The tour continues to the Puna district (about 1 hour drive from the Park), where you will witness and learn about the powers of both destruction (of property) and creation (of land) from eruptions over the past 50 years, including a lava flow in 2015 that put the town of Pahoa on edge as it crept towards it. Walk over land that is likely younger than you, including a black sand beach.
After a catered local dinner, you will visit one of two locations, depending on the best conditions that day, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience viewing glowing red lava under the night sky! Currently lava can be seen flowing down the volcano at Kalapana, and you will be viewing the spectacle safely from a private observation deck, with binoculars for some close-ups. Alternatively, you will return to the Park to see the glow of bubbling lava in the active crater.
The van picks up at multiple convenient locations in Hilo (included), Kona (extra $20/person), and Waikoloa (extra $20/person). Approximate pick-up and end times are (Oct 1 – April 31 / May 1 – Sept 30):
Hawaii Big Island Revealed Guidebook:
If you had to name the one thing the Big Island is most famous for, it would undoubtedly be Kilauea Volcano. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is the most fascinating place you may ever visit.
It is a humbling experience to stand there and observe Earthly creation, like seeing the planet during its fiery adolescence. There are not many places on this planet where you can walk on ground younger than you are, where you can be assured that there is absolutely nothing alive beneath your feet except for the earth itself. We've been there when people from all over the world stand in awe, tears streaming down their cheeks as they tell their children, "You may never see anything like this again in your lifetime.
Lonely Planet Guidebook:
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: Hawaii’s Top 20
If you do nothing else on the Big Island, do the volcano