Four Days in Hawaii: Making most of the Big Island

February 12th, 2013

If you have a month-long holiday, lucky you! Majority of us do not have such luxury and we need to make most of the short time we have. Exploring a travel destination like the Big Island in Hawaii is not an easy task. As the name suggests, it is really a big place! The island has a lot of offerings from beaches, reefs, cultural sites, and volcanoes. Let’s say you only have four days to enjoy the Big Island, what should you do?

Day 1

Upon arriving in Hawaii, head to the Kealakekua Bay for some snorkeling and kayaking. Schedule your flight so you can get to the Big Island during the early mornings so you can enjoy the sun and explore the waters. You will be amazed with the dolphins that will join you as you enjoy the blue waters.

After some fun in the water, join the group of Hawaii’s Forest and Trail to go up the top of Mauna Kea. You might struggle a bit with the altitude but suck it up and enjoy the view. Experienced climbers will be with you to guide you along the way.

Day 2

The next stop for you will be the Volcanoes National Park. You will be stopping at different viewpoints, coming near steaming surfaces, and hiking across fields of lava.

Day 3

On the third day, you can visit the Hilo Farmers market for some sarong and other souveniers. Then hurry and catch Imiloas astronomy show. Along the way you will see waterfalls in Hilo. From there make your way through the Pepe’ekeo Scenic Drive through the Waipi ‘o Valley. You can end your day at the Waipi’o Beach where you can go whale watching.

Day 4

The best way to see the Big Island is from the air and you can book with helicopter rental companies that can take you across Kohala, Mauna Loa, the Waipi’o Valley, and around the Kilauea caldera. End your day at the Kehena Beach where you will see performers, picnicking families, and men doing their tai chi regimen on the black sands.

Hawaii holiday: Travel budget to prepare for

November 27th, 2012

alohaThe tropical Paradise of the United States, Hawaii is a group of islands. Each island has some unique offerings and experiences to offer travelers. It is a great escape especially for those whoa are tired of the urban jungle. Oahu is a great surfing destination, Maui offers some natural wonders, while Honolulu has its own beauty to offer.

The list of things to do is endless from jungle treks, serene beaches, waterfalls, diving, a lot more. In case you are preparing for a quick Hawaii holiday, below is an overview of how much you will need to enjoy your Hawaii travel:

Accommodation

Regular hotel rooms go for around $55 to $85while nicer hotel rooms start at around $175 per night. You can also get hostels as low as $25 while those in less touristy spots can be even cheaper than that.

Food

Since most of the supplies in Hawaii are imported, they are more expensive compared to the prices in mainland USA. You can get great local dishes ranging from $7 to $12. This money will be goo for a plate of local faves, sandwiches, or mexican food. You can find food trucks in Oahu that serve food for $5 to $10. Of course you have the typical fast food meals from $1 to around $6. If you want to try a buffet in Hawaii, it will set you back around $25 while a typical sit down meal will cost you $20.

Transportation

You need to rent a car if you want to enjoy the view and move easily from point A to B. A sedan will cost you around $40 a day. If you wan a convertible or a jeep, you need to spend at least $65 per day. Cabs has a flag down rate of $3.

Activities

A scuba diving experience will cost you around $100 including the gear rental. You can also rent surf boards for around $25 (half day). Snorkeling plus a sunset cruise will set you back $80 to around $150. If you want to go on a helicopter tour, you need to prepare at least $200. Ziplining costs around $100.

Travel Tips: Hawaiian Wedding on Budget

September 27th, 2012

Are you planning to exchange “I dos” in Hawaii? That is extremely romantic but there can be a big wall between you and your dream wedding– budget. Hawaii holidays and Hawaii weddings are truly expensive. With some planning though, you can make your Hawaiian wedding possible:

Scan wedding magazines

You need to plan way ahead and know what you really like for your wedding. Browse through wedding magazines and see if you can find affordable wedding vendors for your Hawaii wedding. A lot of resorts in Hawaii though will be more than willing to help you find suppliers for your special day.

Determine your budget

You have your dream wedding elements but you have to be In touch with reality. Set your budget and try to trim down the guest list for your wedding. Traditionally, guests will pay for their own plane tickets and other travel expenses. A lot of people opt out too because of scheduling problems.
hawaiian beach wedding

Read travel guides

Wedding magazines are one while travel guides will let your dig deeper into the travel details you need to know. You do not want to go to Hawaii during the rainy months or the wedding will be a disaster. The best month to have a wedding in Hawaii is between March through April when the tourists are few and better bargains are offered.

Travel agent

Contrary to popular belief, travel agents may actually help you save some money for your Hawaii wedding. Consult an agent who knows the requirements, laws, and local customs so you can make sure all bases are covered. An agent might also be able to set you up with a local weddng supplier that they usually tap.

Book early

Once you have the dates, there is no turning back. Book everything early so you can avoid problems along the way. Remember that it is not only you who wants to have their Hawaiian islands wedding so booking locations and venues might be a challenging task.

Exploring the shores of Kauai

June 26th, 2012

The North Shore Kauai consists of such places as the Haena, Hanalei, Princeville, and Kilauea. From the airport, you will be taking the Route 56, go thru the coastal highway, pass by Kapaa and Wailua until you reach the scenic landscapes. You will take the scenic roads after Princeville and the Hanalei Valley. You will be passing by one-lane bridges, tight turns, and stunning coastal vistas. The long road will end at the Napalai Coast State Park. The Napali Coast offers the best of Kauai. People say they do not have words to describe the overwhelming beauty of this coast.

The south shore of the island also takes you through lush landscapes until you reach Poipu. It is the major resort in this side of the island. You can expect endless sand and great weather so you can enjoy the waters. There is also the nearby Koloa, the first sugar mill in the area. You can get to these places via the Tree Tunnel Road that was called as such because of the eucalyptus trees on the sides of the road.

The east offers what is known as the Coconut Coast and covers Kapaa, Lihue, and Wailua. This side of Kauai is the center of commerce so you can expect some rush hour congestion in this area. On the side of the road, you can expect to see things from avocados, pork, chicken, flowers, corn, and other fruits being sold.

The western poriton of Kauai is a different landscape with blends of green, blue, green, and black. The sand of the beaches are black and the weather is very dry. There is also the Nihau, an island where the true native language of Hawaii is spoken still. It is a very rural environment where people still cultivate taro and try to tend sugarcanes. It is all about plantation camps and places rich in history.

Pride of Maui: The Best excursion to the underwater volcano Molokini

April 6th, 2012

If you are going to go to Hawaii you are probably going to want to do some diving so that you can see the huge abundance of marine life. It is not necessary to learn how to use scuba equipment for this as a lot of the marine life is in shallow water that can be reached with snorkel gear. One of the most popular snorkeling spots is the Molokini volcano and the best way to get there is with Pride of Maui.

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Food guide: Eating in Big Island, Hawaii like a local

March 19th, 2012

hawaii-foodOne thing is for sure when you are planning a holiday in Big Island, Hawaii, you must make sure that you try their guava wine and fish tacos. But aside from these, here are some of the best restaurants, favorites, and suggestions that you must consider:

Kailua-Kona

Along the Mamalahoa Highway, you will find the South Kona Fruitstand where you can get the best guanabana, cherimoya, Tahitian limtes, bell tangelos, and ulu. All of the produce you can find here are from the organic farms nearby. You can also get a bag of macadamia nuts which you can munch on while in the car.

By lunch time, head to Kona Tacos. Here you can find the favorite fish tacos and pork burritos. Flush them down with a glass of juice or shaved ice offered by Tropical Island Flavors.

Waimea

If you are looking for a good gastronomic treat, head to the famous Daniel Thiebaut restaurant. They serve a great brunch between 10 in the morning to 1:30 in the afternoon for $1 while an entree for dinner averages $27.

Hilo

Seafood lovers should head to the Nihon Restaurant just near the fish market in the waterfront of Hilo. The place is famous for its sushi and other Japanese delicacies. Another great place is the Naung Mai which serves Thai cuisines.

If you are heading to the Big Island on a Wednesday or a Saturday, you should drop by the Hilo Farmers Market in the historic downtown of the city. There are 175 stalls to choose from and this is the best place to sample the best of tropical foods.

Learn a thing or two about coffee when you visit Hilo Coffee Mill where you can get a private tutorial from the owner herself. We are pretty sure you will be leaving the place bringing home some bags of beans for you to try when you get home.

Before we forget, head to the Volcano Winery for the guava wine and other unique Hawaiian drinks.

Hawaii Travel: Discovering the Big Island

December 1st, 2011

There is no better way to see the Big Island in Hawaii but by driving around it. You will be going thru different landscapes like lava flows, jungles, cool highlands, valleys, soaring mountains, and warm beaches. The Big Island is the biggest portion of Hawaii and is the first seat of the old Kingdom that started it all.

Kailua Kona

Start your journey at the Kailua Kona where you will see the first church built by the Christians in 1820. The Mokuaikaua was rebuilt using lava rock and crushed coral in 1837 and up to this day, it is a good place to retreat into if you want to escape from all the urban noise you are used to. Just nearby is the Hulihee Palace which now serves as a museum.

Ahuena Heiau

The Ahueana Heaiu was used by the Great Kamehameha when he conquered the islands of Hawaii in the early part of the nineteenth century. The surrounding villages was known as the capital of the islands thru 1821 and up to now a lot of the natives see it as the capital of Hawaii.

Coffee Country

Just before reaching the village of Captain Cook on the 110 mile marker, pull over to the Kona Coffee farm where you can learn about the lifestyle in the plantation that has evolved in the last century. Here you will know more about coffee and also be able to try local fruits like Kona oranges, guavas, passion fruit and more.

Kealakekua Bay

In the Kealakekua Bay, you will see a monument where James Cook was killed in 1779 by the natives of the islands. This significant piece of history happened a year after Cook became the first Europeans to reach what they called Sandwich Island.

Forest and Lava Fields

After the coffee shack and Painted Church, you will be passing thru fields of lava and paradise like forests.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Stop by at the visitor center of the park and inquire how you can see some active lava flowing out of the earth. Most likely a ranger will take you thru a guided hike.

Honokaa

From Honomu you have to get off the highway to go to the Honokaa which overlooks the Waipio Valley offering one of the most picturesque sites in Hawaii.

What Makes Maui a great Whale Watching Destination

November 16th, 2011

Over the last few years whale watching has become a very popular activity. As a result almost anywhere that whales pass close to will market itself as a great whale watching destination. However one of the best places to see whales is in the already popular tourist destination of Maui. The reason for this is that Maui has a lot of advantages over other areas where there are a lot of whales.

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Best things to do in Hawaii for Kids

September 15th, 2011

If you want to have a Hawaii holiday but you are a parent that have kids to worry about, then you must remember that Hawaii offers more than being a top honeymoon destination. Your kids can do a lot of things in Hawaii and they will not have any reason to be bored.

Here are some things kids can be busy with in Hawaii:

Surfing

This is on top of the activities your kids can engage in Hawaii. If your kid has not tried this before, there are a lot of surfing schools in Hawaii which cater to children who want to learn. A good place to learn how to ride the waves Is in the island of Oahu. The waves around the third biggest island of Hawaii are gentle enough for kids and perfect for surfing beginners.

Pearl Harbor

Help your kids learn about a good chunk of history and visit Pearl Harbor with them. Your kids will not be snoring during the tour since there are a lot of interesting things to see like the USS Missouri where the Japanese forces surrendered. They can also tour the battleship to see where Gen. Douglas McArthur once walked. There is also the USS Bowfin Submarine which is now converted as a museum.

Volcanoes National Park

The islands of Hawaii are still evolving because of the active volcanoes of the islands. The volcanoes are also great destinations so your kids can learn something about our planet. You and your kids will enjoy the ride thru the Crater Rime Drive or along the Chain of Craters Road which will bring you close enough to the flowing lava.

Top 5 Scenic Destinations in Hawaii

January 20th, 2011

Hawaii offers unlimited number of places if you are looking for spectacular views. If you are on a Hawaii holiday and cruising on its roads, you even do not need to get off the car to appreciate the beauty, just roll down the window and click away. Here are some of the best destinations in Hawaii:

Road to Hana

The Hana Highway in Maui brings you down a road that stitches in and out of the green valleys, breath taking cliffs, by the waterfalls, and exciting one lane bridges. There are several lookouts where you can stop and stretch a bit. You can also hike to swimming holes or go for some hiking.

Papawai Point

All you will need are your binoculars to see the giant humpback whales enjoying the waters near the Maalaea Bay. Slow down when you get to the 8 and 9-mile marker. Stop when you see the scenic point sign. Stop. And enjoy the beautiful Hawaii sunset.

Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea is in Big Island offers one of the most breath taking views in the state of Hawaii. It is considered as a sacred spot by the locals. Being on top of Mauna Kea is like looking down into earth from heaven with all the marshmallowy clouds. Stay for a bit and wait for the stars, and you can be looking at the best view of our galaxy.

Saddle Road

The name comes from the shape of the path you will take from Mauna Kea through Mauna Loa. This is a 53 mile saddle-shaped road. The sunrise and sunsets are among the best in the world.

Na Pali Coast

Take a boat earl y in the morning and you will be viewing the velvety cliffs from the waters while sea turtles, dolphins, and whales keep you company.