Hawaii - Hawaii ("Big Island")
*Please visit our Hawaii "Overview" page for cruise & land offers.
Twice as large as all of the other major Hawaiian Islands combined, the Big Island is also the youngest of the island chain. At some 800,000 years of age, it's also still growing.
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains one of the world's most active volcanoes which continues to pour into the sea adding to the shoreline.
From its snow capped peaks to its black, white and green sand beaches the island is really a study in contrasts. Rocky deserts and lush rainforests. Peaceful bays and rolling pasture land. Luxurious orchids and waterfalls on the windward side, and areas on the western slopes where the world famous Kona coffee is grown.
The Big Island is the place for adventure. Horseback riding in Waimea. Golf everywhere. Snow skiing (really!) at Mauna Kea. The ocean is gorgeous at any time of year. Kona is the marlin fishing capital of the Pacific. Or maybe the quaint shops and restaurants of Hilo, will be enough to keep you thoroughly entertained. The Big Island is also the place for history. All over the island you'll see petroglyphs, and heiau, ancient places of worship. The royal summer palace and the first Christian church in Hawaii will take you back in time.
From the rainbows and waterfalls of the windward side to the sun drenched beaches of the Kona/Kohala Coast, the Big Island is vibrant and alive.
And wherever you go, you'll find the spirit of Aloha. Of course, you'll find all of the amenities, attractions, activities, and accommodations that will fit any pocketbook and life style. You'll also find a physical beauty, a depth of cultural heritage, and a spiritual warmth that is without equal.
Whatever you're looking for in a Hawaiian vacation, the Big Island offers some great moments that could last a lifetime. Because Hawaiian weather varies very little throughout the year, the weather you'll experience on the Big Island depends more on location than time of year. The wide variety of climates and the resulting range of temperatures and rainfall across the island are due primarily to differences in elevation and exposure to the moist northeasterly trade winds. The average day-time temperature in the coastal resort areas ranges from the mid 80's (29.4 C)in the summer months of May to October to the mid to low 70's (23.9-26.1 C) during the winter months of November to April.
“BIG ISLAND” Points of Interest:
- AKAKA FALLS - north of Hilo, plunges over 420 feet in a sheer drop over a volcanic cliff.
- BLACK SAND BEACHES - made up of pulverized lava, located on the south-eastern cliff.
- CAPTAIN COOK MONUMENT - at Kealakekua Bay, is a tribute to the British navigator and discoverer of the Hawaiian islands who was killed on the shoreline in 1779.
- FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH - at Kailua-Kona, was erected by American missionaries who first landed on this coast in 1820.
- HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK - one of the top scenic attractions in the Aloha State, has an array of unique volcanic formations, forests of giant tree ferns, steaming craters and a volcanological museum which shows free color movies daily.
- HULIHEE PALACE - in the village of Kailua-Kona was once the summer home of Hawaiian royalty and now houses a rare collection of Hawaiiana.
- KAMEHAMEHA STATUE - in Kohala. This, the original statue was lost at sea during shipment to Hawaii and later recovered after a replica had been made and erected in Honolulu.
- KAMUELA MUSEUM - in Kamuela/Waimea, with royal Hawaiian treasures from the Iolani Palace, ancient Hawaiian artifacts and art objects from around the world.
- LAPAKAHI STATE HISTORICAL PARK - north of Kawaihae, was once an ancient Hawaiian fishing village.
- LAUPAHOEHOE - which literally translated means "leaf of lava" is one of the Hamakua Coast's many scenic and historic spots.
- LAVA FLOWS - are marked by Warrior signs which designate flows which have surged down the mountains of Mauna Loa and Kilauea since prehistoric times.
- LYMAN MISSION HOUSE MUSEUM - in the city of Hilo, contains a collection of historic Hawaiian relics.
- ORCHIDS AND ANTHURIUMS - grow in profusion in Hilo and surrounding areas for export to far ports of the world.
- PAINTED CHURCHES - at Honaunau, St. Benedict's is the oldest Catholic church on the Island constructed in 1875. The church has brilliantly hued murals depicting biblical scenes on the interior walls. Murals in the Star of the Sea Catholic church at Kalapana were painted by a priest half a century ago.
- PARKER RANCH - in the Waimea-Kamuela district at the foot of Mauna Kea, is the second largest cattle ranch under the American flag, and the largest privately owned cattle ranch in the world.
- POLOLU VALLEY - in Kohala, was once the locale of a number of ancient Hawaiian heiau (temples).
- PU'UHONUA O HONAUNAU (PLACE OF REFUGE) - a National Historical Park, is said to have been built at the Honaunau location in the 12th century to provide political and religious asylum.
- PUUKOHOLA HEIAU - near Kawaihae, was built by Kamehameha the Great and is now a National Historical Site.
- RAINBOW FALLS - one of the Big Island's loveliest waterfalls, is located in Hilo.
- WAHA'ULA HEIAU - at the foot of the Chain of Craters Road is maintained by the National Park Service as part of the Volcanos National Park. Walking tours available.
- WAIPIO VALLEY - north of the town of Honokaa, was once the home of kings of old Hawaii.
- WHITE SAND BEACHES - Hapuna State Beach Park, Anaehoomalu Beach, and Magic Sands Beach, Kailua, all on the western side of island.