I can imagine the look of pure shock on your face when I tell you that the island nicknamed "Big Island" is the largest of the Hawaiian islands. Otherwise simply called Hawaii, this island is second only to Oahu in terms of population, though it can boast the tallest peak of the chain at the summit of the dormant Mauna Kea volcano (13,803 ft or 4,207m). If you were to measure the size of Mauna Kea from the ocean floor, it would even beat Mount Everest! The sometimes snow-covered Mars landscapes (amidst which the Mauna Kea Observatory is set) on top of it are spectacular.
Mauna Kea may be dormant, Mauna Loa which covers half the surface area of the island and is the largest volcano in the world by volume, surely isn't. And staying with the superlatives, the Kilauea is the world's most active... They form part of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is the most popular sight on the island. Make your way up along the Chain of Craters road to drive by craters and dormant lava flows. Seeing active lava flow (and even reach the sea) is possible though conditions change on the daily, so your best bet is to check with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (link below).
It's not all volcanoes here though, far from it. The parts of Big Island not covered by them turn lushly green, like it is the case at the hard to reach Waipio Valley. This valley is bounded by steep mountain walls and on a quiet day the black sand beach and waterfalls can make you feel like you have hit on a deserted island.
There's plenty of other spectacular nature to be seen, such as Akaka Falls, but if you want to understand a bit more about the former Kingdom and its culture and history, a visit to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park is a must. Here you will find the former palace grounds and burial grounds of the Hawaiian chiefs.
Big Island is not really for the lazy resort types (of course it has fantastic resorts, but there are probably more straightforward resort destinations to head to) and more for those who like to hike, dive/snorkel or whatever, yet it has quite an interesting variety of beaches. From Green sand beach all the way in the south, black sand beaches like Kehena Beach to the white sand ones at Kehaka Kai. [Review by travelindicator]
You can find the best hotel deals in Hawaii here.
- Hawaii is a region in United States. It is situated at an altitude of 8701ft and the best airport to fly into is ITO (Hilo International, Hilo)
- The main spoken language here is English / Hawaiian, and the average English skill is high
- The currency used in United States is the US dollar (USD)
Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):
Historical average rainfall per month (inches):
More Hawaii travel resources
Hawaii Attractions (Foursquare)
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