The Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is the largest and youngest island of Hawaii, and in the U.S. The island’s total land area of 4,028 square miles is almost twice as large as all the other Hawaiian islands combined, and continues to grow. Formed by five volcanoes, the island is home to spectacular sites and all but four of the world’s climate zones. Due to the elevations and shielding effects of two volcanoes, you can experience snow-capped heights, tropical forests, deserts, and grasslands all in one day.
Millions of tourists visit the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes every year at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The Kīlauea Volcano is currently one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and has been erupting continuously since 1983.
Along with guided tours and hikes, visitors can also enjoy biking, camping, and learning about the volcanoes at the Jaggar museum.
MaunaKea volcano, the highest volcano in the state, is known for its world class telescopes and incredible star gazing. You can choose between free stargazing events that take place weekly, or sign up for a summit tour, which often includes personal stargazing lessons from a knowledgeable guide.
The big island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with a mix of white, black, and green sand beaches. In the surrounding waters are many coral reefs to snorkel and deep see dive. Reputable beaches include the white sand Kauna’oa Beach perfect for sunbathing, the black sand Punalu’u Beach great for swimming and turtle watching, and the green sand Papakōlea Beach, which is a popular hiking spot.
Off the Kona coast is a can’t miss activity--swimming with manta rays at night. Attracted by the bright lights from the land at night, ginormous manta rays are drawn to shallower waters where they feed on plankton. Snorkeling and diving options are available.