Best Tours of the Big Island

Categorized as Big Island Vacation Information

If you are thinking of taking a tour on the Big Island there are many great choices from charter bus tours, boat tours, and helicopter tours. You can also tour remote areas on horseback or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

Since the Big Island is more than twice as big as all of the rest of the Hawaiian Islands combined, there is lots of ground to cover and many great attractions to see.

Planning a trip to the Big Island? Check out our Kona vacation rentals.

Kilauea Volcano
One of the most popular attractions on the Big Island is Kilauea Volcano as it continues to erupt its lava. While the summit is astounding, with steamy vents and cauldrons of fire in the crater, most lava comes out of the volcano along a lower ridge and then flows down toward the ocean, erupting in explosions of steam and gasses as it hits the sea.

Volcano tours to see Kilauea Volcano include bus trips up to the summit as well as lava watching tours that take you to an area along the coast to watch the lava enter the ocean.

You will also stop at a nearby black sand beach to see the products of all of these lava explosions that create the tiny black grains that make some of the nicest Hawaiian beaches. Some volcano tours take place in the evening so you can see the red hot lava glowing in the dark.

Helicopter Tours
One of the most remarkable ways to see the volcano is to take a helicopter tour as it can reach the areas where there are no roads or hiking trails and provide a birds-eye view of the many cinder cones, craters, calderas, and of course the flowing lava.

ATV Tours
If you like riding through the backcountry on an ATV then the Big Island has some excellent ATV tours, particularly in the Kamuela area where the Parker Ranch provides scenic views of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country.

Stay nearby in one of our Waikoloa vacation rentals.

Boat Tours
Whale watching tours are among the most thrilling tours on the Big Island. Large and luxurious vessels as well as smaller and more adventurous craft depart from the harbor at Kona in search of the leviathan marine mammals.

During the winter months the 45-ton humpbacks often breach up from the surface and turn their bodies around and then land on their back with a thunderous splash. Some whale watching tours provide underwater hydrophones that amplify the songs of the whales so you can listen to them aboard the boat. Sightings of spinner dolphins are also common during boat tours.

Planning to take a boat tour out of Kailua-Kona? Stay in one of our Kailua Kona vacation rentals.

If you are in the mood for simply relaxing and having some fun then you might try a Sunset Cocktail Cruise out of Kailua-Kona. These adults-only cruises include live music, appetizers, and an open bar as you cruise the scenic Kona coastline.