This remarkable experience takes you through Puna and various beautiful spots along the coast. We pick you up at the docks or your hotel in Hilo. We drive to the district of Puna, where you will see first-hand what the most active volcano in the world has been up to for the past 20 years. The youngest lava flow (from just a year ago, in May of 2018) is still evident along the route as the steam and destruction are clearly visible. We will stop along the highway and learn about the Star of the Sea church. This beautiful old church was moved from its original location because of the lava flow from 1989. From there, visit the new Kalapana village and listen to the account of how that it was destroyed by Kilauea. We will be driving along the coast. Part of this was an old Hawaiian trail called the “Kings Highway.” There are breathtaking scenes along this coastal road, and we will be stopping in several locations to take pictures. At one point, we will be driving directly through where the new lava flow went. You can see fissure 8 at a distance and get up close to the powerful lava flow that destroyed homes and disrupted an entire community for 3 months. Ultimately there were 24 fissures, and at one point, Fissure 8 had 26,000 gallons of lava coming out of it every second. We then arrive at Pohoiki, a local hangout and surf spot. The newly formed black sand beach is the pride of Puna. You can walk around and explore this beach park and get your feet wet in the surf. We will be here for a little over an hour. Our next stop is Leilani Estates. Experience firsthand how this small community was uprooted by the lava flow of 2018. There are four main spots that we take you to where you can see how miles of land was buried under lava. You can walk around and explore some of the newest lands in the world. Then off to the quaint plantation village of Pahoa to enjoy a local restaurant and explore some of the old shops reminiscent of a bygone era. On the way back to Hilo, you can visit the Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Farms and gift shop. As time permits, we will also visit Coconut Island, Liliuokalani Gardens, and Banyan Drive.
What to Wear:
Closed-toe shoes are an absolute must. You cannot come on this tour without them. We will be walking over hazardous terrain and entering several areas that are very hot. We recommend wearing full-length bottoms, no shorts or dresses, due to the steam inside the fissures.