When thinking about Hawaii, most people automatically picture Waikiki Beach or Honolulu on the island of O’ahu, but those who are looking for an adventure holiday should head to the Big Island, where there’s plenty of activities to keep even the most avid thrill seeker happy.
The Big Island is large enough that all the other islands in Hawaii could fit inside it with room to spare. It also has four of the five major climate zones in the world- you can go skiing in winter and then relax on the beach afterward. You won’t see many large malls or clubs on the Big Island, but what you will find is some of the most breathtaking scenery in the United States.
The Big Island is famous for hiking, with many hikes departing from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which has more than 150 miles of spectacular trails. Novice hikers may want to start with the Awini Trail which leads all the way down to Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. This hike will only take around half an hour, and while it can be a little steep in some places the views are well worth it. The Black Sand Beach was created by cold water hitting hot lava so the sand is rough, however if you’re lucky you’ll find a few sea turtles hanging out here.
More experienced hikers should head to the Muliwai Trail which is nine miles long and climbs 12,000 ft before it descends towards Waimanu Valley.
Swimming with Dolphins
Those who have had the pleasure of swimming with dolphins will tell you that it is an experience like no other. For a chance to swim with dolphins in the wild, get up early and head to Two Step, where the dolphins will often begin their day in a playful mood.
There are many good companies available for your dolphin swim, with knowledgeable guides who are committed to teaching people about dolphins, and have the utmost respect for these amazing animals.
For those who are looking for an adrenalin rush, it doesn’t get much better than hurtling between trees, while enjoying the incredible scenery that the Big Island is so famous for. The lines are built though the forest, allowing you get up close and personal to native plants and birds.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Whether you enjoy floating amongst coral or diving deep and swimming with Manta Rays there are plenty of options on the Big Island. If you’ve been wanting to get certified, there are many dive companies that offer PADI courses such as Big Island Divers and Kohala divers.
For the best snorkeling make sure you go to the Captain Cook Monument where the diverse amount of fish is simply stunning. Whether you hike down or kayak across, make sure you get there early as the place becomes overrun by tourists by 11am.