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“Highlight of our Trip”
Review of VolcanoDiscovery Hawai'i - CLOSED

VolcanoDiscovery Hawai'i
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Owner description: VolcanoDiscovery Hawai'i is now proud to support educational excursions through the non-profit Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park! By supporting the Friends, clients are provided with a captive expert guide of the same high quality but at a significantly lower cost than a luxury tour, with proceeds directly funding forest restoration, the Hawksbill Turtle (Honu 'ea) Recovery Project, the Nene Recovery Project, the park's Junior Ranger program, and the Youth Internship Program for underserved, at-risk students to work in the park. To experience the best of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park with an expert instructor or naturalist guide, contact the Hawai'i Volcanoes Institute-On-Demand. Guides with VolcanoDiscovery training are available by special request through the Friends based on availability. VolcanoDiscovery continues to provide volcano news and global volcano travel despite discontinuing its Hawai'i luxury tour service.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Our family spent over two weeks in the Islands and this was the highlight of our entire trip. This is not your run of the mill loaded bus tour but rather a personal experience with local experts. Erik was our guide and immediately connected with our boys. His expertise in all things volcanic, Hawaiian culture and local plant/animal life was really amazing. If you are going to spend any time in the park, please allow a day for a tour with these guys.

1  Thank 523darrellw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (297)
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Reviewed 7 July 2014 via mobile

We read the reviews and encountered a family that had spent the day with Volcano Discovery and we were convinced that this was a good way to spend our time and our money. We had know idea just how thrilled we would be that we chose Volcano Discovery. The amazingly positive experience started with our email interactions with Malia. She was not only extremely responsive and thorough in providing us with information but went above and beyond to give us restaurant suggestions and additional hikes to do when we were on our own to do before our tour. Then there was Erik, our guide. His level of knowledge about geology, history, and a multitude of other things was unparalleled but even more than that was the patience and kindness he demonstrated throughout our almost 7-hour tour. Worth every penny and then some!! Soooo highly recommend this!

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2014

I hummed and hawed about this because it was pretty pricey for a 4 hour tour. We almost did not book it. Seeing the volcano was on my bucket list. So this adventure really was for me but my family benefited of course.

AND I can tell you that this was the highlight of our almost 3 week Hawaii vacation. We had amazing email/phone communication with Malia and Erik prior to arrival. With options abound it was hard to figure out what to do. But I told them our priorities and enlisted our blind trust. We were not disappointed. We met up with Erik at the designated meeting spot, grabbed our gear, added extra clothes because of the rain (which is normal for the area) and jumped into his SUV. Our private tour began.

Erik was very candid and informative. My 9 year olds loved Erik. He treated their enthusiasm and questions with amazing respect and kindness equal to what you would see in a familiar caring family member. He answered every question without hesitation, without effort and without confusing words. He was truly wonderful to have as a guide. He provided snacks of local fruits, chips, drinks and cookies. My son was so impressed with the snacks and experience he said, "I love you man" to Erik. Well, that simply said it all. AND Erik provided umbrellas for all of us. Perfect! Even in the rain.

Erik, a long time resident of the Big Island, was obviously well educated and knows his way around... and took us to spots away from the tour groups... and knew when to visit certain areas. We often literally had no one else around us. Simply awesome. We learned so much! It was incredible rugged beauty and a sense of overwhelming "wow". I could go on and on.

If you go to the Big Island you MUST go to the volcano and plan a full day or even 2 or 3 if you can. As far as guided tours go you will not be disappointed with this private guided tour. Book well in advance. They are a small company and cater to very small groups which has even included some famous people.

Our 4 hours went by waaaaay to fast - 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The final 7-7:30 pm "show" was so beautiful. The volcano was glowing. Our kids could have handled a longer tour - maybe 6 or even 8 hour tour... but the ending 7-7:30 show still made a very late night since our rented condo was back in Kona. Start out early if you are staying in Kona so you can enjoy the sights on the way there. It POURED rain on our way back to Kona but that was expected.

We loved the volcano and we were so glad Erik could show a tiny bit of it to us! Wish we had more time! Hands down we would book with VolcanoDiscovery Hawai'i - Private Tours again!

1  Thank irishsiren74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2014 via mobile

We arrived at Volcano National Park a day before our private tour. We listened to two lectures from Park guides (terrific and free) and we took a few walks by ourselves.

I was ready to pick a fight with my wife for wasting money on a private tour after we had already seen and done so much.

Boy was I wrong. Arthur, our guide, asked what we had seen and led us on a tour that was wonderful, informative and built upon our previous wanderings. We could not have been more pleased. In addition, we learned and experienced elements of the Park that we could not have found on our own. Well worth it. Even if I had to eat a bit of humble pie.

2  Thank Andy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2014

Arthur did a great job taking care of my children (11 and 13) and I. He guided us throughout the Volcano National Park on the Big Island on our 8 hour private tour explaining many concepts and facts about the numerous eruptions that have occurred over the last number of years as well as the last number of centuries. Definitely a great experience. If you want a personal, private guided experience of the Hawaii Volcanos National Park on the Big Island, this is the way to go!

3  Thank NaplesChris70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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