Why I love Hawaiʻi the Big Island
“Growing up in Hilo, I took my island home for granted. Didn't everyone wake to birdsong, homegrown bananas for breakfast and the unmistakable silhouette of Mauna Kea in the distance? Didn't everyone gaze at an unobstructed blue horizon and fall asleep to the rat-a-tat of pounding rain on metal rooftops? It wasn't until I explored Hawai‘i as a writer that I finally appreciated the island's uniqueness. The power of...” Read More
Top experiences in Hawaiʻi the Big Island
Sights in Hawaiʻi the Big IslandSee all sights
Hawaiʻi the Big Island activities
Big Island in One Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, and History Small Group Tour
This full-day nature tour kicks off when you are picked up directly from any of the Kona or Kohala resorts and hotels, and then heads north from Kona on a brief scenic drive, with snacks and refreshments provided throughout the day. On the way to the first destination, you’ll pass some of the island’s oldest volcanoes, as well as Hawaii’s largest ranch, the Parker Ranch in Waimea, which has been operating on the island since 1847.The morning is filled with visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. First, the views will stop you in your tracks at the Waipio Valley lookout, where a dramatic backdrop of verdant cliffs drops into the sparkling blue ocean. Continuing on the drive along the Hamakua Coast, more postcard-worthy views will pass by your window, ushering you to the next destination, Akaka Falls. This towering 442-foot (135-meter) waterfall plummets into a lush ravine at the center of a state park. You’ll enjoy a short walk through the vegetation for an up close view and plenty of photo ops. Next is a waterfall that’s small by comparison, but not by beauty: Rainbow Falls, a beautiful 80-foot (24-meter) waterfall with a giant banyan tree beside it. You’ll get lunch around noon of Teriyaki Chicken, Grilled Fish, Rice, and seaweed salad (Vegetarian meals are available upon request). Then explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including steam vents, the Jaggar Museum and the Halema'uma'u and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts. Walk along a bridge that gives you a literal inside look at Hawaii, as you follow it to the eerie Thurston Lava Tube, a 600-foot-long (183-meter) cave formed hundreds of years ago by an underground river of magma. From there, you’ll have time to relax and take it all in at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, a great place to spot marine life from the shore, like Hawaii’s green sea turtles. On the leisurely drive back around sunset, you'll see views of South Point, the southern most point of the United States, and Kealakekua Bay, before arriving back in Kona or Kohala. Please note: Wear good, closed-toe walking shoes and comfortable clothes in layers, as temperatures may vary.
Big Island Grand Circle Island Tour
Get a complete Big Island experience on the Grand Circle Island Adventure. Hawaii’s Big Island is blessed with spectacular landscapes, including volcanoes and rain forests, and this is the best way to see it all. You’ll have between 15 minutes to one hour at each of the following stops; the order could change, depending on factors like weather, but you will see it all. Kailua Town:Kailua Town was considered the premier place to live in ancient times; kings called it home.Kealakekua Bay:Catch amazing Hawaiian views here.Kona Coffee Plantation:Sample Kona’s delicious export.Volcanoes National Park:The Grand Circle tour includes admission to the park. Built in 1916, the park features the results of 70 million years of volcanic activity, migration and evolution. See the Kilauea Iki crater, Thurston Lava Tube and the steam bluffs. Bring a light sweater or jacket to wear here.Jagger Museum:You can watch films of past eruptions and current volcano activity at this free, hands-on museum.Volcano Observatory:This is where the US Geological Survey monitors volcanic activity using a variety of technological and scientific data. You’ll be fascinated by what they know. Additional stops on the tour include a drive through Parker Ranch’s gentle hills and a view of flowing waterfalls along the gorgeous Hamakua Coast.
Manta Ray Night Snorkel from Kona
Although you are able to view mantas during daylight hours, they feed most actively at night when many plankton rises towards the water's surface. By using dive lights that are safe for the mantas, you'll be able to attract and get close to the mantas.Unlike sting rays, mantas are very gentle and don't have teeth, stingers or barbs. These big and beautiful animals are truly amazing, boasting wingspans that can exceed 15 feet (4.5 meters) in width! They are completely safe to be around, so hop aboard for the aquatic experience of a lifetime!
Island Breeze Luau on the Big Island
While on Hawaii’s Big Island, have an authentic, fun and entertaining experience at the Island Breeze Luau. Winner of the "Best of West Hawaii" award, the Island Breeze Luau at King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel is a favorite of both visitors and locals. You are invited to join the Island Breeze Luau for a unique cultural experience featuring delicious food, drinks and an amazing Polynesian production!The luau is held in a beautiful oceanfront setting near the historic Kamakahonu Bay and Ahu’ena, King Kamehameha’s former estate in Kailua-Kona. Guests of the Island Breeze Luau will enjoy a backdrop of passing boats, outrigger canoes, Mt Hualalai and the twinkling lights of Kona. During the show, enjoy a 22-dish buffet, open bar, Polynesian arts and crafts demonstrations and a Royal Court procession. A highlight of the evening is the spectacular Polynesian Revue, consisting of cultural dances from around the islands.Watch as a symbolic King Kamehameha I arrives by canoe, his arrival signaled by a Court Conch Herald and a Court Chanter. Follow his procession into the royal grounds to experience a luau that truly deserves Hawaii's royal title. Be amazed by other performances including Fijian and Maori dances of war, graceful Hawaiian hulas and daring Samoan fire-knife dancing. See a full schedule and sample menu in the Itinerary section.
Hilo Shore Excursion: Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls
Start your day in port on the Big Island of Hawaii at Wailuku River State Park, where you’ll see Rainbow Falls. This 80-foot (24-meter) waterfall drops over a natural lava cave. Legend says the lava cave was the mythological home to Hina, an ancient Hawaiian goddess. On sunny mornings, you can see rainbows in the mist over the waterfalls and get a taste of tropical forest wonder.Your Hilo shore excursion continues to Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, where you’ll get a special tour of Mauna Loa’s nut and chocolate processing plant and watch the nut-husking and drying process. Learn how a macadamia nut is grown and processed, and be sure to try a few samples of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts! Continue to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, one of the Big Island’s most popular attractions. The park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes – Mauna Loa and Kīlauea.Walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, where a river of red lava rushed through hundreds of years ago. Get up close to the enormous Halemanumau Crater, which measures 3,000 feet (915 meters) across and 280 feet (85 meters) deep, and watch it come alive with hisses and steams. Stop by Jagger Museum to learn more about Kīlauea, and then step outside on the overlook to get a fantastic view of the crater. Finish your day at the Akatsuka Orchid Nursery. Step inside a colorful and fragrant paradise of orchids, and learn about the different orchids and tropical flowers native to Hawaii. This tour can only be booked by cruise passengersWorry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return back to the ship in Hilo Pier for this activity. If your ship is delayed and you are unable attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Small-Group Big Island Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kona Coffee Farm
After pickup from your Waikoloa or Kona hotel in the morning, head south along the Big Island's coast by comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On the way, you’ll stop to take a tour of a Kona coffee farm and taste freshly brewed Kona coffee. Enjoy a light snack here and feel free to purchase some coffee to bring the taste of Hawaii back home with you. Continue to Punalu’u Beach Park, where you’ll see turtles basking on the black sand. Enjoy a picnic lunch and then take an easy hike along the beach. Follow your guide on a hike through a lava tube, where you’ll see sulphur banks and vents emitting hot steam. At Halemaumau Crater, you’ll get the unique chance to see a glowing lava lake at night. It tends to get cold up there, so you'll be served dinner consisting of warm soup with bread and yummy desserts, accompanied by water and fruit juices.And don’t forget about your iPad! Throughout your journey, you can use your iPad to see high-definition photos and videos and learn background information on the sites you visit. While in the car, you are also welcome to play games, listen to music, watch movies and see videos on ancient Hawaii.You’ll return to your hotel at around 9pm.