Big Island Top 10
Big Island Itinerary Map
With its year-round balmy weather, Hawaii is one of the top vacation destinations for US citizens. Volcanic in origin, the Hawaiian Islands are high and rugged, lushly green and cut by spectacular gorges and valleys. From coastal deserts to Alpine mountaintops, barren lava flows to tropical rainforests, bleached white beaches to jet-black sands, the Hawaiian terrain startles and amazes. Some 2,500 miles from the nearest landmass, the islands are so isolated that of the thousands of species of flora and fauna that have evolved here, more than 90% exist nowhere else on Earth.
Despite heavy tourism in some areas, you can find scores of quiet spots and secluded beaches. The world's top surfing and windsurfing destination, as wells as excellent conditions for snorkeling, swimming, diving, bodysurfing and most other water sports, lure enthusiasts from around the globe. For those who prefer their feet on the ground, there's fantastic hiking to cascading waterfalls, remote rainforest valleys and quiet backcountry camping spots.
The Big Island
The island of Hawaii is suitably dubbed the "Big Island", as it's larger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined. The Big Island has two things the others don't - snow and erupting volcanoes, the latter the centerpiece of the astonishing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
It encompasses an amazingly varied geography that includes active volcanoes, coastal deserts, lush rainforests and snowy mountaintops. Some of the most impressive scenery is at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can drive or cycle around the rim of Kilauea's huge caldera and walk across still-steaming crater floors. There are plenty of beaches, some with white coral sand and others with black lava sand, and the island has numerous historic sites to explore.
Facts about Hawaii's Big Island
Hawaii's weather can be quite confusing for those used to mainland weather patterns. The Big Island has 10 of the 15 types of the world's climate. Mt. Waialeale on Kauai gets the prize for being the 2nd wettest spot on earth, receiving more than 460 inches of rain per year. And yet Kekaha, only 20 miles SW of Mt. Waialeale, receives a scant 20 inches per year! For an excellent article on Hawaii weather and rainfall patterns, please visit this link.