An island guide to Hawaii
The 50th US State, Hawaii is made up of 8 main islands, all of which have a very unique character. Whether you want to try wave riding, before adorning yourself with a flower lei and sipping mai tais at sunset, or you’d rather hike through volcanic scenery and swim under waterfalls, Hawaii’s got it all.
Probably your first port of call when visiting Hawaii, Oahu is the most populated of the Hawaiian Islands, and home to the capital Honolulu, which is also the major international airport base. It’s also home to some of Hawaii’s biggest and best known tourist areas including the famous Waikiki Beach, where you can surf the sweet little peelers that roll gently into the palm tree and hotel fringed beachfront by day, and party the nights away aloha style. Here you can also take the 2-hour round trip to hike up Diamond Head volcano to enjoy amazing views across Oahu.
Just a short hours drive north of Honolulu and Waikiki you’ll find the legendary surf mecca of Hawaii’s North Shore, home to big wave surf breaks Pipeline, Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay. If you’re visiting during the Hawaiian winter months you’ll likely stumble across an international surf comp, but during the summer the waves are much more mellow and suitable for learners.
Heavenly Kauai is the island of rainbows and waterfalls, nicknamed the ‘Garden Isle’ thanks to it’s dense rainforest covering and raw natural beauty. This is where to head if you want to get away from the crowds and get back to nature with soaring cliffs, scenic drives and pristine beaches complete with sea turtles and dolphins. Much of the island is inaccessible by car, and there are lots of great hiking trails and kayaking routes to take into the wilderness if you’re feeling adventurous.
Big Island - Hawaii
The tempestuous Big Island of Hawaii is a geographical wonderland combining all the elements of nature. A smorgasbord of thick emerald jungle, snow-capped mountains, deserts of lava, and white and black sand beaches, the Big Island is where you’ll find communities of free-spirited eccentrics and adventurers who have made a home for themselves here.
The Big Island is all about adventure, and you’ll be rewarded with lots of different environments and activities in one setting. Visit Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanos, snorkel with Manta Rays in the clear turquoise waters of Kona, or go horseback riding in Waimea.
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Maui is the second most visited island in Hawaii, after Oahu. The island has a laid back vibe with small quaint towns, but it also has great facilities for visitors with a range of accommodation from upscale resorts to hostels. Despite its reputation for being the playground for the rich, Maui caters for all, and its delicious farm to table cuisine is embraced by food trucks around the island as well as the high-end restaurants.
An abundance of beautiful beaches line the west coast of the island, with picturesque green valleys and waterfalls to the east. Enjoy amazing coastal scenic drives, mountain bike trails through bamboo forests, hiking, and watersports galore.
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