The highlight of my trip to Kona was going on Hawaii Forest & Trail’s Kona Coffee & Craters Adventure. It’s a four hour tour that takes you up to the lesser-known Hawai’i Island volcano, Hualalai. The owner and founder of the company Rob Pacheco was our guide and he drove us from the hotel to their private gate which is 5,000 feet up (it only took 25 minutes). There we jumped in one of the company’s open air off road vehicles to go the last 1,000 feet. We saw the spot where the 1801 eruption took place and the lava from it flowed all the way down the side of the volcano. This is what you see today at Kona airport. It’s 13 miles from the coast to top of the mountain which doesn’t get much rain. But we drove through an area to get there that gets 60 to 80 inches a year. Crazy. Hualjhai has 120 pit craters including the deepest one on earth at 900 feet and we walked right alongside of it. That’s how we ended our tour up there but in style with Hawaiian soft drinks and guava bread.

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