Discover Volcano Village: Your Gateway to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii (updated 2023)
Volcano Village is just a mile down from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the little village is the lifeline to the park area with amenities to include groceries, gasoline, places to stay and some other unique things to explore in the village. The artist community has a plethora of galleries and artist studios open for visitors to tour and enjoy the artsy vibe, outdoor hikes or just relaxing in the village area.
The rustic village sits in the middle of a lush rainforest area with native forest of local Ohia trees, giant tree Hapu’u ferns and ginger plants that seem to take over acres of property fronts. You can go wine tasting; art studio hopping and visit the local farmers market to get a real slice of Volcano Village life while also visiting all the main attractions at the national park close by.
Where is Volcano Village located
Just located about a mile from the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it’s just a stones throw to the main gates. From Hilo town, the drive is about 29 miles on Hwy 11 going towards Volcano. From Kona town, the drive is about 97 miles southeast on Hwy 11 south to Volcano
Closest airport is Hilo International Airport to Volcano
Weather and best time to visit the National park
The Volcano area is cooler than the rest of the island by 10 degrees on average and nights are downright cold to warrant a sweater or sweatshirt for visiting the national park or places around the village. The area is higher in elevation and in a lush rain forest so expect more rain, fog and changing conditions in the area and bring a raincoat or wear layers to adjust to those conditions.
The best time to visit Volcano Village and the nearby Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii depends on your preferences and interests. Here are some considerations to help you plan your visit:
Weather: The weather in Volcano Village and Volcanoes National Park is generally pleasant throughout the year. However, it’s important to note that the park’s elevation can result in cooler temperatures compared to coastal areas. The average temperature ranges from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 18-24 degrees Celsius). The rainy season is typically from November to March, so if you prefer drier conditions, consider visiting during the summer months.
Crowds: The park can be more crowded during peak tourist seasons, which generally coincide with school holidays and the summer months from June to August. If you prefer a quieter and more peaceful experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and fall (September to October), when there are generally fewer visitors.
Volcanic Activity: The volcanic activity in the park can vary, and witnessing an active eruption is a unique and awe-inspiring experience. Check with the park’s authorities or the US Geological Survey (USGS) for updates on volcanic activity before planning your visit. It’s worth noting that volcanic activity can be unpredictable, and viewing areas may be restricted for safety reasons.
Special Events: Keep an eye out for special events and festivals that take place in Volcano Village and Volcanoes National Park throughout the year. These events often celebrate Hawaiian culture, arts, and music, offering a deeper insight into the local traditions and heritage.
Volcano Village as a base to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Things to do at Volcano Village
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park about a mile to the main entrance from the village and both a national park and Unesco Heritage site to explore all the facets of the park with hiking, road trip through the Chain of Craters Road, observation areas and unique features of the park to explore and enjoy.
You can stay around Volcano Village and explore all the other attractions in the area which surprisingly has more than just accommodations and food requirements. Check out these other interesting places to explore around the Village area.
Explore the art galleries at Volcano Village
Art is a big deal here with the main art studios and event space at Volcano Art Center with its revolving art exhibits, sculpture garden and art classes offered on site. Other art venues in town including the Volcano Arts Center and Restaurant, Check out the gorgeous garden and art gallery at Volcano Garden Arts or a visit to a local studio directly in the Village. You can even visit the glass art studio at 2400 Fahrenheit to check out the works in production and the gallery displays.
Tee off at the Volcano Golf Club
You can do a round of golf at the Volcano Golf Club with its 18-hole golf course, one of the islands most unusual golf course overlooking the two largest mountains on the island at Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.
Visit the largest orchid grower at Atasuka
For something more unusual check out the Orchid grower in the cool rainforest area at Atsuka Orchid Gardens and do a fun self-guided tour of their facilities or take an orchid tour through the various greenhouses to see the over 200,000 orchid plants growing in various stages to flowering. The tour also allows you to participate in a transplanting process and to take home your own souvenir orchid plant.
Taste the wines at Volcano Winery
After all that touring, maybe you might want to drop by the local winery in Volcano at the Volcano winery to try some of the grape varietals they grow along with some other exotic tropical fruits turned into more fruity and sweet wines produced locally. If you are looking for something different close to the winery is a tea farm and you can sign up for a tour and tea tasting programs here for more details
Volcano Village Farmer’s market
Volcano Village Farmers market – the big social event at Volcano Village happens every Sunday morning at the local farmers market at the Coopers Center, check out the details here for times and any other updates.
Visit the Volcano Art Center
The Volcano Art Center is a captivating hub of artistic expression nestled in the heart of Volcano Village, Hawaii. This renowned center showcases the rich and diverse artistic heritage of the volcanic region, providing a space for artists and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the world of creativity.
Housed in a historic building, the Volcano Art Center offers a range of captivating exhibits, workshops, and events that celebrate various forms of artistic expression. The center showcases works of art that are inspired by the natural beauty and unique volcanic landscapes of Hawaii, providing a profound connection between art and the surrounding environment.
Explore Volcanoes National park
Volcano Village makes the perfect base to exploring Volcanoes National Park. Here are some of the main highlights to visiting the park and its main attractions.
Kilauea Visitor Center: Begin your journey here, where you can learn about the park’s geology and get updated information on volcanic activity.
Crater Rim Drive: Take a scenic drive along this route for breathtaking views of volcanic landscapes.
Halema’uma’u Crater: Witness the impressive crater and its ever-changing volcanic activity.
Thurston Lava Tube: Walk through a natural lava tube and explore its unique formations.
Chain of Craters Road: Drive along this road to see the diverse volcanic features and stunning coastal scenery.
Devastation Trail: Hike through a once-lush forest devastated by past volcanic eruptions
Jaggar Museum: Discover exhibits on volcanism and geology, and admire panoramic views of the park.
Mauna Ulu: Take a hike to see the fascinating lava formations and expansive views.
Petroglyphs: Seek out ancient rock carvings at Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs, showcasing the rich cultural history of the area.
These activities offer a glimpse into the extraordinary volcanic wonders and rich cultural heritage of Volcanoes National Park.
Places to eat in Volcano
There are a few good places to eat in the Village including some food trucks that might appeal to the more budget conscious visiting the area. Check out the details and complete reviews on the links below.
Kilauea Lodge Restaurant – serving good serving sized dishes of European styled food with local flavors and ingredients, breakfast is also big here at the lodge.
Cafe Ono – located in a lush forest and garden and serving wholesome, organic and fresh flavors with salads, sandwiches and vegan dishes.
Ohelo Cafe – using the freshes ingredients and serving delicious fish, salads and local styled entrees done well with great presentation dishes.
Aunty Pons Thai food truck – located at the Cooper Center, delicious Thai food dishes at cheap prices you can eat at the picnic tables close by
Eagles Lighthouse Cafe – Easy and cheap take out food, sandwiches, soup and breakfast burritos make this the cheapest and delicious take out food spot in town.
Where to Stay in Volcano Village
Most of the stays at the village are at small mom and pop inns and Air Bnbs or private home rentals. Check out the best reviewed sites here.
Aloha Junction Bed and Breakfast – well located in the village in an old plantation home with nice comfortable rooms, great service and breakfast
Hale Ohia Cottages – a classic home and bed and breakfast with gorgeous grounds, cottages and service in the village
Aloha Crater Lodge – located close to the park within a lush rainforest, cozy, peaceful, comfortable and priced well for the area.
Check out these top reviewed hotels on Trip Advisor here for more details, availability and prices.
More inside tips to visiting Volcano Village and surrounding attractions
When visiting or staying at Volcano Village, here are some inside tips to enhance your experience:
Volcano National Park: Take advantage of Volcano Village’s proximity to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Plan your visit during daylight hours to explore the park’s diverse landscapes, volcanic craters, and unique hiking trails. Keep an eye on the park’s website for any closures or alerts before your visit.
Dress in Layers: Volcano Village’s elevation can result in cooler temperatures compared to the coastal areas of Hawaii. Bring layers of clothing to adjust to the changing weather and be prepared for both sunshine and potential rain.
Accommodation: Consider booking a stay at one of the charming bed and breakfast establishments or vacation rentals in Volcano Village. These accommodations often offer a cozy and immersive experience, with friendly hosts who can provide local insights and recommendations.
Evening Volcano Viewing: Experience the magical glow of Halema’uma’u Crater at night by visiting the Jaggar Museum or the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum overlook within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The red glow of the active lava lake is a mesmerizing sight, especially after sunset.
Local Eateries: Indulge in the local culinary scene by visiting the restaurants and cafes in Volcano Village. Many establishments offer delicious meals featuring locally sourced ingredients, including Hawaiian specialties and farm-to-table cuisine.
Stargazing: With its relatively low light pollution, Volcano Village provides an excellent opportunity for stargazing. On clear nights, head out to an open area and marvel at the breathtaking display of stars above.
Respect the Environment: Volcano Village is surrounded by pristine nature, so it’s crucial to practice responsible tourism. Follow the guidelines set by the national park, respect the natural environment, and leave no trace of your visit.
Explore the Surrounding Area: Besides the national park, take the time to explore the other nearby attractions, such as the lava tubes at Thurston Lava Tube or the beautiful hiking trails in the surrounding rainforest.
Further reading around the Puna district
Explore the rest of the Puna district below with attractions and places of interest to explore
Have you been to Volcano Village?
Please share your thoughts and other recommendations in the comments below with your recommendations.
Conclusion to visiting Volcano Village
In conclusion, a visit to Volcano Village offers a captivating and unforgettable experience that immerses you in the wonders of Hawaii’s volcanic landscapes. This charming gateway to Volcanoes National Park provides a unique opportunity to witness the raw power and beauty of nature, while also embracing the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Whether you explore the park’s dramatic volcanic craters, hike through lush rainforests, or marvel at the geological formations that have shaped the land, Volcano Village serves as a perfect base for your adventure. The warm and inviting atmosphere of the village, coupled with its cozy accommodations and local eateries, ensure a comfortable and memorable stay.
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