Have you ever thought about black sand beaches, lush green islands, and active volcanoes? We have good news, they do exist! And the best part is that they are in the same place called Big Island, a beautiful place that concentrates the elements of the most classic postcard of Hawaii.
Big Island is recognized by many people as the most spectacular island in Hawaii. It has the highest mountain on earth, when measured from the bottom of the sea, Mauna Kea reaches 9,700 meters, becoming the largest object on the planet.
The island is the youngest of the islands in the Hawaiian group, so young that some areas are still volcanically active. Considered also as the Mecca of Golf in Hawaii, thanks to its 20 golf courses, you can enjoy wonderful places, such as the largest private ranch in the country (Parker Ranch).
The various activities and natural landscapes here, on Big Island, are truly incomparable. With 266 miles of coastline, the Big Island of Hawaii is home to more than a hundred different beaches. However, the typical white sand beaches that are common in other islands are rare here. On Big Island, you will find four unique types of beaches: dark sand beaches, green sand beaches, white sand beaches and “salt and pepper” beaches, which contain a mixture of white and black sand.
Since Big Island is twice as big as the other islands, its diverse microclimates and landscapes make it a great destination where we can do a lot of things: visiting historical sites, playing golf, seeing volcanoes and magma, putting your feet in black sands or walking in the jungle.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This national park contains some of the largest active volcanoes in the world and is home to the famous Kilauea volcano. It is the opportunity to see the permanent process of creation and destruction of our planet, originator of life itself. The park was created in 1933 and comprises a vast territory from the summit of Maunaloa to the sea.
The biodiversity of this part of Big Island is wonderful and that is why it is a Biosphere Reserve since 1987. The Visitor Center is open every day between 7:45 a.m. and 5 p.m. Inside you can see a one hour film that serves as an introduction to the importance and beauty of the park and sign up for a guided tour, where you can pick up maps and tips.
Punaluu Black Beach
In the world, there are beaches with sands of various colors such asd golden, white, pink, green, red and black. Everything depends on the composition of the sand crystals and in the case of black sand beaches, they are mostly of volcanic origin. This is the case of Punaluu beach, which is on the Kau coast, to the southeast of the island. It is one of the darkest beaches in all of Hawaii and is located between the Volcanoes National Park and the small town of Naalehu.
Coconut palms reach the upper edge of the sand and there are times where you can sopt green turtles, which are a protected species in the island.
State Park Akaka Waterfalls
There are two waterfalls within the park, the Akaka, with almost 135 meters high, and the Kahuna, with just over 30. It is located along the Hamakua Coast and the two beautiful waterfalls you can visit by walking among them for a series of catwalks. The uphill path is less than one kilometer and will allow you to appreciate the exuberance of the rainforest around you, with bamboos, orchids and other tropical plants.
Big Island Volcanic Coast
Along this scenic route, there are many recommended stops so it is a very good option to enjoy Big Island completely. The villages have coffee shops, restaurants, museums, and markets. The final touch is the magnificent view of the Waipio Valley Lookout with waterfalls, a black sand beach, a closed valley and the sky above your head.
As you can see, Big Island is a place full of spectacular views and amazing tourist sites that enhance its natural beauty.
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