest and rainforest habitats that shelter the endangered palila honeycreeper, the Hawaii amakihi and the Hawaii ‘elepaio. Listen for the calls of endemic songbirds as you traverse an otherworldly lava trail, then follow a local, bird-loving guide along forest paths into the distinctive, high-elevation mamane-naio ecosystem.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$218.85
From
$218.85
Taking safety measures

Hawaii Big Island Circle Small Group Tour: Waterfalls - Hilo - Volcano - Black Sand Beach

Hawaii Big Island Circle Small Group Tour: Waterfalls - Hilo - Volcano - Black Sand Beach

star-5
Circle the Big Island of Hawaii along the Mamalahoa Highway on this guided, full-day, small-group adventure. Travel almost 250 miles and visit the two biggest cities on the island, Hilo and Kailua-Kona. Climb through several climate zones and native rainforest to the summit of the world’s most active volcano inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. All while learning about Hawaii’s history, culture, religion, geology and fragile ecosystem. All entrance fees plus a hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$173.77
From
$173.77
Taking safety measures

Ultimate National Park Explorer From Kona

Ultimate National Park Explorer From Kona

star-5
Explore the fascinating world of active volcanism, biological diversity and past and present Hawaiian culture at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Start at the world-famous Kona Coffee Farm for a deli-style lunch, then visit Punalu'u Beach to look for sea turtles. After arriving at the park, learn about everything from active volcanic craters and steam vents to the historic Jagger Museum. Enjoy dinner at Volcano Winery, featuring a private tour with wine tasting, then watch for current activity at Kilauea Volcano, the most active of the five volcanoes in Hawaii.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$260.05
From
$260.05

Ultimate Circle Island Explorer From Kona Or Kohala Resorts

Ultimate Circle Island Explorer From Kona Or Kohala Resorts

star-5
Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Akaka Falls, and the Waipio Valley are just some of the natural wonders on this Big Island sightseeing tour. Don’t miss a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and sample local products like Kona coffee and macadamia nuts at stops along the way. This comprehensive itinerary is ideal for anyone who wants an overview of Hawaii in one day. All entrance fees are included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$209.25
From
$209.25

Heavenly Hamakua: From Kona

Heavenly Hamakua: From Kona

star-5
Explore the Hamakua Coast on this full-day tour from Kona. Drive the back roads with a guide behind the wheel, which lets you focus on the scenery instead of the road. View the highlands of Waimea, the coastal jungles of Hilo, and the coast of Hamakua on the scenic back roads you might not find on your own.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$174.36
From
$174.36
Taking safety measures

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