Maunakea Stellar Explorer HILO 7 reviews
Big Island of Hawaii, United States

  • Refundable
  • Printed Voucher/E-Voucher
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What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
To know more, please refer additional information section of this tour
Activity Highlights
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Rainbow Falls, Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720

Start your adventure in quaint Hilo town where you’ll drive along the historic waterfront before arriving at Rainbow Falls. This iconic waterfall right off a postcard features an 80 foot tall twin waterfall system. Look for the rainbow effect that gives the waterfall its name!

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Boiling Pots, Off Waianuenue Avenue, Wailuku River State Park, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI

Continue traveling up the Wailuku River to Boiling Pots. Impressive photo opportunities are often found here when the river “boils” through depressions in the rocks.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Kaumana Caves Park, Kaumana Drive Mile Marker 4, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI

Explore Kaumana Caves, part of the lava tube system that brought lava 1.5 miles from Hilo-town in 1881. Take a peek inside the cathedral-like space before tucking into a quick picnic-style lunch atop the caves.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Mauna Kea, Island of Hawaii, HI

Your guide will take you to one of our preferred locations on Mauna Kea for nighttime stargazing. You’ll observe deep sky and planetary objects through a large aperture Dobsonian telescope under one of the darkest and most pristine skies on planet Earth! Our Dobsonian telescopes are a true purist’s experience to view the night sky. Their fast focal ratio enables you to see sprawling wide field views of objects that simply aren’t possible with the types of telescopes used by other tours. Depending on what is visible in the current sky and weather permitting, you’ll observe galaxies, nebula, star clusters, planets, double star systems, the moon, and much more; all the highlights and showpiece objects like you’ve never seen before!

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Saddle Road, Hawaii Highway 200, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI

Next, you’ll travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the tallest and most massive volcanoes on Earth. Your National Park Service trained guide will discuss the volcanology, geology, and history of these monstrous wonders, as well as providing in-depth narration on the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you’ll be passing by. While you’re taking in the breathtaking terrestrial views, your guide will prepare some heavenly views just as stunning. Setting up a state of the art solar telescope for your viewing pleasure, your specially trained guide will let you safely watch the sun come alive in true color with vibrant solar flares, sunspots, prominences and any other current activity weather permitting.

Duration: 1 hour

Activity Details
For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Maunakea Stellar Explorer from KapohoKine Adventures. This thrilling adventure is the only Big Island star tour to feature nighttime astronomical observing AND safe daytime solar viewing with all ages welcome! Our in-house stellar explorers are the best and most experienced in Hawaii with one having created the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center and operated it for a decade. Others on staff have written noted articles and reviews for well-known astronomy magazines and have worked at world-class observatories.
Departure & Return
Departure Point93 Banyan Dr, Hilo, HI 96720, USA Traveler pickup is offered We pick up at all major hotels, please contact us at 808-964-1000 for more information. Departure Time3:30 PM
ReturnReturns to original departure point
What's Included
  • Beverages
  • Bottled water
  • Driver/guide
  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Coffee and/or Tea
  • Dinner
  • Entry/Admission - Rainbow Falls
  • Entry/Admission - Boiling Pots
  • Entry/Admission - Kaumana Caves Park
  • Gratuities
Additional Information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 26 travelers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Traveler Reviews

Average based on 7 reviews.

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  • Krystal was so knowledgeable about everything Hawaiian in addition to teaching us so much about astronomy. It was a wonderful evening!

  • I’ve never seen so many stars in my life. What an experience. Definitely heed the warning for warm clothes, it’s a bit chilly - but totally worth it. The other parts of the tour were great as well - particularly the lava tube - but the star gazing was the highlight. Crystal (our guide) was very knowledgeable, energetic and thoughtful. Wonderful experience all around!

  • Rich was amazing! So informative and knowledgeable! Since it was a sunny we were able to use the solar telescope and even saw a solar filament! And the sky that night was so starry! We watching the Elon amuse satellites go by in the telescope which was awesome!

  • Our guide Krystal was amazing. She is knowledgeable, friendly and full of energy. Make the tour so interesting. Must go.

  • We were staying in Hilo and most of the tour operators offered star-gazing tours from Kailua/Kona.It was by chance that we came across Kapohokine Adventures which have this Stellar Explorer tour from Hilo.Pros:- Our tour guide was Krystal who is an astrophysicist. She was also very knowledgeable about Hawaiian customs, Hawaiian vegetation and native/non-native species and provided much local information as well. She was very pleasant and made the ride enjoyable with her witty, humorous comments.- The tour vehicle was brilliant red in color (easy to spot) and very clean from the inside and outside (I don't like dirty windows as they spoil all pictures).- They provide choice of sandwiches or salads for dinner and soft drinks/water.- They provide warm jackets during the star-gazing which were much needed for the night time weather. It gets very cold, very fast, when we are outside the van for the star-gazing. It was very windy and temperature was somewhere in the 55 F range when we were outside.- The tour also included guided visit to Rainbow falls, Boiling pots and Kamana Caves lava tube. All 3 attractions were worth watching, especially Kamana Caves. As the Thurston lava tube in Volcano National Park was closed, Kamana Caves were particularly interesting for us.- Great guide, superb facilities and clear, cloudless night made this a perfect star-gazing experience for us.Some tour operators do not actually have a telescope. But they just use a laser pointer and point our the stars/planets/galaxies in the night sky. Krystal had a 10-inch Dobsonian Telescope for this tour, so it was a much better experience.From a pricing perspective, I believe they charge quite similar to the other tour operators.The reason we went with Kapohokine was because they were taking tours out of Hilo.There are many tours which take you to Mauna Kea summit and then have star-gazing once they are back to the visitor center. We didn't want to go to Mauna Kea summit and so this tour was perfect for us.We went as a couple. We are in our early 30's and requested for vegetarian sandwiches.Many thanks to Kapohokine and Krystal for making this such a wonderful experience !!

  • I’ll be honest, I’m not a real stargazer. The tour guide, Rich, made this tour unbelievable. There were many stops on the way to the stargazing location, with a great deal of culture and sights. Even for a novice stargazer like myself, the stargazing was amazing.

  • Unfortunately there was a brush fire that prevented us from doing some of the activities. You do not go up to the top of the mountain. We pulled off on a highway side street. Guide was good. Food at the restaurant was good.

  • Rained the entire time, so the stargazing was not possible. Other stops, waterfalls, boiling pots and lava tubes we great, even in the rain. Guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Food was lackluster, seemed to be sandwiches from a supply company, bag of chips and granola bar. Overall seemed a little pricey for the experience.
    Guide was prepared with umbrellas and flashlights. Again it was raining so we never were able to do the stargazing.

7 reviews
$218.84 USD
1 Traveler(s)
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