Big Island, Hawaii
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Big Island, Hawaii: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Big Island, Hawaii

Top 10 things to do on the Big Island

On the island of Hawai’i, known by the locals as “The Big Island,” you can fly above flowing molten lava, stargaze atop Mauna Kea, and swim with manta rays at night. For the outdoor adventure-seeker, this is the ultimate Hawaii experience.

Mauna Kea summit

Mauna Kea summit

In Hawaiian, Mauna Kea means “White Mountain” named for its snow capped slopes. At 13,803 feet above sea level, this is the Hawaiian Islands’ highest peak. Stargaze atop Mauna Kea Summit and learn about the stars or join in a sunrise experience and watch the sun rise above the vast lava fields.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Visit the Jaggar Museum and learn about the history of Hawaii’s many volcanic eruptions. Enjoy the day hiking through lava fields or take an alternative route by flying above by helicopter. See the glowing red of Kilauea volcano from a bird's eye view on a scenic flight tour.

Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay

Rent a kayak and head out to sea to Captain Cook’s Monument. This bay is home to local Hawaiian spinner dolphins and many other tropical fish endemic to Hawaii. As you kayak across the bay, take in the serene beauty of dolphins frolicking in the distance.

Waipio Valley Lookout

Waipio Valley Lookout

Located on the Hamakua Coast, the sacred Waipio Valley was the boyhood home of Hawaiian Royalty, King Kamehameha I. Journey to the end of the Hamakua Heritage Corridor to look out upon the “Valley of the Kings.” Marvel at the valley floor filled with taro farms, sprawling streams, an expansive black beach, and beautiful vistas.

Punalu’u Beach

Punalu’u Beach

Experience the feeling of sand between your toes at one of Hawaii’s most famous black sand beaches. The beach has black sand made of basalt, which is created when lava flows into the ocean and explodes as it cools. If you’re lucky, see Hawaiian green sea turtles come ashore to bask in the sun.

Papakolea Beach

Papakolea Beach

Escape on a hike through rugged terrain to access one of only four green sand beaches in the world. Marvel at this rare sight nestled inside Mauna Loa crater, one of Hawaii’s dormant volcanoes. Find grains of sand with shades of green across the color spectrum, made from green olivine crystals.

‘Akaka Falls State Park

‘Akaka Falls State Park

Located along the northeastern Hilo Coast, you can see two gorgeous waterfalls at Akaka Falls State Park. See an abundance of wild orchids, bamboo groves and draping ferns as you hike through the tropical rainforest on this easy to moderate hike. Follow the footpath leading to the iconic 400-foot waterfall known as ‘Akaka Falls.

Kohala Coast

Kohala Coast

In stark contrast to the Big Island’s miles of dark lava fields, the Kohala Coast is known for its lush green foliage and thousand foot waterfalls. Take in the sites by zipline, go tubing with Flumin’ Kohala, or take a scenic helicopter tour over startling sea cliffs.

Hapuna Beach State Park

Hapuna Beach State Park

Because the Big Island is one of the newest islands in the Hawaiian island chain, most of the beaches here are made of hardened lava rock. If you’re looking for an iconic white sand beach, Hapuna Beach is one of the Big Island’s best places to soak up the sun.

Kona Coffee

Kona Coffee

Explore the coffee farms just south of Kona to see how coffee is farmed, harvested, and roasted. Enjoy coffee tastings at many of the Kona Coffee farms throughout the region. Learn why Hawaii is known for some of the best coffee in the world.

What people are saying about Big Island, Hawaii

We had such luck! We saw a mother, baby and escort whales, pods of dolphins, and a manta ray from the boat. We also pulled a Mylar balloon from the ocean saving sea turtle in the process. The balloon had baby octopuses on it which we returned to the ocean. This is all not even counting the amazing variety of fish we saw. While our experience was not typical, what seemed to be was the excellent customer service, knowledgeable crew and fantastic experience.

The trip was excellent. Plenty of time snorkling and also plenty of time getting into close to rocks to look at things. Also stopped to see dolphins and whales. We got lucky and saw one dolphin spin out of the water 10 feet from us. Great guides with a small group of people. Highly recommend. Captain Steve and Jill were great.

The crew went out of their way to make sure that we saw a whale- we saw three! They were very knowledgeable and I felt confident in their abilities. I took many photos and had a lovely time. My only concern was that there were no bathrooms that we useable at the dock and the one on the boat was not working.

We had our two grandchildren with us (ages 5 and 11). They just loved it. The manta rays swam so close to us, we were all amazed. The staff were great and kept an eye on our little one, helping her back to the boat when she was tired. Fantastic experience. The snacks helped too.

Big Island: Night Manta Ray Adventure Reviewed by Julie, 02/19/2020

This was excellent, everyone was very nice and helpful. Cory was easy to understand and made sure everyone was comfortable before the went in the water. We will be doing this again and hopefully with Cory!

Big Island: Kona 2-Hour Small Group Surf Lesson Reviewed by Heather, 02/23/2020