Big Island Itinerary
Big Island is aptly named. Unlike the other islands, you will drive
long distances to get from one end of the island to the other.
Almost everyone wants to go to the Volcanoes National Park but it is 110
miles from Kailua-Kona on the west side of the island. It takes almost
three hours to drive, so take this
into consideration when making your plans. This itinerary is based
on staying in the Kailua-Kona or Waikoloa area.
Fair Wind's catamaran cruise:
We've taken this snorkel cruise several times to Kealakekua Bay.
This bay contains some of the Big Island's best snorkeling with a wide
variety of tropical fish. In addition, you will see the Captain Cook
Monument which marks the spot where the legendary sea captain died at the
hands of the Hawaiians. If you are in the mood for more to do, visit
Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. This was a place of
refuge for defeated warriors, noncombatants in time of war, and those who
violated the kapu, the sacred laws. If you don't choose the snorkel
cruise and enjoy sightseeing you can drive on to Punalu'u. Here you
will find the Big Island's most accessible black sand beach (other than the
60 mile drive from Kailua-Kona).
In addition to the black sand beach
you will normally see many turtles in the bay and resting on the shore.
|The Big Island's Punalu'u Black Sand Beach
Explore the cowboy town of Waimea
where Parker Ranch is located. Spend the rest of the day enjoying
Hapuna Beach in the Kohala area or shopping in Kailua-Kona.
Days 3 and 4
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: One day isn't
enough time to travel from the Kona or Kohala area, see the park, and
return. Plan to spend the night in Hilo, Volcano Village just
outside the park, or at the Volcano House inside the park. Some
people make this the last (or first) thing they do after arriving and
leave from Hilo airport rather than Kona airport. There will be a
charge for dropping your rental car off at a different location than you
rented it if you decide to do this, but it saves you a 2 1/2 to 3
hour drive returning to the Kona airport. Or, if you want to say you drove around the entire Big
Island you can return to Kona by the southern
route. See our description under
Big Island Sightseeing for help in planning your trip to the park.
If you returned to Kona or Kohala you deserve a day of rest.
Enjoy the beach or you may want to splurge on a helicopter ride over the