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$230 (plus tax & fees)$230 (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.


3 convenient locations to catch your tour van

We provide 3 convenient pickup points in Kailua-Kona, Waikoloa, and at Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area by Saddle Road (Route 200). 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

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

Based on 73 reviews.
Rick Hylands
Rick Hylands
March 1, 2022.
Mauna Kea sunset/ Stargazer I did the sunset Mauna Kea and stargazing trip. John was the host and driver. He was very knowledgeable and informative, as well as a good safe driver!! His respect for the Hawaiian culture will be self evident during the trip, and as such we experienced a little something I know many others trips/ company's do not do! John is so knowledgeable about the stars and went the extra mile to make it a memorable experience! The supplied jackets were a life saveras it is cold up there! Thanks John, Mahalo
January 27, 2022.
An amazing experience from start to finish This tour was so amazingly organized, our guide so knowledgeable and it really maximized the experience. We got a little tour around the telescope area, saw an amazing sunset at the top, then did stargazing near the visitor center. Guide was also great for identifying the stars. Another thing that I really liked was that they actually did *not* provide dinner, so we didn't have to spend a lot of time at picnic benches at the visitor center. They advised us to eat ahead of time, but provided every person a goodie bag of local snacks such as cookies from local bakeries, chips made on the Big Island, and macadamia nuts, just to name a few. This meant that we could spend that time and walk around the visitor center area (see silverswords). We were also at the summit first so we got the best spots for sunset viewing and spent more time there.
January 21, 2022.
great experience with Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour! Great experience with this tour. Shin made sure we were comfortable the whole way. Helped us take lots of photos on our phones. Shin also had a lot of information on stargazing and was a pro with the telescope so we could see the night sky clearer. The van was nice and roomy for anyone who is covid conscious.
January 18, 2022.
So close to the universe! I participated in Mauna Kea Sunrise tour by Taikobo, and it was certainly one of the highlight of my Big Island experience! Our guide John was knowledgeable and kind, sharing interesting stories about Hawaii, it’s culture and history with us on the way to Mauna Kea, in engaging manner. Stargazing was great despite of the full moon (that makes stars less visible, he said), staring from finding the pole star, seeing constellations, imagining the vast universe following his instructions. My mind was blown away when he let us watch the moon through the telescope - it was gigantic and I could see it’s irregular edges! On the top of Maura Kea, we were very lucky that we could see the sunrise and moonset of the full moon almost simultaneously. The moon setting next to the shadow of the summit (that looks like a real mountain) was so beautiful and surreal….and all of this happens while we are looking over the sea of clouds from above. Mauna Kea was amazing place - I appreciate this tour gave us plenty of time to take in it’s extraordinary beauty and sacred energy. It is well designed and well executed by the team of Taikobo (from friendly receptionists to the super knowledgeable tour guide) with Aloha spirits. Highly recommend!
January 9, 2022.
Heavenly We so enjoyed our tour with Taikobo. The front staff (especially Emmy) are so kind and, if you book far enough before you leave, will be very accommodating in making sure you get the best possible star gazing experience. We received a lovely goodie bag with local snacks and at the end, received beautiful postcards. Overall, I would say the tour was excellent, our guide was able to answer all of our questions and was very knowledgeable. I think there are many aspects which distinguish Taikobo from other similar companies, choose them you will not be disappointed!
January 9, 2022.
Maunakea Summit Sunset & Stargazing Tour - AMAZING!!! My wife and I participated in the Maunakea Summit Sunset & Stars tour. We chose to join the tour at the Taikobo office in Kailua-Kona where we were greeted by our guide Shen. We were with Shen on this tour for about 8 hours and for every minute of this time he was friendly, upbeat, enthusiastic, helpful, and informative. The vehicle for the tour was a 15 passenger 4WD minibus and it was very clean and fairly comfortable, which is a good thing b/c the tour did involve several hours of driving to get from Kailua-Kona to the Maunakea summit and back. During the drive to the mountain there were several planned stops for bathroom breaks and we had a chance to stretch our legs. There was interesting narration during the drive provided by Shin and via recorded audio which covered the Hawaiian climate and geography, the cultural significance of Maunakea, the telescopes at the summit, and other topics. The last stop on the way up was at the Onizuka Visitor Center at an elevation of 9k feet. I scored some sweet merch in the gift store. Then it on up to the summit where for our visit there was a blanket of brilliant white snow! The view at almost 14k feet elevation of the red lava rocks, snow, brilliant blue sky, telescope domes, and a sea of clouds below was other-worldly and unique. Taikobo provided a thick hooded parka for each guest and ours kept us warm in the freezing air. The sunset viewed from among the telescope domes was fantastic. Then we were driven partway back down the mountain to a stop for stargazing in the clear sky. We drank hot cocoa while Shen pointed out the constellations and we viewed several stars, the Orion nebula, and the crescent moon through an 8-inch telescope Shen had set up. This stop lasted about an hour and I recommend guests wear warm socks because it was COLD! Then it was time for the drive back to Kailua-Kona. My wife and I have only praise for Taikobo Hawaii and this tour - it was a unique and worthwhile experience.
January 7, 2022.
Lifetime experience and the top of summit view is phenomenal From the booking online, spoke to Emmy to switch the day due to road close and the guide John, all the process were so easy and more than 5 stars ⭐️ services. They are so polite, respectful and knowledgeable. John is so experienced, excellent driver, he made the stargazing 🔭 so fun and the best part is he prepared hot coco for us during the stargazing. You definitely need something warm after the summit. The sunset on the top of summit is phenomenal. Where can you see a sunset above the cloud!!!! Being a mom of 2 teens, I highly recommended the tour after they turn 15. They will appreciate and learn more. Also, they made the right decision not providing dinner, you don’t want a full meal before you are going on an unpaved road ride and in high altitude. They provide you a snack bag with all kinds of local snack and water. This is perfect. High recommended this company. This is an unforgettable lifetime experience.
Si C
Si C
December 29, 2021.
Mouna Kea is best with Taikobo It was amazing from starting to end. I must mention about Emmy who is very helpful even to accommodate to next day for better weather. That made our day to see the galaxies clearly. I forgot something and she is sending it to me which is beyond the expectations. And then John, our tour guide, an amazing person, very helpful and attentive and polite. He made the star gazing as an interactive one. Must go with this company to have a best experience of lifetime. Thank you Taikobo!
December 27, 2021.
Mind blowing trip to the top of the world at Mauna Kea Summit Amazing tour with very friendly and knowledgable guide Shin. The views from the Summit are other-worldly. Simply amazing to go from the beach to the snow at 14,000 feet in one afternoon! The star gazing is also spectacular- although on our tour this went on a bit too long leading to a late return and pretty long day. But despite that this is highly recommended. Also much better than trying to do this on your own- the road is rough and the the cozy parkas provided by the tour are a must!
Joe G
Joe G
December 14, 2021.
Great views and friendly guide The views at the top of Mauna Kea were breathtaking. The tour guide, John, was very knowledgeable and friendly. He knew much of the history of the island, the volcano, and stars/constellations. The snacks were local and delicious. I would recommend this company to anyone that wants a guided tour of Mauna Kea.

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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