Travel Itinerary: Hilo & Volcano in 8 Hours

Hilo Bay with Mauna Kea in Background

Hilo Bay with Mauna Kea in Background


Plan your Day in Hilo

There is a lot to see in and around Hilo town, including the impressiveVolcanoes National ParkAkaka FallsRainbow Falls, and Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens.  Whether you are a cruise-ship passenger or just short on time, you may only have one day to see everything,  If you only have one day to see the main attractions, a must-see is the Volcanoes National Park.

We recommend you take at least two days to visit all the attractions on the Hilo (eastern) side of the island.  But, if you have but one day, here is a suggested itinerary.

Remember to check the local weather forecast and consult Big Island maps and guide books for more details prior to starting your trip.  Review our suggested Hawaii packing list before you depart from home.

Tour of Hilo and Volcano in 8 Hours or less

Event Time Elapsed Time Activity Description
START 0:00 Arrive Hilo International Airport orDepart area hotel
0:15 0:15

Richardson Beach ParkDrive to Richardson Beach Park, walk around and take a look at the black sand beach and scenery

0:30 0:45 Rainbow Falls, Big Island HawaiiDrive to Rainbow Falls State Parkat the edge of Hilo town and view the falls
0:30 1:15 Pick up a Plate Lunch (Blane’s Drive Inn or Kuhio Grille) or Deli Sandwich (Manono Mini Mart) to-go for a picnic at the Volcano
0:45 2:00 Drive to the Volcanoes National Park (10$ entrance fee per vehicle) View road map
0:45 2:45 Volcanoes National Park Visitor's CenterStop at the Visitor’s Center, view exhibits and walk across street to the Volcano House and observation deck
1:45 4:30 Halemaumau Crater with Mauna Loa in BackgroundDrive around Crater Rim Drivecounter-clockwise stopping at these attractions:  Sulphur Banks; Jaegar Museum; Halemaumau Crater; Thurston Lava Tube
2:00 6:30 Lava flow ocean entryDrive to the ocean via the Chain of Craters Road and stop at these attractions: Scenic Overlooks; Holei Sea Arch; end of road where lava flowed
1:30 8:00 Drive back to Hilo, stop at Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory on the way home

For more help in planning your vacation, check out our articles:

 Travel Planning Articles

Planning your Trip When to come, how long to stay, books

Vacations for Families Best family beaches, activities for youngsters, infants, teens

Hawaiian Cruise Passengers Information about port calls in Hawaii

Sample Travel Itineraries Suggested itineraries, 1-2 day, 1 week

Island Activities Guide Guide to the activities & tours

Tips for Traveling with Kids Packing and flying with kids

Island Hopping Visit more than one Hawaiian island

Regions of the Big Island Geography and climate descriptions

Big Island Transportation How to get there, plan your driving

Rent a 4-Wheel Drive SUV Off-roading on the Big Island

Top 5 Attractions (You Might Miss) You’ll never hear about these…

Packing for your Trip Big Island scenery & weather is diverse

Big Island Wedding Planner How to plan your wedding in Hawaii

Accommodations Articles

Where to Stay Three different parts of the island to stay - which is best?

Bargain or 5 Star Hotel Stay at a resort or a bargain hotel

Vacation Rentals Big Island Vacation rentals are a deal

Discount Big Island Hotels Check out the latest rates

Shopping in Hawaii

Big Island Shopping Guide Guide to the shopping destinations

Hawaii Souvenirs The best souvenirs to buy in Hawaii

Gear & Equipment Articles

Gear for your Trip Get outfitted with the right gear

GPS Points of Interest (POI)  GPS Coordinates for Points of Interest

Kilauea lava flow, 2003

Kilauea lava flow, 2003

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