Travel Itinerary: Kona to Volcano + Hilo in 2 Days

Waipio Valley
 Heiau at King Kamehameha Hotel

Steam from lava ocean entry



Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Kona is paradise for beach-goers and sunbathers.  A must see attraction is the Kilauea Volcano located on the eastern (wind-ward) side of the island.  A lot of visitors to the Big Island will spend all of their time at the beach and unfortunately miss out on many wonderful natural attractions in and around Hilo.  The below itineraries help you plan your trip to the Volcano and the Hamakua Coast.

Kona to the Volcano (day 1)

EventTime ElapsedTime ActivityDescription
START 0:00 Depart Kona or Kohala Coast
2:30 2:30 Drive to the Volcanoes National Park (10$ entrance fee per vehicle) View road map
0:45 3:15 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 5:00 Halemaumau Crater with Mauna Loa in BackgroundDrive around Crater Rim Drive counter-clockwise stopping at these attractions:  Sulphur Banks; Jaegar Museum; Halemaumau Crater; Thurston Lava Tube
2:00 7:00 Sea cliffs, Chain of Craters RoadDrive 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
2:30 9:30 Lava flow ocean entryHike to scenic lookout to see the lava flow at dusk.  The first scenic lookout is a short 30 minutes from the parking area, the distant lookout is about 3 miles hike over rough lava each way (add additional time for this hike)
Spend the night at a hotel near Volcano or Hilo


Hilo / Hamakua Coast to Kona (day 2)

EventTime ElapsedTime ActivityDescription 
START 0:00 Depart Hilo or Volcano area hotel
0:30 0:30 Pick up plate lunch or sandwich to-go
0:30 1:00 View of Onomea BayDrive north to scenic drive detour at Onomea Bay along the Hamakua Coast. View road map.
2:45 3:45 Onomea FallsVisit Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens and Onomea Bay Trail
0:30 4:15 Stop at “What’s Shakin” Smoothee stand near the Botanical Gardens for refreshments
0:30 4:45 Continue north to Akaka Falls State Park
0:45 5:30 Akaka Falls, Big IslandHike short trail-loop and view Kahuna Falls and Akaka Falls
0:30 6:00 Rocky beach at the Waipio ValleyContinue driving north to the Waipio Valley Overlook
0:30 6:30 Enjoy the view from the overlook
0:30 7:00 Continue up the mountain to Waimea
1:00 8:00 Drive from Waimea, descending down to Kona
You have just driven all the way around the Big Island of Hawaii!


Lava ocean entry, Kilauea Volcano

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

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?

Vacation Rentals Big Island Vacation rentals are a deal

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

Discount Big Island Hotels Check out the latest rates

Shopping in Hawaii

Big Island Shopping Guide Guide to the shopping destination

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


Be Sociable, Share!

Related Posts:

  1. Travel Itinerary: Kona + Hilo in 2 Days
  2. Travel Itinerary: Hilo & Volcano in 8 Hours
  3. Travel Itinerary: Kona to Volcano in 12 Hours
  4. Travel Itinerary: One Week on the Big Island
  5. Travel Itinerary: Hamakua Coast in 8 Hours

Hawaii Activities

Speak Your Mind