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Top Tours

 
Reef and Dolphin Snorkel Eco Adventure
"Embark on an unforgettable eco adventure and explore protected marine wildlife such as Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins green sea turtles exotic tropical reef fish and delicate corals along the beautiful Kona Coast. As we journey through the clear sapphire waters of the Pacific we watch for the many pods of spinner dolphins that rest and play in areas such as Keahole Bay Makalawena Ho’ona Bay and Kiholo Bay. Dolphin behavior is very predictable in these areas
From $145.00
 
Swim Kohala Falls
"Begin your adventure with a ride in a 6-wheel drive off road vehicle. Take a short 20-30 minute walk by a stream and over a footbridge to the stunning “Secret Falls” a picturesque cascading waterfall surrounded by Ginger and Bamboo all in a private nature reserve. Then return to our swimming hole where you’ll have a chance to swim under a secluded waterfall.""""Enjoy an off road adventure a quick walk in a private nature reserve and the opportunity to swim under a private waterfall in this short-form version of our Kohala Waterfall Adventure."title=Highlights&1=Go+swimming+at+Kohala+Falls&2=Ride+through+the+jungle+in+a+6-WD+SUV&3=Trek+30+minutes+to+a+secret+waterfall&4=Cool+off+in+a+local+swimming+hole
From $93.00
 
Glassbottom Boat Reef Tour
"Your tour begins at Kailua Pier right in the center of Kailua-Kona a gem of a village.  Boarding Marian a 36’ custom designed glassbottom boat is easy.  Step up a couple of steps to the boarding ramp and down a couple of steps to the main hull and viewing area.  Everyone sits around four large viewing box and then off you cruise.  The reefs in Hawaii are “fringing reefs” which means they are right next to the coastline. Marian was specially designed to get over the very shallow waters and the expert captains are able to get right up to the sho could it be a fish?  Learn about the sweet and sometimes strange mating practices of fish.  Are the corals actually cities at war?  The crew have been diving these waters for 20-30 years and there is no end to the stories they tell.  You will cruise over a pinnacle that will be inc a great photo opportunity.  The boat will go off of the shoreline so you can see how quickly the bottom plunges deeper and deeper. You might get a chance to view frolicking spinner dolphins or seasonal humpback whales.  Feel free to move about
From $54.00

Drive around the Big Island Tips (20)

We drove around every day

We drove around every day we were there .. went across the island to see water falls, botanical garden and volcano national park. Went snorkeling several places ... the best was 2 step ... went to see painted church which was amazing. The sky between our resort at the Hilton and the airport was stunning at night .. the stars were just beautiful.

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chattygirl7491
Apr 23, 2016

Driving Rt. 19

We rented a car to take the drive along the scenic Rt. 19 . We stopped along the way to view some beautiful lava tubes flowing with water along on our way to Kaimana Caves, Akaka Falls and then on to Volcanoes National Park.

The route is a short one but a good way to get off the highway and see the beautiful coast line.

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Gypsystravels
Jan 26, 2015

Road Trip

This is a BIG island! So, inevitably, you will be driving a lot. The towns are spread out and you should consider spending some time on various parts of the island. We stayed the majority of our trip on the Kona side of the island but we did spend a couple of days on the Hilo side. In between we spent a day on the northern part of the island and half a day on the southern tip of the island. I suggest skipping the southern tip of the island. There really isn't much to see.

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GracesTrips
Sep 02, 2014

Tree tunnels

One of the pleasures of driving around the Big Island are the numerous stretches of highway that are beautifully landscaped with deferent tree species to give the driver fairy-tale sensation and cool the car down at the same time. Most of these “tree tunnels” can be found along the eastern tip of the island around Pahoa.

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Assenczo
Aug 28, 2013
 
 
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Hotels Near Hawaii (Big Island)

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72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740, United States
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98 Apapane Rd., Hilo, Hawaii, 96720, United States
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Crater Rim Dr, , Hawaii, 96718, United States
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998 Wright Road, Volcano, Hawaii, 96785, United States
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82-6155 Mamalahoa Highway, P.O. Box 145, Captain C
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Box 819, Kokee State Park, Mile Marker 15, Waimea, Hawaii, 96796, United States
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Vista to TAke in

The irony is if you have a vehicle, you can travel all around the big island and stop to go into the ocean many places along the way to the north. In the north it gets more tropical and the road a bit more rural, but a nice trip. The black sand beach is one that is different to enter.

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BruceDunning
Jun 16, 2009

Scenic Hamakua Drive

It is marked on most maps as a “4-mile scenic road”, but also known as a Hamakua Drive. The serpentine road carves its way through the rainforest foliage, rich with amazing banyan trees with its roots that hug above the drive like giant fingers , eucalyptuses, hapu’u and other trees, shrubs, and plants that can only be found on the Hawaiian Islands.
From Hilo, drive north on the road 19 and once you pass the Hilo Bay this is where the enchant nature beauty begins. Hamakua Drive will take you along the coast line where you’ll find the most astonishing views and several points of interest like Onomea Trail, Botanical Gardens, and Akaka Falls State Park.
The left side of the road is bordered by the untouched forest, while the right side offers amazing views on the ocean with its mighty waves, black lava rocks and an occasionally passing Noio bird, also found only in Hawaii.
You will want to make several stops along the drive because the photo opportunities along the way are simply impossible to ignore and although there are no designated parking spots people always find spots beside the road to stop for a few minutes and enjoy the scenery that is so indigenous.

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Nathalie_B
Feb 21, 2009

Waipio Valley From Outlook & Valley Floor, HI

We went to the lookout here before going on our horseback ride in Waipio Valley. It was really cloudy when we went here but it did not rain thankfully. There were alot of people here so the rain did not stop anyone from coming. This lookout shows just how big Waipio Valley really is. Right next to the outlook is the road that leads down into Waipio Valley. Apparently you have to have a 4x4 to get down or even go on the roads that are down there as they were washed out. The hike down does not seem that bad however we saw people coming up and they were definatley out of breath. We even saw a family that took their kids down. Everyone rested on the way up. The lookout has a covered picnic area and also has bathrooms. I think when we went the bathrooms were closed. There was also some very pretty flowers in this area. The only thing I would of changed is the weather. I can only imagine what this place would of looked like if the clouds would of cleared up. I would definatley check the forecast before you decide to go here it will make it much more pleasurable. If you want souveneirs I would say go across the bridge that is near the look out and check out Waipio Valley Artworks. They have many diffrent types of handmade crafts along with paintings and even and ice cream shop. This is also where you meet up to go horseback riding into the valley. There is also van tours that can take you down into the valley.

There is quite a few people that actually live in the valley, some homes look like shacks and some are nothing more then a tarp. If our tour guide was telling us the truth the second place you come to with a tarp on the roof actually has satellite hooked up. You can also see a lot of taro fields. Hiking is also allowed however I woud stick to the roads or the trails and to not go trapsing threw somones yard. You also need to be careful as their are some marijuana growers down there and they will probably not like you getting near their plants. We never saw none then again we were on a guided tour. There is signs posted up telling you not to enter someones land.

This is were most of hawaiis taro plant comes from also.

One interesting thing our tour guide told us is that for some residents the land has been passed down from generation to generation and when one person passes away they leave it to their family. I think he was saying that they have to pay a small fee which only a few dollars or so but it will continue to get passed on. Our tour guide said his grandma lived in the valley and he used to but he now lives up top because it has more amenities and makes it easier on his kids.

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syrin
Nov 21, 2008

White Sands Beach In South Kailua Kona, HI

This was a verry pretty beach. Not very big in size but it had nice turquoise waters however we were not able to stay becuase they were closing it right as we got there due to the hurricane coming. This has showers, picnic area and many other amenities. The one day that it was open it was pretty packed. Unfortunatley we did not have time to stop. This is a wonderful beach to relax and soak up the sun.

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syrin
Nov 21, 2008

Top 5 Hawaii (Big Island) Writers

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AKtravelers

"Warning: Geology at Work"
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cjg1

"Big Island Explorations"
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RickinDutch

"Stunning Variety All on One Island!"
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kyoub

"Valentine Trip"
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Jim_Eliason

"The Big Island"
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Laupahoehoe Point State Park,

This actually had stunning views of the cliffs, hillsides, lush tropical rainforest, the the blue waters against the black tall jagged rocks. It is a great place to have a picnic and just relax. Apparently there was a tidal wave that hit here some time ago and their is a small monument commemorating the people who lost their life. When we showed up the skys were oh so beautiful, and the waters too. We got lucky because right before we left it started to get cloudy. This actually got me excited and thinking that maybe my luck with weather will change here. Nope it did not, most places were still cloudy and yucky but finnally one place where I could get some descent pictures. The is a nice drive and great to stop by if you are heading to the hilo side from Kona using the north hwy. There is also an old brick building that I think used to be the school that was once here. It is also sort of neat to look out. The exit you take to get here is pretty windy but has many excellent photo ops along the way. My suggestion is to drive slow so you can take pics on your way down into the park. This park was also less crowded with only a handful of people there.

This beach is not for swimming though, the currents are strong. There are however restrooms, electricty in one of the shelters and a boat ramp. This park is well manicured. I would suggest this to be one of the beaches to go just to have a bite to eat.

Oh and it is Free it costs nothing

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syrin
Nov 21, 2008

Lava Tree State Park-Hilo

This was neat to see just due to the fact that these are actually trees or were trees. They look like mere statues or weird formed rocks at first glance but were formed hundreds of years ago. Fast moving lava hit these very wet Ohia trees which did not just burst in to flames thus encasing the structures and leaving behind hollow lava tubes where every single tree was. This area is surronded by rainforest. It was nice when we first arrived but hot & muggy. Mosquitos here will eat you alive. When we showed up their was one other car here which was leaving so we had the whole thing to ourself. I read somewhere to hide your items in your car because alot of thefts occur so we did not venture far into the forest. Mosqutos are really bad here, my husband complained the whole time. There are also very beautiful trees here called monkey trees. They have these neat leafs and flowers hanging off of them.

Bring mosquito repelent, rain coat, umbrella just in case it rains. I would also bring hiking shoes as it can get slippery here also. Bring a tripod. If you want to get photos of everyone this is a must as this place was desolate when we got there.

Entrance here was FREEEE yayyy. One less thing to pay for. Oh and its easy to miss the turn off if your not paying attention. We drove 4 miles past doh". Oh well at least we figured it out.

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syrin
Nov 20, 2008

South Point Beach

South Point is the souther most part of the US. This has such beautiful waters and you can go to papalokea which is the green sand beach from here. If you hike the beaches and walk down far enough you can see green sand, brown sand and red dirt and black rocks all in the same area which I thought was pretty neat since we never made it to the green sand beach. All the trees at south point are faced one way due to the wind being so stong as you will soon figure out when you get out of the car, not to mention all the windmills they have here. You can also find peope jumping off the cliffs or into sea caves in the water below. Looked a little crazy to me but someone might want to try it.

If you walk down the beaches here not only is it windy but it is easy to get a sunburn. Bring sunblock with you and use it. One thing about hawaii is you will not notice or even see that you are getting a sunburn rather your skin will start to itch at least mine did anyways, so cover up. Also bring lots of water especially if you plan on going to the green sand beach. There is also a few offering sites where people give offering to the gods and such. Not that big of a deal however I am amazed that in this wind they are still standing. Another thing for females is do not bother doing your hair, it is going to look like a mess by the time you done. Instead put it up in a pony tail. I can be sort of chilli here in the morning so I would suggest taking a light jacket.

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syrin
Nov 20, 2008

Drive to South Point

South Point on the Big Island is the southernmost point in the 50 United States. If you don't care about things like the southest, northest, eastes or westest, then you can stop reading now. But for those of us who do care, it's worth the 12 mile detour off of highway 11. The drive is pretty but unremarkable, except for a cluster of rusted unused modern windmills. The point itself is scraggly lava gradually entering the ocean with such irregularity that it's impossible to determine if you are standing further south than the guy on the other outcropping. The black lava itself is decorated with messages written in white coral stones against the natural blackboard. It's not remarkable except for its southerlyness.
Before you go, you should realize that most rental car contracts prohibit you from driving on South Point Road. I don't know why -- while it is a poorly paved one-lane road, it's not in bad shape. Just don't leave any valuables in the car at the end.

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AKtravelers
Oct 17, 2007

Things to Do Near Hawaii (Big Island)

Things to Do

Beaches

The Big Island isn't the best island for pristine beaches but the snorkeling is great and I snorkeled every day I was there and very much intend to return and do the same. The best snorkeling spots...
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Things to Do

Waterfalls

We took a day to explore the other side. Our first trip to the island we spent the day on the other side with volcanos and walking to see lava . This time we explored botanical gardens and water fall...
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Things to Do

Chain of Craters Road

I drove all the way down to the end (where it was closed by a lava flow) of Chain of Craters Road and I got out and went to see the Holei Sea Arch. It was just a short walk but the surface was VERY...
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Things to Do

Hiking thru the rain forest

This is a short hike that brings you to the bottom of the Kilauea Iki Crater. You will descent via stairs (ccw) or path in to the crater (cw). This depends which way round you go. At the bottom follow...
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Things to Do

Manini beach

great snorkeling but it's super cold when you first enter ... natural springs. There are people ollfering kayak rental but it's illegal and if you get caught .. you will be the one the fine so do that...
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Things to Do

Drive around the Big Island

We drove around every day we were there .. went across the island to see water falls, botanical garden and volcano national park. Went snorkeling several places ... the best was 2 step ... went to see...
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Getting to Hawaii (Big Island)

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