view from a helicopter tour in Hawaii
Seeing lava flows from the air is a highlight of Hawaii's volcano helicopter tours.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / bennymarty

5 Exciting Ways to See Hawaii's Volcanoes

Volcano Air Tours

One of the best and most spectacular ways to see the volcanoes in Hawaii is by taking an air tour. There are companies offering both plane and helicopter tours on various islands. Blue Hawaiian Helicopters offers a Big Island Tour (priced from $243) where you can see the craters of Kilauea Volcano as well as the path of recent lava flows in Puna and more. They also offer a helicopter tour where you can fly over the three volcanoes Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, and also get a close-up look at the lava flows and craters. This tour is priced from $569 and has an optional waterfall landing available for an even more exciting experience.

Tours by small plane are also on offer. While the big island has the most active volcanoes, you do not have to be staying there to experience the volcanoes. Various companies offer tours from nearby islands such as Oahu, Maui and Kauai that allow you to feel the excitement of the Big Island’s amazing volcanoes on a day tour.

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Lava flow into the oceanAn exciting way to experience the lava flow is by seeing it from the Ocean.Photo Credit: Getty Images / Justinreznick

Lava Ocean Tours

Another way to experience the lava flows from a different point of view is to book a lava ocean tour. When the season and lava flow allows, various companies offer lava ocean tours. You’ll get to get close to the lava flow in a boat. The view of the bright orange lava flowing into the ocean is an amazing sight, especially if you see it right at sunrise or sunset when the light is low. The tour takes approximately three to four hours and includes about 30 minutes of active viewing time of the lava ocean entry. The sea can be quite choppy, so be aware if you are prone to seasickness. But the trip is all worth it when you get the view of the lava. These tours cost around $350 per passenger. Whether or not lava ocean tours are available is highly dependent on the lava flow and whether or not it is visible from the water at the time of your visit, so please double check with your tour company and plan accordingly.

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