What is your cancellation policy?
Full price charged unless we receive prior notice as follows: One to five guests: 24 hours notice. Six or more guests: 48 hours. Private or custom charter tours: 72 hours.
What happens if it rains?
Rain or shine, the tour still goes on. Everyday somewhere, it is raining on the Big Island. If this should happen, we will provide umbrellas, rain ponchos or light rain jackets.
How many people fit on a tour van?
Essential Hawai‘i specializes in small group tours. We strive to keep the passenger limit at 10-12 for a better experience. Our vans have high-roof ceilings so you can walk right in without ducking down… unless you are 6’6″ or taller.
Where are your pick-up locations on the Big Island?
All tours begin on the west side of the island with morning pickups at most major hotels from Kona, Waikoloa and Kohala. Please review our Pick up Locations list.
How much hiking is involved in a tour?
On our Night Volcano Tours, there will be a few short hikes with the longest hike being no longer than 20-minutes long during this adventure. You should be able to walk on uneven paths or on rocky terrain. Light to moderate hiking should be expected.
Are there age restrictions?
Each tour is completely different. Time spent in our touring van can be challenging for infants and toddlers. Light hikes are involved on each tour and we require children to be at least 5 years of age on all our tours. Pricing for children is from age 5 to 12 on all tours. Please make sure you select the right age when booking your tour. We would hate to ask you to pay the difference while on tour.
What should I wear or bring with me?
We suggest that you wear clothes in layers. You will have plenty of opportunities to change as the weather changes frequently. Most guests wear a light jacket or bring long pants for after sunset. Wear comfortable closed-toe walking shoes as we might walk on uneven paths and lava rock. Closed-toe shoes are required on each tour. Temperatures at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park can range from 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Saddle Road temperatures can get even chillier with the wind, to perhaps 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a hat, suntan lotion and don’t forget to bring a camera!
Will we see molten lava?
Currently, there is a lava activity on Kilauea Volcano. We will always do our best to get you to the closest viewing area providing it is safe and legal on our Explore the Night Volcano tour. ***Please note: Lava sighting is not guaranteed, we cannot promise you’ll see active flows on your tour.***
Are meals and water included on your tours?
On our Explore the Night Volcano Tour, dinner will be provided. We do stop for an afternoon snack break on our route. Bottled water is provided on all tours. Dining locations subject to change without prior notice due to unforeseen circumstances. Meal inclusions are listed on our tour pages.
What if I have a special food diet?
Most special dietary needs, restrictions and requests can be accommodated with advance notice.
If I get tired, can I just stay in the van and skip one of your stops?
We suggest you participate on each stop while on tour. If for some reason you cannot participate on one of the stops, our guides will be happy to let you rest at Volcano House, the Visitor’s Center, or Jaggar Museum. It is our policy to not allow guests to remain in the vehicle unattended for safety and security measures.