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Hawaii Vacation Activities That You Can Only Do on the Big Island

big island lava field hike


If you’re heading out on a Hawaiian vacation, you don’t want to miss the Big Island. Also known as the Island of Hawaii, this area is home to two active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa. The Big Island is by far the biggest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago, hence the name.


But why head to the Big Island? Although this hot spot (literally) contains two well-known volcanoes, it doesn’t mean that it is a barren wasteland. In fact, the Big Island has plenty of gorgeous, lush rainforests, tropical flowers, and mesmerizing waterfalls.


The Big Island also provides very different experiences for Hawaii tourists that you won’t find anywhere else in Hawaii. Who would want to miss out on that? Keep reading to find out which top activities you need to check out!

Visit Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Observatory


Visiting Mauna Kea Summit is a must. This unique location is the highest peak in the state of Hawaii and the entire Pacific Ocean. Sometimes, this vast peak is covered in a delicate layer of snow, making it a special spot to escape the warm tropical beaches on the island.


Hanging around Mauna Kea Summit, you will get to enjoy some of the clearest and calmest air of your life. It’s so clear and calm that astronomers have even set up sophisticated telescopes to get some work done. That said, it’s no wonder why Mauna Kea Summit is a top-notch spot for stargazing tours. Our Maunakea Summit & Stars Tour is PERFECT for visiting Mauna Kea Summit.


The mountain isn’t just a must-see tourist destination, though. It is also a sacred place for Hawaiians. The summit is viewed as a representation of the beginning of life on Earth.


Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


One of Hawaii’s most popular activities (second only to Pearl Harbor) is visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here, you will find Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. No wonder it’s referred to as the World’s only drive-in volcano!


Head over to the Kilauea Visitor Center, where you will find a plethora of information regarding the volcanoes as well as an intro to the park and the latest volcano updates.


While you’re there, don’t forget to do the Crater Rim Drive. This 10.6-mile drive around the Kilauea Caldera takes you directly to some must-see spots, such as the Pu’u Pua’i Overlook, Devastation Trail, and Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook.


If you still have time, check out Halemaumau Crater, too. Hawaiians consider this to be the home of Pele, the volcano goddess.


Of course if you don’t want to drive, you can hop aboard our Big Island Volcano Adventure Tour and leave the driving to professional tour guides.

Night Swim With Manta Rays

evening manta snorkel tour


Swimming the manta rays is something every tourist should do. And that’s not just us saying it. It was listed as “One of the top ten things to do in your lifetime,” according to Travel Channel.


Swimming with manta rays along the Kona Coast is always a great time. It’s known as a manta ray mecca due to the plankton content along the coastal waters.


Oh, and don’t be afraid – manta rays are one of the most graceful sea creatures that are entirely harmless to humans. Check out Sea Paradise’s Evening Manta Ray Snorkel Tour to have the best manta ray experience on the island.


The Big Island is a must for any vacation. Start by a visit to the glorious Mauna Kea Summit and take a walk through the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Finishing your day with an invigorating night swim with manta rays, and be glad you did!