There has always been a certain mystique for me surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. Having travelled extensively through Mexico and a dozen or so Caribbean Islands, Hawaii was one destination at or near the top of my tropical travel wish list. We had the distinct pleasure of experiencing Hawaii and all its magical splendour this past December.
During my preliminary research, the one looming decision that I was struggling with was which island should we visit? And should we try to visit more than one island on our trip? Thankfully, there are loads of excellent online resources out there to help you make an informed decision.
A couple of my favorites (in addition to my old Trip Advisor standby) were the GoHawaii website which features excellent tips and details about each island, and the nifty HawaiiGaga site which provides a questionnaire about what features, accommodations and activities you prefer to help you narrow down your choice for an optimal vacation experience.
Knowing we love very active vacations filled with lots of hiking and beach activities like snorkeling and boogie boarding, and knowing that we prefer the natural beauty of less travelled landscapes and varied topography, Hawaii Island or the “Big Island” as it is called seemed to be the perfect fit.
Youngest and larger than all the other 5 major Hawaiian Islands combined, the Big Island is vast enough to contain 11 of the world’s 13 climactic zones. You want white sandy beaches? How about black and even green sand beaches? You got it. How about snow capped mountains? Check. And soaring waterfalls and lush tropical rainforests? Check. Might as well throw in one of the world’s most active volcanoes while we’re at it. The Big Island has it all!
And although we were fortunate to have almost 3 weeks of travel time, we still decided to spend all of our time on the Big Island – and we were glad we did. There was just so much to see and so much to do, when we finally left the island, we really felt that we had the perfect amount of time to really explore all the unique areas and experiences the Big Island (and it is a BIG island) has to offer.
Speaking of which, stay tuned for future posts covering some of the best beaches, restaurants, hikes and attractions that the Big Island has to offer. For now, mahalo and back to the cage.