Things to do in Big Island
The Big Island, being the largest of all the islands is true to its name. Also popularly known as the ‘Island of Hawaii’ and the ‘Island of Discovery’, this extraordinary island, although being the youngest, is home to 11 climate zones. You will discover a whole new world from fiery active volcanoes to black sand beaches, lush green forests, and mountains covered in snow. Here are some of the best things to do on Big Island.
1. Feel the heat at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
An hour’s drive from Hilo will take you to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is a must-visit destination as you will not find anything like it anywhere else. It is home to the two most active volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa. You will not only get to witness these volcanoes but also will get to experience lava fields, tubes, and much more. Make a visit to the Kilauea Visitor Center to get up-to-date information on any lava activity in and around the area. You can take the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive and hike to explore the surroundings. Along the drive, do not forget to take a stroll through Nahuku, also called Thurston Lava Tube, a 500-year-old lava cave. Also, make sure to take a look at Pu’uloa Petroglyphs.
2. Go snorkeling or scuba diving to see Manta Rays
If you are someone who loves to enjoy underwater creatures, this is an exciting thing to do. Snorkeling or scuba diving trips are done during the nighttime and spotlights are used to attract plankton, which Manta Rays eat. You can then sight these exciting creatures and swim with them if you are an experienced diver.
3. Appreciate nature’s beauty at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
You will come across this beautiful garden located just North of Hilo. The 40-acre garden is home to some spectacular fauna and flora, where you will get more than 2000 species of plants to explore. Do not miss to check out the orchid garden.
4. Go waterfall hunting
If you are the adventurous type, this is something you will enjoy. At Akaka Falls State Park, you will come across a breathtaking 442-feet tall Akaka Falls and a 100-feet tall Kahuna Falls after an easy hike in less than an hour’s time through a refreshing rainforest. Also visit Wailuku River State Park to witness Rainbow Falls, a stunning 80-feet waterfall. If you get more time, see the boiling pots too.
5. Go on a seahorse farm tour
Ocean Rider is the one and only seahorse farm in the world that breeds and restores endangered seahorses. During the tour, you will get to hold a seahorse too! How cool is that?
Things to do in Maui
Maui, also known as the ‘Valley Isle’ is renowned for its incredible beaches, scenic routes, mountains, spectacular valleys, and a dormant volcano. The island is also home to some luxurious hotels and resorts which is why it is also called ‘Beverly Hills Island’. These are some of the things you can try in Maui.
1. Take the scenic Road to Hana
This is something you shouldn’t miss while holidaying in Maui. It is one of the best scenic routes in the world and you will be treated to some picturesque scenery along the way. The 64-mile drive will surely be a nerve-crunching ride as you pass unending curves and one-lane bridges.
You should definitely make a stop at Ke’anae Peninsula to view the mighty waves splashing against the black lava rock and you just cannot miss the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park, where you can take a stroll on the beach and enjoy the greenery around. The whole ride will take approximately 10-12 hours so make sure to plan accordingly.
2. Go whale watching
Maui is an excellent location to go whale watching. You will have a higher chance of spotting a humpback whale on the south side of Lahaina, even though the best time of viewing them is November to April as over 10,000 whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii.
3. Visit Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park is home to the dormant Haleakala volcano, Oheo Gulch with pools and beautiful surroundings. You can hike or do sky watching at the park.
4. Go snorkeling to explore the underwater world
Maui’s Molokini Crater is a fantastic spot for snorkeling and exploring marine life underwater. I recommend a morning tour so you have all the time in the world to enjoy snorkeling. You will also get snorkel tours to Kaanapali Beach, which are inclusive of barbecue lunches.