In the early morning hours of Monday, December 21, the Kīlauea Volcano erupted for the first time in more than two years. The most active of the volcanoes that make up Hawaii’s Big Island—and also the legendary home of the goddess Pele—Kīlauea has since been slowly filling the Halemaʻumaʻu crater with lava as the USGS Volcano Alert Level remains at “watch.” While experts recommend limiting exposure to any volcanic particles and the “vog” (volcanic smog), there are still ways for visitors to safely catch a glimpse of this incredible activity.
Already known as a haven for more adventurous travelers, Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, recently reopened to once again offer the Kalāhuipuaʻa land’s purported spiritual powers of rejuvenation. Though, guests might now be more excited about the ability to get an eagle eye view of Kīlauea on a helicopter tour or learn more about the volcano’s impact through a guided hike, both of which can be organized by hotel staff.
A full-day tour is certainly the best way to experience this event, as expert guides will not only be able to entertain visitors with the land’s rich history, but also keep everyone comfortable as they drive through some of the island’s most beautiful areas for a celebration of Hawaii’s natural wonder. The tour group Adventure in Hawaii, for example, plans its Kīlauea adventure so that it culminates with a sunset view of the caldera and a ride through a private lava tube. Oh, and of course dinner and lunch are provided.
With that once-in-a-lifetime experience out of the way, there’s still so much to do at Mauna Lani. The Kainalu Sports program provides a bevy of recreational activities, all of which are led by world-class athletes. Kick off the day with a sunrise paddleboard yoga session before earning breakfast with a killer CrossFit class. Tour the coast on an outrigger canoe, ride an e-bike through Waimea’s hills, and free dive to explore volcanic ledges and stunning reef formations.
Best of all, at a time when vacation days are at a premium and trips are being extended to make up for lost time, in addition to 334 guest rooms and suites, Mauna Lani boasts five 4,000-sq. ft. residences that sleep up to six people, offer private pools and even entries for ultimate distancing. Anyone interested in an extended stay can book a residence for 21 nights and pay for just 18, while also earning a resort credit that can be used for the aforementioned activities and more.
Before booking or traveling, be sure to read and understand Hawaii’s pre-travel requirements and safety protocols. Additionally, Mauna Lani has simplified the testing process by teaming with Vault Health to provide at-home Covid-19 testing kits. A negative test result eliminates the requirement for a 14-day self-quarantine period. It also pairs nicely with all the masks you will pack and wear on your trip.