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“Best cave tour we have ever been on--however...”

Kazumura Cave Tours
Ranked #28 of 80 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
159 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Best cave tour we have ever been on--however...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2014

This is a review of the easiest 2 hour cave tour offered by Kazumura Cave Tours.
We have been on about 20 cave tours in our travels and hands down--this was probably the best cave tour ever. However--to enjoy the cave tour you must be:
1. Not afraid of heights and have decent agility--I'm attaching a picture of the sturdy ladders that you have to go up and down to access the cave and within the cave. You have to be able to grab hold of the ladder from above and swing your legs onto the ladder without hand rails to hang onto. The ladders navigate some significant heights.
2. Have a nerdy interest in caves--(which we did)--the guide Harry Schick is extremely knowledgeable (brilliant) and part of the tour involves explanation of how the lava cave was formed and a description of the various features in the cave. Children/teens might be turned off by the academic explanations.
3. Be aware of the risks involved in cave exploration. This is not a typical vacation tour like a zipline tour that has been thoroughly evaluated by safety experts to ascertain that there is no possible way that you could get injured. There are 40 foot drops, there are wet uneven floors, there are ladders. There are no handrails, you are not clipped into a safety line. You should absolutely not do this tour if you have dizziness, vertigo, fear of heights, claustrophobia, poor balance or if you are drunk or high. This is a cave that Harry Schick has put ladders in so that he can share the cave with visitors. It is for the most part, pristine.

I want to be very clear to anyone reading this review that the folks I went with all shared my enthusiasm and assessment of how amazing this tour was.

Previous reviewers had mentioned how weird it felt to have the concrete/steel door locked behind behind the group upon entering the cave. This didn't particularly bother me because if I had a cave on my property--I would also lock it to keep out people who might get injured by wandering into an unfamiliar cave. However--I was wierded out when he showed us where he put the key (shirt pocket). Yes, this is cave etiquette, but really brought home the fact that we were in a cave where you must be prepared for the unexpected.

This is an unusual experience--Harry has been taking folks on his cave tours for 8 years I believe. I hope that he can continue doing this for many more years without the insurance companies and legal system demanding that he make it so safe that you could walk blindfold thru it without getting hurt.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
9 Thank sierradog1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Bridgetown, Barbados
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fascinating and overwhelming.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2014 via mobile

I left the cave feeling completely overwhelmed, both mentally and physically.

There are myriad lava forms to wonder at, and Harry is a very knowledgeable guide. Self-taught, he has an appreciation of the fluid dynamics of lava flows and the formation of lava forms that is impressive. He left my head swimming with information.

What was especially heartening is that Harry is sincere about the conservation of the cave environment; he is strict about what you can do and what you can touch in the cave. He'll show you troglobites along the way - spiders and millipedes - and discuss the impact of your fingerprints on cave walls.

It's a challenging trek - you will climb and descend vertical ladders that I found scary, and scramble over breakdown rubble - but if you're reasonably fit and not afraid of heights, you'll do fine. Tip: empty your bag (your belongings will be safe) or take no bag at all; a big backpack will hinder your progress.

This is not a tourist trap; there are no amenities to speak of.

Take this cave tour if you're thirsty for knowledge on lava tubes.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank nomad_bb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Lava Tube/Cave”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

This tour was just what we were looking for. It was cool for our teenagers but would also be interesting for younger children that can hike a bit and climb ladders alone. Harry tailors the tour to as much or as little information as you want on the tour. Equipment was provided. Easy to find but off the beaten path. It was great that it was off the beaten path because we weren't contending with the horde of tourists at the national park in late July. This was well worth the money. There is only an outhouse available so if you aren't comfortable with this go before you get there.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Karrie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simi Valley, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Lava tube/cave”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2014

The lava/cave was great, it was located on the Aloha Crater Lodge grounds. Real cool lava tube. Incredible cave. Loved the hike in & out

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank IldikoS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Renton, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“aMAZEing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

First rate experience. Harry's rappel tower is completed sans a few decorations and should be well suited for training the neophytes. Thank you

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank rdkng48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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