Many travelers come here via cruiselines. You may want to try
Norwegian Cruise Lines and ride over on the Pride of Aloha. There are other services available as Hilo's sea port is one of the busiest in the state. The phone number listed here is for US and Canadian travelers only. Click on the link for other numbers if you're from elsewhere.
We arrived at Honolulu International Airport after an 8hr flight from Dallas/Fort Worth.
After picking up our luggage at baggage claim we had to make our way to the other end of the airport. There we checked in at the inter island airport for our flight to the Big Island.
We flew on Hawaiian Airlines, it was about a 30 minute flight.
Because prices and service in this industry changes constantly, I can't justify recommending any one company. But, one thing is for sure; renting a car in Hawaii is relatively cheap. The gas isn't, but the car is. We didn't see the sense in renting a 4x4 or a large car, so unless you have a large family, renting the tinest cheapest car will be quite adequate. The highways on the Big Island are asphalt ribbons, and though traffic isn't bad at all, one could easily limit their speed by being stuck behind another vehicle. This is OK as the view out the window is great. Shop on-line, and make sure the car's in great shape. You definitely don't want a breakdown.
You must fly if you are coming from anywhere off the island.
Rental car is the best way to get around, or bicycle. There is the Hele-On Bus but I believe the schedule is limited. You can get from Hilo to other areas by bus - the station is on the ocean side of the main street downtown.
When we did the Blue Sky Helicopter tour, we did it out of the Hilo Airport. Known as General Lyman Field prior to 1989, Hilo International Airport occupies 1,391 acres about two miles east of Hilo, on the eastern shore of the island of Hawaii. The airport has a couple of shops, a newsstand, a cocktail bar and a restaurant. My grandson got himself a cheeseburger at the restaurant.
Arriving passengers at Hilo International disembark through jetways to the second level of the terminal. They can take an escalator, elevator or stairs to get to the ground level baggage claim area, rental cars and ground transportation. Signs will direct them to the correct baggage carousel. A Visitor Information Booth is located in the arrival area to assist passengers.
Current Baggage Claim Area Assignments:
C go! Airlines/United Airlines
D Hawaiian Airlines
There is no public transportation to the airport, but there are taxis, car rental places and shuttles available
Hilo International Airport is the main airport serving Hilo and the eastern coast of the Big Island. Currently, the only service available to Hilo Airport is interisland service from Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha Airlines, Island Air, or Pacific Wings. The passenger terminal complex, including commuter facilities, is at the southern edge of Hilo International Airport and is served by an access roadway from Kekuanaoa Avenue
Hilo is a smaller sized town without public transportation. Most visitors chose to take a cab downtown and cover the bayfront and surrounding area on foot or they rent a car. Many local touring companies and taxi services will be happy to provide guided tours of Hilo and the surrounding areas. Car rental services are available at the Hilo International Airport.
My wife and I arrived in Hilo via the Celebrity Century. Hilo was the first of two ports on the Big Island during our fifteen day Hawaiian cruise.
Rent a car! As you can see this coffee plantation that we would have never seen if not for traveling around the island.
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