Top 10 Reasons to Visit the Big Island

By Napua Heen

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Kirk Lee Aeder.

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Kirk Lee Aeder.

The Big Island, also known as Hawaii Island, is the largest and geologically youngest of the Hawaiian archipelago. From crystal blue waters to snow-capped mountains and all the hidden waterfalls in between, the Big Island is an adventurer’s paradise. There is never a shortage of places to go and sights to see. Here are the top 10 reasons to make the Big Island your go-to island.

1) Variety of Climates

You can start your day exploring waterfalls in the tropical rainforests of Hilo, enjoy lunch overlooking lava rocks and sparkling blue waters, go coffee tasting in Kona’s upland hillsides, and end the day stargazing on the mountainous tundra of Mauna Kea.

2) Waterfalls

Hilo and Hamakua are home to many beautiful waterfalls.  When ice melts on the mountain peaks, it joins fresh rainfall and artesian springs, carving through the hillside creating magnificent waterfalls as it makes its way to the sea.  The most notable of these are Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls.

Rainbow Falls in Hilo.  Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

Rainbow Falls in Hilo. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

3) Colorful beaches

Big Island is one of the only places in the world where you can explore white, black and green sand beaches.

Photos left to right: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Anna Pacheco, Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson, Lisa Ronald of flickr.com creative commons.

4) Kilauea Volcano

Explore the magical Volcanoes National Park and stay to enjoy the beautiful night glow. Kilauea Volcano, though active, is quite safe.

HTA

Photo courtesy of Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) / Ethan Tweedie.

5) Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world when measured from below sea level. Its unique positioning in the middle of the Pacific Ocean makes it an astonishing stargazing site. Plus, you can build a snowman in paradise!

6) Waipio Valley

Waipio Valley is a precious gem. Its black sand beach, waterfalls, and stunning hiking trails will leave an imprint on your heart.

Aerial view of Waipio Valley. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Kirk Lee Aeder.

7) Water Adventures in Kona

Kona’s waters are absolutely spectacular – warm, clear, blue. They are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, sport fishing and more.

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Kirk Lee Aeder.

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Kirk Lee Aeder.

8) Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo

Once a year, the world’s best hula dancers gather in Hilo to perpetuate the ancient art of hula that is said to be “the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.”

Photo courtesy of the Star-Advertiser / Dennis Oda.

Photo courtesy of the Star-Advertiser / Dennis Oda.

9) Coffee

There is a reason Kona Coffee is world renown. Kona’s unique soil and growing conditions lend to its signature flavor. Also consider its southern cousin Kaʻu Coffee — just as good and often overlooked.

10) The Hilton Waikoloa

The Waikoloa area has many 4 and 5 star resorts to choose from.  You really can’t go wrong.  The Hilton Waikoloa stands out among them, however, because of certain novelties.  You can ride a boat or tram to make your way across the resort.  There are man-made waterfalls that make getting a cup of coffee in the morning feel adventurous.  You can even watch dolphins play in one of the resort lagoons against the backdrop of a Hawaiian sunset.

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