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“The only thing on the island to not exceed expectations”

Hawaii Forest and Trail
Book In Advance
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US$134.38*
and up
Hilo Tropical Waterfall Tour
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The only thing on the island to not exceed expectations”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

Timewise the "Twilight" volcano trip was so pointedly and painfully inefficient that we spent more time eating Subway-grade sandwiches at some seriously non-scenic crap state park/rest area on the Saddleback than we did at the main event at Kīlauea. I can't say I trust them to keep track of time and what is important and what they are being paid to show.

While we did see the glow of Pele, and we did see an interesting lava tube, we did also spend 6 extra hours in a van above and beyond what it would have taken us to drive and tour the entire worthwhile portion of the route on our own. That's literally DOUBLE the time required. DOUBLE.

Oh, and we were the lucky last-to-be-picked-up and first-to-be-dropped-off. I pity the folks picked up before us, and dropped off after us, who had an additional 30-90 minutes in that van.

Very disappointed. After the brilliant dive trips and brilliant snorkel trips and just all around great time we had on our own on the Big Island, this was the one big clinker of the entire trip.

Visited April 2014
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2 Thank TooMuchSakeMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
1 review
“Mindblowing!!! Can't get better than this!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

I'm very lucky I chose Hawaii Forest & Trail's Mauna Kea tour as opposed to the many other options.

As an avid stargazer, I've been wanting to visit the observatories for some time now and this tour could not have been any better. It far exceeded my expectations.

Our tour guide (Nate) was very friendly and extremely knowledgable on everything. Made the entire journey very enjoyable.

The HFT website says it's own stargazing shows will be held around the Visitors Center. Initially, I wasn't sure I wanted to pay & book a tour because the visitor center site mentioned it hosted stargazing tours. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU BOOK A TOUR! We visited the center and they do indeed have a few telescopes set up but it was way too cloudy to see anything. The crowd was very large as well and it was difficult to get to a telescope.

Due to the cloudy conditions, our awesome tour guide decided to drive us up the mountain another 2k feet and find a clear spot.

We successfully found one and it was absolutely amazing... I was speechless for a bit when I first stepped out and looked up. 100% cloud free/no moon. Truly breathtaking. I couldn't have asked for better. The guide quickly brought out the telescope and gave us our own private stargazing show (and hot chocolate/brownies ;)) Again, this guy was incredibly knowledgable and interesting. Quickly finding nebulas and galaxies as well.

This tour is entirely worth the money and a MUST DO!








Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank HannahFM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Twilight Volcano Tour - Ambitious but incredible!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014

Our group of 4 ladies were excited to endeavor on this unique experience; mostly because none of us has done anything like it before. We came away from the tour exhausted (10 hours of learning, sightseeing, trekking) but fulfilled. Matthew, our tour guide & driver, was very accommodating and helpful. We traveled to a lava tube (crazy!), Rainbow Falls, around the city of Hilo, and to many places on Kiluea (steam vents, caldera, Jagger museum, lava fields, Devil's Throat crater, beach-side dinner and the caldera at twilight). The tour was great at hydrating and feeding us (although the food is not the reason you should come on this tour), and even better at ensuring that we found enough bathroom locations. Our favorite highlights include: the caldera at night (so fascinating!), Rainbow Falls, and the lava field walk. The bus was clean, comfortable -- and we're so thankful that we didn't need to drive (talk about weather: fog, pouring rain and pitch darkness). We would recommend to anyone!!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank lindseynader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“good hike, but could be better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014

This was a beautiful hike led by a great guide over amazing private land dotted with waterfalls. Two problems: 1) Some of the folks on our hike were unsteady on their feet and were so darn slow that it drove us nuts the entire time. The company should divide up the guests between those who want to hike and those who need to stroll and stop every two seconds to take pictures. 2) After the hike, they drive you to a beautiful spot for an absolutely horrible picnic. My advice is to show us the spot and then take us home. Skip the bad food and the mandatory "shopping experience" in the local town. My time in Hawaii is important to me and I don't want to waste it on bad sandwiches and forced shopping.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Nina F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
276 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
“Great experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014 via mobile

I'm usually not interested in tours because they often involve many stops at local shops, but Hawaii Forest and Trail came highly recommended. We took the twilight volcano tour which started before noon with pick up at our hotel and ended with return to the hotel after 10:00 pm. Although it's a long tour it was never dull and we would never have seen everything or had as much explanation if we went by ourselves. Our guide, Matthew, was extremely knowledgeable and provided us with an entertaining and informative outing. We travelled in a comfortable bus with lots of space and we had an enjoyable picnic lunch and dinner as well. It was great not to have to drive ourselves and we watched the magnificent sights as Matthew explained what we were looking at. We saw too much to describe here but this tour is a comfortable, informative way to see a great national park.

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

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