Visiting Hawaii’s Big Island: what to do, where to stay, and our itinerary!

My boyfriend and I went to Hawaii for almost a month in August 2015. We visited the 4 Hawaiian Islands: Oahu, Maui, Big Island and Kauai. I told you more about Oahu right here, you can also read about our trip to Kauai here, what we liked in Maui here, and what to do in Kauai right here.

We were on the Big Island for 8 days. The Big Island is such a great place for hiking, observing a bubbling lava lake, walking in lava tubes, seeing Petroglyph (incised rock surface by ancient Hawaiian civilizations) and going to the beach.

Here’s a little recap of what we’ve done during our 8 days’ stay on the Big Island of Hawaii.


We rented a car for 8 days on this island, and it cost USD 300.

We landed at Kailua-Kona, took the rented car and drove to Pahoa, on the other end of the island. That’s where our trip began. It took us 2h30 to cross the island – counting many stops to take photos in the lava fields… You know, it’s very impressive!


On the Big Island, we rented many unique Airbnb.

We chose, among others, a cabana located on the land of a hippy family living off their agriculture, lost in a beautiful forest with no services (electricity, running water, bath, shower, etc.) and also a yurt in a sugar cane field, in the middle of nowhere.

With this kind of experience, you have to be prepared for anything, though! ?

The photos are beautiful, the description is romantic and quite amazing to see once you get there – plus, you will come back with good stories to tell… just like us. 😛 But it was still worth it if you ask me!

Many places like this are available in Hawaii, and I suggest you try them out.

Book through Airbnb to find your “unique stay” in Hawaii! Well, this is what we did. ?


Like the cabana in the jungle, it was lovely, well-built and beautiful. In daylight, everything looked perfect.

It was a simple cabana where half of the walls were made of screens. We were under the stars laying down in bed – something we knew and wanted to experience.

When night came, my boyfriend and I were lying in bed when we saw our first cockroach on the ceiling. Once our eyes got used to the darkness, we began seeing the hundreds of other cockroaches appearing one by one. At that point, we felt it was a little less romantic than what we were hoping for!

Hahaha! Also, know that it gets very hot and wet in the jungle during summertime. Keep in mind that we didn’t have AC, nor a fan – with a hundred of cockroaches on the ceiling, we ended up not sleeping much that night.


We went to the Thurston Lava Tube, which is a lava cave where you can walk and hike. It doesn’t take long to get to, it’s a very big and dark cave but still impressive to see. I would recommend it, plus it won’t take much time.

We also went to the Volcano State Park. We went trekking for 3 hours in the park to observe a bubbling and smoking lava crater from afar. When hiking up, you can also see dried lava on the path. When was the last time you saw dried lava fields?! ?

We also walked through Petroglyphs in Puako Petroglyph Archeological Preserve. A beautiful walk on a boardwalk well-constructed, among dried lava fields, to see hieroglyphs on lava, carved by ancient Hawaiian communities.


We bought bodyboards at Walmart (because we’re better at it than surfing ?) which we used a lot during our trip on the Big Island. And that’s why we really enjoyed White Sand Beach and also because the waves were pretty big while we were there.

We went to Captain Cook beach, and we also liked it.

Hapuna Beach is huge, and it’s a great bodysurfing spot.

The Wailea beach was also fun. A beautiful beach surrounded by trees with white sand and clear blue water. Such a great place to relax!

Are you planning a trip to the Big Island?

This post was translated from French to English by:

Charlène Bessenay
I am Charlene. I was born in France but I live in Quebec City since 2007. I am a 32-year-old married mom of 2 (a boy and a girl), a part-time student (translation) and also a hockey mom 😉 I decided to go to university at 31 because I love foreign languages and I needed a new challenge. I love food and wine (I’m French you remember 😉 ), I have a very long travel bucket list and I practice Zumba and Yoga.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like