• Cindi Villard

Birthing new earth, The Big Island of Hawaii

Updated: Oct 5, 2018

Pools of Paradise during Sunset By Orxy via Shutterstock

Our journey to Hawaii has reached it's final leg with the largest island of the namesake 1500-mile archipelago.

We have journeyed from Oahu, The Gathering Place with the capital city of Honolulu, to The Garden Isle of Kauai and it's unbelievable Na Pali Coast.

Our previous stop, The Magic Island of Maui left us basking in over 30-miles of beaches, now it is time to complete our exploration with the youngest island of them all, a marvelous place where you can witness the phenomena of lava spewing into the ocean creating new earth; The Big Island of Hawaii.

Kilauea Volcano Lava flow captured by Mandy Beerley on Unsplash

Hawaii: The Big Island

More than twice the size of the other islands and growing thanks to the most active volcano in the world Kilauea, the Big Island will leave you stunned at the power of Mother Nature and her beauty. There are 3 National Historic Parks, 1 National Park and 14 different Hawaii State Parks, National Monuments and recreational areas on the Big island alone.

If someone asked you where the biggest mountain in the world is, would you answer correctly? Hawaii!

Take a trip with us from Kona on the west side of the island to Hilo on the east side of the island and fully immerse yourself in this incredible natural phenomena.

Come feel the Aloha spirit of The Big Island

History and Culture

If it is culture and heritage you are looking for on your trip to the great state of Hawaii, then look no further than the rich culture and history of the Hawaiian and Polynesian people on the Big Island.

First inhabitants on the island were the Polynesians who came around 1100 AD to the Hilo area. It is here you will find an immersion of art, culture, and gorgeous historic buildings that stretch throughout history remaining for our eyes to wonder upon in the present.

Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic site preserves multiple ruins, including one of the last major ancient Hawaiian temples where King Kamehameha brought down his last opponent.

Hawaii Big Island- Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park Tiki By David Litman via Shutterstock

One preserved ancient Hawaiian settlement full of petroglyphs, platforms to houses, ancient worship centers, and even has two long beaches for exploring without running into many other two legged mammals, is Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park.

Puuhonua a Honaunau National Historic Park has a slew of sacred Hawaiian temples, including some of the most culturally significant sites in all of Hawaii.

Hawaii Volcano National Park is Hawaii's only UNESCO world heritage site and has one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, it is here you will experience the phenomena of new earth being created right in front of your eyes.

Birthing of new earth by Candace Thoth via Pixabay

For the ultimate cultural adventure on the island, the road between Hilo and Waipio Valley is a 55-mile stretch designated the Hilo-Hamakua Heritage Coast that has signs all along with interest points littered with Hawaiian culture.

From the magnificent views of the Waipi'o Valley, to the 442' Akaka Falls, among many other unforgettable stops, this drive leads you to discover the Hawaiian mystique available on The Big Island's Hamakua Coast. Take a day's drive with us to explore the once named "Old Mamalahoa Highway" in depth.

Cultural Highlights

  • Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic site

  • Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park

  • Puuhonua a Honaunau National Historic Park

  • Hawaii Volcano National Park

  • Hilo-Hamakua Heritage Coast

Waipio Valley Overlook By Paul Bica

Adventures on The Big Island

One of the greatest adventures on the island includes the many stops and jaw dropping views along the 55-mile Hilo-Hamakua Heritage Coast drive. A horseback ride or hike to view The Waipi'o Valley is an absolutely incredible experience you do not want to miss if you have decided to do the Heritage drive.

Beyond that this island is huge in comparison to the other islands with much to explore and take in. Kona, the west side of the island is known for picturesque perfect sunny weather, manta rays and whale watching in the winter months.

Hilo on the east side of the island is the wettest city in the US. This side of the island has lush rain forest with exotic and rare flora you won't find anywhere else, cascading waterfalls everywhere and 2,000' cliffs that hang onto the ocean.

Mauna Kea Observatory at sunset. Photo By: Wikimedia

The largest mountain in the world, reaches from the deepest depths of the ocean to a staggering 13,678' above sea level, not quiet as tall as Mount Everest at 29,029', but from sea level Mauna Loa measures at 30,085' making it the largest mountain in the world. Mauna Loa is also one of the worlds most active volcanoes, having erupted 33 times since the mid 1800s.

Mauna Kea hosts a multitude of adventures, including daily trips to the summit for unbelievable sunsets and stargazing with some of the best telescopes available in the state. Star gazing on the peak of Mauna Kea has been regarded as one of the most memorable adventures on the entire island.

One incredible place we covered briefly that is a huge reason behind why most people choose to vacation on The Big Island in the first place is the constantly changing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. As a matter of fact, travelers go out of their way to make seeing the park an experience on their trip even while in Maui, Kauai, and Oahu.

Get up close and personal with a helicopter tour of Kilauea Volcano

Experience world phenomena, shield volcano Kilauea, the most active of the 5 volcanoes in Hawaii, and Pele the Goddess of the Volcano is one of the most agitated on the entire planet. The Circle of Fire and Waterfalls Helicopter Tour out of Hilo takes you through one of the most geologically active places in the world, on a ride over spewing lava and multiple cascading waterfalls that will leave you feeling like you have arrived on an entirely different planet.

In Hawaii National Parks there is a short 20-min hike not to be missed, especially if you love geology. The Thurston Lava Tube takes hikers through a 500' cave like tube of what once was formed by an eruption, creating a lava path from the progressive Kilauea that flows much like it does today.

Hawaii Big Island- The Thurston Lava Tube By Josh Cornish

From one extreme to the next, experience total Hawaiian wilderness submersion with the best rain forest hike on the Big Island in Kalopa State Park. The Nature Trail in the park takes hikers on a short .7 mile hike through a native Hawaiian arboretum full of rare types of plants like orchids and hibiscus.

Adventure Highlights

  • Waipi'o Valley by horseback

  • Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea

  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

  • The Circle of Fire and Waterfalls Helicopter Tour

  • The Thurston Lava Tube

Have you fallen in love with Hawaii?

Beaches on The Big Island

Are you ready to feel the sand in between your toes and the cool spray from the ocean waves on your face? Let's venture on to check out some of the best beaches The Big Island has to offer.

In search of the best swimming? Check out Ahalanui Beach Park with it's natural thermal spring made into a 60' swimming pool on the ocean's edge near the Puna Lava flows. Enjoy this beach now because in the future it may be under lava flow such as one of the local's favorite islands Kaimu black sand beach that was swallowed whole in 1990.

Another great spot sheltered by lava rock for swimming and snorkeling off the coast is Honoka'ope Bay. Here you will find 49 Black Sand Beach a small cove off of Honoka'ope Bay, where the green turtles (hona as the locals call them) come to sun bath on the hot dark gray sand. This black sand beach is different from others on the island because the sand is not made from the dark black lava that leaves the beaches looking like charcoal on other islands.

Papakolea Beach the green crystal sand beach on the northern tip of the coast, sculpted out of the Mauna Loa volcano is one of only two green beaches in the United States, this 5-mile round trip may not be easy but the rewards are very worth it, from the views to the remote beach itself you will be glad you made the journey.

Big Island coastline and cliffs north of Hapuna Bay By Dmitri Kotchetov

The most popular beach on the entire island attracting everyone from beginner surfers, boogie boarders and snorkelers is Hapuna Bay located in the Hapuna Beach State Park on the Kohala coast. The south end of the beach is about a half-mile of the pristine Hapuna white beach and crystal clear blue water. The north end also has perfect beaches and is where the four star Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is perfectly located for guests to enjoy the most beautiful beach on the island, but that is for you to discover.

The beaches on the Big Island are unlike any other, black sands made of lava rock, emerald volcanic crystals, and coral make up many of the beaches you will find on this gorgeous chunk of land.

Beach Highlights

  • Ahalanui Beach Park

  • Honoka'ope Bay

  • 49 Black Sand Beach

  • Papakolea Beach

  • Hapuna Bay

Greenwell Farms Coffee Plantation by Sean Lin via Flickr

Before the days get started on the multiple adventures awaiting you on the Big Island we must speak of the best coffees on the island, after all this is Hawaii. I have wrapped up the best coffee shops found all across the different islands of Hawaii in Summit to Sand's blog "Talk Java to me Hawaii."

You have experienced one of the most geologically diverse places on the planet, if even a vision of it, in our Hawaiian Island blog project. From the birthing of new earth to the deepest, most exotic rain forest experiences, to the incredible coast lines and mountains that cover the state, Hawaii will leave you feeling both brand new and like you have just returned from a totally different planet.

Now with bags half packed and interests peaked, it's time to live out your adventure on the Big Island.

~Hawaii Island Summit to Sand VIP offer~

5-nights at a top Hawaiian resort on the beach

It is time to allow yourself to truly bask in the Hawaiian sunshine, without the work of curating, researching, booking, and figuring out logistics, the way a vacation should be. Leave the long research hours finding that better deal and the hassle to me while you truly relax and enjoy every minute of your vacation.

5-nights on Hapuna Bay including non-stop flights from Denver, car rental and The Circle of Fire Volcano and waterfall helicopter tour, sure to be a memory that lasts a lifetime.

This journey is yours starting from $1684 per person based on double occupancy.

*prices with non-stop airfare from Denver, CO and 5-night accommodation at a 4-star resort on the beach, with a compact car rental for dates 11/24/2018-11/30/2018.

*book by October 31st, 2018

If these dates or locations don’t fit the bill please let me find the best value for the perfect dream trip for you and your favorite people. Create your vision of adventure here. https://www.cognitoforms.com/SummitToSand1/YourVisionOfAdventure

In love of Travel,

Cindi Villard

Independent Travel Consultant

Summit to Sand LLC

Don't save all the adventures to yourself, tell your favorite traveling partners about these awesome secrets on the big island today before this deal gets wiped out.

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