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Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour & Summit Sunset Adventure
SALE

Maunakea-observatories

Hawaii observatory seen during the tour

Stand at the top of Hawaii at the famous Big Island observatory with Mauna Kea Summit Adventures. Watch a Mauna Kea sunset over the cloud line at 9,000 feet above sea level and marvel at millions of stars glittering above with guided stargazing.

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As you travel up this stunning Big Island mountain in luxury vans, learn fascinating facts about island geology and natural history from your guide. Stop first at the Onizuka Visitor's Center to find out why the world's largest telescopes are located here. Then get ready for the steep half hour ascent to the summit. Check out the observatories and watch an enchanting sunset followed by stargazing! Enjoy hot drinks during the "Star Party" as guides interpret the stunning night sky in a way that everyone can enjoy.
Maunakea Summit Information:

This mountain is one of the only places on earth where you can drive from sea level up to the towering height of 14,000 feet in about two hours.

Temperatures can sometimes even drop to chilling freezing temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), and it is one of the two locations in Hawaii where it can snow, with the other being the sister mountain of Mauna Loa.

Although the weather can be cold, the clear icy air makes for incredible stargazing far from the light pollution of the metropolitan areas, and it is no wonder why the summit is home to 12 facilities that house 13 telescopes. (Note: While you'll get to see this fascinating scientific attraction on the Big Island during your Mauna Kea sunset tour, you won't be able to enter the facility or use the giant telescopes -- these are generally off-limits to the public.)

For other details about Mauna Kea tours, or what to expect during Mauna Kea adventures, jump to our FAQ section.

To hear what others are saying, jump to our Muana Kea stargazing reviews page.
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Price
Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour
1 Select a date
2 Select the amount (# of participants, vehicles, hours, etc.)
You can book a maximum of 28.
Adult/Child (Age 16 & over)
USD 225.00
USD 225.00
Instant Confirmation USD 0.00 USD 0.00
USD 0.00
USD 0.00
Total:
*The price is subject to change depending on the start time or add-on(s) you choose.
Adult/Child (Age 16 & over)
USD 225.00
USD 225.00
USD 237.96 5%off
USD 237.96 5%off
GE Tax included
  • Duration (incl. transportation): 4.5 - 8.5 hour(s)
  • Available: Daily
  • Pick-up: Available
  • Inclusion: Dinner / Warm clothing / Parka / Hot cocoa / Coffee / Tea / Guide
Package detail / Schedule
Schedule & Location
  • Schedule
  •  
  • Pick-up
    Time & Location
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  • Drop-off
    Time & Location
  •  

  • 15:15-16:45 Pick-up from Kailua-Kona & Waikoloa
  • 17:00 Dinner at the Onizuka Visitor Center (1 hr)
    246217 Before sunset, enjoy a hearty meal at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center. Here you'll be in view of the observatory's massive telescopes, where astronomers are hard at work probing new details about our universe.
  • 18:00 Sunset Viewing from Mauna Kea's Summit (1 hr)
    246209 Watch a beautiful sunset from one of the clearest skies in the world! Unobstructed views for miles in every direction make this one of our favorite things to do on Big Island.
  • 19:00 Mauna Kea Stargazing (1 hr)
    246208 After sunset, stick around for hot drinks and stargazing with a powerful telescope. Mauna Kea's elevation and distance from civilization give it two advantages: hardly any light pollution and crystal clarity for star viewing.
  • 21:00-23:30 Drop-off
Notes
Restriction(s)
    • Guests who are pregnant are not permitted to participate in this activity.
    • This activity is not wheelchair accessible.
    • People 16 years old and above can participate in this activity.
    • Participants may not scuba dive within 24 hours of this activity due to the risk of decompression sickness.
    • Persons who are obese (Body Mass Index of 40 or over) should not make this trip.
    • Participants with any history of a respiratory problems (this includes pneumonia in the last 6 months, any lung conditions or surgeries) are not permitted to take this tour. Contact your physician if you have questions about traveling to this altitude.
    • Participants with any history of heart problems (this includes ANY heart surgery, stent, pacemaker, heart valve irregularities etc.) are not permitted to take this tour. Contact your physician if you have questions about traveling to this altitude.
    • Wheelchair Accessibility: Tour vehicle is not equipped with a lift. Must be able to get into the van with assistance, storage available for collapsible wheelchairs. Please indicate during booking for most convenient arrangements.
Required Items to Bring & Attire
    • The average temperature on top of Mauna Kea is 30°F and wind is common. Please wear long pants and closed toed shoes and bring any layering garments you may have.
Requirement(s) - Others
    • Please call the activity provider the day before to reconfirm your booking. Your voucher has the necessary contact information listed.
Additional Note(s)
    • The activity schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to weather or traffic conditions.
    • The menu is subject to change without notice.
    • Drinks are available for purchase.
    • Road closures due to high winds near the summit may happen in the winter. If a road closure is discovered en route a shorter version of the tour will continue and guests will receive an $80 refund per person. If a road closure is discovered before departure, guests will be contacted and given the option to cancel at no charge or receive the $80 refund per person and still participate on an shorter tour. If you cannot be reached, your booking will be canceled and you will be given a full refund.
    • Beverages & snacks are available for purchase at Mauna Kea Visitor Center, but you are welcome to bring your own beverages if you want (no alcohol).
Booking Requirements (# of participants, vehicles, hours, etc.)
    • You can book a maximum of 28.
FAQ
Expand all
What will we see on this tour?
  • You will see lots of pasture, volcanic, and forest land on the way up to the summit, with a stop for some epic island views from 9200' above sea level. You will also get to watch the sunset over volcanic mountain tops and star gaze under the open sky and through telescopes.
Will we get to look through the big telescopes on Mauna Kea?
  • No, these are not available even for human viewing since they are digitized and physically huge. The tour operates outside of the observatory public hours so you do not visit the observatory. Sometimes you get to see them open their domes and set the telescopes.
Will there be any health risks linked to going up Mauna Kea?
  • Mauna Kea has 40% less oxygen than sea level and 40% less air pressure than sea level. This lack of vital oxygen can be a very serious problem for persons with heart or lung disease.
What type of vehicle will be used?
  • Built for comfort, the 14 passenger 4v4 Van Terra micro-coaches are equipped with air conditioning, stereo sound, PA, phone, first aid and oxygen, parkas, and a telescope. Each van can hold up to 14 people.
Will we be guaranteed to see stars?
  • Mauna Kea enjoys an average of 325 clear nights per year. Most of the inclement nights are easily predictable. The weather is monitored on a daily basis and if poor scenic conditions are likely, the trip will be cancelled and a full refund given (or reschedule if available). Like any high mountain there can be unpredictable and fast changing weather at any time.
What is the dinner menu?
  • A hearty hot supper of 3-Cheese Vegetable Lasagna with a tasty homemade chocolate brownie (the brownie may have nuts). Gourmet hot cocoa, coffee and tea accompanied with biscotti while stargazing. Ingredients in the lasagna may vary from day to day based on local availability and the season of the year. Includes fresh lasagna pasta tomato sauce with herbs, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, asiago cheese, garlic, onion, corn, spinach, broccoli, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, squash, mushrooms and more.

    Unfortunately, there is no alternate for dinner, if you would not like dinner or do not want this option, please contact us at anytime.
What kind of equipment will be used?
  • Your guides will provide you with new Celestron CPC 1100 telescopes that are equipped with Starbright XL coatings for 10% more light throughput than ordinary instruments. These scopes are computer automated and have spectacular optics. Because they are bigger and have better optics they gather about 100% more light than telescopes used on other tours.
What jackets sizes are available?
  • The jackets sizes are as follows:

    Small ~145 lbs and under / ~63.5 kg
    Medium 140~175 lbs / ~77 kg
    Large 170~210 lbs / ~90.5 kg
    XL 200~260 lbs / ~ 113 kg
How far in advance should I book this activity?
  • We recommend booking at least 3 weeks in advance. If you have very specific schedule requirements and are not flexible, please book sooner. Last-minute bookings are often possible, but availability is limited.
How cold does it get on Mauna Kea?
  • Average temperatures can reach 32° Fahrenheit or 0° Celsius.
Is there a shuttle in Waikoloa that stops at the Queen's Marketplace?
  • Yes, there is a shuttle that provides transport within Waikoloa Beach Resort with a stop at Queen's Marketplace. The pick-up locations include the Waikoloa Beach Marriott and the lower lobby of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. It operates daily from 10 am to 10 pm and runs every 15 minutes. The shuttle currently costs approximately $2 each way.
Will volcanic activity from Kilauea Volcano affect visibility?
  • Most likely, no. Visibility is rarely affected by the volcano, as Mauna Kea's summit is approximately 10,000 feet above sea level, beyond even the veil of most low-lying clouds.
Please click HERE to send an inquiry about this activity
Payment/Cancellation policy
Payment type
Credit card payment
Cancellation Policy
  • Any cancellations made after 18:00, 2 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. (Parties of 4 or less)
    Any cancellations made after 18:00, 3 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. (Parties of 5 or more)
    Any cancellations made after 18:00, 1 week prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. (Parties of 8-10)
    Any cancellations made after 18:00, 2 weeks prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. (Parties of 11 or more)

After your booking is confirmed, be sure to print your voucher and bring it with you on the day of your activity.

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USD 225.00
USD 225.00

Taxes & fees included

1% Reward Points
(4.73/5.00) 4.73 / 5
(56 reviews)
Pick-up Available
Duration incl. transportation 4.5 - 8.5 hour(s)
Availability Daily
Meal Dinner

LATEST 5-STAR REVIEWS

I think this was venus.
by: Jason
Our guide, Gordon, made sure the shuttle ride was comfortable and enjoyable. the stargazing and sunset views were amazing! It is well recommended to take this tour. Lasagna was a bit salty for asi...more
by: Steven
Tour actually worked out better than expected. The tour vans are nice and new, the guides are nice and knowledgeable. You go right to the telescope summit and watch the sunrise followed by a great sta...more
by: Marco and Nancy
The tour was very interesting and Arthur our tour guide was very knowledgeable of the region. He answered all of our questions about the local environment as well as the history of the Hawaiian people...more
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USD 225.00
USD 225.00
4.73 / 5
Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour & Summit Sunset Adventure