The unpredictability of Pele, at least as evidenced by the on-again, off-again lava flows into the sea from Kilauea, means it’s hard to know in advance if you’ll be able to take one of the lava-viewing tours aboard the Lava Kai catamaran (34 ft. long; 24-passenger capacity but limited to 12) or the smaller Kuewa (27 ft.; six passengers). The 2-plus-hour Sunset Volcano Boat Tour at press time offered views of lava flowing on the pali (cliff) about 6 miles away, along with closer views of volcanic features along the coast—not quite as exhilarating as seeing molten rock pour into a hissing ocean, but still adventurous, given the open waters. The tour departs from Pohoiki (Isaac Hale Beach Park) in Pahoa, as does the 6-hour Castaway Adventure snorkel/dive tour at Halape, an extremely secluded sandy beach far below the cliffs of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; the 2 1/2-hour cruise there includes a narrated guide to the unique geological formations along the way, such as the new black-sand beach at Kalapana. Captain Shane Turpin’s fleet also has two less demanding tours offered from Hilo’s Wailoa Harbor. The 3-hour Hilo Waterfall Swim & Wildlife Tour travels along the Hamakua Coast past sea caves, black-sand beaches, abandoned sugar mills, and waterfalls, including one where you can swim in the river below it. Wildlife often include spinner dolphins and, in season, humpback whales; the latter are the focus of a separate 2-hour whale-watching tour from Hilo December through April; a hydrophone (underwater microphone) on board lets you listen to the cetaceans’ songs.