Get a Front-Row “Hot” Seat

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - IT’S A BIG, BIG ISLAND -

This year, Madam Pele, the leg­endary vol­cano god­dess, de­cided it was time for a lit­tle house­keep­ing at her fa­vorite vol­cano, Ki­lauea. Things may have changed by the time you read this, but flows have been head­ing into new di­rec­tions, a new erup­tion has started, and there was even a col­lapse of the crater floor!

Lava flow up­dates can be found on the Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes Na­tional Park site and at http://vol­ca­noes.usgs.gov/hvo/ac­tiv­ity/ ki­laueas­t­a­tus.php, or by call­ing (808) 961-8093.

There are sev­eral ways to get in on the ex­cite­ment of Ki­lauea’s ac­tiv­ity. Lava boat tours have be­come a pop­u­lar at­trac­tion; boat com­pa­nies like Lava Ocean Ad­ven­tures will be ready to ferry pas­sen­gers to a front-row seat. Mean­while, al­ter­nate tours are avail­able.

When fiery-hot lava, some­times boil­ing at 2,100 de­grees Fahren­heit, col­lides with cool sea­wa­ter, the im­pact is stag­ger­ing. Pic­ture a pow­er­ful grenade that ex­plodes into a foun­tain of steam and hurls vol­canic de­bris ev­ery which way. Safe view­ing is pos­si­ble via sev­eral op­tions, in­clud­ing hik­ing, bik­ing and noc­tur­nal heli­copter flights.

A 10-mile bike ride will get you to the show. BikeVol­cano.com has de­signed a tour that pro­vides sun­set views of lava hit­ting the sea and in­cludes a stop in Kala­pana, a vil­lage rav­aged by ear­lier lava flow.

Take to the sky for a panoramic view of molten lava burn­ing and ooz­ing over black lava fields. Big Is­land Air con­ducts night flights, and Par­adise He­li­copters flies over the vol­cano in a chop­per with­out doors.

• Big Is­land Air (808) 329-4868 • BikeVol­cano.com (808) 934-9199 • Blue Hawai­ian He­li­copters Hilo (808) 961-5600 or

Waikoloa (808) 886-1768 • Kala­pana Cul­tural Tours (808) 936-0456 • Lava Ocean Ad­ven­tures (808) 966-4200 • Par­adise He­li­copters (808) 969-7392 • Sa­fari He­li­copters (808) 969-1259

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