Hawaii Island

"The Big Island"

Plan Your Trip to Hawaii Island

Vacation Planning Guide

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The youngest and largest island in the chain of Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii Island is nearly twice the size of all the other islands combined and still growing due to the lava flow from the active volcanoes. Home to all but two of the world’s climatic zones, Hawaii’s terrain spans from colored beaches (white, black and green) to a lush rainforest with beautiful waterfalls, two active volcanoes and hard lava deserts. Sometimes overlooked by the commercial appeal of the other islands, Hawaii Island offers an authentic Polynesian cultural experience and some of the best sights that no other Hawaiian island shares.

Regions

Kona District

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The Kona District is on the west side of the island and stretches south from the Kona International Airport for about 60 miles just past Kealakekua Bay. Kona Coast is home to the city of Kailua-Kona, golf courses, iconic surfing and world class resorts. Rich with heritage, you'll find everything from coffee farms to famous Hawaiian landmarks. Learn more...

The Kohala Coast is a contrast from rugged lava fields to secluded white sand beaches in the  "North Kohala" and "South Kohala" districts. A short 20 minute drive north of  Kona International Airport, this area of the island, formed by lava flows from Hualalai volcano, is dry with year round temperatures ranging from 80 to 95 degrees. Here you'll find world-class accommodations and some of Hawaii's best golf courses. Learn more...

Hamakua Coast

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Hamakua Coast – Located on the northeastern side of the island just north of Hilo, this side of the island is known for it’s rolling green hills and fertile soil great for farming. The drive along the steep cliffs and rugged coastal highway offer some spectacular views of the sea as you pass cascading waterfalls and tropical rainforests. In contrast to the arid Kohala Coast, Hamakua receives an average of 84 inches of rain a year.

Hilo District

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The district of Hilo, has the largest population on the big island of Hawai’i and home to Hilo International Airport. With an average of 130-200 inches of rainfaill annually, you will find dramatic waterfalls, fertile rainforests and blooming gardens in this region; a geographic contrast to the Kohala Coast with is volcanic fields and arid weather. Hilo is also the gateway to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located 45 minutes south.

Ka'u District

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Ka’u – Located on the southernmost point of the Big Island of Hawai’i and includes much of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, as well as Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach, Papakōlea (Green Sand) Beach and Kamilo Beach.

Puna District

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Puna – The Puna district is an area just smaller than Kauai and located in the southeastern tip of the island. Affordable housing prices and an enormous increase in development has made Puna the fastest growing district on the Big Island.

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Akaka Falls

 
 

When To Visit The Big Island

With great weather year round, there is only a small window of time considered to be the slow season. Rates are a tad lower from the end of April through the end of May. You may also find September to be a little less costly after the kids go back to school.

Transportation

Getting to Hawaii Island is easier than ever with daily direct flights into Kona International Airport (KOA). Kona is located on the west side of the island and the one most visitors choose. Major air carriers from the U.S. and Canada fly directly into Kona from the U.S. West Coast — Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Porland, Seattle, and Anchorage. You may also get direct flights from Denver and Phoenix, and seasonally from Vancouver.

Hilo International Airport (ITO) is on the east side of Hawaii Island. You may want to fly into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu first and then taking a short, 35-40 minute flight to Hawaii Island.

 
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“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.”

-Michael Palin

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