Expert Advice

Can’t Miss Outdoor Tours To Book on the Big Island

Prepare for a full day of adventure with Kailani Tours

Kassi P.
Aerial shot of a blank sand beach on The Big Island of Hawaii.

While we love being "spontaneous" during our travels, we've recently found that having planned adventure tours booked can enhance the travel experience—regardless of where you travel. And earlier this year, based on a recommendation from the Hilton Grand Vacations Tours & Activities group, we decided to book the Big Island Circle Tour with Kailani Tours

You may be thinking, why book a tour when you can explore on your own?

For us, this was our honeymoon trip, and we didn't want to worry about renting a car and assuming the role of "self-navigators," especially since we had never been to Hawaii before. It was truly about peace of mind and enjoying the journey (read: staying stress-free). As a bonus, we got to experience several Big Island activities (and the entire island) in a day?!  

Why Kailani Tours? First, we love recommendations, and this company came highly recommended. Second, we liked that Kailani Tours uses Sprinter Mini-Coaches. The result is the opportunity to enjoy a tour with fewer people. Coming in at a maximum of 13 guests, Kailani Tours provides an ideal way to discover this Pacific gem safely. And let's not forget the delicious catered breakfast and lunch. 

With so many Big Island activities available, it's hard to choose which is best. However, are our favorites from our adventure tour. 

A close-up shot of clinking coffee mugs at Kona Joe Coffee farm on the Big Island.    

Can you Smell the Coffee?

We LOVE coffee, so when we found out that we'd be visiting two coffee farms, we were ecstatic. I mean, does it get much better than fresh Kona coffee?! 

Our first coffee farm stop was Kona Joe Coffee. This place is so unique in the way that they grow their coffee—actually growing their coffee on a trellis. Sound like a familiar technique? That's right. This is the same method winemakers use with grapes to make wine.

We got a kick out of the fact that two of our favorite things came together full circle—coffee and wine. I never knew that you could even grow coffee this way, and the final product is incredible. It doesn't hurt that the farm has the most stunning views. 

Travel pro-tip: I highly recommend ordering the Estate Trellis Reserve 100% Kona Coffee via French Press. It was a perfect complement to the tasty breakfast that Kailani Tours provided at this stop.

Our second coffee farm stop was at Ka'u Coffee Mill. It was amazing to see the difference in how this coffee is grown compared to Kona Joe, and at this farm, we were able to go through the farm and learn about all of the various stages of making coffee. They even had a tasting room where we got to try a whole variety of different blends that they make after the tour. Our favorite was Ka'u Peaberry. Hands. Down. 

Bonus: We got to visit the United States' southernmost bakery, Punalu'u Bake Shop, in-between our visits to the coffee farms. Coffee and sweets are the perfect combinations, especially when you have one of their famous malasadas.

Did you say, "Hawaii's Most Active Volcano?" 

A smiling couple posing at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island during their honeymoon.    

One of the coolest parts of this tour was visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to one of the world's most active volcanoes. The last time Kilauea erupted was in 2018; so, parts of the National Park were still closed to the public when we visited.

Being there in person makes you realize the true magnitude of how devastating and powerful these volcanoes can be.

The elements within this National Park are fascinating, and it is truly breathtaking. And we learned a lot. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and educated us about the volcanoes, natural steam vents around the park and so much more.

A visit to Volcanoes National Park is a must-do, whether you book a tour or explore on your own.         

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

Happy couple taking at selfie at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach in Hawaii while on vacation with Hilton Grand Vacations.    

My personal favorite during our tour was the Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. You always hear about Hawaii's black sand beaches, but you don't realize how awe-inspiring they are until you visit them. And, if you're lucky, you may even be able to see some of Hawaii's endangered Hawksbill Turtles and Green Sea Turtles.

I found the area incredibly peaceful, and I would've been happy just sitting on the sand for the rest of the day, listening to the ocean. The most surprising part was how soft the sand was and being in that environment makes you appreciate the raw beauty of the nature around you. And those sea turtles?

We saw them.

Talk about a vacation story that invoked the envy of our family members. 

The Big Island's natural beauty is travel bucket list-worthy, and there were so many other incredible stops on this tour. Even if you don't usually go on group tours, we highly recommend it. It's fantastic just to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. We can't wait until we can book another trip to the Big Island.

Read A Big Island Honeymoon to hear more about Kassi's time on the Big Island at Ocean Tower by Hilton Grand Vacations.  

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner, Kassi P.

Kassi P.

Kassi is a three-time Explorer and Owner since 2018, when she and her husband, then in their late 20's, decided vacation ownership was the next step in building a life filled with travel. As Orlando locals, they enjoy staycations and exploring The City Beautiful, but have never actually stayed at their home resort, Hilton Grand Vacations at Tuscany Village.  

When she's not using her ClubPoints in Florida, this urban traveler has a love of international travel and a sweet spot for her second home — New York City, which is where she got engaged while staying at West 57th Street by Hilton Club. When asked about her long run in the Explorer program, Kassi says, "It's my goal to inspire someone to create new memories, get out and travel and make the most out of vacation ownership."

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