What to see on Big island, the largest and most diverse island in Hawaii

big island hawaii

How lucky for the United States to have beautiful places so close! Having a coastline on one side and the other, its planes quickly reach both Europe and the Pacific. And on top of that, it has an archipelago of paradisiacal islands under its own flag: Hawaii

The archipelago of Hawaii is made up of many islands and the most important are Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and the island of Hawaii itself, called the Big Island. When you think of this part of the world you think of black sand beaches, very green islands and very active volcanoes, so Big Island is our destination from today. I would say that concentrates the elements of the most classic postcard of Hawaii so if we don't have three months to live in Hawaii, this island must be our destination.

Big Island

Big Island

It is known that way to avoid mistakes and not to confuse the island with the entire archipelago, which is also one of the states that make up the United States. It is twice the size of the other islands all together so it has two climatic zones between both coasts. It is huge and that is why its microclimates and diverse landscapes make it a great destination where we can do a lot of things: visit historical sites, play golf, see volcanoes and magma, put our feet in black sands or walk in the jungle. .

Big Island 1

How do you get to the Big Island? Arrived by plane from Honololu, on the island of Oahu, just a 40 minute flight. The plane can arrive at the Kona airport, to the west of the island, or the Hilo airport, to the east. Most make it to the first. And from the United States almost all national airlines fly from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Anchorage, San Jose or Oakland, Denver and Phoenix. There are also flights from Canada.


The most advisable thing is to enter by one coast, tour the island and exit by the other. You enter Kona, explore, visit, have fun, drive to Hilo and from there you leave the island. A direct trip between coast and coast takes two and a half hours that can be extended depending on what you do. It is best to rent a car but you can also use the Hele On bus. The important thing is not to stop knowing what the best attractions in Big Island, Hawaii:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park on Big Island

Contains some of the largest active volcanoes in the world. It is only 45 minutes from Hilo and It is home to the famous Kilauea volcano. It is the opportunity to see the permanent process of creation and destruction of our planet, originator of life itself. The park was created in 1933 and covers a vast territory from the top of Maunaloa to the sea.

There are 240 kilometers of trails to hike through craters, rainforests and deserts, a dry lava field and two active volcanoes that can be seen up close: the Maunaloa itself that last erupted in 1984 and the Kilauae that did so in 1983.

volcanic vortexes in hawaii

The biodiversity of this part of the Big Island is wonderful and that is why it is Biosphere Reserve since 1987. The truth is that volcanic activity here creates new land all the time. The Visitor Center is open every day between 7:45 am and 5 pm. Inside you can watch a one-hour movie that serves as an introduction to the importance and beauty of the park and sign up for a guided tour, collect maps and tips.

Jaggar Museum

What I recommend is doing the Crater Rim Drive, a 170 drive tour kilometers that surrounds the caldera of the Kilauea volcano and allows you to see the best of the park: the Halemaumau crater, the Path of Devastation, the panoramic point of the Kilauea Iki crater, the Thurston lava tube (formed over five centuries, underground, of cold lava ), and the Jaggar Museum, especially for volcano lovers.

Punaluu black beach

Punaluu black beach

In the world there are beaches with sands of various colors: golden, white, pink, green, red and black. It all depends on the composition of the sand crystals and in the case of black sand beaches they are mostly of volcanic origin. It is the case of Punaluu beach that it is on the Kau coast, to the southeast of the island. It is one of the blackest beaches in all of Hawaii and it is located between the Volcanoes National Park and the small town of Naalehu.

Turtles in Punaluu Beach

Coconut palms reach the top edge of the sand and there are times when there are green turtles about her. It is a protected species, naturally, and the idea is not to disturb them or take a sandbag as a souvenir. It is not the best beach for swimming, the water is rough, But there is a barbecue area and you can get through the day.

Akaka Falls State Park

Akaka waterfalls

There are two waterfalls within the park, Akaka, with almost 135 meters high, and the Kahuna, with just over 30. It is located along the Hamakua Coast and the two beautiful waterfalls can be visited by walking briefly between them through a series of walkways. The trail up the hill is less than a kilometer long and allows you to appreciate the exuberance of the rain forest around you, with bamboos, orchids and other tropical plants.

Trail in the Akaka Falls

The trail is paved, great, and the first waterfalls to appear with the Kahuna. You keep going around and you come to the Akaka that have eroded a canyon and spray and water everywhere. The walk takes less than an hour and you will see the most famous waterfall in Hawaii. You pay 1 dollar for the entrance to the park and if you enter by car, 5 dollars.

Hamakua Historic Corridor

Big Island by car

The truth is that Hawaii and its islands are not just landscapes. People have lived here for thousands of years and a good way to appreciate such history is to make this «historical corridor». scenic drive through villages, beaches, gardens and waterfalls. He from Hilo to Waipio, where there is an excellent vantage point. It takes you a whole day or half a day and little more but it is beautiful.

Beach on Big Island

The route skirt sea cliffs, pass lush valleys and rainforests, and explore plantation villages. In addition, you can enter and get to know the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden with more than two thousand species from around the world. This same path passes through the Akaka Falls, through the most beautiful jungle in the world and also gives you unforgettable images of Maunakea and a waterfall with three falls called Umauma.

Big Island Volcanic Coast

Actually, along this scenic route there are many recommended stops so it is a very good option to enjoy Big island completely. The villages have cafes, restaurants, museums, and markets. The final touch is the magnificent view of the Waipio Valley Lookout with waterfalls, a black sand beach, a closed valley and the sky above your head.

Waipio Valley

While I have named four of the best tourist attractions on the Big Island, the ones I can't miss on a visit to Hawaii, there is so much more. If you visit the website you will realize how many things there are to see and do on this island. And how beautiful it is. It is worth getting closer to know it. It is not the only one so in later articles I will teach you more about other islands that have other attractions.

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