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Hawaii Island – The Big Island

The Big Island is just as impressive in experiences as it is in size.

Hawaii Island - The Big Island

Grab a cup of Kona coffee, and let’s get going.

Hawaii Island contains one of the most diverse natural landscapes in the world. And thanks to Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands is still growing. Nearly twice the size of all the other islands combined, The Big Island contains all but two of the world’s climate zones and as much adventure as you’re up for having.

Getting here and getting around

It’s easy to reach Hawaii Island, with direct flights from many U.S. cities. Most flights arrive in Kona on the west side of the Island, but flights are also available to Hilo on the east side. The island does have a mass transit system, but we recommend a rental car so you can really explore the island’s offerings.

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TRAVEL TIP

You save money by bundling a car rental along with your flight and hotel into a complete vacation package.

Volcanoes National Park

Watching lava flow from Kilauea volcano, you’ll understand the true meaning of “awesome.” Located 30 miles southwest of Hilo, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park encompasses 150 miles of trails that will have you hiking through lava tubes, across craters and into rainforests. Be sure to visit the sacred Puu Loa petroglyphs, thousands of carvings etched into stone centuries ago by Native Hawaiians.

Volcanoes National Park
TRAVEL TIP

Don’t miss a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, a 500-year old lava cave that emerges out into a tropical rainforest.

The Kona Coast

A royal retreat for centuries, Kona has plenty of historic sites and pleasant parks. But this is no sleepy hideaway. Kailua is a great place to kick back and watch the sunset, but it’s also the starting line for the IRONMAN World Championship. Dive beneath the calm waters to go snorkeling with manta rays or get the blood pumping with world-class deep sea fishing. When your energy starts to flag, grab a cup of Kona’s famous coffee.

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TRAVEL TIP

Kona’s rich and full-bodied coffee comes from a combination of high elevation, constant cloud cover and rich volcanic soil. Tour one of the region’s many coffee farms to taste for yourself.

Mountains & valleys

Hawaii Island’s valleys have been home to both kings and cowboys. Head west from Kailua-Kona and when the stop signs start reading "Whoa" instead of "Stop", you’ll have reached the Waimea Valley, full of cattle and paniolo—that’s Hawaii for “cowboy”. On the northern coast is Waipio Valley. Nicknamed "Valley of the Kings" it’s the boyhood home of King Kamehameha I and location of some truly majestic waterfalls.

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TRAVEL TIP

The drive down the Waipo Valley (one of the world’s steepest) is not for the faint of heart or your average rental car, so a tour group is recommended.

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