You’ve only got one shot and this is your Hawaiian vacation of a lifetime! Ask about our Private/Custom Tours that will meet your needs! Book an exclusive tour if you want to see it all, or have limited time and a flexible budget. Tell us what you want to see and we’ll do our best to make it happen. This may be your once in a lifetime dream vacation to Hawaii, so why not see and do what YOU want to do. We can accommodate individuals and groups up to 75 for Volcano Tours and between 24 for evening and 60 for day time Mauna Kea Tours. You choose the amount of time you want on your tour. We’ve had popular requests for 2-4 hour tours to 2-3 day tours for travelers that want to see specific spots or want us to customize their full Big Island adventure. Please email us at email@example.com
You can choose from the following, or create a combination of tours:
*Mauna Kea Sunrise
*Mauna Kea Daytime
*Mauna Kea Sunset
*Green Sand Beach
*Volcano National Park
Kilauea Iki Crater Hike (3.8 miles)/Volcano National Park
Akatsuka Orchid Farm
Onomea Scenic Route
Ahalanui Warm Ponds
Lava Tree State Park
McKenzie State Park
Richardson’s Beach Park
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut
Big Island Candies
Speak with our front desk staff about arranging a private/custom tour at 1-808-339-0921 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We will do our best to work out an adventure that suits you! Private/custom tours are based upon availability of tour guides.
Private Mauna Kea Tours from Hilo
Mauna Kea is our most requested private tour. Enjoy Mauna Kea with your family or loved one without the hassle of traveling in a 15 passenger van. Your schedule conflicts with our regular Mauna Kea tour? Ask if a private tour is available. Pick up from Hilo Hotels or at the Onizuka Visitor’s Center. Ask our staff about pick-up at the Kohala or Kona resorts at email@example.com
Prices for Adventure in Toyota Sequoia SUV. Price does not include tax, gratuity, nor Kona/Kohala hotels pick-up:
Mauna Kea SUNSET/Starshow
- Starting price: $900 (1-2 guests) -$1800 (max 5-6 guests). Inquire with us for more than 6 guests.
Mauna Kea SUNRISE/Starshow
- Starting price: $1000 (1-2 guests) -$2000 (max 6 guests). Inquire with us for more than 6 guests.
Mauna Kea DAY/Observatory (Keck observatory opens from Mon.-Fri. but may also close due to maintenance)
- Starting price: $800 (1-2 guests) -$1600 (max 6 guests). Inquire with us for more than 6 guests.
Private Tours are upon availability of Tour Guides. Call 808-339-0921 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your tour!
Mauna Kea Sunset/Stargazing
Our tour leaves Hilo at seasonally adjusted times (1pm to 3:30 p.m.). We start our tour from Arnott’s Lodge and make a quick stop at Rainbow Falls, then go directly to the Onizuka Visitor Center (VIS) at 9200ft (3000m) where you may do some vigorous short climbs or watch videos on Astronomy and the Telescopes. The VIS also has hot drinks, snacks and a large range of mountain and astronomy related souvenirs and educational materials available.
Following a 30 to 45 minute acclimatization stop at the VIS, we ascend to 13,600ft where our guide will explain the various telescopes in view. Next, we continue up the last few hundred feet to the road highpoint where those in good physical condition may walk around the nearby telescopes. This opportunity and sunset are often at the same time revealing spectacular views of sunset and the famous “Shadow” of Mauna Kea to the East. Please visit our Mauna Kea Picture Gallery.
Upon twilight, we descend to our own Starshow location where our guide, using a high-powered visible laser, leads you on a detailed journey across the magnificent night sky describing major celestial objects and Polynesian navigational stars. We have found by experience that this is preferable to deploying an amateur telescope which takes a long time to aim and to process all guests through one object while everyone is getting very cold. Finally, we stop at the Visitor Center for hot drinks and bathrooms before continuing back. We return to Hilo usually by 9:00 to 11:00pm.
IMPORTANT WEATHER INFORMATION. Arnott’s Lodge and Hiking Adventures does not guarantee fine weather. Getting you to the Summit area is the main thrust of this tour and full price will be charged if we make it to the top. As with all mountains, local heating and cooling can cause cloud or haze and impact Sunset and the Starshow, as can full moon, high wind or extreme cold. Our Starshow, if conditions permit, is an overview of what is seen that night including Major Constellations, Polynesian Navigation stars and Signs of the Zodiac. We do NOT use Telescopes. In case we cannot get above the Visitor Station you will recieve a 50% refund. This is the ONLY case for a refund. There are cases where overnight snow and ice have the road closed even up to the time we leave Hilo for the mountain, however we monitor the 28 webcams on the mountain for any sign of thaw and possibility to get up to the top as we realize that road crews are also striving to get astronomers up to telescopes and many of our Adventurer guests only have this one shot to go. Sometimes the road only opens briefly and you have to be at the Visitor Information Station to take advantage; this is where 23 years of experience comes in.
Mauna Kea Sunrise OR Mauna Kea Day Tours
The growing popularity of Sunrise tours of Mauna Kea acknowledges the amazing adventure that awaits you. Isolated in the vast Pacific Ocean, at the moment of sunrise and for a few minutes after Mauna Kea/Mauna Loa casts a giant shadow of its pyramidical shape into space. Many mistake it for another island near Maui. As you now have daylight ahead of you your guide can describe the cultural importance of Mauna Kea and point out its many features and incredible views. This time slot is usually uncrowded, unlike Sunset, which has up to 16 vans and 224 people on the mountain.
Daytime tours can include telescope visit, but not guaranteed and a variety of short hikes and are ideal for those who would like to learn more about the mountain and its astronomy credentials, its geology and its cultural history during an unrushed and uncrowded part of the day. Daytime tours must be below the Visitor Station by 4:30pm. At this time, only the Keck telescope offers public access on a regular basis, Monday through Friday. If you are hoping to visit a different telescope, please be aware that you will need to make arrangments for this yourself.
For either Sunrise or daytime tours text/call 808-339-0921 or email us at email@example.com.
Please note that tours and general public are not permitted on summit astronomy area until half an hour before listed sunrise time for that day, so as not to impact astronomy operations.