I dreamed my entire life to visit Hawaii, so when it happened, I wasn’t sure if it is for real. I was simply overwhelmed by everything I saw and experience there – everything was so different from what I knew. Everybody was smiling and wishing you Aloha – which actually is like a blessing, sun and rainbows everywhere, the sound of the ocean, the flowers, the plants – everything! Looking back, it was one of the greatest places I ever visited.
As you may know, Hawaii is formed by four main islands: Oahu, where the capital of Hawaii – Honolulu, is, the Big Island Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. There are four other smaller islands. I visited only two of them, Oahu and The Big Island Hawaii, which were both simply amazing.
Before arriving to the Big Island Hawaii, I’ve heard about it that it is the wildest one, and the perfect place to enjoy the Hawaiian culture and tradition. However, I wasn’t expecting to see and experience so many things there. Beside the gorgeous beaches, you must experience a traditional Hawaiian diner – Lu’au, visit the volcano, the jungle, an old Hawaiian village, the botanical garden, and many more. The best way to enjoy the island is to wake up in the morning, as early as possible, swim in the ocean when the sun comes up, and the start visiting all those amazing places.
In the first day, all I wanted was to enjoy the sun, the ocean, and the sand. I asked one of the guys at our hotel which one is the best beach on the Big Island, and he sent us to the White Sand beach. It was simply perfect! A hidden beach, visited mostly by the locals, not crowded at all, with the softest sand I ever saw. It was a little bit tricky to find it, after climbing to lava stones and passing a forest, but if you ever visit Hawaii, do not miss it.
We continued our beach tour with the gold-sand beach, which was beautiful, but not so spectacular, the green-sand beach, where you need the help of the locals and a 4X4 car to reach it, and the black-sand beach, formed from the lava rocks, where you can admire the hundred year old turtles.
A traditional Hawaiian village
If you want to learn something about the Hawaiian culture and tradition, you must visit the Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. It is like a trip through time, because you will see how Hawaiians lived hundreds of years ago. From ancient temples, to their houses, boats, their lifestyles – everything is there. Admire the Tiki statuettes and go snorkeling in the bay if you have time.
The Hawaiian jungle
I was pleasant to discover on the Big Island Hawaii not only heat and sand, but also a very green area that is forming a spectacular jungle. Visit the ‘Akaka Falls State Park, where you can admire a 420ft waterfall, crashing tough the rainforest. The access to the falls is easy, and the views are simply impressive. In the area, you can admire other smaller waterfalls, incredible flowers and plants, and also little Hawaiian towns.
Experience a Lu’au
A trip to Hawaii is not complete if you do not experience a Lu’au. What is a Lu’au? It is the traditional Hawaiian dinner, where you can try all those delicious Hawaiian foods, and drink as much Mai Tai as you want. Ask your hotel for the best Lu’au on the island, because you don’t want to go wrong with it. It may be a little bit pricy – we paid around $90 per person, but totally worth it.
During the Lu’au, you will also enjoy an incredible Hawaiian show, with traditional dances from every Hawaiian island, and flame shows. Before the dinner, you can take some Hula dance lesson, get a tattoo, learn how to braid Hawaiian style, or how to build a bow.
The volcano and the lava chasing
The Big Island Hawaii is also famous for its active volcano, so you must allow yourself a day to visit the Volcano National Park and admire all the lava fields in the area. For one day, I felt I am on another planet, and I couldn’t believe when the road we were driving on ended suddenly because of the lava flowing. The lava was already dried, but it was still an incredible experience. I totally recommend you to go there by night, when you can even see the red lava inside the volcano.
The Hawaiian Botanical Garden
On the Big Island Hawaii you can visit the biggest Hawaiian Botanical garden in the world, where you can admire hundreds of orchids, and many other plants and flowers. Even if I am not that into plants, visiting the garden was a lovely experience that I strongly recommend you anytime.
The Southern American Point
Ka Lae is the Southern point of the United States of America, and it is on the Big Island Hawaii. This point gives you the best views over the Pacific Ocean. Do not be surprised seeing all the trees and plants bending to the south. It is because of the wind, and it creates a unique atmosphere in the area. The Ka Lae is also the place where the first Polynesians arrived to Hawaii, so you can admire the ruins of an onld temple and many fishing spots.
And this is not all!
I spent only a week on the Big Island Hawaii, and I feel and didn’t visit and experience everything I should have to. It is a must to go snorkeling in Hawaii, because the water is so clean, you can beautiful fishes and turtles. Do not forget to have your swimming suit with you all the time, because you never know when you want to get into the water. You can also try surfing here, even if it is more popular in Oahu. Another great way to discover the island is by riding a horse to the Waipi’o Valley. Last, visit the Mauna Kea pick, one of Hawaii’s most sacred locations, also known as the clearest stargazing place in the world.