5 Days in Hawaii: Guide to Exploring Hawaii’s Big Island in 5 Days

The Big Island, also known as Hawaii Island, is the largest island in the state of Hawaii and the United States. It is the easternmost island in the Hawaiian archipelago and is located in the Pacific Ocean. The island is known for its diverse landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, active volcanoes, black and green sand beaches, and lush rainforests. It is also home to the Mauna Kea Observatory, which is one of the world’s premier sites for astronomical observation. The island is a popular tourist destination, with many visitors coming to experience the island’s natural beauty, participate in outdoor activities, and visit cultural and historical sites. In contrast to Oahu, the most popular island for tourist, the Big Island Hawaii is spacious.

Photo from https://www.explore-the-big-island.com/kealakekua-bay.html

5 Day Itinerary for Big Island

Day 1:

  • Arrive in Kailua-Kona, the largest airport on the island is Kona International Airport. From here, it is a smooth 15-20 minute drive to the resort area of Waikoloa Village. This is where many people stay, with an abundance of points properties.
  • Check into your hotel
  • Explore the town of Kailua-Kona, this is a great place to grab some local grub and settle in after a long day of travel.
  • Visit Hulihe’e Palace

Day 2:

Day 3:

  • Go snorkeling or diving at Kealakekua Bay
  • Visit the Captain Cook Monument
  • Have lunch at a local restaurant

Day 4:

  • Take a coffee tour at one of the island’s coffee plantations( I’ve been to Greenwell Farms and it was an amazing immersive experience)
  • Visit the Mauna Kea Observatories
  • Have dinner at a restaurant in Waimea

Day 5:

  • Go hiking in the Pololu Valley Lookout Trail
  • Relax on the beach at Kauna’oa Bay
  • Have a farewell dinner at a restaurant in Kailua-Kona
  • Pack up and prepare for your departure the next day.
Kilauea is currently an active volcano

Activities I’ve Done

Volcanoes National Park – From the short hikes around the park and getting a close up look at phosphorous easing through cracks

Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay – with clear warm waters and mild waves, Kealakekua Bay is excellent for snorkeling. There’s an abundance of fish, sea urchin, and coral to observe.

Snorkel in the Hilton Waikoloa Village – Great place for younger children to snorkel

Coffee Plantation Tour at Greenwell Farms: Cool tour of the entire process along with a sampling experience where you can try over 20 different kinds of coffee including unique flavors

Kona Costco: Costco in Hawaii has plenty of cool products that you most likely have never seen at your local Costco!

Macadamia Nut Farm: Great Place to find different variations of Macadamia Nuts

Food Spots I’ve Tried and Recommend

Da Poke Shack: Excellent Poke with fresh Ahi-Tuna

Broke Da Mouth Grindz: Delicious Hawaiian comfort food. Portions are huge and one large plate can be shared between two. Excellent beef short ribs.

Final Thoughts

When tourist think of Hawaii, most think of Waikiki and the island of Oahu. Waikiki is like the Las Vegas of Strip of Hawaii, but to fully explore the islands, you have to venture to Big Island. Here you’ll find lush vegetation, amazing and uncrowded snorkel spots, an abundance of healthy reef life, and finally breath taking views of a volcano. While Oahu is for relaxing, Big Island Hawaii is great to the adventurous soul!

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