The Creation of Clouds
The Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary isn’t a typical rainforest, but that doesn't mean it's dry. While the area is characterized by misty, cloudy days, it does experience rainfall, especially during the rainy season. When the clouds are heavy enough, visitors may encounter a heavy downpour. It’s a cloud forest located at that sweet spot on Hualālai, ranging from 2500 – 5000 feet in elevation; a 50-mile-long swath about five miles wide. Given the possibility of showers, we always recommend guests to bring a rain jacket for their visit.
The very nature of a cloud forest is self-sustaining. Trees cool their habitat by shading the ground and drawing water up into the canopy. Moist air rising up the mountain cools and turns to clouds. This foggy precipitation maintains the forests that created it. Cloud forests are rare. The Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary even more so because it’s a seasonally dry cloud forest. Winters are the dry season on the Kona side of Hawaiʻi. And if you’re visiting during the summer, expect it to be even more misty.
THIS IS A MEDITATION. THIS IS A MINDFULNESS PRACTICE. THIS IS A SANCTUARY.
Restoring the Forests | Restoring Ourselves
Restoration and conservation form the foundation of the Sanctuary’s mission. Humans have done damage to the land. Some of that damage is irreparable, like extinct native species that are not found anywhere else on earth, but some can be reversed, reminding us that hope exists — even in devastation.
Throughout the grounds, you’ll see some of the 200 palm and 100 bamboo species Bezona first planted on the lands. There are six different types of banyans, various eucalyptus, rubber trees, and even a carnivorous garden. The forest now rests on about a foot-and-a-half of loose rubble and decomposing matter. Trails are littered with these fallen leaves and lava chunks, which nourish growth to come. Each step is an acknowledgment of the tiny sliver of time humans can experience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I explore the Sanctuary on my own or do I need a guide?
- It is required to be with a guide to explore the Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary for safety purposes as well as it creates a much better experience when you learn the story of this privately stewarded land from your tour guide!
When are your tours?
- We offer guided tours everyday of the week! Check our tour schedule for the most up to date availability.
What do I need to bring for the tour?
- Please wear closed toed shoes you will be comfortable hiking in, water, a camera to take photos and a rain jacket. Always be prepared for rain; in a cloud forest it can rain at any time! And of course, remember your adventure hat!
When should I arrive for the tour?
- We ask that you arrive 10 minutes before the tour begins. The tour will begin on time, so it’s important that you arrive early so that you are ready to begin at the start time.
Do you have a bathroom?
- Yes, we have a bathroom for use at the trailhead.
Do you have drinking water and food available?
- We do not have water or food available at this time, please come prepared with what you need.
Do you have a trash can?
- We do not have a trash can. Please follow pack in and pack out guidelines. Any trash / wrappers that is brought in by you needs to be brought out by you. When we all do our part we keep the Sanctuary, the forest and the trails clean.
What is your cancellation policy?
- Customers will receive a full refund, credit, or rebooking with up to 48 hours notice of cancellation. There are no refunds or rebooking within 48 hours of your reservation.
- No refunds will be issued due to weather unless operations are canceled by the operator.
- Customers will receive a full refund, credit, or rebooking in case of operator cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
- Contact us by phone to cancel, rebook, or inquire about a cancellation.
- No refunds will be issued to no-show’s.
Where are you located?
- We are located 15 minutes up the mountain from the Kailua-Kona Airport and 20 minutes from Kailua-Kona town.