Ashley was our excellent guide - fun, very skilled and knowledgeable! First she drove us to a park area and we got out and looked, and made a few other stops. Then we went to the site where we walked the cooled lava fields to see where the molten lava flows into the ocean and creates a huge cloud of white smoke! Intermittently we could briefly see the pink/red lava itself. We had never seen or walked on a volcano so this was unforgettable. Be aware that it's a long, hot hike (almost 5 miles round trip) and rain is possible, so wear sun protection! Walking back to the van is uphill!! It's worth it though.
This was a memorable day. Yes, it was expensive but we saw things we'll never have the chance to see again. We hiked down into Kilauea then across the crater and back up again. It was great! Afterwards the bus stopped at a waterfall as well.
If you've never hiked down into, across and up out of a volcanic crater this is an excellent adventure. I will point out that it is listed as strenous and they mean it! So, before you book this get to the gym and get in shape so you can fully appreciate the magnitude of where you are and what you're doing.
We booked a local tour through Vavoom Volcano Tour to hike the Kilauea crater floor. I found them through yelp reviews. Lori was the one who gave us a tour and fortunate for us, it turned out to be a private tour because we were the only ones who booked the crater floor hike that day. It was really cool to see the crater from the top, then hike down to the crater, then across. We also roasted marshmellows at the bottom of the crater on the steam vents. Hiking back up was a killer though. We both felt like we were still rocking side to side like we're on the boat, and that's what made the last part of the hike extra difficult. All in all, this was an awesome experience!
This day was very unusually hot at the crater, which made the hike extremely strenuous. We were given one small bottle of water to do us for the 7 hrs, so we were very glad we brought our own bottles as well. There has not been any red lava viewed here for over 2 yrs, so be aware that you are pretty much just going to see steam vents and lava rock formations.
The lunch of wraps, chips and cookies were adequate. There were 3 guides from the tour company Arnott's that drove us there in small buses and were we're then combined into one group for the hike. Alan was obviously the most senior and most knowledgable, then Mike who was a bit grumpy and not too happy with the high temperature of the day (though he always managed to find himself a little shaded spot, while the rest of us were left out in the sun to hear his occasional tidbits), then there was James from Kentucky - enough said. This was my least favorite excursion of all the ports.
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