What’s so Special About Mount Kilauea?

Mount Kilauea is one of five volcanoes that helped form the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. What’s special about Mount Kilauea is that it’s the most active volcano in Hawaii and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Kilauea is a shield volcano, meaning it is built almost entirely of fluid lava and has a low profile. As for Hawaii volcanoes, Mt. Kilauea is quite popular. Nearly 2.6 million people visit this volcano annually.

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The word Kilauea means “spewing” or “much spreading” in Hawaiian. This refers to the volcano’s activity and frequent outpouring of lava. While 90 percent of the volcano is made up of relatively young lava—that which is younger than 1,000 years—some of the oldest lava exposed at Mt. Kilauea is 2,800 years old. The first well-documented eruption of Mt. Kilauea was in 1823. The current eruption has been flowing since January of 1983 and is the longest eruption ever documented for this volcano. Not only that, this is one of the longest documented eruptions in the world. Since 1983, the lava flow has created more than 48 square miles of land.

Now that you know a little more about Mt. Kilauea, how about a tour? Hawaii volcano tours are popular and well done in the islands. This is a great chance to do something unique on your vacation. You can even take a tour if you aren’t necessarily staying on the Big Island. Round trip airfare is included with some tours, so you can travel from Oahu to the Big Island to see this magnificent wonder.

Take an aerial tour to see the lava flow first hand. Or you can take an eco-adventure tour and take a mini coach around lava-lined roads. Walk on the black sand beaches and dip your toes into the ocean where it meets the lava flow. Hike through the Thurston Lava Tube to see just how big of an impact a lava flow can have. Hit the museum and gift shop to document your trip and send postcards to your loved ones.

Visiting Volcanoes National Park and seeing Mt. Kilauea firsthand is a once in a lifetime experience. No one knows how long this eruption will last, so you want to see it while you can! It’s amazing to think that the Hawaiian Islands were all formed by erupting volcanoes at one point. Visiting Mt. Kilauea is like visiting the beginning of time in some ways.

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