In one moment, you’re standing in the middle of a lush tropical rainforest; in another, you’re on the edge of a steaming active volcano. You’ve just traversed the Kilauea Iki Trail in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, located on the island of Hawaii about two hours away from Kona Reef.
The park, which was recently rated as one of America’s best national parks by The Telegraph, is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa – as well as dramatic elevation changes and a stunning diversity of plants, animals, and landscapes.
Photo Credit: ArtBrom/Flickr
There are plenty of unforgettable things to see in this massive park, which covers about 333,000 acres of southeastern Hawaii Island. Perhaps the easiest way to take it all in is by car along the park’s Crater Rim and Chain of Craters roads. Both paths take you by many of the park’s main attractions, such as the Kilauea Overlook, the Thurston Lava Tube, and the Holei Sea Arch. Additionally, the park has more than 150 miles of accessible hiking trails and ample opportunities for biking enthusiasts.
Photo Credit: Travel Stock Photos/Flickr
Of course, lava viewing may be the park’s most popular activity. Kilauea volcano continually spews molten lava from two locations, although the public can only access one – Halemaumau. You can view this site from the Jaggar Museum, located near the Kilauea Visitor Center, or at other points along Crater Rim Drive. Although you can see the eruptions at any time of the day, perhaps the best time to view them is either at sunset or sunrise when the red hot lava contrasts with the dark sky. This is easy to do since the park is open 24 hours per day.
If you already have a reservation, or are planning a future vacation, at Kona Reef, then you can’t miss out on seeing this natural wonder.
Fun Facts About: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Kilauea and Mauna Loa have added more than 500 acres of land to Hawaii Island since 1983.
- With an estimated volume of 19,999 cubic miles, Mauna Loa is the most massive mountain on Earth. Its summit is 56,000 feet above the seafloor, making it 27,000 feet taller than Mount Everest.
- More than 90% of Hawaii’s plants are unique to the islands, and these plants are well represented in the park.
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is near another of Hawaii’s famous landmarks – the Punaluu Black Sand Beach.
Kona Reef is a four-story oceanfront resort covering three acres of the gorgeous Kona coast. Every unit has a garden, partial ocean, or ocean view, with a patio or balcony. The ambience of the ocean is present while swimming in our pool that is perfect for family fun, with four barbecue grills and a party pavilion nearby. Take a ten minute walk to the historic fishing village of Kailua-Kona, and explore wonderful shops, sidewalk cafes, restaurants and art galleries.