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Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

Island of Hawaii...
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Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

OK, I have been on the phone with Civil Defense, the contractors who operate the County viewing area, and Kalapana Lava Tours, and this is what I have learned.

Kalapana Lava Tours, which runs about five tours a day from Uncle Roberts (next to the Kalapana Cafe), is fully licensed and insured, per the viewing area operators.

They are able to run this tour, which is over private property, because their ohana (family) owns all that land. All the other tours are trespassing, and they are gradually being shut down.

Arnott's was coming out there, and that MIGHT be the Hilo guide mentioned in the closed topic, but they have been informed that they don't have permission, and did not come last night.

One or two other illegal tours have been shut down, and one or two are still operating.

Further, there are all sorts of tourists coming and heading out to the ocean entry, trespassing, no guides, behaving very STUPIDLY.

The current hike is about 3 1/2 hours. It is fairly rugged. They do go right up to the lava if it is safe. These local guides are from the area and I'm sure they know the terrain as well as anyone. I cannot say whether their judgment is as good as a park ranger's; you do take your chances.

The phone number for this tour, the ONLY legal tour, is 808-936-0456. Please do not go wandering the lava fields on your own. Aside from the danger, it's highly disrespectful. This land belongs to Native Hawaiian families and it is not a park.

I will cross post this on the Lava Viewing topic.

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Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

KK, I checked both Kalapana Lava Tours and Orion Hunting and Taxidermy for registered business names, vocational licenses and General Excise Tax licenses with the DCCA. hawaii.gov/dcca/… There are none issued under those names. Sorry, I believe DCCA more than the Civil Defense! :):):)

Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

TT, I know you are the master of finding busineses, and I am not. But I got lucky with at least finding it. As to insurance or licensing I cannot say, but here's what I found. Perhaps with the full name, the Tax license #, and the owner's name you can find more at DCCA.

TRADE NAME

ORIONS HUNTING ADVENTURES & TAXIDERMY SERVICE

FILE NUMBER 325295 ZZ

CERTIFICATE NUMBER 4040201

STATUS Active

PURPOSE OUTDOOR TOURS AND TAXIDERMY SERVICES

EXPIRATION DATE Jan 30, 2011

REGISTRATION DATE Jan 31, 2006

MAILING ADDRESS 152 AIKANE LOOP

HILO, Hawaii 96720

UNITED STATES

REGISTRANT ORION ENOCENCIO

__________

then having the proper name I was able to find the GET. There are two open.

Taxpayer Name: ORION K. ENOCENCIO

DBA Name: MTN TO THE SEA EXCURSIONS & TAXIDERMY

Taxpayer ID: W02146974-02

Tax Type: General Excise and Use

Tax Status: Open

Business Began: 01/25/2008

__________

Taxpayer Name: ORION K. ENOCENCIO

DBA Name: ORIONS HUNTING ADVENTURE & TAXIDEMY SVC

Taxpayer ID: W02146974-01

Tax Type: General Excise and Use

Tax Status: Open

Business Began: 01/01/2004

All I know is that the people running the viewing site were totally on board with this company running tours. The person I talked to was very forthcoming with giving me info. That said, I do not know the right questions to ask about licensing and insurance.

Note: the visitor who wrote this up in the closed topic said that people will have to sign a liability waiver ... so not sure how valuable the insured part is in practicality. That person also said the hike could be dangerous. Do it at your own risk ... and don't head out there with your seven year old and Grandma.

Livermore...
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3. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

I guess getting the legal name was key. No where will you see it except on their waiver. As another member said earlier this year, the peculiar part about their waiver is that it said they were not responsible for "purposeful negligence" by their company.

This is a multi-generational operation with grandpa running it as the patriarch. The grandsons take the money and couldn't offer much on the particulars besides reassuring everyone that they are fully licensed and insured. The family plot looks to have been there for a while and they did and still do hunt in a strip of vegitation along the coastal cliffs. There are pigs out there and we heard a few on the hike back!

Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

Duh! I'm such a dork! I missed it in the OP that it was Uncle Robert's operation! I know him and I have been recomending his luau here for years. Regardless, I doubt they are insured, good luck finding an insurance company giving you a policy on tours where your sneakers can melt if you don't run fast enough! :):):)

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

LOL, so true. Maybe some other kind of insurance, like on the van ...

I knew that Uncle Robert's ohana owns the land in that area.

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

There's a cool video of Uncle Robert on youtube talking about the old days in Kalapana.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Prdki34mEfw

It's part of a segment from "Kamaaina Backroads." I've run across it before.

Here's another interview with him on What Is Aloha.

www.youtube.com/watch…

He's more than a grandpa; he's a patriarch and a living cultural treasure.

Uncle Robert Keli'iho'omalu ...

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

>>> There are pigs out there and we heard a few on the hike back!

Wild pigs are all too common. I can hear them in my yard at night without hiking anywhere! ;-)

but yes, this is an area where people keep up the traditional ways.

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8. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

Thanks for researching this and providing the information.

It's sad for the landowners that some visitors don't get it that lava covered land with not much growing on it is still someone's beloved land (only thicker)! :-)

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9. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

This post is a shining example of why TripAdvisor is so valuable.

Island of Hawaii...
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10. Re: Information on Legal Lava Viewing tours

http://kalapanaculturaltours.com/home

Website -- under Kalapana Cultural Tours

Did you know that the lava flow of 1990 that wiped out Kalapana Village changed course after rising to the top of Uncle Robert's stone wall and spared his house? There's a nicely detailed article reprinted from the LA Times (2005) about how Verna's (now Kalapana Village Cafe) and Uncle Roberts' came to be isolated there at the end of the road. The part about Uncle Robert is at the end of the article. Worth reading, especially if you plan to go down there.

…livejournal.com/big_island_ljrs/2477.html

He has an Awa (Kava) bar there at his home. Here's a 2009 SFGate article about it:

…sfgate.com/2009-11-29/travel/17180359_1_kav…

kaleberg, thanks! Thanks to everyone contributing information and thoughtful comments.

Edited: 24 September 2010, 04:34