Kona: Doors-Off Hualalai Craters
Update as of 1/4/20: This tour flies over Hualalai Volcano which is not currently erupting. Kilauea Volcano in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is currently erupting and you have a good chance of seeing red, hot, flowing lava if you fly with us over that area on one of these tours:
Kona lies in the shadow of the island’s third largest and the third most active volcano in Hawai’i – Hualālai Volcano. In 1801, fast-moving lava erupted from craters downhill into the ocean in just two short hours. On this doors-off tour, you’ll have an unobstructed view into Hualālai’s craters including a small pit crater called Luamakami, which is one of the deepest structures of its kind anywhere in the world.
Hualālai Volcano is an important ecological site, home to several rare species which are protected by a nature reserve and a national historic park. Native stands of Ohia and Koa grow on the western and northern flanks of Hualālai, endemic trees that feature prominently in Hawaiian culture and provide vital habitat for wildlife.
After Hualalai, your pilot will head South over Kona Coffee Country and rich agricultural zones. Learn about the ancient Hawaiian land subdivisions of ahupua’a, strategically shaped to include many different elevations ranging from mountaintop to shoreline. This variety of climates enabled inhabitants to grow a wide variety of crops that flourished under different growing conditions, and access fresh water as well as the bounty of the sea.
Fly over the Marine Life Conservation District of Kealakekua Bay where you can look for the white obelisk of Captain James Cook Monument, marking the site of the first recorded European contact with the Hawaiian people. You’ll soar over the snorkeling hotspot of Kahaluu Bay, beautiful beaches and coves, and the ancient Heiaus (temples) of Hāpaiali`i and Ke`ekū.
Enjoy views of Historic Kailua Village and downtown Kona which were inhabited for centuries by ancient Hawai’ian nobles – this area housed several royal complexes throughout history. Hulihe’e palace in downtown Kona still stands,and the bay’s waters are now famous for hosting the Hawai’ian International Billfish Tournament and the Kona Ironman World Championships.
Want to know why your sushi yesterday tastes so fresh?! Right outside of the Kona International Airport you will get a view of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority, an innovation park hosting cold-water aqua farms raising Hawaiian Kampachi, Abalone, Lobster and more. You may have even tried a bottle of ice-cold desalinated deep ocean water that came from a depth of 3000’ and took a 1000 years to travel halfway across the world to reach the Kona depths.
There’s no better way to see Hualalai Volcano and learn about Kona’s rich and intriguing history.
- Hualālai Volcano & Craters
– Puʻu Waʻawaʻa (3,967’)
– Luamakami Pit Crater
- Kona Coffee district & surrounding tropical farms
- Kealakekua Bay Marine Preserve
- Captain James Cook Monument
- Holua Slide at Keauhou
- Historical Kailua Village
- Hulihe’e palace and downtown Kona
- Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
- Natural Energy Lab and coastal tech and research facilities
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For answers to common questions please read our faq.
- Two-way communication between you, your pilot, and your group
- For optimal availability, we recommend you inquire 48 hrs or more before your desired flight time
- Closed-toe shoes required
For Doors-Off Flights:
- A jacket is suggested as the flight is cool and windy
- All cameras and sunglasses must have straps
- No hats permitted on the flight
About our Kona base:
- Self-Pay parking at Kona Airport.
- For air adventures departing from Kona, we offer free pick up and drop off to locations along the Kona Coast from the Hapuna area to the North and the Keauhou area to the South. To request free round-trip transportation, reply to your confirmation email with your request and provide a hotel name. Paradise Helicopters will confirm availability for your date via email and/or phone. (Based on availability. Limitations may apply. May not be combined with other offers).
Easy: Suitable for adults, children and seniors.
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If you are booking less than 48 hours in advance, please call to confirm availability.
All tours are open to the public and are sold by the individual seat. Make your tour PRIVATE by booking all 6 seats on the aircraft.
All staff & guests are required to wear masks. Learn more about our elevated health & safety protocol in response to COVID-19.