It’s easy to feel like you’re in a whole new world on Hawai’i Island (or-as it’s often called-the “Big Island” since it’s nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined!). This destination is for a variety of travelers that share a common interest: adventure.
Imagine seeing the molten magma flowing in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the snow-capped heights of Mount Mauna Kea all in one day; picture yourself hiking through the green rainforests of the Hamakua Coast to relaxing on the jet-black sands of Punaluu Beach. On Hawai’i Island, you can travel through 12 of the world’s 14 different climate zones! You’d be hard-pressed to find a variety of nature and indigenous history that rivals this island.
Fortunately, any time of year is a good time! The average temperature on Hawai’i Island is 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. If you’re interested in whale watching, the migration season runs from December through May, with peak whale watching months between January and early April.
We definitely recommend including a rental car for your time on the island in addition to booking some guided excursions. Depending on your style of travel, you may want to venture out to places like Volcanoes National Park or the Hilo Coast on your own time. Other activities, such as making the ascent to Mauna Kea, touring the historic Hulihe’e Palace, or going on a whale watching expedition are often best enjoyed with knowledgeable guides.
Since Hawai’i Island has such dramatically different climates, it’s good to have an idea of what you’re interested in doing/seeing before you go. Generally, you should pack summer attire along with active wear and hiking shoes if you’re planning on physically active adventures. If you’re venturing out into the rainforest, a light jacket is also a good idea. Bring warmer clothes if you’re traveling to higher altitudes on the island.
A 7 night stay or longer is what we typically recommend. With so much to see, we think it’s best to experience the island in small pieces. There’s plenty of room on Hawai’i Island for your return!