Mauna Kea Stargazing
Mauna Kea Sunset
A Couple at Mauna Kea Summit
Mauna Kea Sunset

The most epic experience on Hawaii’s Big Island

The breathtaking view you'll never forget

Watch an amazing Sunrise/Sunset from the summit of Mauna Kea, nearly 14,000 ft. above the Pacific Ocean. Located in the center of Hawai’i Island, Mauna Kea has an unobstructed view of the horizon and offers a breathtaking vista that is hard to match. This view, coupled with its famous clear skies and dry crisp air, creates the perfect condition for absolutely stunning scenery.

My God, it's full of stars!

Mauna Kea is also known as one of the best stargazing spots in the world for its air clarity and total darkness. Our tours include ample time to explore the amazing star-filled night sky from where ancient Hawaiians believed the earth meets the universe.

Tour Details

TourMauna Kea Sunrise & Stars TourMauna Kea Sunset & Stars Tour
Price$245 (plus tax & fees)$245 (plus tax & fees)
Age Restriction13 and older13 and older
AvailabilityNon-scheduledDaily (weather permitting)
Minimum Participants3*3*
Maximum Occupancy Per Vehicle12**12**
Departure TimeAfter midnight
(time varies with season)
Early afternoon
(time varies with season)
Returning TimeEarly morning
(time varies with season)
Late night
(time varies with season)
Tour Duration7-8 hours7-8 hours
Time at the SummitApprox. 1hr during sunriseApprox. 1hr during sunset
StargazingApprox. 30min unguided (no telescope)Approx. 1hr guided with our computerized telescope
Gear ProvidedHeavy-duty hooded parkaHeavy-duty hooded parka
Food ProvidedLight snacks and hot chocolateLight snacks and hot chocolate
Vehicle4×4 passenger van4×4 passenger van

Please note;

  • Our tours do not include meals. We provide light snacks and you are welcome to bring your own.
  • Please bring warm clothes to wear under the provided parka. Read the FAQ to learn more about our Mauna Kea Tours.
  • We strongly encourage you to bring water. Drinking water will reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
  • Gratuity is not included in the tour price but tips are greatly appreciated.

*If the number of participants does not reach 3 by 24 hours before the tour departs, the tour will be canceled. Customers who have already applied will have the option to pay the difference to avoid cancellation.
**Maximum occupancy per vehicle is subject to change due to the Covid-19 regulations by the State of Hawaii and the County of Hawaii.


2 convenient locations to catch your tour van

We provide 2 convenient pickup points in Kailua-Kona and Waikoloa Beach Resort. Select an ideal location according to where you are staying or your activity of the day.

Don’t have a car? Or just don’t feel like driving? No worries! We can pick you up at major hotels and condos on the west side of the island. (Subject to an additional fee)

Learn More

We no longer pick up guests at Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area due to a change in Hawaii County regulations.

E Ola Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is one of the most sacred sites for native Hawaiians and the Hawaiian culture. We are dedicated to promoting a deep appreciation of and respect for the natural beauty, culture, people, and history of Mauna Kea and Hawaiʻi Island. E Ola Mauna Kea – Let Mauna Kea Live!

We continue to receive and pass on the traditional teachings of Kumu Kaela Ching, our exclusive advisor to the Hawaiian culture.

Kumu Keala Ching
Kumu Keala Ching

Gelsey A
Gelsey A
August 19, 2022.
Highly memorable part of our Big Island honeymoon John took us up to Mauna Kea for the sunset tour and it was truly memorable! He was highly knowledgeable about the volcano, the observatories at the summit and the astronomy as well. We had plenty of time for pictures at the stops and we were able to look through the telescope and learn about the stars. The parka, hot chocolate and yummy snacks were appreciated. The van was comfortable and a good temperature. Thanks John and Taikobo! I can’t recommend this tour enough.
August 16, 2022.
cosmic! just being on the sacred mountain was special in itself. the sunset, the glistening geometries of the observatories, the info provided by our excellent guide John and the stargazing were the cherry on top
Taylor F
Taylor F
August 14, 2022.
Absolutely Breathtaking We did the Mauna Kea sunset tour with John as our driver /tour guide. John was very knowledgeable on the history of the astrology centres, stars and geographical features. Also a very welcoming human. We were provided with complimentary super warm jackets, snacks and a high quality photo with the stars. The experience itself was better than you can ever imagine. Thank you John and thank you Mauna Kea.
July 30, 2022.
Top of the Pacific The van was new, clean and comfortable. The snacks were tasty and our driver/guide was professional, experienced, and shared just the right amount of information. Experiencing the Hawaiian sunset from 13,780 feet and then the brilliance of the Milky Way was an unexpected, and unforgettable, addition to our vacation. Thank you, John.
Crystal P
Crystal P
July 28, 2022.
Most beautiful sunset This trip was amazing. The tour guide Shin was very knowledgeable and gave us so many facts during our whole trip. The sunset at the summit was absolutely beautiful and well worth it. Being above the clouds was breathtaking. Then the stargazing afterwards was so captivating. The amount of stars that could be seen with the naked eye was so much more than anywhere else. Plus, the fact that you can see the milky way with the naked eye up there, so cool.
July 27, 2022.
Surreal and Humbling experience We did Mauna Kea Sunset and Stargazing trip with the company. It was an amazing experience. Looking at the sun setting behind the clouds, drinking hot chocolate while watching dark starry nights and learning about so many constellations was very surreal and humbling experience. What made the experience 10 folds better was our guide, Shin. He took care of everybody, asked us whether we are okay multiple times, offered to click many pictures at multiple stops, drove the vehicle very carefully and had an immense knowledge of Constellations, stars, planet and the night sky. Cherry on the top, he was also a great photographer who offered to click our pictures with his own camera. We and everybody on the group got multiple pics with Milky Way Galaxy on the background. Mahalo Shin for being the most amazing tour guide. Overall the trip was $230ish. They don't have food but they provide a lot of snacks and one bottle of water. Looking back at the experience, it was definitely worth the price. Definitely recommend this tour from this company.
July 19, 2022.
First-class trip We had a wonderful private trip to the top of Mauna Kea with our tour guide, John. He picked us up at our hotel, drove well, conveyed interesting information in a very friendly manner, and took us to great places to see the sunset and stars. During the trip, he provided a warm parka, which was very necessary, and hot chocolate, and did a great job of pointing out key aspects of the heavens. He also provided us with really cool pictures of us with an incredible number of stars behind us. It was a first-class trip and one I would recommend wholeheartedly.
July 15, 2022.
A most memorable trip to the mountaintop We did a Mauna Kea sunset tour. Our guide John made the trip that much more enjoyable with his informative narrative as he drove us very safely to the top of the world! After the sunset we came down to one of the parking areas below the summit where he setup his telescope to see some stars and the full moon which was an added bonus that night. Everything was just right. Thank you John!
Jiajing Z
Jiajing Z
July 13, 2022.
Really really nice experience It is a really really nice tour. Really comfortable car. Our tour guide Shin is really nice and give us good introductions. He also helped me take a lot photos so that I could share with my family and friends. Everything is nice, the star gazing is really really nice as well. I haven’t go to other companies’ tour on the island but I bet this is one of the best
July 9, 2022.
Mauna Kea sunset and stargazing tour I would recommend this experience as a must do at Big Island. Our guide John was very knowledgeable and gave us just enough to absorb during the trip. He shared so many stories that made us understand local culture, significance of Mauna Kea and why it’s truly an astronomer’s paradise. We traveled in a very comfortable 4WD and John maneuvered a pretty tricky terrain while we all soaked in the sights. He made few pit stops before the summit to help us acclimatize. Him offering a chant to the goddess near the summit was a specially nice moment. After sunset, be ready to be mesmerized by the sky. John helped us read the night sky. We even saw the international space station. The milky way took my breath away for a bit. Viewing galaxies and stars millions of light years away was exceptional. To top it off the snacks were amazing and all locally sourced. Hot chocolate in the freezing cold cheered us all up. John also clicked a couple of memorable pictures for us with the Milky Way as the backdrop. On our way back we listened to local music (another nice little touch). Thank you! John. You are the best guide ever 🙂

Tours operated by Taikobo Hawaii, Inc.

Taikobo Hawaii, Inc. has been providing guided tours to the summit of Mauna Kea since 1983 as well as other famous tourist destinations on the Big Island of Hawaii. We are one of the few companies that are officially authorized by The Office of Maunakea Management (part of the University of Hawaii at Hilo) to conduct commercial tours in this Hawaiian sanctuary.

We are dedicated to promoting a deep appreciation and respect for the natural beauty, culture, and history of the Big Island of Hawaii and the Hawaiian People by providing a variety of safe, enjoyable, and educational tours to visitors from all over the world, and by focusing company resources on the development of hospitable and knowledgeable guides and safe and comfortable tour vehicles.

COVID-19 Health & Safety Policy

Although Hawaii’s indoor mask mandate is no longer in effect, masks are still strongly recommended in our tour van to lower the risk of transmission. It is wise to wear a mask while indoors with people whose vaccination status is unknown and when you are unable to maintain physical distancing.

Our health policy is subject to change in the future due to State of Hawaii regulations and recommendations.

Taikobo Hawaii, Inc. (dba. Mauna Kea Sunrise Sunset & Stars) adheres to the guidelines and requirements of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the State of Hawaii in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus infection. We ask all of our guests to meet the following requirements when participating in our tour.

  • You must have completed the COVID-19 vaccine or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test from the Safe Travels Hawaii Program. The person who makes the reservation must agree to these terms during the online checkout process and everyone in the group must meet this requirement. We do not accept guests that have only been quarantined for entry.
  • We will check your body temperature with a contactless infrared thermometer prior to the tour. Any guest with a temperature higher than 100.4 will not be allowed to participate in the tour. Their party and traveling companions will also not be allowed to participate in the tour. A full refund will be made for all affected customers.
  • Masks are required at all times inside the vehicle. The state of Hawaii mandates everyone to wear a mask indoors.

Updated: March 26, 2022