The largest island of Hawaii, the Big Island, is also the largest island in the United States, and features an intense combination of climates, natural attractions, fun adventures, and of course beautiful beaches.
We love the Big Island because it is so massive and many parts are untouched compared with the tourist trampled Maui & Oahu. The Big Island of Hawaii has mystical lava tubes, flowing volcanoes, dolphin filled bays, turtle filled lagoons, and so many hidden treasures it is the perfect “adventure island”. We go back to the Big Island many times each year because the energy here and endless excitement is truly addictive!
Below are a few highlights and favorites you gotta do on your next adventure to the Big Island:
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
In the southwest region of the Big Island lies the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, a series of active volcanoes surrounded by lush tropical jungles. Visitors sometimes get to witness the Kilauea volcano in action. It’s currently one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Our favorite adventure in Volcanoes National Park is the Kilauea Iki Crater hike. This moderate 4 mile hike takes you through the lush tropical jungle down into once of the largest active volcanic craters in the world. Coming down through the brilliant greens and fertile soil onto an expansive lunar landscape is unforgettable. There are steam vents to explore as you cross the mile long crater and begin the ascent on the other side.
Warm Thermal Baths
After our favorite hike in Volcanoes National Park we always make the 45 minute drive to a very special place that most tourists don’t know about. In the south western part of Big Island near a town called Pahoa, is a natural thermal spring that releases warm fresh water into a pool. This pool is connected to the ocean and the waves come crashing in for a one of kind relaxing experience and view. Nothing beats a calming swim in naturally heated pools after the exciting Kilauea Iki Crater hike.
The Big Island offers many different riding experiences such as wagon riding and horseback riding. You will be guided by local ranchers and Hawaiian cowboys, known as paniolos, through awe-inspiring scenery. Riders can choose to cross waterfalls, lush valleys, open plains, beaches, and everything in between on this adventurous journey. Our favorite place to go horseback riding in Hawaii is near Waipio Valley. This world famous wonder has wild horses running around and a stunning black sand beach surrounded by epic mountains on each side forming the valley. A river runs straight into the ocean cutting the valley in half but horses have no problem crossing.
Hamakua Heritage Corridor
This scenic drive will allow visitors to further explore the natural beauty of the Big Island along the Hamakua Coast. Visitors can witness sea cliffs, deserted towns, and Hawaii’s Tropical Botanical Garden which holds over 2,000 exotic species of plants from around the world. This botanical garden is by far the best of all the islands although the flowers and gardens in Kuahai come real close!
If the above activities don’t get you salivating for an adventure to Hawaii we don’t know what will! Our travel club goes on these adventures every year, and if you have no one to travel with, join us!
**This has been a guest post courtesy of PhotoFlyTravel Club