Here is a selection of the most recent reviews of the Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour submitted by actual travelers. Read what travelers liked, what they loved, and what they thought could be improved.
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This was a highlight of our 3-week trip. It was a great experience. Studiying the night time sky was awesome as was getting to see the observatories and sunset at the Mauna Kea summit. Our driver/guide was very knowledgeable and personable. Although parts of the drive up the summit can be a bit rocky and the meal was average, this excursion is still well woth it. Also, participants need to be aware that the altitude at the summit (14,000 ft.) can be stressful.Reviewed by: Miles K, February 2014
Fabulous experience. Tour guide goodReviewed by: Jon V, January 2014
Excellent. Recommend to everyone. Tour Guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.Reviewed by: Steve H, December 2013
The trip goes like this:
~Meet at Kona office about 1:30pm. Check in. Use the bathroom. Look at the shop. Load into the van.
~Pick up people at other resorts north of Kona.
~Stop along the way to stretch the legs and walk on lava, take photos.
~Arrive at picnic location, which was an old ranch. Eat, drink, get to know others on the trip. Use the porta-potties. Take photos of the abandoned ranch.
~Drive up to Mauna Kea, making a few stops along the way, looking at large satellites, plants and views. Take photos.
~Arrive at the summit after a slightly bumpy windy road. Spend about 15 minutes watching the sunset, taking photos and use the porta-pottie if your numb hands will function at this point.
~Head back down to the visitor center parking lot. Gather around and look at the stars and hear information about them. Drink hot chocolate and eat brownies. Use the porta-pottie. (Take a flash light as it's pitch dark).
~Quick stop in the gift shop (10 mins). Not a great gift shop.
~Load back in the van and head back to your resort/Kona. At least an 8 hour trip.
~Excellent guide (Greg) was very knowledgeable and passionate, especially about the stars.
~Better than expected chicken 'picnic' dinner provided by Jackie Reys Ohana Grill with cornbread, veggies and hot tea and water. (Keep the plastic 'gym style' water bottle for free!)
~Parkas and mittens provided. DRESS WARMLY!!! We brought our own hats, scarves, gloves and I wore 3 layers under my parka, long pants and close-toed shoes. (We went in January). Your fingers will be numb, believe me.
~Porta-potties for most of the trip. Get your Purell ready!
~I requested a small parka, but only a medium was available. Not a big deal.
~Gift shop at the Mauna Kea visitor center was disappointing. It's small, dark, cold and offered ugly T-shirts and everything seemed very expensive.
The sunset was great and the scenery almost Mars-like. The telescope viewing was great, too, although the constellation and planet talk was a little too long.Reviewed by: Peter C, January 2014