UNITED STATES  |  Big Island, Hawaii Travel Guide
Thursday, December 7, 2023

Big Island, Hawaii

Tikis in the Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, Kona Coast, Hawaii (c)

Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii, the island, is Hawaii's "Big Island." It is more than twice as big as all the other major Hawaiian islands combined – 4,028 square miles – and still growing! averaging roughly 300,000 cubic feet of lava flow from volcanic eruptions daily, adding, slowly but surely, to the island's land mass. And there are other superlatives: the island has two of Hawaii's tallest mountains, Mauna Kea (13,796 feet) and Mauna Loa (13,679 feet), one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea, some of Hawaii's largest orchid gardens and macadamia nut farms, and mountainsides covered with its very own brand of coffee, the well-known Kona.

The Islands of Hawaii

Big Island Orientation

The Big Island is made up of five volcanoes: Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Kohala and Kilauea. Kohala is at the north end of the island, at the heart of the Kohala district; Hualalai is in the west, forming a backdrop for the Kona Coast; Kilauea is in the southeast, in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; and Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa rise near the center of the island, with Mauna Loa located to the southwest of Mauna Kea. The east side of the island is wetter and greener, and home to Hilo, the island's largest city, and the lush Hamakua Coast just to the north of there. The west side is made up of the Kona-Kohala Coast, drier, sunnier, and with most of the island’s fabulous beaches. At the southeast and south end of the island are the Puna and Kau districts respectively, refreshingly stark and desolate.

The Big Island has a population of just over 150,000, and attracts nearly 1.5 million visitors annually. It has more than 9,400 hotel rooms, rental condominiums and bed and breakfast accommodations, roughly 150 restaurants, and offers a wealth of recreational opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, biking, hiking, horseback riding, golfing, beachcombing and sport fishing. It also boasts a supremely enjoyable, temperate climate, with temperatures ranging from 45°F- 55°F in January in the higher elevations to around 75°F- 85°F in August in the coastal areas.

Big Island Location

The Big Island lies approximately 35 miles southeast of Maui, or 170 miles southeast of Oahu.

Last updated November 12, 2013
Posted in   United States  |  Big Island
No votes yet
Explore the Destination
Amenities and Resources
Trending Themes:

Guides to Popular Ski Resorts

  • Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More

  • Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More

  • Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More

  • Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More

  • Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More

  • St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More

  • Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More

  • St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More

  • Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More


Copyright © 2010-2013 Indian Chief Travel Guides. Images tagged as (cc) are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.