Big Island: A Travel Guide to Your Tropical Island Escape!

rainbow falls, big island, big islad hawaii, hawaiian islands

Big Island, Hawaii, is a magical place surrounded by the endless blue of the Pacific Ocean. Imagine tall, majestic volcanoes, lush green jungles, and sunny beaches where you can relax.

Make sure you also check out the beautiful photos I took of the Big Island. This island is special because it’s where the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, lives. This volcano has been erupting for a long time, shaping the island in incredible ways.

But Big Island isn’t just about volcanoes; it’s also rich in history. The island has ancient Hawaiian sites that tell fascinating stories of the past.

And here’s a fun fact: did you know that Big Island is larger than all the other Hawaiian islands combined?

Get ready to dive into the heart of Hawaiian culture, explore mouthwatering local cuisine, and experience thrilling adventures. Let’s uncover the hidden treasures of Big Island together!

Where to eat in Big Island?

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey like no other on Big Island, Hawaii. The island’s diverse cuisine is a melting pot of fresh, locally sourced ingredients and unique flavors, showcasing the essence of Hawaiian culture.

1. Merriman’s: renowned for its farm-to-table concept
2. Hilo Bay Cafe: fresh seafood, creative salads and delectable desserts
3. Umeke’s: most flavorful poke bowls on the island and Hawaiian seafood
4. Brown’s Beach House: Hawaii culinary with local ingredients

Must-do Activities in the Big Island

On the Big Island, you can discover various wonders, such as lush rainforests, volcanoes, and rich Hawaiian culture. This section highlights activities for outdoor lovers, history enthusiasts, and food lovers.

Whether you want to see lava flows, snorkel in colorful waters, or stargaze under clear skies, the island offers diverse adventures for everyone to enjoy.

Cultural Exploration

  • Visit Pu’uhonua National Historical Park
  • Explore the Painted Church
  • Visit Captain Cook Monument
  • Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve

Free Activities for Nature Enthusiasts

  • Hike to Akaka Falls
  • Explore Pololu Valley
  • Relax at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
  • Watch the Rainbow Falls

Other Exciting Ventures

  • Stargazing at Mauna Kea
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Visit Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
  • Take a Coffee Farm Tour
  • Hike to Kilauea Iki Crater
  • Attend a Traditional Hula Performance
  • Embark on a Lava Boat Tour
  • Participate in a Lei-Making Workshop

Action-packed Adventures

Top 5 hiking trails on Big Island

If you love hiking, the Big Island is the place to be! You can explore remarkable trails through rainforests, volcanoes, and along the coast. This section shares easy and fun hikes for everyone.

Whether you like easy walks or more challenging hikes, the Big Island has something for you, allowing you to enjoy its beautiful nature at your pace. Here are 8 hiking trails on the Big Island categorized by difficulty:

Easy: Akaka Falls Loop Trail, Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve
Intermediate: Waipio Valley Rim Trail, Pololu Valley Lookout Trail
Challenging: Mauna Kea Summit Trail, Napau Crater Trail, Hilina Pali Trail, Ainapo Trail

My Top 3 Snorkeling Spots on the Big Island

The Big Island is a haven for snorkeling enthusiasts, offering an underwater paradise teeming with vibrant marine life and colorful coral reefs. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced snorkeler, the island boasts diverse spots that cater to various skill levels.

Let’s dive into the top three snorkeling spots that promise unforgettable aquatic adventures, including the renowned Two-Step, a must-visit destination for snorkelers seeking unparalleled underwater beauty.

  1. Two-Step: located at Honaunau Bay, offers easy access a thriving coral reef ecosystem; sea turtles and tropical fish
  2. Kahaluu Beach Park: ideal for beginners, array of colorful fish
  3. Captain Cook Monument: accessible by boat or a challenging hike → a truly hidden gem; dolphins, reef sharks, and exotic fish

Unique Experience in Big Island – Manta Ray Snorkeling

One of the most extraordinary and unforgettable experiences awaiting travelers on the Big Island of Hawaii is manta ray snorkeling on the west coast of the island. As night falls, adventurers are invited to glide into the dark waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Armed with snorkel gear, they are greeted by magic creatures, manta rays. These gentle giants, with wingspans reaching up to 4 to 7 meters, gracefully swoop and somersault, illuminated by underwater lights that attract plankton, their primary food source.

Did you know that manta rays are not only one of the largest species of rays in the world but also incredibly intelligent?

These gentle giants boast the largest brain-to-body ratio of any fish, showcasing their remarkable cognitive abilities.

Despite their enormous size, manta rays are known for their graceful and acrobatic movements, captivating the hearts of marine enthusiasts worldwide. It is an unique experience everyone should consider doing!

If you are interested in this unique experience, you should consider booking the following tour as we had amazing experiences with them! Manta Ray Snorkeling Tour

For a broader selection of tours and activities beyond the ones highlighted here, explore platforms such as Viator, GetYourGuide, and TripAdvisor to tailor your adventure to your preferences and interests.

5-Day Itinerary for Big Island

This Big Island guide wouldn’t be complete without an example 5 day itinerary, so here we go:

Day 1: Touchdown in Kona, snorkel at Two-Step beach, Tour at Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee Farm
Day 2: visit Volcano National Park, drive to South Point Park, walk to Papakōlea Green Sand Beach
Day 3: drive to Hilo, visit Rainbow Falls, snorkel at Carlsmith Beach Park, stargazing on Mauna Kea by night
Day 4: Go hiking at Waipio Valley and Pololu Valley, relax at Waialea Beach
Day 5: Snorkeling at Kekaha Kai State Beach, Manta Ray snorkeling at night, last night in Kona

I hope you enjoyed this detailed guide about the Big Island! If you found the information helpful and inspiring, I’m pleased to share more of these guides with you in the future.

However, these diverse adventures, from snorkeling with manta rays to hiking lush trails, are just a glimpse of what this island offers.

Whether you’re dreaming of sandy beaches, cultural discoveries, or thrilling activities, this island has it all.

I wish you many exciting travels ahead, filled with incredible experiences and endless memories. Safe journeys and happy exploring! 🌺🌍

Make sure to check out my other guides on the Hawaiian Islands as well, including Oahu and Kauai.

I hope to see you again soon on this blog. Do not forget to share this Big Island travel guide with your friends and family too 🙂

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