Top 3 Destinations to visit inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (part I)
There are lots of great places to visit when you vacation in Hawaii. Beaches, waterfalls and rainforests top the list for most travelers. But if you are adventurous and willing to head over to the Big Island, consider taking one of many Hawaii volcano tours. The Big Island is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You could spend nearly a lifetime exploring the 333,000 acre park. But if you just have a few days, read this blog series for the top 3 destinations inside the park.
First, you’ll want to explore one of the world’s most active volcanoes: Mount Kilauea. This volcano has been erupting since 1983. In those 30+ years, the volcano has created more than 500 acres of new land. Lava flows at an average rate of 800-1,300 gallons per second from the eastern side of Kilauea. This means that the Big Island is getting bigger every single day! In fact, Kilauea means “spreading, much spewing” in Hawaiian.
While watching the lava is an amazing sight to see, Kilauea offers much more in the way of eco-tourism. This volcano has a unique variety of plants with forests in every stage of regeneration. A rainforest graces the windward side of Kilauea and then meets a desert on the hot and dry southwestern slope of the volcano. This variety makes it possible for you to see all different habitats in one trip.
Thousands of species live in the park. The ecology is so rich that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been named an international biosphere reserve and a world heritage site by the United Nations. Although there are some amazing species to be seen here, the park’s habitat is at risk from invasive species as well as feral pigs. A fence helps keep the pigs out and park workers are trying to rid the land of weeds and invasive species. Be sure to visit the park soon while this amazing diverse wildlife is still protected.
Kilauea is a great place to start in Volcanoes National Park. Like we mentioned, there’s a lot of variety on this volcano and it makes for great hiking or backpacking. You’ll also see the volcanic activity via lava tunnels and black sand beaches. This is an amazing experience and Kilauea is probably Hawaii’s most famous volcano.
Written By: Leo Malagon