HAWAII - THE BIG ISLAND
WHAT TO DO
Depending on the winds and volcanic activity, helicopter tours are an excellent way to check out the incredible volcanic activity of the Big Island. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers tours with magnificent views of the earth's biggest volcano, Mauna Loa. Other volcanoes to fly by include Kilauea, Mauna Kea and Hualalai.
Soak Up the Sun
Beaches on the Big Island range from smaller, locally-known beaches with camping and few facilities to the more popular and world-renowned beaches like Hapuna beach. Beaches are abundant here with 80 or so that range from long stretches of soft, white sand to black volcanic sand and rocky shorelines
Visit Hawaiian Waterfalls
Waterfalls are abundant on the Big Island, and many operators offer four-wheeling/hiking tours into rainforest areas where you can experience an adventure that takes you back in time to Hawaii's plantation days. Then, take a refreshing dip in a tropical waterfall pool.
Try Surfing - Hawaii's National Sport
Although surfing was once a sport reserved for the Hawaiian royalty and elite, it's since become a sport for the brave and fit. While not well-known as a surfing destination, the Big Island does offer some amazing surfing sites.
Take a Horseback Ride
For a slower-paced adventure, try a guided tour on horseback where you can savor the culture and history of the Big Island in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Tour operators offer a varied selection of available trails and tours.
Place of Refuge in Kona
One visit to the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park and you'll be mesmerized by the lore and rituals of the Hawaiian culture. Known to the Hawaiians as a "Place of Refuge" this restored ancient sacred sanctuary houses a pond, a great wall, a temple and a library and is flanked by huge wooden statues (Ki'i) standing guard.
Volcanoes National Park
A visit to the Big Island isn't complete until you've visited the Volcanoes National Park. The park encompasses 377 square miles and is located in the southeastern part of the island. There is so much to see and do here, but if your time is limited, you can do a quick tour in just three hours.
At 13,780 feet high, the summit of Mauna Kea is considered ideal for sky-watching as it's above 90 percent of the earth's water vapor and offers an average of 300 clear nights a year. The summit is host to 13 different telescopes and observatories. In winter months, the ashy summit is often covered with snow.
Big Island Sunsets
Hawaii is famed for its amazingly romantic and colorful sunsets. The Big Island's Kona Kohala Coast is considered to have some of the finest sunsets on the island and is a magical location for many weddings and renewal ceremonies.
On the Big Island there are 20 vastly different golf courses, and the views are breathtaking! Here you'll find some pretty tricky holes with interesting hazards you won't find elsewhere like black sand traps, turquoise water hazards, greens scattered among black lava flows, and some very challenging elevation changes.