Volcano Explorers – Hawaii, Big Island

Today was just a little bit more chilled. A nice late start … breakfast on the balcony watching the boats drift past and generally just rested.

Then the fun started with a helicopter ride around Big Island. Our mission was to find lava … that’s right, we were going to a volcano and it was just as spectacular as we thought. To be honest I was surprised, when you think about a volcano you want big splashes of red and lava pouring down the side of the mountain like in the movie Dante’s Peak. But you know in your mind that is just not possible and you convince yourself that you aren’t really going to see anything. The truth is somewhere in between, definitely not flowing rivers of lava but it was fascinating to see the devastation this particular volcano had caused. Acres and acres of barren lava covered land a big black stain on the lush tropical landscape. The caldera itself was large, smoking and we did see smaller bright red patches of bubbling lava so to me it was epic, my first volcano!

Now what I wasn’t expecting of course was just how spectacular the rest of the landscape truly was. The deep valleys full of waterfalls, rivers and lush forest and the rugged coastline were almost more impressive with the stark bareness of the volcano.

So a few tips;

  • Wear dark colors, white or bright colors or even your skin if you have my type of complexion can cause reflections on your window ruining your photo’s. Wear dark colors even longer shorts so nothing gets in the way of the perfect shot.
  • Be aware that you may not get a window seat, mostly with couples one person gets the window and the other gets the seat next to you so play nice with your neighbors.
  • Finally, pee before you go, you really don’t want to be busting to go on the flight, it sounds pretty self explanatory but to be honest, those seat belts are tight and you don’t want anything distracting you

The Details

Who Did We Book With – We booked with Sunshine Helicopters which are located about an hour north of Kona. If you are located in Hilo instead of Kona I would suggest using one of the companies located on that side of the island

Cost – Lets be honest, this is not a cheap trip at approx $500 per person but I will also say, how often are you able to fly over a caldera full of bubbling lava. Totally worth it!


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