Kilauea Volcano is Top Hawaii Vacation Destination

Categorized as Big Island Vacation Information

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
For many visitors on a Hawaii vacation, Kilauea Volcano on the southeast side of the Big Island of Hawaii is the number one tourist attraction. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spans from the volcano’s huge summit crater surrounded by tropical rainforest down to the coast where the red-hot lava still pours into the sea.

Kilauea Volcano has been erupting almost continuously since 1983, making it the world’s most active volcano. Today the eruptions of Kilauea continue at a place known as Puu Oo Vent, a cinder cone that still sends out large lava flows that run like rivers all the way down to the coast.

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The scene where the lava hits the sea is spectacular with explosions of steam and gas amidst the fiery red liquid. The reaction that takes place when the lava hits the water creates the material for the nearby black sand beaches.

According to Hawaiian tradition, Kilauea Volcano is the home of the volcano goddess Pele who today may appear as an apparition in the clouds steaming up from the summit crater.

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Kilauea Visitor Center
More than 150 miles of trails within Volcanoes National Park take you to the bottom of crater floors, into deep and dark lava tubes and through the Hawaiian rainforest. Both the Waldron Ledge Trail and the Devastation Trail are paved and wheelchair accessible.

The Kilauea Visitor Center is open from 7:45am-5pm daily and provides trail information and permits. They also have various displays and interesting educational exhibits about the volcano.

One of the highlights of visiting Volcanoes National Park is taking the 11-mile drive around Crater Rim Drive atop the summit. In recent months the upsurge in activity within the huge Halemaumau Crater atop Kilauea Volcano has caused some areas of Crater Rim Drive to be off limits. Also at the summit is the Jaggar Museum which has great views into the summit crater and also interesting scientific exhibits related to volcanology.

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Chain of Craters Road follows Kilauea’s East Rift down 3,700 feet over a 20 mile span. Petroglyph fields along this route are remnants of the ancient Hawaiian culture still visible on the rocks. All through the area vast lava flows are visible reminding you of the volcano’s name, Kilauea, which means “much spreading.”