Big Island Travel Guide

Welcome to the Big Island travel guide.

Big Island, Hawaii is a nature lover’s paradise, the youngest island in the Hawaiian chain and home to several natural attractions, the world’s most active volcanoes, and massive mountains. Whether you’re interested in surfing, snorkeling, nature walks or hiking, Big Island offers a myriad of activities for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The island is covered with lush rain forests, volcanic deserts and is studded with majestic mountains. You can enjoy the surf and sand on the black sandy beaches around the hills and mountains, explore some attractions and sites off the beaten path, and enjoy a variety of water and land-based activities year round.


Big Island has been coined Hawaii’s “Island of Adventure” because there is so much to do and see. From the snow-capped mountains to the lush forests, Big Island is the place to enjoy nature at its finest. Even if you’re not an adventure-seeker, you can find plenty of activities to enjoy around the resorts and the in the historic village of Kailua. The island caters to all types of travelers with a lineup of extravagant resorts and luxury hotels, mid-range hotels and beach houses, vacation rental properties and apartment-style venues for those who are looking for an extended stay trip. The island is also home to several historic sites and cultural attractions, so you’ll find plenty of things to do and sites to explore beyond the major resorts and natural landscapes.


Most of the major attractions on Big Island are located within easy reach of the larger resorts and hotels, and you can book a tour package or drive yourself to some of the scenic sits around the West Shore, Hilo Town and the Waipio Valley in the North Shore. Whether you want to explore the tropical paradise, relax on the beach or learn about the local culture and traditions, Big Island has it all.


Big Island Weather and Best Time to Visit


Since Big Island has several different climate zones, there really is no perfect time of year to visit. However, some days of the year do tend to be rainier than others. If you don’t want to deal with too much rain and humidity during your trip, stay closer to the west side of the island to enjoy warm and dry weather most of the year. Hilo is the exact opposite and endures many rainstorms and showers. Peak season in Big Island tends to be the holiday season and winter time when people from other parts of the world are looking to escape from cold and snowy weather. However, you’ll still find plenty of tourists heading to Big Island during the spring and summer months.


Big Island boasts at tropical climate year round, with average temperatures stayin gin the mid to upper-70s from January through June, and the lower 80s during the months of July, August, September and October. Temperatures tend to stay in the upper-70s during November and December. Hawaii generally only has just two seasons. Summer season runs from May through October, while winter runs from November through April. Summer season is the optimal time to travel and enjoy the outdoor sites and attractions.


Experience Big Island


Big Island contains 11 of 13 climatic zones, which means you can drive through several different distinct areas and see scenes from all seasons in one trip. Whether you’re staying at a luxury resort or enjoying a trip to one of the small villages or towns on the island, you’ll find plenty of breathtaking sites to take in and places to explore any time of year.


If it’s your first time visiting Big Island, consider staying at one of the larger resorts to enjoy deluxe accommodations and easy access to the major sites and attractions. You’ll find plenty of tour operators and tour guides near the larger resorts and hotels, and many scheduled tours include water activities and pit stops at area restaurants and eateries.


The Kona Coast is where you’ll find most of the luxury resorts and tourist attractions, home to the famous black lava fields and offering easy access to some of the natural attractions and sites around the island. This area is located on the West Side of the island. If you venture over to the East Side, you’ll find the Volcanoes National Park and the “Orchid Capital” with its abundance of beautiful plants and flowers. The Kileau Crater is the most active volcano on the island and you can actually drive in and see the rainforest treks and lava tubes.


Travel along the Hilo and Hamakua Coast to see some of the most beautiful waterfalls and natural sites the island has to offer. The coast is among the most fertile parts of the island and is the place to explore some of the world’s most beautiful botanical gardens, tropical rainforests and lush green areas. From the Wailuku River State Park to the Hamakua Heritage Corridor, you’ll find dozens of attractions and natural sites that offer incredible views of the ocean and serve as a gateway to a natural paradise. One of the best ways to experience Big Island – especially if it’s your first time – is to take a helicopter tour of the area. You can see the majestic waterfalls, rainforests and other attractions from a whole new perspective and enjoy amazing views of the ocean and coast line from this bird’s eye view.


If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, set your sights on one of the many state parks, valleys and national parks in the area. Paved pathways meander around streams and waterfalls, and you can enjoy some of the most amazing views of the hills and valleys from several scenic spots around the parks. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours year round, so consider getting up at the crack of dawn and heading here to enjoy the sunrise.


If you’re a return visitor to Big Island, consider venturing out to some of the overlooks and valleys by renting a Jeep or other off-road vehicle for the day. You’ll find several long stretches of roadways that run around some of the national parks and scenic sites, including the Kilauea Caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Pololu Valley Overlook.


Whether you’re staying in Big Island for a long weekend or a weeklong getaway, a trip here is sure to take your breath away. Take some time to learn about some of the resorts, tours and activities available around the beautiful island.