Lava Flow Hunting at Kalapana Big Island, Hawaii.

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I came to learn about Hawaii when I was doing my research for my recent trip to Hawaii, and yes, Hawaii has got more volcanoes than beaches. Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists.

Seeing a live flow lava is one of the most amazing things ever happen, a lifetime experience that could only be done in Big Island. There are five volcanoes make up the island of Hawaii: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea.

Kilauea volcano, a youthful shield volcano, is the youngest volcano of the Hawaiian hot spot and not only the most active volcano of Hawaii but at the same time also the world's active volcano, it's having an uninterrupted eruption since 1983.

Lava viewing is a must-do activity for your vacation if you are lucky enough to be on the Big Island while one of the volcanoes is actively erupting. Hawaii wouldn’t exist if it were not for the continuous volcanic activity that created all the islands in the state. Seeing this happening in “real-time” is guaranteed to be an awe-inspiring experience.

The interesting fact about Kalapana is that even after the 4th generation of the houses have been destroyed by lava, they still rebuilt the houses on top of it until now!

My visit to Kalapana Lava Flow :

Once you reach Kalapana, you will first see a lot of bicycle rental tent. Find a parking lot and start your adventurous hike.

*From my experience, bicycle is not necessary if you're good at walking. However, if you have enough energy to cycle in and out it could save you some time.

Bike rentals typically cost around $20-35 / bike and also includes a helmet, lights, and a bottle of water.

There is a signage saying you can only enter after 3pm, that is because the park rangers will only come at that time, but you can enter at anytime at your own risk. Follow the safety sign and you should be fine.

Although the active lava looks the same, but you can feel the heat before you reach it. Look out for the hot stream air and be cautious at anytime.

The lava flow is still active, but we're unlucky enough to arrived at the time where no lava is flowing into the ocean. Check the latest Kilauea volcano lava flow update, call the Park at (808) 985-6000, or view a map of the most current lava flow.

Note that the distance from either parking area to the ocean entry/active lava flow is between 4 and 5.5 miles. Be prepared to hike that distance on an unpaved road with loose gravel. Bring good hiking shoes, sunscreen and lots of water.

For lava flow hunting at night, bring a head torch and do not stay until late evening if its raining because the steam from the active lava is toxicating and give a blind vision that you could hardly see the fingers of yours, the next step might be on the lava!

Consider taking a boat or helicopter tour to see the lava if hiking is no option for you but seeing lava a must.

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