The Big Island is the largest and most active volcanoes of all the Hawaiian Islands. The island is still growing every day due to its tourist attraction No. 1 (which also happens to be one of the most active volcanoes in the world): Kilauea volcano.
Our island is known for its beautiful nature and many cool activities and it is almost impossible to fit everything into your holiday – even if you stay for more than a month!
GRAND ISLAND AT A GLANCE:
The Big Island is officially known as the island of Hawai’i and received this nickname for good reason: it is the largest island of the United States with a total area of 4.029 square miles (10.433 square kilometers)! It is the surface area that is greater than all the others combined Hawaiian island.
The 200.381 inhabitants of the main island (which is only 14% of the total population of the state of Hawaii, census 2017) living mainly in and around the two major population centers of the Island: Hilo (the capital) on the east coast, and Kona on the west coast.
Despite these impressive figures, the state of Hawai’i is actually quite small: there are only three states (Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island) with less surface of the earth that the aloha state. Yet our “little” Big Island is home to 8/13 climate zones in the world, and there is a lot of fun, exciting activities and accessible as possible for you to explore.
The following video is a great introduction to many of our favorite places and includes the following images: Waipi’o Valley, Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, the Kona Coast, Mauna Kea, Pololu Valley, dolphins, a ray of manta, and more. Video credits go to Tyler Fairbank light Owl Productions.
If you want to know more about Hawai’i, we recommend the following two pages: one with three reasons why we believe that the Big Island is so incredibly impressive, and the other with 40 facts about Hawai’i.
BEACHES OUR FAVORITE ON GRAND ISLAND
If you like beaches you are in luck. The Big Island is a paradise, and has quite a few amazing white, black, and green sand beaches!
Our hands-down favorite beaches on the Big Island are Hapuna and Mauna Kea Beach (white sand), Punalu’u beach (black sand + turtles!), And Papakolea (greensand). Learn more about these beaches in the following guides:
POPULAR ACTIVITIES on the Big Island
The Big Island brought 8 of 13 climatic zones of the world and the activities you can enjoy here are almost as distinct. Our personal favorite things to do to the Big Island are:
First, there is, of course, the lava. You can also go diving on tropical reefs and enjoy a sunset snowball fight atop Mauna Kea a few hours later. And then there is, of course, the unforgettable night dive Manta Ray. Learn more about these 4 great activities in our guides linked below:
You can also find an overview of all activities on the Big Island on our website. These guides are designed in a DIY mode and explain how you can plan all you want to do you.
If you are more interested in other people doing the planning, you should definitely take a look at our new tour Curated section where we list a small number of visits that we know and love, receiving consistent and good praise critics, and give the community and try to minimize their impact on the environment.
LOCAL and snacking
Many people tend to forget the culinary side of their vacation, which is a real shame! The Big Island is a destination where you should do something to avoid this trap because the food here can be so different from what you can find on the continent.
It is easy (and tasty!) To find local food in restaurants, farmers’ markets, supermarkets or at the source, the farm/orchard.
Malasadas (Sugared Portuguese fried dough snacks) are a tasty snack when you’re on the road. The combination of Kalua pork with a number of microbrews never gets old locally and does not let the Big Island without a taste of one of the most famous cafés in the world: Kona coffee.