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Adventure | Big Island | Hawaii


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Cathe Mercer



Welcome to the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii, a paradise destination that offers a perfect blend of natural wonders and adventure activities. Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the Big Island is the largest and most diverse island in the Hawaiian archipelago. This breathtaking island is renowned for its stunning landscapes, from lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls to vast lava fields and active volcanoes.


With its unique combination of geology, climate, and culture, the Big Island offers a truly one-of-a-kind experience for travelers seeking adventure and exploration. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adrenaline junkie, or a history enthusiast, this island has something to offer for everyone.


One of the defining features of the Big Island is its captivating coastline. With miles of pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and outstanding surfing spots, it’s a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding are just a few of the activities you can enjoy in the island’s abundant marine playground.


But the Big Island isn’t just about beach adventures; it’s also home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. From the majestic Mauna Kea, the highest volcano on the island, to the mesmerizing lava flows of Kilauea, which have shaped the island’s landscape over centuries, the Big Island is a testament to the power and beauty of nature.


Alongside its natural wonders, the Big Island boasts a rich cultural heritage. The island’s vibrant local culture can be experienced through traditional hula performances, authentic Hawaiian cuisine, and visits to historical sites, such as the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and the Hulihe’e Palace.


Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities, a chance to immerse yourself in nature, or a cultural journey through the island’s history, the Big Island of Hawaii offers an unforgettable adventure. So get ready to explore this incredible island and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Geographical Overview

The Big Island of Hawaii, also known as Hawaii Island, is the largest and youngest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It spans approximately 4,028 square miles (10,430 square kilometers) and is located in the central Pacific Ocean. The island’s diverse terrain is a result of its volcanic origin and ongoing volcanic activity.


The island is divided into five main regions: Kona, Hilo, Kohala, Puna, and Ka’u. Each region has its own distinct characteristics and attractions, offering a wide range of experiences for visitors.


The western side of the island is known as the Kona Coast, renowned for its sunny weather and stunning beaches. This region is home to popular tourist destinations such as the resorts of Kailua-Kona and the historic town of Captain Cook.


On the eastern side of the island, you’ll find the town of Hilo, known for its lush rainforests and spectacular waterfalls. Hilo is also the gateway to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea.


The Kohala Coast, located on the northwest side of the island, is famous for its luxury resorts, world-class golf courses, and exquisite beaches. This region offers a more laid-back and upscale experience for travelers seeking relaxation and indulgence.


The Puna and Ka’u regions, located on the southeastern side of the island, are less developed and offer a more rugged and untouched natural environment. Here, you’ll find black sand beaches, lava fields, and remote coastal areas perfect for adventure and exploration.


In addition to its stunning coastline, the Big Island boasts diverse landscapes such as tropical rainforests, high mountain peaks, fertile valleys, and expansive ranchlands. The island’s highest peak is Mauna Kea, standing at an impressive elevation of 13,796 feet (4,205 meters) above sea level. The summit of Mauna Kea is renowned for its observatories, making it a popular destination for stargazing enthusiasts.


Overall, the Big Island’s geographical diversity provides an abundance of opportunities to explore and discover the island’s unique beauty. From golden sandy beaches to towering volcanic peaks, this island is a true natural wonder just waiting to be explored.


Climate and Weather

The Big Island of Hawaii enjoys a tropical climate that is characterized by warm temperatures and relatively consistent weather patterns throughout the year. However, due to the island’s diverse geography, the climate can vary significantly depending on the location and elevation.


The coastal areas of the Big Island experience warm and sunny weather, with average temperatures ranging from 75°F (24°C) to 85°F (29°C) year-round. These regions, such as Kona and Kohala, benefit from a great deal of sunshine and minimal rainfall, making them ideal for beach activities and outdoor adventures.


In contrast, the eastern side of the island, particularly Hilo and Puna, tends to be more humid and receives higher levels of rainfall. This area is known for its lush rainforests, vibrant vegetation, and stunning waterfalls. Visitors to these regions should come prepared with rain gear and expect occasional showers, especially during the winter months.


Elevation plays a significant role in the climate on the Big Island. As you travel up the slopes of the island’s volcanoes, such as Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, temperatures can drop significantly. At higher elevations, such as the summit of Mauna Kea, temperatures can reach freezing levels, and snowfall is not uncommon during the winter months. It’s essential to dress in layers and plan accordingly when visiting these higher elevation areas.


The Big Island experiences two distinct seasons: a dry season and a wet season. The dry season typically runs from May to October, characterized by warm and sunny weather with minimal rainfall. The wet season, on the other hand, occurs from November to April, with an increase in rainfall, particularly on the windward (eastern) side of the island.


It’s important to note that the weather can be unpredictable at times, and microclimates exist across the island. Visitors are advised to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly for their planned activities.


Overall, the Big Island’s climate and weather provide favorable conditions for outdoor adventures and exploration. With its warm temperatures, abundant sunshine, and diverse landscapes, this island is an ideal destination for those seeking to enjoy the great outdoors year-round.


Top Attractions on the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii is known for its awe-inspiring natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, offering visitors a plethora of top-notch attractions to explore. From stunning landscapes to historical sites, here are some of the island’s must-visit attractions:


1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this park showcases the captivating power of volcanic activity. Visitors can witness the smoking craters of Kilauea and explore lava tubes while immersing themselves in the island’s geological wonders.


2. Akaka Falls State Park: Located near Hilo, this park is home to the majestic Akaka Falls, a cascading waterfall that plunges 442 feet (135 meters) into a lush gorge. A short, scenic hike leads you through a tropical rainforest, where you can also enjoy panoramic views of the coastline.


3. Mauna Kea: This towering volcano is not only the highest point in Hawaii but also one of the world’s best locations for stargazing. The summit hosts world-class observatories, and visitors can join stargazing tours to marvel at the night sky from this unique vantage point.


4. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park: This sacred site, also known as the Place of Refuge, offers insight into ancient Hawaiian culture. Visitors can explore reconstructed temples, royal fishponds, and learn about the traditional customs and practices that governed Hawaiian society.


5. Papakōlea Green Sand Beach: Located near South Point, this rare and stunning beach is famous for its distinctive green sand. The beach gets its hue from the olivine crystals found in the volcanic rocks. It’s a challenging but rewarding hike to reach the beach, offering a unique and memorable experience.


6. Captain Cook Monument: Located in Kealakekua Bay, this monument marks the spot where the legendary British explorer Captain James Cook met his unfortunate end in 1779. The bay is also a popular snorkeling destination, offering a chance to swim among vibrant coral reefs and tropical fish.


7. Pu’ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site: This historic site preserves a significant temple built by King Kamehameha the Great. Visitors can explore the temple ruins, immerse themselves in Hawaiian history, and learn about the unification of the Hawaiian Islands under one ruler.


8. Waipi’o Valley: A lush and picturesque valley located on the northeastern coast of the island, Waipi’o Valley is often referred to as the “Valley of the Kings.” It features lush taro fields, towering cliffs, and a black sand beach. Hiking or taking a guided tour is the best way to experience its beauty.


These are just a few of the top attractions that the Big Island has to offer. The island’s natural wonders, historical sites, and cultural heritage provide visitors with a multitude of experiences to enjoy and memories to cherish for a lifetime.


Adventure Activities on the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts, offering a wide array of thrilling activities that cater to all levels of adventure seekers. From exploring volcanoes to diving with manta rays, here are some of the top adventure activities to experience on the Big Island:


1. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: The crystal-clear waters surrounding the Big Island are teeming with vibrant marine life and coral reefs. Popular snorkeling spots include Kealakekua Bay and Kahaluu Beach, while scuba diving enthusiasts can explore underwater lava tubes and discover unique species at dive sites like the black sand beach at Punalu’u.


2. Ziplining: Soar through the lush tropical forests and breathtaking canyons of the Big Island on a thrilling zipline adventure. Zip line courses like the ones found in the Akaka Falls area offer an exhilarating experience combined with stunning views of the island’s natural beauty.


3. ATV or Off-Road Adventures: Explore the rugged terrains and remote areas of the Big Island on an ATV or off-road tour. Traverse through the rolling hills of Waipi’o Valley, or venture off the beaten path to discover hidden waterfalls and panoramic vistas.


4. Helicopter Tours: Take to the sky and witness the island’s extraordinary landscapes from a bird’s-eye view with a helicopter tour. Soar above the dramatic volcanic landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and towering cliffs, experiencing a truly unforgettable adventure.


5. Hiking and Trekking: Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure on one of the many scenic trails across the island. From the enchanting Pololu Valley Trail to the challenging trek to the summit of Mauna Kea, the Big Island offers a range of hiking experiences for all fitness levels.


6. Dolphin and Manta Ray Encounters: Join a guided tour and embark on a memorable ocean adventure to swim with wild dolphins or witness the mesmerizing dance of manta rays. These encounters provide a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of marine life up close.


7. Sport Fishing: The deep waters surrounding the Big Island are a fishing enthusiast’s dream. Book a charter and try your hand at catching big game fish such as marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, fishing in these pristine waters is an adventure in itself.


8. Horseback Riding: Discover the island’s scenic ranchlands and meandering trails on a horseback riding excursion. Explore the lush valleys, ancient lava fields, and panoramic vistas while riding gentle horses and immersing yourself in the island’s natural beauty.


These adventure activities offer a thrilling way to discover the Big Island’s natural wonders and create unforgettable memories. So, get ready to fuel your adrenaline and embark on an unforgettable adventure on the Big Island of Hawaii.


Hiking and Trekking

The Big Island of Hawaii is a hiker’s paradise, offering an abundance of scenic trails and diverse terrain to explore. Whether you are a novice hiker or an experienced trekker, the island has options for all fitness levels and interests. Here are some of the top hiking and trekking experiences on the Big Island:


1. Pololu Valley Trail: Located on the northern tip of the island, this trail offers breathtaking views of the dramatic Pololu Valley and the rugged coastline. The moderately challenging trail descends through lush vegetation and offers a chance to explore black sand beaches and ancient Hawaiian taro fields.


2. Waipio Valley Trail: Known as the “Valley of the Kings,” Waipio Valley is a picturesque destination with steep cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, and a black sand beach. The hike down into the valley is rigorous but rewarding, and it provides a glimpse into the island’s natural beauty and rich history.


3. Kilauea Iki Trail: Situated in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this unique trail takes hikers through a crater that was once filled with active lava. The impressive landscape offers a surreal experience as you walk across solidified lava flows and through lush rainforests.


4. Mauna Loa Summit Trail: For experienced trekkers looking for a challenge, the Mauna Loa Summit Trail is a must. This strenuous hike takes you to the summit of the world’s largest shield volcano, offering panoramic views of the island along the way. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and rugged terrain.


5. Mauna Kea Summit Trail: Another challenging trail on the Big Island, the Mauna Kea Summit Trail takes you to the top of the island’s highest peak. The trail starts at the Visitor Information Station and reaches an elevation of over 13,000 feet (3,962 meters), rewarding hikers with breathtaking views and a unique high-altitude experience.


6. Pu’u Wa’awa’a Cinder Cone Trail: Located in the Pu’u Wa’awa’a Cinder Cone State Park, this moderate trail brings hikers to the top of a volcanic cone. The hike offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the coastline, lava fields, and lush forests.


7. Captain Cook Monument Trail: Accessible by boat or a challenging hike, the trail leads to the historic Captain Cook Monument overlooking Kealakekua Bay. The hike rewards adventurers with stunning coastal views and the opportunity to snorkel or swim in the crystal-clear waters rich in marine life.


Remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear when embarking on hiking and trekking adventures on the Big Island. Respect the natural environment, follow trail markings and signage, and be aware of any weather changes or hazardous conditions.


With its diverse landscapes, breathtaking views, and unique volcanic terrain, hiking and trekking on the Big Island of Hawaii offer an immersive experience into the island’s natural wonders and rich geological history.


Water Activities

The Big Island of Hawaii is a captivating playground for water enthusiasts, offering a wide range of exciting activities in its crystal-clear waters. Whether you prefer snorkeling, surfing, or exploring marine life, the island provides endless opportunities for aquatic adventures. Here are some of the top water activities to enjoy on the Big Island:


1. Snorkeling: Explore the vibrant underwater world of the Big Island by snorkeling in its pristine waters. Places like Kealakekua Bay, Kahaluu Beach Park, and Two Step Beach offer excellent snorkeling opportunities, allowing you to swim among colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and even sea turtles.


2. Scuba Diving: Take your underwater exploration to the next level by scuba diving on the Big Island. With numerous dive sites dotted around the island, including the famous black sand beach of Punalu’u, divers can discover fascinating lava tubes, underwater lava formations, and encounter a variety of marine life, including manta rays and dolphins.


3. Surfing: The Big Island is home to world-class surfing spots, attracting surfers from all over the world. Honolii Beach Park in Hilo and Banyan’s in Kona offer consistent waves for experienced surfers, while Kahalu’u Bay provides a more beginner-friendly environment. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or new to the sport, the Big Island offers something for everyone.


4. Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP): Another popular water activity on the Big Island is stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Glide along peaceful bays and enjoy the scenic coastlines while getting a full-body workout. Many rental shops offer lessons for beginners or guided SUP tours to explore hidden coves and marine life.


5. Kayaking: Embark on a kayaking adventure and paddle along the breathtaking coastlines of the Big Island. From sea caves to rugged cliffs, kayaking provides a unique perspective of the island’s natural wonders. Kayak tours are available for various skill levels and offer the opportunity to encounter dolphins, turtles, and other marine creatures.


6. Dolphin and Manta Ray Encounters: Join a guided tour and witness the mesmerizing beauty of dolphins or manta rays up close. Swim and snorkel alongside these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, creating unforgettable memories and a deep connection with the marine world.


7. Fishing: The deep waters surrounding the Big Island are a fishing paradise. Charter a boat and try your hand at sport fishing, angling for big game species such as marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, fishing in these bountiful waters is an adventure in itself.


With its warm, clear waters and rich marine biodiversity, water activities on the Big Island offer endless excitement and opportunities for exploration. Whether you’re diving into the depths, riding the waves, or gliding along the surface, immerse yourself in the beauty of the island’s aquatic wonders and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Volcano Exploration

The Big Island of Hawaii is synonymous with volcanoes, and exploring these dramatic geological wonders is an adventure unlike any other. From active lava flows to otherworldly landscapes, the island offers unique opportunities to witness the power and beauty of volcanic activity. Here are some top volcano exploration experiences on the Big Island:


1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: This iconic national park is a must-visit for volcano lovers. Witness the incredible lava flows of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, lava tubes, and craters. Visitors can hike through the steam vents, take a scenic drive along Crater Rim Road, or embark on ranger-led walks to learn about the island’s volcanic history and ongoing volcanic activity.


2. Kilauea Visitor Center: Located within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Kilauea Visitor Center is an excellent starting point for volcano exploration. Here, you can learn about the cultural and geological significance of the area through exhibits, films, and interactive displays. The knowledgeable park rangers can provide up-to-date information on volcanic activity and offer guidance on the best areas to explore.


3. Thurston Lava Tube: Venture into the heart of a volcanic tube by visiting the Thurston Lava Tube, also known as Nahuku. This easily accessible lava tube offers a unique chance to walk through a cave-like tunnel formed by flowing lava. The experience is both educational and awe-inspiring, providing a glimpse into the immense volcanic forces that shaped the island’s landscape.


4. Chain of Craters Road: Take a scenic drive along the Chain of Craters Road in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This winding road offers stunning views of past lava flows, craters, and coastal cliffs. Along the way, you can stop at various overlooks and hiking trails to explore different volcanic features and witness the ongoing changes in the volcanic landscape.


5. Lava Boat Tours: Experience the thrill of witnessing live lava flows up close by taking a lava boat tour. These guided tours offer a unique opportunity to witness molten lava pouring into the ocean from a safe distance. It’s a truly mesmerizing sight, and the chance to see new land being created right before your eyes is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


6. Mauna Loa Road: For a different kind of volcano exploration, drive along the scenic Mauna Loa Road, leading to the summit of the world’s largest shield volcano. The road winds its way through otherworldly lava fields and provides breathtaking panoramic views of the island’s vast volcanic landscapes.


When exploring volcanoes, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and follow any warnings or guidelines provided by park authorities. Volcanic activity can be unpredictable, and certain areas may be closed or restricted. Additionally, it’s essential to be prepared with proper footwear, sun protection, and plenty of water, as volcanic environments can be rugged and exposed.


Volcano exploration on the Big Island is an opportunity to witness the dynamic forces that shape our planet. From the fiery show of active lava flows to the ancient lava fields frozen in time, the island’s volcanoes provide a captivating glimpse into the Earth’s remarkable geological history.


Wildlife and Nature

The Big Island of Hawaii boasts an incredible array of wildlife and natural wonders, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. From exotic marine life to rare bird species, the island’s diverse ecosystems offer countless opportunities to observe and connect with nature. Here are some of the top wildlife and nature experiences on the Big Island:


1. Humpback Whale Watching: During the winter months, humpback whales migrate to the warm Hawaiian waters to breed and give birth. Join a whale-watching tour to witness these magnificent creatures breaching, tail-slapping, and performing other acrobatic displays. The Big Island’s west coast, particularly Kona and Kohala, is an excellent spot for whale watching.


2. Spinner Dolphin Encounters: The waters around the Big Island are home to pods of spinner dolphins, known for their playful and energetic behavior. Take a boat tour or venture out on a kayak to encounter these intelligent creatures in their natural habitat. Watching them leap, spin, and interact with each other is an unforgettable experience.


3. Endangered Sea Turtle Sightings: The Big Island is home to several species of sea turtles, including the endangered Hawaiian green sea turtle, or honu. Snorkeling or diving in popular spots like Kahaluu Beach Park and Punalu’u Black Sand Beach provides opportunities to swim alongside these gentle creatures, observing their feeding habits and graceful movements.


4. Birdwatching: The Big Island is a haven for birdwatchers, with a wide range of endemic and migratory bird species. Visit bird sanctuaries such as Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge or the Pu’u O’o Trail to see rare species like the ‘i’iwi or the Hawaiian hawk (io). The Mauna Kea Summit is also a great spot for high-altitude birdwatching.


5. Botanical Gardens: Immerse yourself in the island’s lush flora by visiting the numerous botanical gardens on the Big Island. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Lili’uokalani Gardens, and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden are just a few of the gardens where you can explore diverse plant species, vibrant flowers, and serene landscapes.


6. Nature Walks and Forest Trails: The Big Island is abundant with nature trails and hiking paths that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the island’s natural beauty. Explore trails in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, hike through the cool valley of Waipi’o, or take a leisurely stroll through botanical gardens to discover hidden waterfalls, endemic plants, and breathtaking vistas.


7. Coral Reefs and Underwater Gardens: Snorkel or dive in the Big Island’s pristine waters to explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with a variety of marine life. Kealakekua Bay, Two Step, and Kapoho Tide Pools are just a few of the popular spots where you can witness the diversity of the island’s underwater gardens, from colorful fish to exotic sea creatures.


When enjoying the island’s wildlife and nature, it’s important to practice responsible tourism. Respect the natural habitats, keep a safe distance from marine animals, and follow any guidelines to ensure the protection of these incredible ecosystems.


From the waters to the lush forests, the Big Island of Hawaii offers remarkable encounters with wildlife and stunning natural landscapes. Immerse yourself in the island’s biodiversity, and you will undoubtedly develop a deep appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.


Cultural Experiences

The Big Island of Hawaii is not only a place of natural beauty but also a hub of rich cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the island’s vibrant and diverse culture to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for its traditions and customs. Here are some of the top cultural experiences on the Big Island:


1. Hula Performances: Attend a traditional hula performance to witness the captivating art form that’s deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture. Hula tells stories through graceful movements, accompanied by chants and music. The Big Island hosts various hula festivals and performances throughout the year, showcasing the island’s cultural richness.


2. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park: Explore this sacred site, also known as the Place of Refuge, to immerse yourself in Hawaiian history and culture. Walk among reconstructed temples, learn about ancient Hawaiian practices, and understand the significance of this spiritual place in Hawaiian society.


3. Hawaiian Cultural Festivals: Experience the vibrant spirit of the Big Island’s cultural festivals, such as the Merrie Monarch Festival, which celebrates hula and showcases the best hula dancers and chanters from around the state. The Hula Arts Theatre Festival and the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival are also popular events that highlight the island’s rich heritage.


4. Petroglyphs and Historical Sites: Visit the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve and the Waikoloa Petroglyph Field to witness ancient rock carvings, or petroglyphs, created by early Hawaiians. These sites offer a glimpse into the island’s past and the stories of its people. Additionally, explore historical landmarks like the Hulihe’e Palace and Mookini Heiau to gain insight into Hawaiian royalty and religious practices.


5. Cultural Workshops: Engage in hands-on cultural workshops to learn traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts. Participate in lei-making classes, learn to play the ukulele, or take a lesson in traditional hula dance. These workshops provide an opportunity to connect with local artisans and gain a deeper appreciation for the skills and cultural practices passed down through generations.


6. Volcano Village: Visit the quaint town of Volcano located near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can immerse yourself in the local arts and culture. Explore galleries showcasing local artists’ work, enjoy farm-to-table dining experiences, and mingle with residents who call this unique volcanic region home.


7. Cultural Centers: The Big Island is home to several cultural centers dedicated to preserving and sharing Hawaiian traditions. Visit the Lyman Museum and Mission House in Hilo, which houses artifacts and exhibits highlighting Hawaiian culture and history. The Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo combines scientific exploration with Hawaiian culture, allowing visitors to delve into the island’s rich past and present.


By engaging in these cultural experiences on the Big Island, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the island’s captivating history, traditions, and the aloha spirit that permeates every aspect of Hawaiian life.


Culinary Delights

The Big Island of Hawaii not only captivates with its natural beauty but also tantalizes the taste buds with its unique culinary offerings. The island’s diverse blend of cultures and bountiful resources create a vibrant and flavorful food scene. Here are some culinary delights to savor on the Big Island:


1. Local Farm-to-Table Cuisine: Indulge in the freshest local produce and farm-to-table dining experiences. Many restaurants on the Big Island prioritize sustainability and showcase the island’s abundant fruits, vegetables, and meats from local farms. From taro and sweet potatoes to macadamia nuts and Kona coffee, the island’s agricultural bounty is showcased in dishes bursting with flavor.


2. Poke: A Hawaiian specialty, poke is a delicious dish consisting of bite-sized pieces of raw fish, typically marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, onions, and other seasonings. Sample different variations of poke, from classic ahi (tuna) poke to unique creations incorporating local ingredients like tako (octopus) or avocado.


3. Plate Lunch: Experience a local favorite, the plate lunch, which typically includes a generous portion of meat, such as kalua pork, accompanied by white rice, macaroni salad, and a side of local favorites like lomi-lomi salmon or poi. It’s a satisfying and hearty meal that reflects the island’s mix of cultures and flavors.


4. Kona Coffee: The Big Island’s rich volcanic soil and favorable climate make it an ideal region for coffee cultivation. Savor a cup of world-renowned Kona coffee, known for its smooth and flavorful taste. Visit coffee farms in the Kona region and learn about the production process, from bean to cup.


5. Hawaiian Shave Ice: Cool off with a refreshing treat beloved by locals and visitors alike. Hawaiian shave ice is finely shaved ice topped with flavored syrups, creating a colorful and delightful dessert. Try a variety of tropical flavors and even add toppings like sweetened condensed milk or haupia (coconut pudding) for an extra indulgence.


6. Fresh Seafood: With its abundant ocean waters, the Big Island offers an impressive selection of fresh seafood. Indulge in locally caught fish like mahi-mahi, ono (wahoo), opah, or even the prized ahi tuna. Whether you enjoy it grilled, seared, or in a sushi roll, the seafood on the Big Island is a true delight.


7. Farmer’s Markets: Explore the vibrant farmer’s markets scattered throughout the island, where you can sample and purchase a wide variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and artisanal products. Interact with local farmers, taste unique tropical fruits like lilikoi (passionfruit), and discover homemade jams, honey, and baked goods.


Embrace the culinary delights of the Big Island, where the fusion of cultures, fresh ingredients, and innovative chefs create a vibrant gastronomic scene. From traditional Hawaiian dishes to international fusion cuisine, the island offers a plethora of flavors and experiences to delight food lovers.


Accommodation Options

The Big Island of Hawaii offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. Whether you’re seeking luxury resorts, cozy boutique hotels, or vacation rentals with stunning ocean views, the island has it all. Here are some popular accommodation options on the Big Island:


1. Luxury Resorts: The Big Island is home to numerous upscale resorts that offer world-class amenities and breathtaking locations. From lavish beachfront resorts along the Kohala Coast to secluded retreats nestled among tropical gardens, these resorts boast spacious rooms, oceanfront pools, gourmet dining options, and indulgent spas.


2. Boutique Hotels: For a more intimate and boutique experience, consider staying at one of the island’s smaller hotels. These charming properties often feature unique architecture, personalized service, and locally inspired decor. Many boutique hotels are located in quaint towns like Kailua-Kona or Hilo, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the island’s culture.


3. Vacation Rentals: Renting a private home, condo, or villa can provide a more spacious and home-like experience. These accommodations often come fully equipped with kitchens, allowing guests to prepare their meals and enjoy the comforts of a home away from home. Vacation rentals are especially popular for families or groups seeking flexibility and privacy.


4. Bed and Breakfasts: Stay in a cozy bed and breakfast to experience warm hospitality and a homely atmosphere. There are charming B&Bs scattered across the island, offering comfortable rooms, delicious homemade breakfasts, and insightful tips from knowledgeable hosts. It’s an excellent choice for those looking for a more personalized stay.


5. Eco-Lodges: For travelers seeking sustainable and eco-friendly accommodations, the Big Island offers several options. Eco-lodges and eco-resorts prioritize environmental conservation and offer unique experiences in harmony with nature. These properties often feature solar power, organic gardens, and activities that promote a deeper connection with the island’s natural surroundings.


6. Camping: The Big Island has several campgrounds and parks that allow visitors to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy a budget-friendly accommodation option. Campsites are available in locations such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and beach parks along the coastline. Keep in mind that permits and advance reservations may be required.


It’s important to note that accommodation availability and amenities may vary, so it’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Additionally, research the location of your accommodation to ensure it aligns with your planned activities and attractions.


Whether you prefer luxury, comfort, or a more unique and personalized experience, the Big Island offers a wide range of accommodation options to make your stay unforgettable.



Getting around the Big Island of Hawaii is relatively easy, thanks to various transportation options available to visitors. Here are some ways to navigate the island during your stay:


1. Car Rental: Renting a car is the most popular and convenient way to explore the Big Island. Several car rental agencies are located at the airports on the island, and reservations can be made in advance. Having a car allows you to freely explore the island at your own pace and access more remote areas that may not be easily reachable by public transportation.


2. Taxis and Rideshares: Taxi services are available on the Big Island, with taxi stands at major airports and popular tourist areas. Rideshare options like Uber and Lyft are also available in select areas. Taxis and rideshares can be more expensive than renting a car, but they provide a convenient option for shorter trips or when you prefer not to drive.


3. Public Transportation: The Big Island’s public transportation system, called Hele-On Bus, provides service to various destinations across the island. The bus system is comprehensive, but keep in mind that schedules and routes may be limited, especially in more remote areas. Check the bus schedules in advance to plan your trips accordingly.


4. Tours and Excursions: Joining guided tours and excursions is an excellent way to explore the Big Island without the hassle of transportation logistics. Tour operators offer a wide range of options, from volcano tours to snorkeling trips and cultural experiences. These guided tours often include transportation to and from your accommodation, making it a convenient choice for those who prefer a more structured itinerary.


5. Bicycles and Mopeds: Several rental companies offer bicycle and moped rentals for visitors who prefer a more active and eco-friendly mode of transportation. Exploring the island on two wheels allows you to appreciate the scenic beauty and enjoy a slower pace. Keep in mind that certain areas may have limitations or restrictions on riding bicycles or mopeds, so check local regulations before planning your route.


6. Walking: If you’re staying in a central location like Kailua-Kona or Hilo, walking can be a convenient way to explore the nearby attractions, shops, and restaurants. Both towns offer pedestrian-friendly areas where you can easily roam between points of interest. However, for longer distances or when venturing to more distant sites, alternative transportation methods may be more practical.


When planning your transportation on the Big Island, consider the activities, attractions, and locations you intend to visit. Renting a car provides the most flexibility and convenience, while other options like public transportation and tours are great alternatives for specific needs and preferences.


Remember to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws, road conditions, and parking regulations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey while exploring the captivating Big Island of Hawaii.


Safety and Travel Tips

Exploring the Big Island of Hawaii is a thrilling adventure, but it’s important to prioritize safety and be prepared for your journey. Here are some safety and travel tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:


1. Weather conditions: Stay informed about the weather and any potential hazards during your stay. Hawaii’s tropical climate can bring sudden rain showers, high winds, or volcanic emissions. Pay attention to weather forecasts, especially if you plan to engage in outdoor activities or visit remote areas.


2. Water safety: When enjoying the island’s beautiful beaches and waters, observe water safety practices. Be cautious of strong currents, especially on the east (windward) side of the island. Always swim at lifeguard-monitored beaches, and heed their instructions. If snorkeling or diving, be mindful of coral reefs and marine life, and maintain a safe distance to avoid causing harm to them or yourself.


3. Volcanic activity: If you plan to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park or explore volcanic areas, stay up-to-date on current volcanic conditions and follow park advisories. Volcanic activity can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to heed warnings and avoid restricted areas for your safety.


4. Sun protection: Protect yourself from the strong sun by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, sunglasses, and light yet protective clothing. Apply sunscreen generously and regularly, as the sun’s rays are potent even on cloudy days.


5. Respect nature and culture: Show respect to the island’s natural environment and rich cultural heritage. Observe and follow signs, stay on designated trails, and avoid trespassing on private property. Respect the local customs and traditions by asking for permission before entering sacred sites or participating in cultural activities.


6. Stay hydrated: The Big Island’s warm climate can be dehydrating, so drink plenty of water throughout your adventures. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it as needed, especially when engaging in outdoor activities or spending time in direct sunlight.


7. Mosquito prevention: Protect yourself from potential mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent, especially in forested or wetland areas. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases, so take precautions to minimize your exposure.


8. Prepare for hiking: If you plan to hike, wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and carry essentials such as water, snacks, a map, and a first aid kit. Check the difficulty level and trail conditions before embarking on any hike, and let someone know your planned itinerary.


9. Secure your belongings: Keep your valuables secure when exploring the island. Avoid leaving valuables unattended in rental cars, and lock your accommodations when you’re away. Take caution in crowded areas and be mindful of pickpockets.


10. COVID-19 precautions: Stay informed on the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines, including mask requirements and social distancing measures. Follow local regulations and guidance to ensure your safety and the safety of others.


By following these safety and travel tips, you can have a safe and memorable adventure on the Big Island of Hawaii. Embrace the island’s natural wonders, immerse yourself in its rich culture, and create lasting memories while prioritizing your well-being.



The Big Island of Hawaii is a truly mesmerizing destination that offers a combination of natural beauty, adventure, cultural experiences, and warm hospitality. From its stunning landscapes and active volcanoes to its vibrant marine life and captivating cultural heritage, the island has something to offer for every type of traveler.


Whether you’re hiking through lush rainforests, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, witnessing the power of a volcano, or immersing yourself in Hawaiian traditions, the Big Island provides endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.


But it’s not just the activities and attractions that make the Big Island special; it’s the island’s unique sense of place. The spirit of aloha resonates everywhere you go, reminding you to slow down, appreciate the natural wonders, and connect with the local community.


As you indulge in culinary delights, embrace the island’s diverse flavors, from fresh seafood to exotic tropical fruits. Accommodation options cater to all preferences, whether you seek a luxury resort, a boutique hotel, or a cozy vacation rental.


When venturing around the island, prioritize safety, respect the environment, and be mindful of local customs and regulations. Stay informed about weather conditions, protect yourself from the sun, and experience the island responsibly to ensure a memorable and safe journey.


Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures, tranquil moments surrounded by nature, or cultural immersion, the Big Island of Hawaii promises to leave a lasting impression. So pack your sense of adventure, open yourself to new experiences, and embark on a remarkable journey through the stunning landscapes and rich heritage of the Big Island.