Hawaiian Fire and Skies - TravelQuest International
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July 23 - 31, 2022

Hawaiian Fire and Skies

Its slopes etched with rivers of hardened lava, Kilauea is one of the five volcanoes that form the Big Island of Hawaii, rising 1,300 m (4,200 ft) above the Pacific. In Kilauea’s fiery depths, according to traditional Hawaiian beliefs, dwells Pele, the goddess of volcanoes. Meanwhile, about 40 miles to the north lies Mauna Kea, a long-dormant volcano that is the world’s tallest mountain from the sea bottom, measuring 10,200 m (33,500 ft) from its undersea base. At its summit, long held sacre ...Show more


  • Enjoy eight nights on Hawaii’s Big Island, including stays in Kona and Hilo, plus two nights at the historic Volcano House Hotel inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  • See the famed Mauna Kea observatories and have two opportunities to stargaze from the Onizuka visitor's center at 2,800 m (9,200 ft).
  • Discover the Big Island’s many natural gems, including Kealakekua Bay, Punaluu Black Sand Beach and Akaka Falls.
  • Experience a Hawaiian luau with traditional Polynesian music and dance.

Arrive at Kailua-Kona Airport (code: KOA) on the Big Island according to your own flight plans. Your TravelQuest representative will arrange the quick transfer to our hotel for the next three nights. If you arrive by late afternoon, plan to join us at sunset for a get-acquainted reception.

DATE(S): Saturday, July 23, 2022

MEALS: Hors d’oeuvres reception

ACCOMMODATION: The Sheraton Kona Resort or similar

After breakfast, sail aboard our 60-ft custom catamaran to Kealakekua Bay, where you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling around one of Hawaii’s most spectacular coral reefs. This is a protected area, so fish are plentiful, swarming in multicolored clouds over the reef as it slopes down steeply into the depths. You’re also likely to see spinner dolphins in the bay. After a barbecue lunch back aboard our catamaran, we return to the hotel for a presentation on tomorrow’s visit to Mauna Kea and its observatories. Then at sunset, join us for a traditional Hawaiian luau, including Polynesian music and dance, against the backdrop of magnificent Kamakahonu Bay.

DATE(S): Sunday, July 24, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

ACCOMMODATION: The Sheraton Kona Resort or similar

During our afternoon journey up to Mauna Kea, we stop at 2,100 m (7,000 ft) to see where the lava flow from Mauna Loa, the Earth’s largest active volcano, partially buried an ancient stone wall. It’s also a chance to get hydrated and adjust to the higher elevation. Continuing upward, and after another transitional stop at the Onizuka Visitor’s Center, we arrive at the summit, about 4,200 m (14,000 ft) above sea level. Here you can walk through the spectacular observatory complex, which includes the twin 10-m Keck telescopes, the 8.2-m Subaru Telescope, the 8.1-m Gemini North Telescope, the 3.8-m UKIRT Infrared Telescope, the 3.6-m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the 3-m IRFT Infrared Facility, the 2.2-m UH88 Telescope and the 15-m James Clerk Maxwell Radio Telescope/Submillimeter Array. You can also see how construction is progressing on the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT), which will be world’s largest when it’s completed in 2027.

Looking out over the tops of clouds more than 2,000 m (6,560 ft) below, you may be lucky enough to see the elusive green flash – lasting only a couple of seconds – above the Sun's disk as it sets beneath the Pacific horizon. Then we head back down the mountain to the visitor’s center for an evening of deep-sky observing (with no Moon to obscure the stars, as it does not rise until much later in the evening) prior to our late-night return to the hotel.

DATE(S): Monday, July 25, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Dinner

ACCOMMODATION: The Sheraton Kona Resort or similar

After a late-morning checkout, we head south toward Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, passing through South Point, the southernmost town in the United States, and stopping in the village of Naalehu to visit a bakery renowned for its sweet bread. Our destination is Punaluu Black Sand Beach, where you might spot endangered green sea turtles swimming in a protected cove or basking in sunshine on the sparkling, black beach lined with coconut trees. Out on the bay, fresh-water springs flow into the saltwater creating a unique blend of warm and cool as you swim (provided the surf conditions are safe).

From there we travel up 1,200 m (4,000 ft) to enter the lush rainforest of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Your home for the next two nights is the historic Volcano House, spectacularly situated on the rim of Kilauea’s crater. You’ll quickly see why Hawaii’s oldest hotel is beloved by local islanders and attracts visitors from around the globe. In the day’s remaining light, you can hike leisurely trails taking in spectacular crater views, then later, join us for stargazing (skies permitting) away from the hotel lights.  

DATE(S): Tuesday, July 26, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION: Volcano House Hotel or similar

After breakfast, we begin our exploration of the park with a stop at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, then head into the caldera to see the Great Earthquake Crack and Halemaumau Crater. After lunch in the aptly named village of Volcano, we travel around the crater to view the Thurston Lava Tube, a long cave formed from hardened lava. Next we drive down the famous Chain of Craters Road, passing pit craters and smoking cinder cones on the winding descent, and then head out on foot to hunt for active lava flows. Tonight, with any luck, you can have the ultimate Fire and Skies experience, watching new earth form by your feet as you scan the stars overhead!  

DATE(S): Wednesday, July 27, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

ACCOMMODATION: Volcano House Hotel or similar

After a late breakfast and some further exploring in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we drive through lush countryside to Hilo, the largest community on the Big Island. Straddling a tranquil river filled with pools and waterfalls, Hilo is known for its quaint houses and old sugar-industry buildings that are now being lovingly restored. It’s a great setting for an evening of exploring on your own.



DATE(S): Thursday, July 28, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION: Hawaiian Hilo Hotel or similar

Spend today at your leisure enjoying the shops, restaurants and gardens along Hilo’s beautiful crescent-shaped bay or exploring nearby waterfalls and basalt-lava rock pools. If you’re keen to enjoy a final evening of stargazing, for an additional fee we’ve arranged an optional return visit to the Onizuka center with a boxed dinner to view the bright arch of the summertime Milky Way, when the hub of our galaxy in Sagittarius and Scorpius is well placed high in the southern sky.

DATE(S): Friday, July 29, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION: Hawaiian Hilo Hotel or similar

This morning we further explore the Hilo side of the Big Island. Our first stop is the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens, which feature a remarkable variety of orchids, palms, ginger and other exotic plants - more than 2,000 species in all. We then journey on to Akaka Falls State Park, where a short loop trail takes you through a rainforest filled with philodendron vines, wild orchids, bamboo groves and hanging heliconia. After a beautiful preview at cascading Kahuna Falls, we carry on through lush vegetation to breathtaking Akaka Falls, formed where the Kolekole Stream tumbles 135 m (442 ft) into a deep gorge. In late afternoon, we head back to Kona for a farewell dinner at our hotel.

DATE(S): Saturday, July 30, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Dinner

ACCOMMODATION: The Sheraton Kona Resort or similar

After breakfast at the hotel, we arrange the easy transfer to Kona airport (code: KOA) for your journey homeward or further explorations in Hawaii.

DATE(S): Sunday, July 31, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast

Optional Add-ons

If you’d like to arrive in Kona early, TravelQuest has reserved a limited number of rooms at the Sheraton Kona Hotel (or similar). The cost per night includes airport transfer, breakfast and tax.


Cost: $175 USD per person based on two people sharing one room; $325 USD for single occupancy.


Moderate –  Some demanding walks and hikes, at sea level and higher elevations, over uneven and occasionally hilly terrain, including hardened volcanic flows. Please note that the optional ascent to Mauna Kea observatories is located at about 4,200 m (14,000 ft) above sea level, where mental capabilities and judgment can be substantially impaired due to lack of oxygen, and guests may experience headache, nausea and shortness of breath. All travelers will be required to complete and sign a medical release form prior to receiving their final travel documents.

At TravelQuest we want to be sure you find the trip that best suits your interests and level of fitness. Please email or call if you have any questions regarding the itinerary.


  • TravelQuest, working with our partners, makes every effort to follow the published itinerary. However, please keep in mind that it is subject to change depending on weather and other local conditions.
  • All tour prices, taxes and airfares quoted in this brochure are based on tariffs, costs and US dollar exchange rates that were in effect at the time of publication. Consequently, prices herein are subject to change. Due to fluctuations in global oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee. You will be advised of details and costs prior to departure.
  • It is important to acknowledge that seeing the stars is dependent on weather, and TravelQuest can make no guarantees that the local conditions will cooperate.

Prices are per person in US Dollars based on the number of people in a room.






  • TravelQuest, working with our partners, makes every effort to follow the published itinerary. However, please keep in mind that it is subject to change depending on weather and other local conditions.
  • It is important to acknowledge that seeing the stars is dependent on weather, and TravelQuest can make no guarantees that the local conditions will cooperate.


Room Sharing Program

If you are traveling solo, you can realize significant savings by taking advantage of TravelQuest’s Room Sharing Program, where travelers of the same gender can share twin-bedded accommodations.


  • 8 nights’ accommodation at select hotels
  • Arrival/departure transfers per the dates of the tour
  • All ground transportation
  • Services of your TravelQuest Trip Leader/Astronomer
  • Expert local guides throughout your journey
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary, including coffee, tea and water
  • Sightseeing admissions as noted in the itinerary

Not Included

  • Air transportation to and from Kona, Hawaii (airport code: KOA)
  • Luggage handling
  • Meals and activities not specified in the itinerary
  • Beverages at meals (other than coffee, tea and water)
  • Expenses of a personal nature, including spa services, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
  • Passport and visa fees if applicable, along with any required immunizations
  • Gratuities for drivers and local guides
  • Highly recommended travel cancellation insurance

Payments & Terms

An advance payment of $1,200 USD per person, along with the completed reservation form, are required to secure your reservation.

Final payment is due by May 16, 2022.

Cancellation Terms

Cancellations must be made in writing via email, fax or mail.

All advance payments, less a $600 USD per person cancellation fee, are refundable until April 23, 2022.

There are no refunds after April 23, 2022.

Air cancellation terms are additional.


The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic in March 2020, and its consequences are therefore no longer unforeseen or unexpected. These consequences include but are not limited to travel advisories and restrictions, flight and other transport disruptions and cancelations, mandatory quarantine periods, border closures and stay at home mandates, health advisories changes to applicable laws and Government Mandates and prohibitions. No deposits paid will be refunded should any of these Covid-19 events result in a travel member’s trip cancellation, interruption or mandatory quarantine.


At TravelQuest we want to be sure you find the trip that best suits your interests and level of fitness. Prior to making a booking, it is the responsibility of each traveler to thoroughly read the itinerary, and to acquire and understand all pertinent medical advice to determine whether they are in an appropriate state of physical health to undertake the trip. At a minimum, participants must be able to climb into and out of buses, vans and trains without assistance, to carry their own luggage, and to generally keep up with the pace of the trip. If you have any questions about your trip’s itinerary or its level of difficulty, please contact us prior to booking.


Travel insurance protects you from the unexpected “what-ifs” on your travels. What if your bags go missing, what if you have to cancel, what if you need medical assistance? We at TravelQuest International recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. You may purchase this insurance on your own or you may contact our friends at Travelex who are familiar with our trips and offer a selection of coverages to suit your needs. To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the plans must be purchased within 15 days from the time you make your initial deposit to TravelQuest. ALL Travelex policies must be purchased at least 3 weeks (21 days) prior to your departure date.

For more information on these plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services direct at 1-800-228-9792, and reference location number 03-6043.

TravelEx Insurance


In the uncertain, often volatile global oil market, it is difficult to predict long-term fuel costs and, more specifically, costs at the time of the trip. Our prices are based on prevailing fuel rates at the time of brochure publication, which is well in advance of departure. While we will do everything possible to maintain our prices, if fuel costs increase significantly at or before the time of the trip, it may be necessary to institute a fuel surcharge.

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