So my most recent trip to Hawaii was just down right incredible. For the first time ever I traveled to the Big Island, Hawaii and then later followed up with Oahu. That'll be a post for next time though. While on the Big Island I got to visit some amazing waterfalls, climb the enormous Banyan trees, and hike my way to a gorgeous, secluded beach. My stay on the Big Island was mostly for business but this is just a short review of what I found to be some of the must haves to do while visiting.
So for my hiking friends, there are plenty of places to hike on the Big Island. The Big Island is, well, BIG, but it can be a little limited to what you can do. The multiple climates leave some wiggle room of activities but mostly it ranges from going to the beach...or going hiking (for outdoor activities). Just so everyone gets what I mean about multiple climates; on one side of the island, the HILO side, it is more green and lush, but very rainy. On the KONA side it barely rains and is covered in lava rock. If you drive to the top of MAUNA KEA or MAUNA LOA you'll be met with snow. Many locals will even drive to the top of these mountains to fill their truck beds with snow and bring it down so their children can build snowmen and have snowball fights. Personally, I tried to fit a beach day with a hiking day and the perfect place to do that in my opinion is at Makalawena Beach.
I know it looks like a lot of rock and that's probably because it is. Proper foot wear is essential, so make sure you have good hiking shoes, (and socks! I can't stress that enough). Also wear plenty of sunscreen; the sun can be ruthless on your skin and body so fill yourself up with water and lather up in sunscreen. It is very rocky so if you have weak ankles...don't go far, or just be careful. The ride down to the parking area will require you to have a truck, jeep or something with four wheel drive; you'll be going off road driving. Please...don't try this with a Prius.
Remember location, location, location. You'll have to walk to get to the best places. The walk I took was about 30 minutes though it felt like much longer because I figured out the hard way about that proper footwear I fore mentioned. I would do it again, I'd just wear socks! (Always wear socks!)
The hike is not your average, climbing hills and stepping over tree roots scene. The land is flat...but remember, you will have to walk over lava rocks, and depending how far you go, it'll include more sand and tree roots and plenty of lava rock. But in the end it is a gorgeous view and incredible experience.
My biggest suggestion (besides wearing socks) is make sure you stay for the sunset. Sunsets in general or gorgeous...sunsets in Hawaii are ten times better.
Pictures can't do it justice, so you'll just have to visit on your own.
FUN FACT: If you visit, stare at the center of the waterfall 10-30 seconds and then slowly move your eyes to the green shrubbery beside it. Your vision will become like waves and the the rocks and trees will start to move up and down. It's actually very cool.
Climb the stairs to the top to get pictures of the falls from above, and if you go a little further you can see the banyan trees. I had a little fun and climbed up into them myself, but beware, they'll get you muddy and sweaty and they might be wet, so don't slip!
For the final, really exciting, thing I did. Some may not be aware but on the Big Island of Hawaii...there is a live volcano that has since erupted and spilled lava in certain places. If you come, you should definitely try to buy out some time to drive up to see this live volcano. I unfortunately didn't get too good pictures because when we went up, it was at night, but it was still great to look at though.
I suggest maybe getting there before nightfall because then if you want you can enjoy the museum while getting pictures both in the day time and at night of the lava. Personally...museums aren't quite my thing, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Inside it had seismic charts of volcanic activity, ancient Hawaiian beliefs like that of Pele, their goddess of Fire, and several samples of lava rock and shavings from the volcano. So while my trip to the Big Island was short, it's definitely worth seeing. Make sure to try and do some of the things I mentioned, you'll really enjoy it! Later in this blog I'll add some other cool things to do while on the Big Island too, so just keep your eyes open, but if you have a question feel free to ask in the comments or email me through the blog. Their should be a section to do that somewhere on the sides of the page. That's a wrap for this trip. Thanks for reading and I hope it helps!