A brief overview of the place
Hilo is an incredible town located on Hawaii’s biggest island. Known for its volcanos, national parks, black sandy beaches and thundering waterfalls, Hilo is Nature’s Paradise. Hilo is close to the Basalt lava rock pools which are a very popular tourist attraction, and home to Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanos.
What I did in Hilo
Hilo has a multitude of excursions to choose from, but one that I couldn’t resist was seeing this incredible landscape from the sky, so a few friends and I spent the day exploring Hilo by helicopter. The company I booked the tour with is called ‘Safari Helicopter Tours’ and are rated best on Trip Advisor. Normally I would choose to explore on land rather than in the sky, mainly because I couldn’t afford to go in a helicopter all the time, but I had spoken to people who had done it, and they all raved about it.
We disembarked the cruise ship in Hilo, Hawaii at 8 am and the Safari van was waiting for us. We were taken to their offices/helicopter base. I was expecting some grand office building, but it was just a cute little house surrounded by palm trees and beautiful colourful flowers. Of course, before starting the tour we had to have a safety briefing and then sign our lives away, but that’s just standard practice. We made our way outside to our helicopter and the three of us all climbed in. Sitting on the ground in a helicopter was exciting enough, but taking off was so exhilarating. As we got off the ground, the soundtrack to Jurassic Park was played through the headphones which just added to the experience. We began by flying over the 45 mile Hamakua coast which stretches from Hilo to Honokaa. The sights to be seen were extraordinary, filled with cascading waterfalls, beautiful high sea cliffs and tropical rainforest.
We explored various points where the first ‘Jurassic Park’ was filmed. I love Jurassic Park so this was riveting for me.
Just as we glided over the cliff edge a rainbow appeared below us over the sea, so with the combination of that and the music I just felt so much joy, and the only way I could get it out was in the form of tears.
We glided over the lush green hills that actually looked like they had been photoshopped. They were that stunning.
We had a magical 1 hour in the sky before coming back to land at the safari HQ. The landing was smooth. We were helped out of the helicopter and then taken back inside for a drink, where we sat and nattered away about how incredible it was.
The safari bus was planned to take us back to the ship, but as we had some time to spare we asked him to drop us off at Onekahakaha beach where we knew some other crew members would be spending the day.
We had a quick look in the shops and at the souvenirs and made our way onto the sand. It didn’t take long for me to strip down to my bikini and get in the refreshing water.
This was one of my favourite days ever. Hilo really stole my heart and I hope I will get the chance to return to this wondrous place.
Most popular excursions
A tour where you will be able to see some of the most impressive waterfalls known to man. Waipio valley falls, Hamakua coast and Akaka falls will leave you speechless, so if you enjoy waterfalls you should definitely have this tour on your to-do list.
Manta ray experience
Get in the water with these unbelievable creatures. Swim with them and enjoy seeing how they glide through the water alongside you.
Hilo is home to Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanos and is the most geologically active environment on earth. This really is the most unique things Hilo has to offer.
Hawaiian and English.
Things to know
Be sure to carry cash with you as I found a lot of places didn’t accept a card.