Hawaii’s Big Island Review

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Hawaii’s big island is a beautiful paradise and a great way to introduce yourself to the Hawaiian islands. Now if your looking for Great Prices try to travel before or after the summer months of July and August. If the summer months are the only time you can travel, book your tours a couple of months before your trip because they have a tendency to fill up fast.

There are 2 airports on the big island. The Kona airport (Keahole , "KOA") which can be flown into directly from the states. The Hilo airport on the other side of the island can only be flown into from a
plane change from the other islands. The Kona side is the busier touristy side of the island and the Hilo side is much quieter but still has many things to see and do. If you fly into Kona and are staying on the Hilo side of the island, the ride in a rental car is approximately a 2 ˝ hour drive. The drive is worth taking and is very scenic.  Don’t expect anyone to be handing out any leis at either airport unless a friend or relative is greeting you. That tradition is saved for the Honolulu airport.

The hotel we stayed at was the Naniloa Hotel on Banyan Drive in Hilo. It's on the ocean and has a beautiful view of Mauna Kea which is the highest peek on the island at 13,796 ft.. Mauna Kea has several observatories and Beautiful sunsets above the clouds. You can either book a tour or rent a 4x4 (beware of your rental car restrictions) and drive up to the summit. It’s a breath taking drive. Please stop at the visitors center to get more information and to adjust to the change in elevation and to get ready for the weather change.
It’s cold at the summit so bring extra clothing and plenty of water.

There's also a 9-hole golf course and driving range right across the street from the
Naniloa. You can rent a cart and clubs for less then $25.00 if you are staying at the Hotel. If you do stay on the Hilo side you will also be close to the Volcano National Park. The park is a half hour away and has great hiking trails through Craters and lava tubes. There are Great views of the ocean and of course lots of old and new Lava. If you're looking to see some flowing hot magma, it’s a good idea to call ahead to the Park. They will tell you of any new eruptions that might be able to be seen at night. We only saw a small area that was to far away for any photos or for viewing.

Also near Hilo are some magnificent waterfalls. Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls as well as the Hawaii Botanical Garden are all worth viewing. I would recommend, if staying for 7 nights on the big island, is to book a hotel for 5 nights in Hilo and 2 nights in Kona. The Kona side has some of the worlds greatest snorkeling, scuba diving and Kayaking especially if your using the Kona Boys as your outfitters. They offer a great service and the staff will make your adventures both educational and incredibly enjoyable. If you're snorkeling or scuba diving, talk to Tim at South Kona Scuba at the Kona Boys Shop. He is the Dive Master and a Hawaiian native with a great sense of humor. He uses new equipment for all the dives and also sells scuba masks with tinted glass  too. It never fogs up and makes the colors of the ocean and tropical fish brilliant. It was incredible! If you're interested in a underwater cameras beware of the depth restrictions and pay careful attention to the gaskets. Seal it correctly because even the tiniest leak can destroy your camera.

The Big Island has Beautiful Sunsets, great Scenic Roads, Beaches, Volcano’s, Mountains, Deserts, Rainforests, Flowers, Great Food, 11 of the worlds 13 climatic zones, lots of sunshine as well as some very nice people who will make your stay an experience you will never forget.  

"Howie"  Howard Polley    Looking for Adventure.com

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