Get a Front-Row “Hot” Seat
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