Hawaii Info


Big Island Information

The Big Island of Hawaii is an island of adventures! It has something to offer everyone. Hawai'i Global Luxury Group has put together extensive information about the Big Island: activities, restaurants, cultural information, fishing, beaches, golfing, wildlife, adventures and more. Use the menu to the left to explore the Big Island of Hawai'i. 

Top Things to Do on Kona Side - West

  1. Experience a Hawaiian Luau (King Kam, Royal Kona or Kohala resorts)
  2. Relax under a palm tree on White Sands Beach (Magic Sands) or any of the beautiful Resort Beaches in Kohala. Hapuna often ranks #1 in the USA.
  3. Snorkel in the bays along the Kona coastline or take a snorkel cruise to Captain Cook.
  4. Encounter humpback whales on a Whale Watching Tour (seasonal Nov-Mar).
  5. Night swim with Manta Rays (this is a Must Do!).
  6. Enjoy local Hawaiian food, drinks and music at an oceanfront restaurant.
  7. Learn how to surf (at Kahalu'u) or paddle board (at King Kam).
  8. Hike into Pololu Valley, one of the most scenic valleys in Hawai'i and during the winter season, watch for whales on the drive to Hawi.
  9. Take a Kona Coffee Farm Tour and taste delicious Kona Coffee.
  10. Go Fishing offshore in the world famous big game waters off Kona.
  11. Take a Kona brewery or Ola Cidery tour.
  12. Parasail above Kailua Bay - Incredible Views, maybe dolphins & whales too.
  13. Golf at Kona Country Club, Makalei or the beautiful Kohala resort courses.
  14. Learn about early Hawaiian life at historic Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park (Place of Refuge).
  15. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise (Waikoloa) or Dinner Cruise (Kona) - check the surf.
  16. View the reefs and tropical fish on a Glass Bottom Boat or Submarine.
  17. Visit the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm or the Kanaloa Octopus Farm.
  18. Trek to Green Sands Beach - stop at South Point enroute and jump from the cliffs if you dare or just watch the daredevils.
  19. Go shopping or bar hopping along Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona.
  20. Find a beach, restaurant or hammock and enjoy a world famous Kona sunset!

Top Things to Do on Hilo Side - East

  1. See lava at the world’s 2nd most active Volcano – Kilauea (currently erupting)
  2. Explore a Lava Tube at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
  3. Visit a Waterfall (Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls, Pe'epe'e Falls, Umauma Falls, Hi'ilawe Falls)
  4. Stargaze (or go for sunrise) on Mauna Kea
  5. Discover the large variety of local tropical fruits & vegetables and local farmer's treats at the famous Farmers Market downtown Hilo (Big days Wed and Sat)
  6. Explore Caves (Kaumana and Kazumura)
  7. Shop at unique stores in downtown Hilo
  8. Enjoy Hawai'i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden - (Botanical Gardens @ Papaikou north of Hilo)
  9. Have a picnic in the beautiful Lili'uokalani Park in Hilo
  10. Learn about the history of the tsunamis at Pacific Tsunami Museum
  11. Visit the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo
  12. Take a tour of Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory
  13. Visit an Orchid Farm
  14. Indulge at the Big Island’s only Winery in Volcano
  15. Relax at one of the many beach parks 
  16. Visit a Vanilla orchard
  17. View the Big Island from above on a helicopter tour (Hilo airport or Kohala)
  18. Sample a Malasada (Portuguese donut) from the Punalu'u Bakery or Tex's Drive In
  19. Discover Black Sands Beach (1.5 hours south of Hilo)
  20. Visit the entry point of the most recent lava flow that added 1 square mile of new coastline in 2018.



Big Island Abalone
Big Island Ghost Tours
Holualoa Village - (artist village above Kailua-Kona)
Kanaloa Octopus Farm 
Kona Sea Salt - The Farm 
Kona Cloud Forest 
Home Tours Hawaii 
Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm 
Vanillerie Vanilla Farm

South Point - (most southern tip of USA)

Mauna Kea Stargazing

Kaumana Caves -(Hilo)
Hilo downtown
Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden -(Papaikou north of Hilo)
Hilo Farmers Market (Wed, Sat)
Lili'uokalani Park
Pacific Tsunami Museum -(Hilo)
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo -(Hilo)
Waterfalls - (Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls, Pe'epe'e Falls, Umauma Falls, Hi'ilawe Falls)



No trip to the Big Island is complete without a visit to the volcano. Kilauea volcano is the most active volcano of the 5 above surface volcanos of the Big Island.  It has been active as recently as December 2020. It is considered the most active volcano on earth. The volcano can be seen on a tour, by helicopter, by plane, by boat, or by self-drive.  (Be aware that the volcano unpredictably fluctuates from no activity to massive flows, so at times you may or may not be able to see active lava.) 

There are 7 volcanos which are part of and created the Big Island over the last million or so years.




Ahuena Heiau (across a small bay from the Kona Pier)
Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail (Hapuna Beach to Spencer Beach)
Battle at Kuamoo (fought in 1819 at the "end of the world")
Downtown Historic Kailua-Kona (on Alii Dr)
Hulihe'e Palace (downtown Kailua-Kona)
Kailua Pier (downtown Kailua-Kona)
Kahaluu Bay Historic District
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark
Kauikeaouli stone and birth place of Kameheha III (Keauhou Bay)
Keauhou Holua Slide built under Kamehameha I (mauka - uphill from Keauhou Bay. The Holua originally extended into He?eia Cove just north of the main bay.)
Keike Beach (Queen's Bath)
Kona Coast State Park
Lekeleke Burial Ground
Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site


Hilo Beaches

Carlsmith Beach Park (Four Mile) 
Onekahakaha Beach Park
Leleiwi Beach Park
Richardson Ocean Center/Leleiwi Beach Park
Honolii Beach Park

Kau Beaches
Punaluu Black Sand Beach
Papakolea beach - green sand beach is one of the “once in a lifetime” places to visit on the Big Island.

Kohala Beaches
Anaehoomalu Bay (Waikoloa Beach Resort)
Hapuna Beach Park -The largest white sand beach on the island of Hawaii
Holoholokai Beach - near the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii isn’t a sandy beach, but it’s a beautiful place to explore tide pools and snorkel. It’s a short walk from the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, where you’ll find hundreds of ancient carvings in the lava rock.
Ohaiula/Spencer Beach Park -within walking distance of Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site.
Kaunaoa Beach - Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Kona Beaches
Honaunau Bay -Located near Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. 
Kahaluu Beach Park
Laaloa/White Sands Beach Park -Also known as Magic Sands. This small beach may disappear overnight due to tidal shifts or strong surf, but always returns.
Kamakahonu Bay 
Kekahakai State Park
Kailua Bay
Kohanaiki County Beach Park
Keauhou Bay

Puna Beaches
Pohoiki Beach - A new black sand beach


What images are conjured up when one hears the name "Hawaii"?
To many who think of Hawai'i the images of palm trees, white sandy beaches, receiving a lei, watching the Hula dancers, and attending a luau drift through their minds. The essence of peace, love, and beauty of the islands imbue a feeling of calmness and timelessness. One of the things which draw people to Hawai'i from all over the world is the beautiful and loving Hawai'ian people and their culture. Where else can one go and be so warmly welcomed with an "Aloha" and a lei? The word Aloha in itself means greetings, welcome, love, compassion, and good wishes.  How would the world be if we all greeted each other this way?
In our cultural corner we are providing a greater understanding into the Hawai'ian culture which draws travelers from far and wide. Every few months we will add more information to provide a deeper knowledge and more connected experience during a visit to these magnificent islands. And to live here...well that is an even better story!


Kona is renowned for its deep-sea fishing. Fishing charters can be rented and usually launch from Honokokau Harbor just north of Kailua-Kona.


The top 8 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in The Big Island are:

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)
Marlin (Blue)
Marlin (Striped)
Spearfish (Shortbill)
Tuna (Yellowfin)
Tuna (Skipjack)
Tuna (Bigeye)


Shore fishing is also an option off the coast of Kona and Kohala off beaches, piers, and jetties. Keauhou Bay is one of the best spots to shore fish in Kona.  You can do this on your own or have a guided tour.

The fish targeted offshore are:

Ulua (giant trevally)

The Big Island of Hawaii offers some of the most spectacular golf in the world. With golf courses designed by top golf course designers such as Robert Trent Jones Sr., Robert Trent Jones II, Jack Nicklaus Signature, DMK Golf Design, Rees Jones, Perry Dye, Tom Fazio and others, it is no wonder that many professional golf events have been hosted here. Golf Digest, Golfweek and GOLF Magazine have ranked courses here in "Top 100 Courses" and given "Best Course you can Play" awards.

The Big Island offers private and public courses designed along the dramatic black volcanic rock coastline, through lava fields, through magnificent resorts, and up onto the mountains for a variety of golfing experiences.  Most offer endless Pacific ocean and coastline views.  There are many "bucket list" holes to challenge any golfer on our beautiful golf courses.  We hope you enjoy your golfing experience here on the Big Island.

If you are interested in looking at Real Estate while on the island please feel free to contact us. 

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Swimming in the crystal clear waters off Kona with the wild spinner dolphins and bottlenose dolphins is an experience you will treasure for life. Dolphin excursion tours are focused on humane interactions with the dolphins, and if treated respectfully, frequently dolphins will surface right in front of you. Occasionally you can see them playing with a leaf or showing off their skills jumping.  They can be seen by guided tour and ocassionally by paddlle board from the Kailua-Kona pier or Keauhou Bay early in the morning.
Seasonal November-March

Hawai'ians have a deep respect for whales as the whale represents the Hawai'ian god Kanaloa - the god of all ocean life (one of the four main gods).

Every year an estimated 12-18,000 humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawai'i to give birth. Whales and their calfs are very playful, frequently breaching or slapping their tails. Underwater one can hear their hauntingly beautiful songs. Whales can be seen from shore or by boat or paddleboard.

The Kona Coast is home to about 240 Mantas which have been identified by their unique markings and named.  In the evening these gentle giants come close to shore to feed on plankton around the lights. To view these one snorkels and floats on the surface as these beautiful graceful creatures do flips below, frequently a few feet away.  Some rate this experience #1 for a Hawai'ian activity on the Big Island. These evening tours include boats tours and Hawai'ian outrigger canoes tours and scuba diving tours.
Kona side of the Big Island is known to have some of the clearest ocean water in Hawai'i as there are no rivers flowing into the ocean here and limited sandy beaches.  This makes for excellent visibility to view the abundance of reef fish, exotic coral, an occassional  dolphin pod, a fish ball, or perhaps a turtle may swim by. One can snorkel off shore and popular sites include the Kailua-Kona pier, Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kealakekua Bay at Captain Cook Monument and Honaunau Bay (2 steps) and Carl Smith Beach Park. There are many boat tours which can take you to these and more remote sites such as caves and lava tubes. 


View The Big Island from the ocean for a diffierent perspective. Explore the beautiful Kona coastline from your choice of water craft from a sailing catamaran, a trimaran, a Glassbottom Boat or one of a few historically accurate Hawaiian double-hulled canoes, Wa'a Kini Kini.

reat yourself to a different experience which can be can be day tours, relaxing lunch or dinner cruises, or sunset cruises.


Don's Mai Tai Bar
Don's Mai Tai Bar offers open air restaurant dining and a large tiki-designed bar. Enjoy the sumptuous Hawaiian and international cuisine, a fusion of the freshest local ingredients, European techniques and Asian influences.
Sip delicious Mai Tais and Hawaiian specialty drinks, including Don's private recipes, as well as local and international draft beers and micro brews. 

Surrounded on 2 sides with the ocean and one side with the resort pool, this spectacular tropical tiki open-air dining area and bar offers the most ideal place to relax for a meal or drink. The resort is beautifully landscaped with tropical plants, waterfalls, and ponds. Located in the Royal Kona Hotel, this restaurant boasts of spectacular ocean views over Kailua Bay and the Pacific Ocean. These waters are frequented by pods of dolphins, and in the winter the humpback whales come to this bay to give birth.

Don’s Mai Tai Bar is a favorite place for many to view the dramatic Kona sunsets. Time and time again one can be lucky enough to see the “green flash”. Catch the game on the HDTVs, enjoy live Hawaiian music every Thursday, and relax into this magical Hawaiian atmosphere for a delicious, fresh meal or tropical drink.


Kilauea Volcano September 29th, 2021 Eruption

(All information taken directly from National Park Service website for current updates:

"On September 29 at 3:20 pm HST, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected a fissure eruption within Halema?uma'u crater in Kaluapele (the Kilauea summit caldera). The new eruption began four months after the end of the previous Kilauea eruption which ended on May 26, 2021. The new eruption produced a 89-foot deep lava lake by October 2 with much of that depth reached within the first several hours of the eruption. According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the eruption's effusion or rate of lava flow, was between 100 to 200 cubic meters a second at the start of the eruption. Lava fountains with heights of 16-49 feet (5-15 meters) were observed as recently as October 4.

What can you see at night?

The massive 134-acre lava lake made of molten rock casts a magnificent reddish orange glow into the dark sky and reflects into the gas plume wafting out of the volcano, and onto any clouds above the summit crater, Halema'uma'u. Jagged crater walls are illuminated, showing the scars from the 2018 summit collapse. Bring a flashlight! Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

Eruption Viewing Tips:

  • Park landscapes are sacred places for many people. Please be respectful and allow others to practice their culture privately.
  • Maintain social distance of 6 feet from others and wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, visit another day.
  • Volcanic eruptions can be hazardous and change at any time. Stay on marked trails and overlooks and avoid earth cracks and cliff edges. Do not enter closed areas.
  • Hazardous volcanic gas can be a danger to everyone, especially people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children, and pregnant women. Check the air quality before and during your visit.
  • Slow down and drive safely. Expect long waits for parking spaces at popular vantage points like Uekahuna (formerly the Jaggar Museum) and Keanakako'i.
  • Check the weather. At 4,000 feet above sea level, the summit of Kilauea can be raining and cold at any time. Bring a rain jacket; wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Bring a flashlight if visiting at night. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure views.


One of the easiest and most convenient places to view the eruption is from inside or just outside the Volcano House hotel along Crater Rim Trail. Visitors can watch from comfort inside while dining or from behind Volcano House along an established overlook. Park at the Kilauea Visitor Center and walk accross the road down a lit pathway. Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

  • Where to park: park at the Volcano House or Kilauea Visitor Center, just after the entrance station
  • Walking distance: approximately 600-800 feet
  • Distance to Halema'uma'u: approximately two miles
  • Restroom: Yes
  • Face masks are required to enter Volcano House.

 *** UEKAHUNA ***

Located at the site of the former Jaggar Museum, Uekahuna is the closest eruption viewpoint accessible by car. After you enter the park, continue driving straight heading west for about 2.75 miles on Crater Rim Drive. The road will end at the Uekahuna parking lot. Two observation areas are accessible to the west and east via short walks on Crater Rim Trail. 

  • Where to park: at the old Jaggar Museum parking area
  • Walking distance: 300-400 feet over uneven terrain to the west of the parking lot or 800-900 feet to the east
  • Distance to Halema'uma'u: about one mile
  • Restroom: Yes
  • This is an unlit area, make sure to bring a flashlight if visiting at night!
  • Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.



To reach Kilauea Overlook, continue driving west on Crater Rim Drive for just over two miles after entering the park. Turn left after the sign reading "Kilauea." This location is about a half mile east of Uekahuna and may serve as overflow parking if Uekahuna parking is full. 

  • Where to park: Kilauea Overlook parking area
  • Walking distance: 300-400 feet over uneven terrain
  • Distance to Halema'uma'u: just over one mile
  • Restroom: Yes
  • This is an unlit area, make sure to bring a flashlight if visiting at night!
  • Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.



Wahinekapu is accessible from the Steam Vents parking area which is located one mile west of the park entrance on the left. 

  • Where to park: Steam Vents parking area
  • Walking distance: 600-700 feet over uneven terrain
  • Distance to Halema'uma'u: approximately 1.75 miles
  • Restrooms: No
  • This is an unlit area, make sure to bring a flashlight if visiting at night!
  • Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.



To access Kupina'i Pali overlook, park at the Kilauea Visitor Center on the right just after the entrance station. Cross Crater Rim Drive and walk south on Crater Rim Trail. This is one of the least crowded and more private viewing locations. 

  • Where to Park: Kilauea Visitor Center
  • Walking distance: about one half mile over mostly paved terrain
  • Distance to Halema'uma'u: approximately two miles
  • Restrooms: No
  • This is an unlit area, make sure to bring a flashlight if visiting at night!
  • Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.



Notice: This section of Crater Rim Drive is open to pedestrians and bicyclists only and is not open to vehicle use.

The Park closed portions of Crater Rim Drive for public safety after Halema'uma'u began to erupt in March 2008. During the summit collapses of 2018, the road was damaged further. A portion of Old Crater Rim Drive is now open to foot and bicycle traffic to a point just beyond Keanakako'i.

To hike the portion of Old Crater Rim Drive to Keanakako'i Crater:

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance and hiking time: 1 mile (1.6 km) one way, 2 miles (3.2 km) roundtrip. Estimated time is 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
  • Bring: Water, hat, sun protection & rain gear. Be prepared for hot, dry, wet, and windy weather conditions.

To access Keanakako'i, turn left just after the entrance station and drive south on Crater Rim Drive for about three miles until you reach the intersection with Chain of Craters Road. Turn right and park at the Devastation Trail parking area. After parking, walk back towards the intersection and turn right on Old Crater Rim Drive. Continue walking for just over one mile. Do not enter closed areas. Although this is the closest location to Halema'uma'u, it is the most difficult to access. 

  • Where to park: Devastation Trail parking area (limited parking) or Pu'upua'i parking area
  • Walking distance: approximately 1.25 miles one-way, 2.5 round-trip over mostly paved terrain if parked at Devastation Trail or approximately 1.75 miles one-way, 3.5 round-trip if parked at Pu'upua'i.
  • Distance to Halema'uma'u: approximately one half mile
  • Restrooms: Yes, at Devastation Trail parking area, no restroom at overlook
  • Weather conditions such as fog and rain may obscure eruption views.

WARNING: This is a relatively long, unlit hike over areas with earthcracks. Do not attempt this hike at night without a flashlight (cell phones are not substitutes for flashlights). Due to the longer walking distance, hikers may be exposed to high levels of sulfur dioxide. Check the air quality before starting the hike.

Keanakako'i, meaning "cave of the adzes", likely formed during the 1400s, during the great summit collapses of Kilauea. Until 1877, Hawaiian kahuna kako'i (carving experts) sought the crater's superior and rare basaltic rock for making ko'i, or adze heads. Bound to a sturdy 'au ko'i (wooden handle), this valuable tool was used to carve vital objects like canoes and houses. But the famous adze quarry was covered by lava, first in 1877, and again during the fissure eruption in July 1974. Today, the crater is 115 feet deep.

The Humpback Whales are Back in Hawaii

In September, the first humpback whales were spotted back in Hawaii, off the coast of Maui.  We welcome the humpback whales as they have completed their migration from Alaska to give birth in the warm Hawai’ian waters. This is the longest migration undergone by any mammal species on this planet, as these humpback whales migrate up to 8200 km (almost 6,000 miles) each way.  Hawaiians call the humpback whale kohola and the sperm whale palaoa.

FUN FACTS ABOUT THE HUMPBACK WHALE (Megaptera novaeangliae):
  • An adult humpback whale is roughly the size of a standard school bus.
  • Humpbacks eat small fish, krill, and plankton.
  • They do not have teeth but have 270 to 400 fringed overlapping plates (baleen plates) hanging down from each side of the upper jaw. These are made of keratin like our hair and nails.
  • When eating they take large gulps of water. The two blowholes on the whale's back expel the water. 
  • They are mammals and can’t breathe underwater, so they emerge to get air before diving in again.
  • Humpbacks can breach and propel themselves almost entirely out of the water. Some say they do this as a hunting method, to splash off parasites, or just for fun.
  • They frequently slap the water with their tails or flippers possibly to communicate with one another or to show dominance and health during mating season.
  • The tail fin, called a fluke, can be as wide as 18 feet.
  • Humpback whales are known for their haunting songs which can go on for hours. These are complex sequences of moans, howls, and cries, and can be heard 20 miles (30 km) away
  • All males in a population sing the same song, but the songs of each population from different parts of the world are different. Songs gradually change from year to year.
  • Humpback whales hunt and feed in the summer, and then fast during mating season and live off the blubber reserves so they can focus on migration and mating.  They do not eat when in Hawai'i.
  • A female has a baby every two to three years and gestation period of about 12 months, Calves can nurse for up to a year.

The Significance of the Humpback Whale to the Hawaiians

The ancient Hawaiians were intimately in touch with the oceans and the earth.  According to their traditions, there is a bond of life between the people and their environment, as the islands, skies, oceans, plants, and animals were created by the gods. The closeness between Hawaiians and nature is especially strong with family aumakua. An aumakua is a deified ancestor who could take the form of an animal such as a turtle, shark, owl or whale. The humpback whale was considered to be a Hawai'ian amakua, and would appear in visions and dreams. The aumakua provided spiritual guidance and a connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. Throughout Hawai'i, many people still honor aumakua, whether as a family relationship or a personal sense of respect.

It is believed that Hawaiians did not kill whales, but when a sperm whale washed ashore were considered extremely sacred for only the alii (royalty). Necklaces made from their teeth and bones and represented the strength of the gods and their mana (spirit), and were for the chiefs.

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