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How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

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Boston, Ma
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How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

This will be my second trip to the volccano at the end of this month.

My flight from Maui will get me to Hilo at 10:30 am. I'm planning a 1-hr helicopter tour straight from the airport when we arrive. After that, we have 6 nights on the BI.

I planned on 2 nights in volcano and 4 at hapuna prince. Should I do just one night in voolcano since I am getting there so early in the day??

I am travelling with my husband plus my parents (age 68 and 73) and a 3-yr old so we will not be hiking too much, but we do want to see VNP, lava tube, and a short evening hike to see lava (maybe longer if the grandparents stay back with the 3-yr old). I was wondering if 2 nights are to many...should we plan on 1 or 2 nights in volcano?? any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

Two nights are not too long. Most people find plenty to do on the east side.

There is no short hike to lava that is consistently available. I don't know to what you're referring. The hike there is, is not near VNP. Are you up to date on the lava flow? If not, check the two lava viewing topics. I bumped them up.

Your parents and the three year old should not even consider the lava viewing thing. It is rough terrain, and the gases could be very damaging or even fatal to a small child. You know about that, right? Seeing the lava is not safe for all ages, and the current conditions are a bit risky for everyone.

Boston, Ma
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2. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

thank you, that is very informative.

Is it safe for a 3-yr old to tour the lava tube and drive around the park? I remember last time I did a daytime drive inside VNP that was quite nice but there were sulfur springs (unsafe for children??). We also drove out to what seemed like the end of the earth late at night and we did see some "glow" but not any flow after a short hike; I realize a longer hike is needed to see actual lava (if you are lucky) and that would be something I would do with just my husband, no kids.

I just did not know if the limited things I could do with young and old travelers would make a 2 day/1 night trip better in vocano.

Denver, Colorado
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3. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

2 nights in Volcano will allow you to explore Volcano and as far east as Black Sand Beach and Hilo water falls and gardens as far north as maybe Waipio Valley overlook. Then maybe Captain Cook sites on your way to other end of the island. If not maybe Place of Refuge as your last day trip, then dinner in Kona and last sundown before airport.

Here's a good drive guide to get you oriented.

www.alternative-hawaii.com/byotgdxb.htm

If you are landing in Hilo then a nice B&B like the Shipman House is also a possibility. Maybe add a 3rd night if you are intending to explore lower Puna district.

If your parents or child has any signs of respiratory problems or allergies stay clear of sulfur banks and check conditions of air quality when you stop at the VNP Visitor Center. The Thurston Lava tube will be fun for the little one but watch your head.

Regarding seeing lava up close get some advice at the Visitor Center. Depending on conditions it might not be possible at all. Sometimes an evening glow from Jaggar Museum is possible. I would avoid bringing a parents and child to the Kalapana area (getting lost in the dark, poor air quality, rough terrain). Maybe a good excuse to get away from the kids one night?

Port Angeles, WA
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4. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

Thurston Lava Tube is great. Make sure you bring flashlights with you. The place you are staying may be able to lend you some.

Boston, Ma
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5. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

excellent advice!! you read my mind - we may hike alone on the second night and leave the little one with his grandarents. I have reservations at Kilauea Lodge, but I am considering changing to KMC because my dad is a veteran, I just want to stay where is easiest, closest and most pleasant for everyone.

Do you think the Chain of Craters drive is ok for a 3-yr old? or does it just depend on the conditions?

When we depart Volcano, we are headed to the Hapuna Prince for 6 nights. During that time we are doing the Maunea Kea stargazing tour (child & grandparents left behind) so I like to ration my babysitting favors: ) Last time we tried to do Mauna Kea alone and my husband got really lightheaded and a little delerious right before the summit and we had to return to the visitors center. So this time we will take the tour, no driving.

Do you think it is worth it to have all of us on an organized tour of Volcano through one of the reputable outfits?

Boston, Ma
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6. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

great! we actually already bought (and tried out) out Petzl Headlamps for the tube!!

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

The tube will be great for you and the kids.

As you already discovered, the sulphur banks are high gas, would avoid. Jaggar Museum is relatively high gas, maybe avoid too much time there.

Chain of Craters you go through pockets of gas, you will see it, keep your windows up and your A/C on.

The lava hike is not at the end of CoC any more. It sounds to me like you remember the pre-2007 conditions. The new lava viewing is in Kalapana, which is a good hour away, and the whole thing is not right for a child that young or for elders.

Read the Legal Lava Tour topic and the end of the Lava Viewing 2010 topic and the lead post ... you will get the picture. Be sure to check out the lava blog by Leigh Hibert.

http://hawaiianlavadaily.blogspot.com/

I see no way around calling in babysitting favor on the real lava viewing. You may see a glow at the summit vent in the park after dusk, if the night is clear.

Staying at KMC sounds like a plan.

I recommend the Panaewa rain forest zoo for your little one and your parents and you too. It's quite a charming place, a lovely walk, as much botanical garden as zoo, free (but donate). There is a petting zoo for two hours on Saturday, but that may not work.

They rent bug push cars for $5 that are a treat for small kids.

About the idea to hike alone, you will learn that you cannot "hike" alone at this time ... without the rest of your party, yes, but you need a guide for safety and to be legal. It is on private property and trespassing has been a big issue. Now if it happens there are surface breakouts near the public area in Kalapana, you may be able to see it without a hike. In any case, there is no "hiking" from that viewing area. The civil defense decides exactly where people can go, and it's not far.

It is, however, a good walk in, call Civil Defense and ask. They had a parking area, then the lava moved and covered the parking area, and they moved the new parking farther away. It really seems to shift a lot, so you must call and get the conditions in order to figure out whether to go there or down to Uncle Roberts for the $50 a head guided tour, which is a 2-3 hour hike in the dark towards the ocean entry.

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

What is "KMC?" We are looking for somewhere to stay for 2 nights in Volcano. Family of 6.

Island of Hawaii...
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9. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

Kilauea Military Camp.

Denver, Colorado
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10. Re: How Many Nights in Volcano - Need Itinerary Help!

Check out the Deck House at My Island B&B for family of 6. If not there's a pretty good smattering of rentals in the area as well.