lava rock formations at the Kula Kai cavern

Go Spelunking on a Tour of the Kula Kai Caverns

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

An Introduction to the Kula Kai Caverns

One of the more exciting and adventurous activities you can undertake on Hawaii’s Big Island is spelunking, and for those inclined to explore the world’s caves, the volcanic activity in Hawaii makes for a fantastic, one-of-a-kind spelunking experience. Unique formations, deep caverns, and opportunities for exploration make for a remarkable caving experience unlike anything else on Earth.

A great place place to easily enjoy a subterranean adventure on the Big Island is the Kula Kai Caverns located in the southern end of the island. An immense underground lava tube along the lower slopes of Mauna Loa, the Kula Kai Caverns encompass a multitude of potential tours guided by experienced cavers.

Only 1,000 years old, this system of lava tubes is one of the youngest caves on the planet, offering a unique perspective to those familiar with much older formations. Showing the immediate (geologically speaking) impact of volcanic activity on geology, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn about how lava tubes are formed and how ancient Hawaiians used them.

Guided tours through this system of caves are polished and informational, with guides having knowledge in the history and formation of the caves themselves. A basic and streamlined tour explores a small section of the cave in a lighted area, with guides explaining the importance of caves to Hawaiian culture over the course of 30-45 minutes.

More extensive tours that take place over the course of a couple of hours include a crawling tour, as well as a longer tour that includes helmets, lights, knee pads, and gloves. Tour participants will crawl through a smooth passage that includes tunnels and lava formations.

Most tours include just a few participants and require reservations. You’ll need to register in order to receive the code to access the caves, but the experience of witnessing the natural beauty and wonder of the caves is as memorable as they make them in Hawaii.

Kula Kai Caverns Tour Information

The Caves are on Private Property and Tours are by Reservation Only
Call (808) 929-9725 for Reservations and Gate Access Code
Tour information was current when posted but is subject to change.

Lighted Trail Tour
30 minute walk on a lighted trail with a knowledgable guide.
Difficulty: Easy walking, must be able to go up and down stairs.
Adults $28.00
Children 6-12 $18.00
5 and under Free

The Crawl
An extension of the Lighted Trail with a crawl through additional passages with a knowledgable guide.
Difficulty: Walking, crawling, and going up and down stairs equipped with helmets, lights, knee pads and gloves.
Adults & Children $60.00

The Two Hour Tour
Two hour geological journey through a labyrinth of incredible caves.
Difficulty: Walking, hiking, crawling, and going up and down stairs equipped with helmets, lights, knee pads and gloves. Must be in good physical condition.
Adults $95.00
Children (8-12) $65.00

Kula Kai Caverns Location and Map

92-8864 Lauhala Dr
Ocean View, HI 96737

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