6/1/2019 - The Volcanoe is still sleeping, and we would recommend that our guests spend a little less time in Volcanoes National Park and more time exploring elsewhere until the lava becomes visible again. Leilani Estates or the old lava field near Kalapana are worth seeing and Kaumana Caves in Hilo is where you can walk thru a lava tube. Check out the botanical gardens, zoo, ziplining, waterfalls, museums, beaches, farmers market, and everything else the Hilo area has to offer. Plus Hilo is just a short drive to Mauna Kea.
12/10/18 - Leilani Estates just opened up for viewing and hiking. Leilani Estates is where the recent lava breakout and lava fountain occurred. You can see the new lava cone, fissures, and where the lava river was flowing. Very unique experience.
9/20/18 - Volcanoes National Park has reopened and the lava has seemed to quiet down for now. Still steam rising in many areas and guests can go to the park to see all the changes that have happened with the landscape of the volcano. Guests are also still going up in helicopters to see what the recent lava flow has done.
7/5/18 - Lava still flowing strong and boat and helicopter tours are amazing our guests every day. Many are skipping the Kona side and spending a little extra time in Hilo doing day trips and enjoying all that we have to offer in paradise.
5/18/18 - Now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see lava flowing and potentially a lava fountain. While many seem to think that Hawaii should be avoided right now, the complete opposite is true. If seeing lava is on your bucket list, you need to get here ASAP. Guests that are going on helicopter tours or boat tours are rewarded with seeing fresh lava, a lava river, and sometimes a lava fountain, where lava is shooting into the air. What a unique and extremely rare opportunity for those that are coming to the Big Island. Come soon so you don't regret missing this opportunity.
5/6/18 - The following is to address concerns by our guests into the current conditions of the Big Island considering the recent earthquake and breakouts of lava. While it is very unfortunate what is happening, it should not affect most of our guests with the exception of the extreme hikers that want to hike the lava field. The area that has experienced the lava is within 5 miles of the old lava field and has had lava breakouts and flows over the years. The reason it is big news is that this particular subdivision has not had lava in almost a century and in that time has become very developed, so many homes and people are affected. Currently our guests are not experiencing any issues with their vacations. They are still able to do and see all the items on their list. Most of our guests are taking advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. While the National Park is closed, you are not missing much as compared to what you are able to see right now with a helicopter or boat tour. Typically at the park you see the crater and smoke or a glow at night. Right now you can see a mile wide lava river as it flows into the ocean. What an amazing experience. Hilo Bay Oceanfront Bed and Breakfast is in Hilo and is 45 minutes away from the affected area. We are located in lava zone 7 which means that we will probably never be affected by the volcano and lava. The area that is currently being affected is in the most dangerous lava zones 1 and 2.
Lava is one of the main reasons people come to the Big Island and it makes Volcanoes National Park the number one tourist destination in all of Hawaii. Even though the park is closed, you should still be scheduling your vacation to come here and take advantage of this opportunity to see the lava flow before it is gone. Plus you can explore one of the other lava tubes on the island so you are not really missing to much at the park.
Boat tour (3 minutes from our house): Has converted to a waterfall and whale watching tour as no visible flowing lava right now.
Helicopter tour (5 minutes to the airport from our house): Many of our guest have taken a helicopter tour of the new lava area in Leilani Estates. Some say that they got a small peak at some lava, depends on the day and the pilot.
Bike/Hike where lava flows into the ocean (closed temporarily): You can go to Kalapana and rent a bike or hike the four miles to where the lava flows into the ocean. The cost for a bike rental is around $15 to $20 and they also do have pull behinds for your little kids. The path is mostly gravel and relatively flat with some hills. This is an economical way to see the lava flow, but many of our guests say that when they get to the viewing platform, all they see is steam, so not the best way to see the lava.
Breakouts: No current breakouts, but Leilani Estates just opened up for viewing and hiking. Great opportunity to see the new lava formation and hardened lava river. Easy viewing and all levels of hiking available. Some active steam vents. You can also hike the old lava field in Kalapana, but I would think the focus has changed to the new lava field in Leilani Estates.
Volcanoes National Park: The park is open and very beautiful and unique experience. Many areas of steam visible so there is lava, but the lava is not visible right now.
Where to stay:
Hilo is the place to stay right now. People are coming here and doing the helicopter and boat tours that are 3-5 minutes from our B & B and getting a once in a lifetime lava show. Volcano is still experiencing issues with the crater collapsing so most guests are not staying up their, plus the park is still closed. Kona side is experiencing heavier vog that normal and so you need to plan for that. Most of our guests are just spending an extra few days in Hilo and planning their day trips from here.
No matter where you stay, we recommend that you spend a minimum of two days on the Hilo side to see everything you are going to want to see, and three is much better. We also have good beaches and snorkeling, turtle watching, Big Island Candies tour, Mauna Loa macadamia nut tour, Mauna Kea star gazing at the visitor center and observatory, and .......