Aloha! It feels unbelievable that it has already been over a month when we returned back home from Hawai'i. Our trip was very nice and I can truly recommend the Big Island to everyone; families, nature lovers, snorklers and even luxury travelers. There are multiple national parks on the island with some unique nature, tons of beautiful beaches, volcanoes and accommodations for every level.
On this trip we stayed in a hotel in Kailua-Kona since we wanted to explore other services than just the ones inside the resorts. Usually after breakfast we headed to the beach with our snorkling gear and in the afternoons we strolled around in downtown Kona, had lunch, visited ice cream parlors or did some shopping. After that we still had some time to snorkel at the hotel beach with beautiful, colourful fish and sea turtles. Most evenings we had dinner at one of the restaurants at downtown on main street. Most of them had a view to the ocean and you could see the sunset while you ate.
The highlight of this trip was our visit to the Green Sand Beach. There are only three beaches in the whole world that carry this sparkly and beautiful sand. It can be a little bit challenging to get there so on our last visit to the Big Island, when I was pretty far along pregnant, we did not see the Green Sand Beach. We also enjoyed the visit to Volcanoes National Park very much.
Some tips if you are visiting the Big Island, Hawai'i:
- Always make sure you choose the most convenient season for you. Holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, Independence Day or Thanksgiving are more expensive times to travel. Also the time of the Golden Weeks in Japan can be crowded. Summers can be quite warm and during the winter you might see some warm showers every once in a while. If you are planning to do some whale watching, the best time for that is from January to March. My favourite time is spring when it is still not too hot and all the flowers are blooming.
- During the rainy season it might be better to stay on the Kona side since the Hilo side of the island is tropical and can get very rainy.
- Plan your trip schedule according to the weather forecast. For example, if you are planning to visit the volcano, it is better to do it on a sunny day since it is the rainy side of the island.
- Bring good hiking shoes if you plan to visit parks. The Big Island has lots of lava rocks and some trails can be difficult to walk.
- Keep lots of water, snacks, sun lotion and a sunhat with you. Many sights don't have any services.
- Keep in mind that you can not bring any fruits to the Hawaiian Islands. Also, if on the way home you have a layover in California or that is your final destination, fruits are not allowed even on the airplane.
More about things you can do:
- Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park (visit a living volcano)
- Green Sand Beach aka Papakolea Beach
- Kaloko-Honokōhau NHP (historical park with a beach full of sea turtles)
- Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau NHP (historic park with lots to see)
- Pu'ukoholā Heiau NHS (historical heiau with some nice beaches close by)
Our trip to the Big Island was great and we enjoyed the time in the warm weather and water. Our favourite activity besides visiting natural wonders was snorkling. You can read more experiences of the beaches we visited from here. This was our second visit to the Big Island so on our next trip to the Hawai'i we most likely will explore some other islands. Mahalo!