Ecotourism in Kilauea, Hawaii is going strong!
What is ecotourism how can you make your next trip environmentally-friendly?
Ecotourism is defined as tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. In other words, it’s about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel.
Sustainable Living and Ecotourism in Hawaii
The practice of malama aina or “caring for the land” was deeply rooted in the lives of early Hawaiians. The belief that every plant and animal has a sacred spot in the fabric of the universe fueled this practice that led to sustainable living centuries before it became a popular lifestyle choice. Thankfully, many of these thoughtful methods are still practiced by Hawaiians today and embraced by tourists from all over the world.
The term “farm-to-table” may be novel to some, but the concept of eating food grown and raised locally – in one’s backyard – was a big part of early Hawaiian culture. Today, tourists can enjoy Hawaii’s abundance of fresh produce, meats, and seafood from a wide selection of restaurants. In and near Kilauea, try:
- Healthy Hut Market and Café is one of the best health food stores on the island, offering an outstanding selection of locally-sourced food and products. Their friendly staff will keep you coming back time and time again.
- Postcards Café serves beautifully prepared seafood and gourmet vegetarian cuisine. Their exceptionally fresh meals are prepared with organic ingredients, including island-grown produce.
- Kauai Juice Co produces cold-pressed, glass-bottled, organic, locally-sourced juices. Made with locally-grown fresh leafy greens, root veggies, herbs, and seasonal fruits, these juices are a must-not-miss in Kilauea.
Appreciation for the natural world is evident in the many ancient chants, songs, and legends of the Hawaiin Islands. Fortunately, a deep respect for the environment remains strong in modern-day Hawaii. These only-in-Hawaii experiences invite visitors to learn about Hawaiian culture and gain a newfound appreciation for the stunning landscapes around them.
- The Pu’uhonua preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge. It’s a must-visit site for those interested in immersing themselves is Hawaiian culture and history.
- Mokupāpapa Discovery Center was established to interpret the natural science, culture, and history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and surrounding marine environment. It strives to bring greater public awareness of the region and ocean conservation issues.
- Volcano Arts Center was founded in 1974 by a band of eclectic and energetic artists. Today, VAC continues as a successful fine arts gallery showcasing handcrafted artworks by over 230 local artists, as well as developing and offering programs for residents, children and visitors alike.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeking fan of the great outdoors, a weekend adventurer, or an admirer of Hawaii’s culture and beauty, Kilauea and Hawaii Island offer a ton of eco-friendly opportunities for fun, inspiration, and rejuvenation. Our top picks are:
- Hawaii Forest and Trail’s mission is to share a passion for natural history and help conserve Hawaii’s endangered environment through education. With several tour options available there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
- Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary was founded in 1998 as a non-profit exotic animal sanctuary. It sits on five acres above Kona and is home to zebras, nene, hawks, owls, flamingos, reptiles, as well as many other rare, endangered and exotic creatures.
- Bike Volcano Tours offers daily volcano bicycle tours of Kilauea Volcano. Their tours run rain or shine – unless dangerous conditions are predicted – so make sure you’re ready to explore no matter the weather!
If you love the environment and traveling to new and exotic places, ecotourism is the way to go. Luckily, Volcano Hawaii lodging at Kilauea Hospitality Group is at the center of it all. From the beginning, we have employed ecologically friendly solutions in order to preserve, cherish, and respect one of the last remaining Hawaiian rainforests. Book your room today.