Help me choose 3 islands in Hawaii, please
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jul 11, 2012 6:19 PM Last Post By: Marocfan
Jul 2, 2012 12:32 AM
Help me choose 3 islands in Hawaii, pleaseHello,
after been thinking our destination for 2012 holidays, Hawaii has won the contest ;- ))
We are 4, we are going to stay 10 days in the islands and have thought that we want to visit 3 islands.
Our options after reading a lot of posts, blogs and so.. are Ohau, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island
Ohau and Maui are my favorite, and I have the doubt with Kauai and Big Island.
I dont want to lay on the beach all day, I want to rent a car and cross all the islands to know the towns and so...
Which one do you prefer??
I want to choose a third island "different"... for example if Kauai has better beaches but I have nice beaches in Ohau and Maui, I´ll prefer to go to Big Island because it has more lovely towns (for example)
What I mean is that I don´t want to go move between the islands and see "more or less" the same...
Thanks a lot
Jul 2, 2012 7:43 AM
1Stick to two islands maximum, if this is your first trip maybe spend 3 days on Oahu to see Pearl Harbor, etc. and then the rest on another island. My personal favorite is Kauai, but Maui does have better snorkeling if this is important (not that is is not good on Kauai). Kauai has rivers that flow into the ocean so some beaches near the rivers can get murky due to this but the scenery there is mind blowing, especially the North shore.
Big Island is big and would need all 10 of your days and the volcano is not active now.
Jul 2, 2012 8:18 AM
210 days - is that 9, 10, or 11 nights? It is more useful to plan by nights
You don't have nearly enough time to see three islands. The customary recommendation is at least 5 nights per island. As above, The Big Island is big enough that 5 nights isn't usually enough and 7 nights is a better option.
Lovely towns? Hmm. I'm not really sure what that means or what you expect.
When are you going? When I read holidays 2012, it could mean Christmas-New Years, or a non-Christmassy vacation time. It makes a difference in where to recommend
If you've already been to Oahu and Maui, then I'd pick Kauai for sure.
What is your nightly accomodation budget? That might also influence your choices.
I see from prior posts that you are Spanish. Will you be traveling from Spain or from some other place closer to Hawaii? It's such a long trip from Spain that I would certainly not attempt three islands in such a short time frame.
Jul 2, 2012 12:34 PM
Jul 3, 2012 12:04 AM
4Thanks a lot for your help.
I´m going from the 2nd of September and I don´t know exactly how many nights I am going to stay.
I have 3 weeks but my girlfriend only 15-16 days and we are waiting because she could probably get 4 days more.
We lose 1-2 days in the flights.
The flight from Spain it´s a 22-24 hours trip, and we are planning to stop somewhere in the return (probably Vancouver) to make it more "confortable".
It´s strange but with a multi-destination flight I can get the flight staying 3 nights in Vancouver for the same price that if i make a Hawaii-Madrid.... and as the flight to Vancouver is direct and the Vancouver-Madrid is also direct I only spend 7hours to Vancouver and 7hours to Madrid.
I´ve never been in Hawaii and I´m never going to return (I have to many places to visit and I pretend to have children soon).
We are going to rent a car and drive around the island early in the morning and get back to the apartment in the night, we want to see as much as we can. We are not going to be laying in the beach... half an hour for a swim and that´s all.
For me it´s very difficult to choose "only" 3 islands, and it´s a pity to choose only 2.
I prefer to miss something in each island but know them in general.
I´ve been reading some posts but it´s a bit difficult because Hawaii it´s part of the general "USA" forum and it´s a bit difficult to find all.
Again... thanks a lot for your help.
Edited by: borja2706
Jul 3, 2012 12:17 AM
5Sorry... the accomodation budget it´s not a problem.
I´ve been searching for apartments and bnb and I have found nice accomodation for a good price in each island
I´ve been other holidays in Vegas-Los angeles-Carmel-San francisco ... or NY-Martha´s Vineyard-CapeCod-Boston ... or in 4 greek islands and I´m used to exploit my holidays seeing as much as I can.
I could probably like to stay more nights in SFO or NYC but I prefer (a lot) to know other places in my trip.
You know what I mean??
Jul 3, 2012 2:53 AM
6Oahu is heavily developed, and Waikiki is chaotic. Since you'll be flying into Honolulu, you might spend three nights there on arrival, driving around the island one day. It's my least favorite Island because of the big population, but there are lots of attractions.
Maui is the TOURIST hub. If you want crowds of people in a more rural setting, with lots of fancy resorts, Maui is for you. It tends to be very windy starting in the late morning, so beach activities can get blown out. Lahaina was a charming town once, but now it's a lot of tourist-trap boutiques and restaurants surrounded by expensive parking. If you go to any attraction on Maui, be it sunrise at Haleakala or the Road to Hana, expect heavy traffic and big crowds. It's beautiful, but too overrun for my taste.
The Big Island has tremendous variety, with a very wet wet side, a very dry dry side, very high (sometimes snowcapped) mountains, a very active volcano, and varying climates and vegetation depending on your elevation and your exposure to the wet NE winds. You can be hot and steamy in Hilo, hot and dry in Kohala, or temperate in a forest near Waimea. There's no big city, although Kailua-Kona will provide all of the traffic you need, and the beaches are excellent. There are some nice smaller towns like Hawi that have a lot of character. It's my favorite Hawaiian Island, and you could taste a reasonable sample of it in 6 days. Along with Maui, it will be the hottest in September.
Kauai is small and intimate, and it will be very pleasant in September. It has a stunning variety of landscapes, from jungly areas around Hanalei to near-desert around Poipu, to the beautiful Waimea Canyon, the high swampland, and the incredibly sculpted Na Pali Coast. The difference between Kauai and The Big Island is that because Kauai is small, you can get from anywhere (except Na Pali) to anywhere and back in a day, and you can get a real feel for it in a week. There will be good snorkeling at that time of year, without the mobs of tour operators who bury many Maui spots. Hanalei and Kilauea are pretty atmospheric towns.
Given jet-lag and your time frame, I'd spend 3 nights on Oahu to start, then go to Kauai or the Big Island for at least a week, then return to Honolulu at the end for as many days as it will take to cover what you missed on arrival. On Kauai, given a week, I'd spend 4 days in the north (Kilauea, Anini Beach, Hanalei or Haena), and the rest around Poipu or Koloa in the south. On the Big Island, I'd stay in Kona for 3 days, then move to the coastal side of Waimea, or up to Hawi.
Wherever you go, a condo is generally better than a hotel, and a house is way, way better than either. There's usually a 3 day minimum stay in a house or condo. Check out http://www.vrbo.com and http://www.tripadvisor.com for reviews and bookings.
Under no circumstances would I even think of attempting three islands in 10 days. A big part of the Hawaiian experience is letting yourself slow down and enjoy "Island Time", especially after a long flight. There's an important difference between seeing things and experiencing them. Savoring the smells, tastes and sounds, and tuning in to the local vibe, or ambience, or whatever you want to call it, can't really be done while racing around in a rented Chevy. Spending big chunks of time in cars, airports and car rental agencies isn't really what the Islands are all about, IMHO.
Jul 3, 2012 4:22 AM
7Wow... thanks a lot Karlo
That information is very useful for me.
We are waiting to know if we can get 3 or 4 days extra.
It´s difficult to choose "only" 3 islands... imagine only 2
You also have answer (more or less) my next question.... where to stay in each island??
In other posts I´ve read about Lahaina in Maui, and somewhere in the North Shore in Ohau... but I was not sure and I did not have information of places in Kauai and the Big Island.
Jul 3, 2012 4:33 AM
- I would only do 2 islands max, but if you already have that booked . . . do know you will need a car for each island unless you aren't going to leave Waikiki.
If you want specifics on the best thing to do, I would post and research that on each island you are visiting. For example, Kauai would be the best island for a helicopter tour, best snorkeling will be Maui probably or Oahu's northshore, etc. :)
Jul 3, 2012 7:54 AM
1. Oahu: The most populated island, Honolulu population about 500,000 with high-rises, freeways, traffic problems, homeless problems. Waikiki is a classic beautiful beach and is worth seeing once. Good museums, art galleries, multicultural restaurants, great shopping, lots of nightlife beautiful Lanikai beach, Diamond Head hiking, Pearl Harbor and other national monuments, North shore with great surf breaks (surf not likely in September)
2. Maui: The best beaches, lots of tourist accomodations, Haleakala National Park (inactive volcano), snorkeling trips to Molokini crater, ferry to Lanai for day visit, road trip to Hana, good selection of restaurants, nightlife more limited to hotels.
3. Kauai: The most tropical of all the islands, Napali coastline incredibly rugged and beautiful best seen by helicopter or boat tour, Waimea Canyon (Grand Canyon of the Pacific), beautiful northshore with Hanalei Bay, snorkeling variable, depending on conditions, might be surfing in north in September. No nightlife
4. Hawaii (The Big Island): Lots of rough black lava, dry west side with excellent snorkeling, a few really good sandy beaches, Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Kea observatories and may have snow on Mauna Kea, black sand beach, Hamakua coast waterfalls, coffee farms, some very nice resort hotels with great (expensive) golf courses, Hilo area. No nightlife
When checking accomodations, you need to make sure they will be available at the time of your trip. There is also a 13+% tax and often a cleaning fee of up to $150 for a condo.
Jul 3, 2012 10:30 AM
Jul 3, 2012 10:56 AM
Jul 3, 2012 11:29 PM
12I'd definitely agree that TBI has far better snorkeling than Maui or Oahu, but on Maui (including especially the grossly overrated Molokini), you have the very best chance of snorkeling happily along only to be suddenly overwhelmed by 10 big boatloads of tourists, all 300 of whom start thrashing around wearing fluorescent pink, puce and magenta spaghetti flotation and being herded like mindless sea sheep by bored kids on surfboards. The horror! The horror!
Whichever islands you choose, Wizard Publications does superlative guidebooks, Get a couple ASAP, and when you see in detail what each island offers, you can make a far more informed choice.
Jul 6, 2012 3:00 AM
Jul 9, 2012 10:58 PM
(3 star Hotel)
From US$212.85 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$134.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$253.00 per night