Hawaii is not somewhere that you can do by half measures, and whether you choose to go to one of the big named resorts, or whether you choose to go down the route of a more home away from home kind of vibe, perhaps by renting one of the many Big Island villas on offer, then you can certainly expect an experience from your vacation, probably like nowhere else on earth.
If you have done any research whatsoever on this beautiful destination, then you will know that Hawaii is part of the USA, but it is also separate in many ways, in terms of culture and nature. You won’t find landscapes and authenticity on the mainland, compared to what you find on this island archipelago, because it is certainly more Polynesian than it is American! This gives a wonderful experience for anyone venturing to the islands but the decision is hard when it comes to deciding on which island to visit!
The Island of Hawaii, more commonly known as the Big Island, is one of the most visited around, but it is a definite must visit for those who love nature and the Great Outdoors. If you want a more traditional vacation, perhaps Oahu and the resort of Waikiki is more for you, but if you want to see the real might of Mother Nature, and the true beauty and wonder of the state, than the Big Island is calling your name!
By the name, you can probably assume that this is the largest island in the chain, and that would be true! Oahu may be the most populated, because it is home to the capital city of Honolulu, but the Big Island packs a punch in terms of nature, in particular because of those huge volcanoes which are situated on the island.
The Big Island is home to the most active volcano on the planet, and a trip into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a 100% must do for anyone venturing here, at any point during the year. The sight is simply breath-taking, truly magnificent, and more jaw-dropping than you can imagine, and you have to see it to believe it. A helicopter tour over the top of the park is undoubtedly the best way to experience the might of it all, and will give you one of the most amazing experiences of your life. There simply aren’t works to do it justice.
The park is also home to two record breaking mountains/volcanoes – Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. These are a sight in themselves too!
Of course, the Big Island is called that because it is big, and that means you need to know where to visit and base yourself. East Hawaii is home to the biggest cities, and is located on the Windward side. Here you will find more in the way of rain, and slightly more humidity, which is common sense when you consider that there are rainforests here. Trekking through one of these rainforests is a great way to appreciate nature, and there are some beautiful waterfalls to take in too. Moving west, you venture upon West Hawaii, and this is on the opposite coast, the Leeward side. Here you find less in the way of rain, but warmer temperatures, which means you’re going to be spending more time in the water!
Whilst there aren’t any huge waves for surfing here, it is a great place to learn, due to the gentler waters around the coast. If you want to snorkel, swim, dive, or go scuba diving, this is the place for you. You can also spot wild dolphins in this part of the island too.
For nature, you need to head to Kohala, which is on the north-western part of the island. Here you will find huge villages, large hotels, and impressive golf clubs to practice your skills. The fact that this is also quite close to the Volcanoes National Park also means that you can get out and about with ease too. On the flipside, Hamakua is towards the eastern coast, and here you see hills, dormant volcanoes, and waterfalls. Again, a helicopter tour over this region is a fantastic way to really appreciate the landscape that former eruptions has left behind, and if you’re a keen hiker, you should be getting your walking shoes on and venturing out!
We have only really just touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to talking about the Big Island’s main attractions and pulls, but it is certainly somewhere that has to be seen to be believed. Getting to the island is also very easy, thanks to two major airport hubs, namely Kona International Airport and Hilo International Airport. Do remember to check out your visa requirements, remembering that Hawaii is subject to USA entry requirements, and that either means acquiring an online ESTA, if your country is part of the scheme, or going through a more formal visa process; always check online to see what requirements your particular country of origin holds, well ahead of time.
As you can see, the Big Island is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to get away from it all, explore nature, and really enjoy everything that Mother Nature has to offer. There really is no bad time to visit either, as the weather is sunny, warm, and bright basically all the time!