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Pele´s Fire and Myths

- 7 days walking tour exploring Kilauea´s historic eruption sites, Hawai'i -

Pele´s Fire and Myths - Kilauea Volcano

Day 1: Arrival in Hilo

Nighttime starry sky above Halema´uma´u crater
Nighttime starry sky above Halema´uma´u crater
Mauna Loa shield volcano
Mauna Loa shield volcano
Welcome dinner in one of Hilo´s delicious restaurants
Welcome dinner in one of Hilo´s delicious restaurants
You will be picked up from Hilo international airport and transfered to a comfortable hotel in the Hilo bay area where the group will meet for a welcome dinner in the evening. If your arrival time allows, we can pay a first visit to Hawai´i Volcanoes National Park and have an introduction to Kilauea volcano from a summit caldera lookout point.
Acc.: Comfortable seaside hotel in Hilo (D)

Day 2: Kilauea Iki eruption site - Volcano winery

View from the surrounding rainforest down to Kilauea Iki´s frozen lava lake and eruption vent
View from the surrounding rainforest down to Kilauea Iki´s frozen lava lake and eruption vent
Rare wild orchids
Rare wild orchids
Award winning wines at the Volcano Winery
Award winning wines at the Volcano Winery
After breakfast we drive to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and spend the morning exploring the 4 miles (6.4 km) Kilauea Iki trail (ca. 400 feet / 125 m climbing/ descending), the site of a now frozen lava lake that formed in 1959 right before the park visitors´ stunned eyes.
We then enjoy a nice lunch in Volcano village before visiting the Big Island´s only winery and taste their unique blends of traditional wine grapes with tropical fruits, as well as tea from their own produce. We finish the day with a relatively early dinner near the hotel as we will be getting up before dawn the next morning!
Acc.: Comfortable seaside hotel in Hilo (B, L, D)

Day 3: Halema´uma´u at sunrise - exploring Kilauea caldera

Glow of the lava lake above Halema´uma´u vent at dawn
Glow of the lava lake above Halema´uma´u vent at dawn
Exploring the fumaroles at steaming bluffs
Exploring the fumaroles at steaming bluffs
Local beach park near Hilo
Local beach park near Hilo
We make a very early start to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to be able to enjoy the starry night sky above Kilauea´s summit caldera before witnessing the colourful start of a new day. We reward ourselves with the best breakfast on the island before taking a short walk on the caldera rim (ca. 2 miles - 3.3 km) to explore the steam vents and sulphur deposits.
A light lunch in Hilo is followed by a relaxing afternoon at a local beach park with basaltic lava flows ideal for snorkeling and swimming, and/or visiting Hilo town.
Acc.: Comfortable seaside hotel in Hilo (B, L, D)

Day 4: Lava caves and Mauna Ulu eruption site

Walking in the frozen world of a once active lava tube
Walking in the frozen world of a once active lava tube
The small shield build during the 1969 - 1974 Mauna Ulu eruption
The small shield build during the 1969 - 1974 Mauna Ulu eruption
O´hia lehua is a pioneer species on new lava and the dominant tree in most mature Hawaiian forests
O´hia lehua is a pioneer species on new lava and the dominant tree in most mature Hawaiian forests
In the morning we will explore a tiny section of what is perhaps the longest known continuous lava cave in the world. Starting from near the caldera of Kilauea, it extends for more than 30 miles until reaching the sea near Hilo! Formed by Kilauea about 400 to 600 years ago, it displays a wealth of spectacular and some unique lava textures, shapes, colours and features.
After a nice lunch in Volcano village we continue our exploration of Kilauea´s more recent volcanic activity in the National Park, visiting the Mauna Ulu eruption site with its lava treed and driving down the Chain of Craters Road to the ocean where there is the possibility to see some of the island´s mysterious petroglyphs.
Acc.: Comfortable seaside hotel in Hile (B, L, D)

Day 5: Observing Kilauea´s ongoing eruption

The interaction between the hot lava and cold ocean water creates lots of steam and explosions
The interaction between the hot lava and cold ocean water creates lots of steam and explosions
When possible we hike to active outbreaks of lava flows
When possible we hike to active outbreaks of lava flows
Glimpse into the active lava lake of Pu´u O´o crater from a helicopter
Glimpse into the active lava lake of Pu´u O´o crater from a helicopter
As Kilauea is one of the world´s most active volcanoes, we will of course try to get some of its action! One day of the program is therefore dedicated to maximising the chance of seeing red hot lava, depending on the volcano´s current activity. If there are active lava flows breaking out overland that can be reached on foot, there will be the option to book an afternoon hike to these active flows. Lava flowing into the ocean gives the option of a spectacular sunrise boat tour to the ocean entry point and/or (bike and) hike towards this location. An early morning helicopter ride offers a chance to better appreciate the dimensions of Hawaii´s shield volcanoes as well as to fly over the active lava lake of the Pu´u O´o vent on the volcano´s east rift zone.
In the event that there is no possibility to see active lava, this day can be used to complete exploring the historic eruptions of Kilauea and/or to visit some impressive botanical gardens, waterfalls, the town of Hilo, a beach park, ...
Acc.: Comfortable seaside hotel in Hilo (B, L, D)

Day 6: Green sand beach and Punalu´u sea turtles

Hawaii´s green sand beach
Hawaii´s green sand beach
Driving along the coast to South Point
Driving along the coast to South Point
Green sea turtles relaxing on the black sand beach
Green sea turtles relaxing on the black sand beach
Right after breakfast we start our 2 hour drive down to South Point, taking in the change of scenery along the way as we travel from the humid climate in Hilo and Volcano to the drier and warmer part of the island. Equipped with our pick nick lunch, plenty of water and sun protection we undertake the 2,5 miles (4 km) hike towards the world famous green sand beach, carved out into an old cinder cone from which eroded olivine crystals are responsible for its colour.
In the afternoon we take our time to drive back to Hilo, taking a locally known scenic road and making a stop at the Punaluu black sand beach, built by eroded black lava, where Hawaii´s iconic sea turtles come to rest in the sun.
Acc.: Comfortable seaside hotel in Hilo (B, L, D)

Day 7: Departure or own extension

There is a last option for a morning helicopter flight over the east rift zone eruption site before your transfer back to Hilo airport for your return home or the start of your own extension.
Acc.: none (B)
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