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Hawaii’s Big Island, or officially Hawaii Island, certainly lives up to its name. It is nearly twice the size of all of the rest of the Hawaiian Islands combined. The island consists of five volcanoes that rise up from the Pacific Ocean, creating stunningly beautiful landscapes and picture-perfect beaches, complemented by a rich and fascinating history and culture.
Hawaii Island has many resort regions with top-notch facilities, including gourmet restaurants, luxury spas and superb golf courses, as well as the two main towns Hilo and Kailua-Kona. Car rental companies operate out of these two towns, as well as out of both international airports, as public transport is limited. Driving is the best option if you are planning to spend some time exploring the island.
Head to Kohala Coast to discover some of Hawaii Island’s most popular beaches, such as Mauna Kea Beach and Hapuna Beach State Park. Relax on the pristine sands, or dive into the crystal blue water to swim with the dolphins, turtles and tropical fish native to these waters.
Inland, there are many natural wonders to discover. Hike through the tropical rainforests, see and hear stunning waterfalls, or take in the awe-inspiring spectacle of the island’s two active volcanoes at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You will also be able to climb to the peak of Maunakea, Hawaii Island’s tallest peak which, when measured from the sea bed, is taller than Mount Everest. Don’t miss the spectacular views from the remote Pololū Valley Outlook at the north of the island.
As it was once home to the Hawaiian royal family, the island has many sites of strong cultural and historical interest. Visit the 72 hectare Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, once the site of royal grounds, as well as a place of refuge for those who broke the Kapu, or sacred laws. The Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is home to fascinating archaeological sites where you’ll discover petroglyphs, or kii pohaku, native Hawaiian carvings into lava rock which date back hundreds of years.
Hawaii Island’s tropical climate, with over 300 days’ sunshine per year on the west coast, ensures that it is a popular destination all year round. The busiest time falls between December and March, so if travelling in the period it is recommended to book accommodation well in advance. Many surfers head to the island in winter, as the rough winds cause large sea swells, but temperatures remain warm. Hawaii lies in the North Pacific Ocean, 3,219 kilometres from the US mainland.
Royal Kona Resort is perched on the edge of Kailua Bay, just a 10-minute walk from the fishing village of Kailua-Kona. It’s 11 minutes on foot to Hulihee Palace, and a 20-minute drive south to the Captain Cook Monument. Kona International Airport is also a 20-minute drive.
This 7-story Waikoloa beachfront hotel located on an island is adjacent to two golf courses and within a 5-minute drive of King's Shops and petroglyphs. Anaehoomalu Bay is a mile away.
Located 7 miles inland on the spectacular Kohala Coast, this resort is adjacent to Waikoloa Village Golf Course and shopping, and offers easy access to the Big Island's northern ranch highlands.
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay is located near an active volcano, snow capped mountains, and marine activities. You can observe majestic manta rays at Rays on the Bay, and enjoy the 200-foot lava tube water slide, hot tubs and children’s play area.
Glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling excursions, and deep-sea fishing are all within reach of this hotel located in Kailua-Kona Village, across the street from Kona Pier. Shopping centers and historical parks are also nearby.
Part of the 1,839-acre Mauna Kea Resort on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii's Big Island, Hapuna Beach Resort is flanked by 2 golf courses and is a 20-minute drive from Waimea.
Featuring views of the ocean or quaint Hilo Town framed by the backdrop of Mauna Kea, this full-service Hilo hotel is close to many island attractions: 10 minutes to Rainbow Falls and 40 minutes to Hawaii Volcanoes Park.
Nestled on the beach, this Waikoloa resort is within a 15-minute walk of Dolphin Quest, Anaehoomalu Beach, and Seaside Putting Course. Waikoloa Beach Golf Course and Kings Shops are also within 1 mi (2 km).