On this private tour of the island of Hawai'i, you have the flexibility to see and do things that most interest you as you benefit from the knowledge of a local guide. Beginning in Volcanoes National Park, you’ll see the active shield volcano, Kilauea, which could be billowing with steam or even spurting out glowing lava. And, as you walk across the swirling charcoal-like rock landscape of the park’s lava fields, you might pass steam vents, cinder cones and old road signs that indicate where roads have been claimed by lava flows.
Your guide can also drive you down the Chain of Craters Road to see where a lava flow crossed the road in 2003, and you can walk through rainforest to a lava tube — a natural tunnel formed when lava flows beneath the hardened surface of a previous lava flow.
Another option is to take a 6.4 km (4 mile) round-hike along the Kilauea Iki (meaning ‘little Kilauea’) trail, which traces the rim of the Kilauea Iki Crater before taking you down onto the crater floor. There’s also the 8 km (5 mile) Devastation Trail, which takes you through the barren cinder landscape formed following the eruption of Kilauea Iki in 1959. Your guide will point out where the cinders are now being reclaimed by both native and invasive flora.
Once you have explored the volcanic landscape, you could visit one of the island’s black-sand beaches, or venture to Rainbow Falls, which cascades 24 m (80ft) into a pool surrounded by forest. Just a short drive away from Rainbow Falls is Pe‘epe‘e Falls (also known as the Boiling Pots), which is part of the Wailuku River. Here, a succession of deep, terraced hollows were formed as lava cooled in the river bed. When flooded by the rising river levels, the turbulent water in these ‘pots’ appears as though it’s boiling.