Hawaii is an island archipelago of serious natural wonder. Whether you’re gazing upon the might of Mother Nature, or you’re enjoying the serene lapping of the water at your feet, there is something for everyone in this US state of total and utter peace and serenity. Couples, families, honeymooners, single travellers, groups, friends, you name it, you’ll find something to do, and then some!
Of course, where you go totally depends on the experience you want to have, but if you’re looking to rent one of the many Big Island villas on offer, you can be sure of a natural experience to rival every other on the planet.
The Big Island is actually called the Island of Hawaii in official terms, but because there are several islands which make up the state, the name has been changed to avoid total confusion. Of course, the name is also there because the island is the biggest in the chain, i.e. the Big Island covers more than half of the entire land mass which makes up the state, and for that reason you can expect variation no matter where you go.
It’s worth mentioning from the start that the Big Island is part of the USA, as is all of Hawaii. Because of this, you will need to obtain an entry visa depending on your country of origin. For many this will be obtaining the online visa, e.g. the ESTA, but for others, i.e. countries who are not in that agreement, a more formal visa may be required, and this can take time. Check out your visa requirements well before you’re planning to visit, to avoid any unnecessary upset to your plans. Once this is sorted out, you can get on with researching the good stuff, i.e. where to stay and what to do!
The Big Island is perhaps most famous for its volcanoes, and here you will find the iconic Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii is a very active destination in terms of geothermal activity, and to see one of these true mights of nature in person is something which will certainly take your breath away. The Big Island is home to the world’s most active volcano, which is situated within the national park, as well as Mauna Loa, the biggest mountain in volume on the planet, and Mauna Kea, which is the planet’s tallest mountain when measured from the sea floor to the top. These are certainly impressive sights, with the clouds looming midway up its height. Photos are a definite must do here, and one of the most interesting and memorable ways to view this area is by taking a helicopter tour over the top.
Aside from volcanos, the Big Island is actually a fantastic place to learn to surf. This particular island doesn’t have the huge ocean swells that the other islands do, and that means that whilst there are waves, they aren’t anywhere near as huge, and that makes the Big Island a great place to learn in comfort. Swimming, snorkelling, diving, and fishing are also fantastic attractions to try, and these are best done on the Kona side of the island, e.g. the Leeward side on the west. You can also check out a dolphin or whale watching cruise!
Those who love to walk and hike will certainly enjoy the Windward side of the island, known as Hilo. This part of the island receives more rain than the other side, but don’t let that put you off! The temperatures are still very pleasant, and a shower is often much needed! The landscapes are what sell this part of the island, changing from black volcanic sand, to fields, over to rainforests with beautiful waterfalls. This is a walker’s paradise.
If you’re looking for luxury however, it has to be Kohala. This is on the north-western part of the island and whilst this is somewhat artificial in terms of development, it does boast some fantastic golf courses and luxury resorts. Here you will find entertainment, accommodation, nightlife, spas, gyms, and everything you could want to give you a truly relaxing vacation, away from the hustle and bustle.
There are several cities on the island that are certainly worth a visit, and Hilo is the biggest. There is a lot of history and architecture here, as well as being in close proximity to some of those beautiful waterfalls we just mentioned. Alternatively, Waikoloa is in the Kohala area, and here you will find shopping malls and attractions to enjoy.
Of course, we mentioned the volcanos, and to get to them you will visit Volcano Village, which is right at the door of the national park. You can learn about Mother Nature here, as well as how volcanoes develop and go through their life cycle. This is very interesting, and a good way to really get an overview of what you’re going to be seeing, before your eyes are treated for the first time.
Put simply, if you’re wanting a destination which is certainly more than your average, then the Big Island has it all. This is somewhere which is easy to visit, accessible in terms of tourism, and great fun, whilst also being still relatively untouched in terms of the natural landscapes. Perhaps you could even say that the Big Island is a destination that is ‘other-worldly’, and for that reason, you really do need to see it with your own eyes to believe it.