Mauna Kea

Volcanoes have always been a predominant part of life in Hawaii. Though volcanoes evoke a slight sense of panic at the thought of eruption, most Hawaiian volcanoes have long been extinct and are known more for their beauty than their danger. Rugged backdrops, sublime underwater habitats and stunning black sand beaches are all the sensational byproducts of Hawaii's volcanoes. Mauna Kea is one of the dormant volcanoes on Big Island and remains the highest of all the summits found on the islands of Kauai, Maui, Oahu and the main island.

From the Mauna Kea observatory one of the most breathtaking panoramas of all the islands draws thousands of tourists each year. Mauna Kea is more than 9kms high, is the second biggest volcano on the island and is the only glaciated one of its kind. It last erupted some 3,500 years ago and is categorized as inactive.

There are numerous cheap Mauna Kea tours to choose from. They include, sunset and stargazing tours, Hawaii hiking tours and volcano lava walks. These summit adventures are a great way to learn about the fascinating history of the nearly one million year old volcano, and enjoy some of the most captivating scenery in Hawaii. Cheap Mauna Kea tours are led by professional guides with most including admission fees, rain gear and cold drinks. The lava walk is one of the most popular tours where tourists get an eye opening view of burning hot lava slowly creeping along the mountain side and spilling over into the ocean.

The Mauna Kea observatory is a normal stop during guided tours of the area. There are eleven telescopes close to the peak of Mauna Kea. Some of the best visibility in the world is enjoyed at the Mauna Kea observatory amid the arid and cloudless atmosphere. The consistently stable atmosphere and distance from bright city lights allows for the highest percentage of clear nights in the world. Cheap Mauna Kea tours, including sunset and stargazing tours, last about 8 hours and take visitors to the visitor center, the summit and the Mauna Kea observatory. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly in layers and wear sturdy shoes for hiking.

Staying at the Mauna Kea Resort, northwest of Hilo city, is like living in a fairy tale. The choices in lodging during Hawaii holidays includes the Mauna Kea Beach Resort, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel as well as many beachfront Hawaii vacation rentals like private homes, condos and picture perfect villas. Two spectacular Big Island beaches are the base at the Mauna Kea Resort for tons of family fun under clear, blue skies. Nine restaurants afford a wealth of dining choices, eleven seaside tennis courts offer a challenge complete with stunning views and several spa facilities incorporate ancient Hawaiian healing into each soothing treatment. One of the biggest draws are the two championship courses offering 36 holes of Big Island golfing adventures.

Mauna Kea is a residential-style resort development and is the perfect place to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities for all ages. Aside from a visit to the Mauna Kea observatory, visitors can enjoy Big Island tours in the area on horseback, seaside by kayak or submerged in the deep blue ocean snorkeling among coral reefs and vibrant schools of fish. Deep sea fishing trips, relaxing ocean sailing, windsurfing and diving are all possible at the Mauna Kea Resort. Many cultural activities are also available to try such as Hawaiian quilting, weaving and traditional lei making.

A trip to the Mauna Kea observatory and the surrounding area showcases the genuine natural beauty of Big Island. The sheer number of activities rivals many other areas of the island and provides a fantastic family holiday full of fun. During the winter months visitors can see the beautiful snow-covered peaks of the volcano and enjoy the best star gazing and panoramas on the island.

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