Tips for exploring the Big Island

Wonderguide by

Damien Etchaubard

Tips for exploring the Big Island

Hawai'i Hawai'i

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Best Tours and Adventures


Image - Big Island Divers (Olapa,Luu, Kahanuola)
Big Island Divers (Olapa,Luu, Kahanuola)
Damien:The Manta Ray night dive is a MUST!
Image - Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Damien:A welcome retreat into a beautiful rain forest with waterfalls, colorful plants and trees
Image - Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC
Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC
Damien:The most knowledgeable staff and award winning coffee awaits you
Image - Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
Damien:While there is currently (Jan 2019) no lava flowing in the park, this is a must see with incredibly scenic views of multiple volcano craters
Image - Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea
Damien:Biggest mountain in the world...and you can drive your Jeep to the top. If you like sunsets, stars and massive telescopes, come here!
Image - Isaac Hale Park
Isaac Hale Park
Damien:Here you'll see first hand how the recent lava flow destroyed homes, beaches and roads. Also home to the newest beach in the world!
Image - Honaunau-Napoopoo
Damien:A great cultural experience on how life was in Hawaii before Captain Cook (and during is stay in hawaii). Great snorkeling nearby as well!
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Best Beaches of the Big Island

Image - Makalawena Beach
Makalawena Beach
Damien:Horrible photo...but trust me, one of the gems on the big island. Also a great off road adventure in your Jeep rental!
Image - Mahana Beach
Mahana Beach
Damien:Also known as Green Sand of 4 in the world!
Image - Punalu‘u Beach
Punalu‘u Beach
Damien:come here to see turtles swimming and basking on the beach! beautiful black sand.
Image - Pohoiki Bay
Pohoiki Bay
Damien:The newest beach in the world! and it's black sand
Image - Waipio Valley Lookout
Waipio Valley Lookout
Damien:Incredible place. You'll need you 4x4 Jeep to get down into the valley and it's 100% worth it!
Image - Pololū Beach
Pololū Beach
Damien:Great, short hike into the valley with huge rewards!
Image - Hāpuna Beach State Park
Hāpuna Beach State Park
Damien:Who said there are no white sand beaches on the Big Island... this one is huge with great swimming and body surfing.
Image - Magic Sands Beach Park
Magic Sands Beach Park
Damien:A very special beach (image is horrible). Can be crowded but worth a swim and body surf!

Rental Car

You need a car on the Big Island! Even better if its a Jeep...

Image - Hertz
Image - Big Island Jeep Rental
Big Island Jeep Rental
Damien:You need a 4x4 on the big island!

Best Food in Kona

Where we like to dine out

Image - Da Poke Shack
Da Poke Shack
Damien:Best Poke! Extremely fresh and simply delicious
Image - Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering
Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering
Damien:Local food with big portions. Don't miss this if you want a taste of local food. Not the healthiest, but super delicious. Go when hungry!
Image - Loko Wraps
Loko Wraps
Damien:Healthy, delicious and a top spot for lunch
Image - Killer Tacos
Killer Tacos
Damien:The name says it all! Cash only...
Image - Kanaka Kava
Kanaka Kava
Damien:Make sure to try Kava on an empty stomache and then enjoy the delicious food this place has to offer. Vegetarian friendly!
Image - You Make the Roll
You Make the Roll
Damien:Best sushi in Kona!
Image - Island Lava Java
Island Lava Java
Damien:Fun breakfast spot with water views in Kona
Image - Foster's Kitchen
Foster's Kitchen
Damien:A great place for a fancy night out with a beautiful ocean view. Date Night!
Image - Herbivores
Damien:Amazing Vegan Cuisine in a very laid back atmosphere. Very hippy vibe and the food is outstanding.
Image - Basik Cafe
Basik Cafe
Damien:My breakfast go-to for healthy options and Acai bowls are the specialty.

Best surfing in Kona

Hawai'i is synonymous with surfing and here are my favorite spots in and near Kona

Image - Kahalu’u Beach Park
Kahalu’u Beach Park
Damien:This is a great spot and very beginner friendly. All levels can surf here and have a blast. You should also bring your snorkeling gear!
Image - Kohanaiki Beach Park
Kohanaiki Beach Park
Damien:This spot is called Pine Trees. Locals surf here but the vibe is friendly. I wouldn't go as a complete beginner, there are waves for all.
Image - Keolonahihi State Historical Park
Keolonahihi State Historical Park
Damien:My favorite! There is a sport here called Lyman's and its a point break with a fast breaking left. Not for beginners.

Best snorkeling in Kona

These are the best places to see amazingly bright and colourful fish, corral and other critters

Wonderguide map

  1. Big Island Divers (Olapa,Luu, Kahanuola)
  2. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
  3. Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC
  4. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
  5. Mauna Kea
  6. Isaac Hale Park
  7. Honaunau-Napoopoo
  8. Makalawena Beach
  9. Mahana Beach
  10. Punalu‘u Beach
  11. Pohoiki Bay
  12. Waipio Valley Lookout
  13. Pololū Beach
  14. Hāpuna Beach State Park
  15. Magic Sands Beach Park
  16. Hertz
  17. Big Island Jeep Rental
  18. Da Poke Shack
  19. Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering
  20. Loko Wraps
  21. Killer Tacos
  22. Kanaka Kava
  23. You Make the Roll
  24. Island Lava Java
  25. Foster's Kitchen
  26. Herbivores
  27. Basik Cafe
  28. Kahalu’u Beach Park
  29. Kohanaiki Beach Park
  30. Keolonahihi State Historical Park
  31. Kahalu’u Beach Park
  32. Hōnaunau
  33. Kealakekua Bay

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