Hawaii is a tropical paradise made up of a small chain of islands that lies approximately 2,500 miles off of the West Coast of the United States. The largest island in this chain is named after the state of Hawaii, but the locals just refer to it as “The Big Island”. The Big Island of Hawaii is larger in land mass than all of the other islands in the Hawaiian chain combined. It is also the most diverse in climatology, as 13 of the 15 climate zones in the world can be found on this island alone.
The Big island of Hawaii is home to several volcanoes, including the active volcano Kilauea. The highest point on the Big Island of Hawaii is the summit of the dormant volcano Mauna Kea which stands over 13,800 feet above sea level. The topography and landscape of the big island spans from tropical beaches, to high mountain deserts to snow capped mountain peaks. The Big Island of Hawaii truly offers something for everyone.
Visit Kona Hawaii
A popular tourist destination on the Big Island is the town of Kona. Technically speaking, Kona is actually a district, or also referred to by the locals as a moku. To even further complicate matters, Kona is located in the State of Hawaii, on the Island of Hawaii and in the County of Hawaii and the moku of Kona is divided into the North Kona District and the South Kona District. Kona is easily accessible from the large international airport (KOA) just a few miles outside of town. Daily nonstop flights arrive in Kona from several major US cities making it a convenient and popular tourist destination. After landing in Kona, the major resort destinations in the town of Kona to the South and further North in the Village of Waikoloa offer visitors a wide range of lodging and dining options as well as many popular activities and attractions. The Big island of Hawaii, while the largest of all islands, has feel and pace that is much more relaxed than other popular tourist destinations such as Waikiki Beach on Oahu. If you are looking for a little slower pace with no High Rise Skyscrapers to clutter your view of the landscape, consider the village of Kona as the destination for your Hawaii Vacation.
Snorkeling Tours on the Big Island of Hawaii
Snorkeling is a fun and inexpensive activity to enjoy on your vacation to the Big Island. The waters off the coast of Kona are generally very clear and calm and offer visitors a peak into the life of the creatures that inhabit the coral reefs that lie along the shallow shorelines. Many tour operators offer daily snorkeling tours and for the more adventurous, you can rent a SNUBA setup and go a little deeper and stay a little longer to see even more of the wildlife that inhabit these tropical waters.
Whale Watching off of the Kona Coast
The chain of Hawaiian Islands lies directly in the winter migration path of a number of species of whales that travel from the Northern pacific and bearing sea down to Mexico where they give birth to their young. During the fall and winter months it is very common to see many different species of migrating whales making their journey south toward warmer waters off of the coast of Mexico. The giant Pacific Humpback whale is the most sought after whale to see in Hawaii and they can be regularly seen breaching and splashing as they migrate though the islands just a few hundred yards off of the coast of the Big Island.
Playing Golf in Kona Hawaii on the Big Island
The Big Island of Hawaii is the location of some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. The contrast of the black lava flows against the pristine dark green fairways that wind along the Kohala coast just north of Kona makes for some of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the world. Several championship golf courses can be found on the Big Island of Hawaii and the Four Seasons Resort if home to the PGA Senior Skins Tournament played there each year.
Sightseeing Tours on the Big Island of Hawaii
No visit to Hawaii would be complete without at least one day of sightseeing. It is simply not possible to overlook the magnificent sceneries that the Big Island of Hawaii offers. Due to the sheer size of the island, it is difficult to make a complete drive around the island in just one day and take in all of the sites, so plan ahead and break up your trip into several days if you want to see everything.
The best way to see the full perspective and massiveness of the island is to rent a helicopter and take a full island plus volcano tour. This tour will offer a special vantage point of the waterfalls, valleys and volcanoes that can’t be experienced from the land or driving along the highway.
Exploring the Green and Black Sand Beaches of Hawaii’s Big Island
The Big Island of Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful and unique beaches in the entire world. From the pristine white sand beach at Hapuna on the north Kohala Coast, to the green and black sand beaches on the southern border of the island, these beaches are both beautiful and magical. Found in few places on earth, the green sand beach on the Big Island of Hawaii was created by the ocean grinding up the green obsidian lava which spewed out from the volcano on the south end of the Big Island after past volcanic eruptions. The black sand beaches were created in the same manner from a different form and color of lava from ancient volcanic eruptions. These beaches are a “Must See” if you love lounging and relaxing on the sand or in the surf, and the sunsets from the Kona shoreline of the Big Island of Hawaii are second to none.
Surfing on the Kona Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island
Hawaii is world renowned for its big wave surfing beaches like those on the North Shore of Oahu. However, even the leeward shore of the Big Island of Hawaii offers several locations for small to midsize waves that locals and tourists alike enjoying riding. In the winter, large storms in the Bering Sea near Alaska bring large waves that crash into the shorelines of the Hawaiian island, creating large waves ideal for board riders of all experience levels.
Experience a Luau In Hawaii
No trip to Hawaii would be complete without attending a Luau. The Luau is the quintessential Hawaiian celebratory feast. Hawaiian’s mark many types of events with this elaborate celebration that includes traditional Hawaiian fare such as Kalua Pua, a whole pig cooked in the ground using a traditional earth oven called an Imu. During the Luau, you can expect to see many traditional Polynesian dancers, performing the Hula and the Samoan Fire and Knife Dance. A Traditional Luau is an activity suitable for the entire family and a “must see” on your next trip to the islands.
Spa Packages on the Big Island of Hawaii
The Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii offrs some of the finest luxury hotels in Hawaii. Home to the Four Seasons, The Fairmont, the Mauna Kea Resort and the sprawling Hilton Hotel in the Village of Waikoloa, which boasts three hotel towers spread out over 70+ acres of beautiful ocean front shoreline, visitors to Hawaii’s Big Island can find a hotel to meet their needs and budget.
Many of the Island’s most popular hotels are home to some of the most luxurious spas in the world. Guests can enjoy any number of diverse spa services, or just relax and unwind in peaceful tranquility. Be sure and make time to experience the traditional Hawaiian Lomilomi hot rock massage, and as an added bonus, opt for an ocean side treatment in your own private cabana around sunset. There is no better way to shed the stress of your daily life back on the mainland than a day of relaxing rejuvenation in one of the Big Island’s Luxurious Spas.
Hiking Tours on the Big Island of Hawaii
The Big Island of Hawaii was created millions of years ago by violent volcanic eruptions. These eruptions, which pierced the ocean floor spewing hot molten lava, created the mountains we now call the Hawaiian Islands. The Big Island of Hawaii is home to the currently active volcano called Kilauea. However, it was not that long ago, back in the 1950’s, that another active volcano on the Big Island called Hualalai, erupted and created massive lava flows between the town of Kona and the Village of Waikoloa extending all the way to the ocean.
The resulting mountains created by these violent volcanic eruptions are some of the tallest mountains in the world. While the Summit at Mauna Kea only extends a little over 13,000 feet above sea level, when measured form the base of the ocean floor, this mountain is over 30,000 feet tall and taller than Mount Everest in the Himalayan Mountain Chain. These islands create the perfect backdrop for mountain climbers, hikers and the trekking enthusiasts alike, but be sure to locate a licensed, experienced tour guide who knows the best time and places to hike and is aware of the current status of the active volcanoes in the area.
Sport Fishing Charters from Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii
The tiny Village of Kailua-Kona on the Leeward side of Hawaii’s Big Island is a world renowned Sport Fishing destination for globe-trotting big game anglers and tourists hoping to experience the pull of a giant fish on their line. Due to the deep waters that lie just a few hundred yards offshore, and year round ideal water temperatures, many species of Billfish (blue marlin, striped marlin, swordfish, shotbilled spearfish and sailfish) can be caught here year round. In addition to the numerous Billfish species that inhabit these waters year-round, other pelagic species such as Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna), Mahi Mahi (Dorado) and Ono (Wahoo) are also caught in abundance.
Kona is home to a fleet of over 100 charter boats that offer daily sport fishing charters from Honokohau harbor. Charters are generally available on a 4-hour (1/2 day), 6-hour (3/4 day), or 8-hour (full day) basis. Most of the charter boats in Kona are licensed to take up to six passengers at a time. Some fishing charter operators offer a “Share Charter” where passengers can fish with up to five other guests and pay a pro-rata portion of the charter fee.
Fishing in Kona is generally very economical and comfortable as the shoreline is protected from the trade winds by the large volcanoes. The water is also very deep just a few hundred yards off of the coast, so guests spend more of their time fishing and less time running out and back to where the fish are. Kona is one of the few destinations in the world where you can catch a blue marlin any day of the year. This species, while migratory in nature, are found off the Kona Coast year round. The Blue Marlin can easily grow to over 1,000 pounds, also called a grander, and these giants are regularly caught here in Kona each year.
A day of Sportfishing on the Big Island of Hawaii is the ideal activity for the whole family, and since the fishing in done in the calm waters very close to shore, you can also experience the beauty of the island from the ocean and also encounter whales and dolphins as an added bonus.
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