Hawaii’s Big Island, the largest in the archipelago, is a paradise on Earth. From lush rainforests and pristine beaches to active volcanoes and diverse marine life, this island offers a cornucopia of natural wonders. Join me on a virtual tour of Big Island as we explore its stunning landscapes, unique culture, and some practical tips for your visit.
Places to visit:
Volcanoes National Park: Witness the raw power of nature as you explore active volcanoes, lava tubes, and other geological wonders. Don’t miss the breathtaking glow of molten lava at night!
Hapuna Beach State Park: Enjoy the pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of Hapuna Beach, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. It’s a postcard-worthy spot.
Mauna Kea: Venture to the summit of Mauna Kea, one of the world’s premier astronomical observatories. Stargazing from here is an unforgettable experience.
Akaka Falls State Park: Hike through lush rainforests to discover the stunning Akaka Falls, a 422-foot waterfall surrounded by exotic plant life.
Waipio Valley: Explore the verdant Waipio Valley by horseback or on a guided tour. The valley offers scenic vistas and a glimpse into Hawaiian history and culture.
Hilo: Discover the charming town of Hilo with its farmer’s markets, beautiful gardens, and unique shops. You can also visit the Pacific Tsunami Museum to learn about the island’s history.
Kona Coffee Farms: Savor the rich flavors of world-renowned Kona coffee at one of the island’s coffee farms. Take a tour and learn about the coffee-making process.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park: Step back in time to ancient Hawaii and explore the sacred grounds and royal palace at this historical park.
If you’re a U.S. citizen, you won’t need a visa to visit the Big Island, as it’s part of the United States. However, if you’re an international traveler, make sure to check the visa requirements for your country before planning your trip.
Costs and Fees
Air Ticket Fees:
The cost of airfare to the Big Island can vary depending on your departure location, the time of year, and how early you book your tickets. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $1,200 for a round-trip ticket. Be sure to check for deals and discounts to save on your airfare.
The total cost of your trip to the Big Island will depend on your travel style, but here’s a rough breakdown of some expenses:
- Accommodation: Hotel prices vary, but budget options start at around $100 per night, while luxury resorts can go up to $500 or more per night.
- Transportation: Renting a car is recommended to explore the island. Rental costs start at $30–40 per day, plus fuel expenses.
- Activities: Expect to spend around $50–100 per person per day on activities and tours.
- Food: Dining out can range from $20 for a casual meal to $50 or more for a fine dining experience.
The Big Island offers a wide range of accommodation options. Here are a few recommendations:
- Budget: You can find affordable hotels and hostels for around $100 per night.
- Mid-Range: Comfortable mid-range hotels and vacation rentals are available for $150–$300 per night.
- Luxury: For a touch of extravagance, luxurious resorts can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000 or more per night.
Don’t forget to budget for additional expenses like rental car fees, park admission fees, and souvenir shopping. These costs can add up, so it’s a good idea to plan for them in advance.
Food & Lifestyle
Hawaiian cuisine is a fusion of flavors from around the world. You must try the following:
- Poke: fresh, raw fish salad, often served with rice and vegetables.
- Loco Moco: A classic Hawaiian comfort food with a hamburger patty, rice, fried egg, and brown gravy
- Kalua Pig: Slow-cooked, tender, and smoky-flavored pork
- Plate Lunch: A hearty serving of meat, two scoops of rice, and macaroni salad.
- Shave Ice: A refreshing treat with finely shaved ice and a variety of colorful syrups
The Big Island offers a laid-back and friendly lifestyle. Embrace the spirit of aloha, relax, and go with the flow. You’ll find that life here moves at a slower pace, and the islanders’ warmth and friendliness are contagious.
Here’s a checklist of essentials for your trip to the Big Island:
- Sunscreen and sun protection: The Hawaiian sun can be intense, so pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
- Comfortable walking shoes for exploring natural wonders and hiking.
- Swimsuits and beachwear.
- Insect repellent for outdoor adventures.
- A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
- Snorkeling gear is necessary is necessary if you plan to explore the underwater world.
- A camera to capture the stunning landscapes.
While exploring the Big Island’s natural beauty and culture is a must, consider adding these experiences to your itinerary:
- Attend a traditional luau for a taste of Hawaiian culture and entertainment.
- Take a helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view of the island’s volcanic landscapes.
- Explore the underwater world through snorkeling or scuba diving.
- Attend a hula performance to learn about this essential Hawaiian art form.
The Big Island of Hawaii is a destination that offers a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and culture. From the fiery volcanoes and lush rainforests to the serene beaches and rich traditions, this island has it all. Plan your trip, savor the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the laid-back Hawaiian lifestyle. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a relaxation enthusiast, the Big Island has something to offer everyone, making it a paradise worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. So, pack your bags, say “Aloha” to the Big Island, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Pacific.