One of the best ways to see Hualalai is during a helicopter tour from Kona. You’ll fly over otherwise inaccessible terrain and admire the Hualalai, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loa volcanoes safely from above. To explore the craters and lush rainforests of Hualalai on foot, opt for a guided hike since much of the area around the volcano is private property. Many tours include a visit to Kona’s famous mountain coffee plantations located on the slopes of Hualalai.
Things to know before you go
- A helicopter tour is one of the best ways to enjoy views of the summit.
- The weather can get chilly at higher elevations on Hualalai, so bring a light jacket and be prepared for rain.
- Hualalai hiking tours require navigating rocky terrain so they are not wheelchair-accessible or suitable for visitors with limited mobility.
How to get there
The Hualalai Volcano is on the western side of the Big Island of Hawaii, and the summit of Hualalai can be seen from Kailua-Kona. Many of Kona’s renowned coffee plantations are located on the western slope of Hualalai near the town of Holualoa, just 3 miles (4 kilometers) south of Kailua-Kona. Public transportation is limited along the Kona coast so it's best to visit on a tour or with your own transport.
When to get there
Although Kailua-Kona enjoys warm weather year-round, winter tends to be a bit rainy and the summer months can get quite dry and hot. The busiest times in Hawaii are from mid-June through August and from December through March, so visit outside that season if you’d like to enjoy Hawaii with fewer crowds and enjoy low season prices.
Hawaii’s famous Kona Coffee is grown on the fertile slopes of the Hualalai Volcano and visiting a coffee plantation is a fun way to enjoy the mountain. In order for coffee to be called “Kona Coffee,” it must be grown on the slopes of these Mauna Loa and Hualalai volcanoes. The region’s fertile volcanic soil, ample water, consistent cloud coverage, and altitude create the ideal environment for harvesting this unique and flavorful coffee bean.
- Kekaha Kai State Park (Kona Coast State Park)
- Honokohau Harbor
- Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary
- Anaeho'omalu Bay
- Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation
- Waikoloa Village
- Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
- Kailua Pier
- Kona (Kailua-Kona)
- Hilo Cruise Port
- Kona (Kailua Bay) Cruise Port
- Hulihee Palace
- Kohala Coast
- Puako Bay
- Kahaluu Beach Park
- How to Get Off the Beaten Path on the Big Island of Hawaii
- How to Spend 3 Days on the Big Island
- How to Spend 1 Day on the Big Island
- Where to Stay on the Big Island of Hawaii
- Don't Miss These Must-Do Activities on the Big Island of Hawaii
- First-Timers Guide to the Big Island of Hawaii
- Things to Do on the Big Island of Hawaii This Summer