Getting Up Close & Personal with the Fire Goddess: Part II
Editor’s note: This is the second entry in a two-part series on volcano tours in Hawaii. The first is available here.
There are all sorts of ways to get up close and personal with nature in Hawaii. You can lounge on the beach and watch the waves crash, or become one with the waves by surfing them. You can hike through the beautiful parks, or go climbing up a cliff face. But there’s only one way that allows you to come face to face with one of the earth’s most dynamic, destructive forces: a lava hike.
No, you’re not actually hiking on lava. But on the Big Island, Kalapana Cultural Tours does take visitors inside Kilauea, the world’s most active – and Hawaii’s youngest – volcano. There, guides who’ve experienced the volcano’s destructive power firsthand lead you deep into this simultaneously mesmerizing spectacle of lava-borne regeneration.
So what, exactly, have the guides experienced of Kilauea? Since the 1980s, eruptions have destroyed much of the Kalapana District, where the guides are from. According to the USGS website, an ongoing eruption that began in 1983 has been the single biggest contributor:
By December 2012, flows had covered 125.5 km2 (48.4 mi2) with about 4 km3 (1 mi3) of lava, and had added 202 hectares (500 acres) of new land to K?lauea’s southeastern shore. Lava flows had also destroyed 214 structures, and resurfaced 14.3 km (8.9 mi) of highway, burying them with as much as 35 m (115 ft) of lava.
And yet, the locals stayed to share their knowledge of the power of the fire goddess, Tutu Pele. As you might expect, this lava tour isn’t for the feint of heart, nor is it for people with recent physical injuries. It’s an arduous trek across volatile, uneven terrain, and Kalapana Cultural Tours requires you bring certain supplies and equipment, such as water, covered shoes, and long pants.
Still, the payoff at the end of this journey is worth all of the effort and risk.
We had a wonderful time at Sail Away and I recommended Hawaii Hideaway to dozens of people. You were a delight to work with and I will definitely use you again the next time we rent a home in the islands.
Like a Dream
Bliss doesn’t even describe our experience. It was almost like a dream. We are ready to do this again with Hawaii Hideaways – you guys are the best. Everything was perfect!!!
Outstanding Experience From Beginning to End
It was in an outstanding experience from beginning to end, I would work with Hawaii hideaways again in the future unquestionably. Sunny Madeiros was terrific with her recommendations of everything from leisure activities to restaurants and even equipment rentals.
Coral Gables, FL
Perfect Combination of Elegance and Comfort
First time to Maui (and Hawaii). This is a spectacular setting and the home is a perfect combination of elegance and comfort. I could stay on the lanai all day long and be happy. Of course there’s a ton of fun activities, but it was great to have Gull Cottage as our base to come back to!
Arlington Heights, IL
You’re Going to Want to Stay
Our family spent a splendid week in Kauai in early 2017, basing ourselves out of the Touching Green house. It’s in a great location, has everything you need, and is just lovely. The pictures don’t do it justice. You’re going to want to stay!
We had a wonderful time in Kauai! We remained in awe at the unimaginable beauty, both of the rental home, as well as Kauai itself. It will be a treasured memory for life. I hope we can come back and make more memories.