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1 week in Volcano - Too much?

London, United...
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1 week in Volcano - Too much?

Hi all,

We're in the early stages of planning our vacation from London England and are planning 1 week in the Volcano area (of a 2 week vacation on the island). The main purpose of our trip to Hawaii is VNP. However reading through some of the posts its making me question that this is too long? Can i get your opinion please. i am FASCINATED by volcanos and have always wanted to visit.

Many thanks

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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1. Re: 1 week in Volcano - Too much?

It would help to know what about volcanoes fascinates you.

After a while, having seen old lava flow and more of it only in different spots, it just gets to be more of the same, IMHO. It's very interesting, but I couldn't imagine more than three days. You can see what the eruption is doing there in a half day, and another half day to go down to Kalapana if it is flowing there.

I would recommend spending some quality time with the VNP's own site and taking a look at what is there, and make a checklist.

Also, their plan your visit page has itineraries for different lengths of stay that you could go over.

For me there is far too much else to see on the island and I would go stir crazy, but then I prefer ocean and there is no ocean access very near to VNP, unless you count the wild waves at the bottom of Chain of Craters.

VNP planning page:


PDF "Trip Planner" brochure, excellent resource:


Denver, Colorado
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2. Re: 1 week in Volcano - Too much?

The average tourist can fully explore Volcano National Park in one long day so after that you'll be repeating your self unless you want to do every last trail hike?

Also Volcano Village is very small and limited on shopping and dining and gets pretty cold at night (especially in winter months).

Better option is to plant yourself in Hilo (w/ a clear weather day trip to Volcano) w/ maybe 4 nights there, 4 nights Kona, 6 nights South Kohola would be a better mix depending on what exact activities and sites you want to focus on.

Start here for some general ideas then def. get a good guide book and read cover to cover before booking anything.


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3. Re: 1 week in Volcano - Too much?

For me , it would be 5 nights too long....

As others have indicated, you can get the gist of it in 2 days......after that too cold and damp.

We escape our Canadian winters to be on the lovely South Kohala coast...with it's warm sunshine, little rain...and close proximity to the Island's best beaches.

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4. Re: 1 week in Volcano - Too much?

I have actually always wanted to set aside a full week to spend at the park!

As KK says, though, a fascination with volcanoes will only get you so far. However, if you're also interested in the amazingly diverse ecosystems, native bird populations and geological features - and especially in the many Hawaiian cultural sites and the mo'olelo (stories) of the volcano goddess Pele and the ancient people who revered this place, then 7 days may not even be enough!

Be prepared to do a lot of hiking, though. The paved roads that the casual tourists travel to hit all the "high points" in their one-day quick sweep through the park won't take you to many of the really interesting parts of the landscape.

The time of year does make a difference. In winter it gets really cold up there, and even in summer you'll want to book a place that has a nice fireplace. There's nothing quite like relaxing by the fire, in the beautiful fern-ohia forest on Volcano Village, with a glass of nice wine while recounting the day's adventures.

A cottage where you can do your own cooking would be best, as dining options are limited, and you'll want to bring supplies up with you from Hilo - although you will be able to pick up stuff like milk, butter, snacks and the like at the little groceries there - and extra firewood for your fireplace!

The VNP link to the "backcountry hikes:"


. . . and to "day hikes:"


When you arrive, you'll want to check in at the Visitors Center to find out what your options might be to connect with any of the park's Native Hawaiian rangers who conduct amazing cultural tours - these are really hard to find out anything about in advance.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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5. Re: 1 week in Volcano - Too much?

Well if you like hiking you can spend several days there, especially adding in the Kau desert area. Also you can and should spend a day in Hilo and environs during your east side time, and maybe other parts of Puna and Hamakua. But even then I think a week is too long. I'd go with 3-4 nights and spend the rest on the west side. There's more to do there and more ground to cover, plus all the ocean activities.

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6. Re: 1 week in Volcano - Too much?

If I could spend a month or 6 weeks on The Big Island, I'd spend about 5 nights in the Volcano area. Principally to hike on the trails I never have time to do on short trips.

I think a week in Volcano on a two week trip is just too much. As interesting as Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park is, you still have a considerable drive to get to sites in the Hilo or Hamakua region. I might spend a couple of nights in Hilo to explore Puna, Kalapana and the Hamakua coastline. I've found that I do overall prefer the west side of the island because of the beaches and drier weather.

London, United...
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7. Re: 1 week in Volcano - Too much?

Thanks so much all.

8. Re: 1 week in Volcano - Too much?

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