Maunakea Stellar Explorer HILO

12 Reviews | Big Island of Hawaii, USA

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7 hours (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
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For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Maunakea Stellar Explorer from KapohoKine Adventures. This thrilling adventure is the only Big Island star tour to feature nighttime astronomical observing AND safe daytime solar viewing with all ages welcome! Our in-house stellar explorers are the best and most experienced in Hawaii with one having created the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center and operated it for a decade. Others on staff have written noted articles and reviews for well-known astronomy magazines and have worked at world-class observatories.



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Average 4.67 out of 5 stars based on 12 verified reviews from Cool Destinations and TripAdvisor

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Kimberly B, Jul 2021 Verified
I’ve never seen so many stars in my life. What an experience. Definitely heed the warning for warm clothes, it’s a bit chilly - but totally worth it. The other parts of the tour were great as well - particularly the lava tube - but the star gazing was the highlight. Crystal (our guide) was very knowledgeable, energetic and thoughtful. Wonderful experience all around!
Virginia, Jul 2021 Verified
Krystal was so knowledgeable about everything Hawaiian in addition to teaching us so much about astronomy. It was a wonderful evening!
zion h, Mar 2020 Verified
Due to unexpected circumstances we were unable to participate in the tour. However the service, communication and understanding was outstanding. In addition we did the helicopter tour which was also amazing. I highly recommend booking a tour with Cool Destinations! Great service and great tours!
Jemini O, Feb 2020 Verified
Rich was amazing! So informative and knowledgeable! Since it was a sunny we were able to use the solar telescope and even saw a solar filament! And the sky that night was so starry! We watching the Elon amuse satellites go by in the telescope which was awesome!
Bram S, Feb 2020 Verified
Our guide was making our trip so great! His enthusiasm was really great and he knows so much about the stars. He did not mind answering all our questions. I had a great tour!
FEIYI T, Oct 2019 Verified
Our guide Krystal was amazing. She is knowledgeable, friendly and full of energy. Make the tour so interesting. Must go.
greatnurse2004, Jul 2019 Verified
Super tour, our guide was knowledgeable, pleasant. Small group made for nice stargazing. It's quite cold after sunset, so it was a treat to have hot cocoa
soham.g.87, Jan 2019 Verified

We were staying in Hilo and most of the tour operators offered star-gazing tours from Kailua/Kona.It was by chance that we came across Kapohokine Adventures which have this Stellar Explorer tour from Hilo.Pros:- Our tour guide was Krystal who is an astrophysicist. She was also very knowledgeable about Hawaiian customs, Hawaiian vegetation and native/non-native species and provided much local information as well. She was very pleasant and made the ride enjoyable with her witty, humorous comments.- The tour vehicle was brilliant red in color (easy to spot) and very clean from the inside and outside (I don't like dirty windows as they spoil all pictures).- They provide choice of sandwiches or salads for dinner and soft drinks/water.- They provide warm jackets during the star-gazing which were much needed for the night time weather. It gets very cold, very fast, when we are outside the van for the star-gazing. It was very windy and temperature was somewhere in the 55 F range when we were outside.- The tour also included guided visit to Rainbow falls, Boiling pots and Kamana Caves lava tube. All 3 attractions were worth watching, especially Kamana Caves. As the Thurston lava tube in Volcano National Park was closed, Kamana Caves were particularly interesting for us.- Great guide, superb facilities and clear, cloudless night made this a perfect star-gazing experience for us.Some tour operators do not actually have a telescope. But they just use a laser pointer and point our the stars/planets/galaxies in the night sky. Krystal had a 10-inch Dobsonian Telescope for this tour, so it was a much better experience.From a pricing perspective, I believe they charge quite similar to the other tour operators.The reason we went with Kapohokine was because they were taking tours out of Hilo.There are many tours which take you to Mauna Kea summit and then have star-gazing once they are back to the visitor center. We didn't want to go to Mauna Kea summit and so this tour was perfect for us.We went as a couple. We are in our early 30's and requested for vegetarian sandwiches.Many thanks to Kapohokine and Krystal for making this such a wonderful experience !!

Wesley W, Dec 2018 Verified

I’ll be honest, I’m not a real stargazer. The tour guide, Rich, made this tour unbelievable. There were many stops on the way to the stargazing location, with a great deal of culture and sights. Even for a novice stargazer like myself, the stargazing was amazing.

brianna s, Jul 2021 Verified
Unfortunately there was a brush fire that prevented us from doing some of the activities. You do not go up to the top of the mountain. We pulled off on a highway side street. Guide was good. Food at the restaurant was good.

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Product code: C-5413P27

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