Big Island of Hawaii Vacations
Your Big Island vacation
With a volcano-goddess attitude and miles of rugged off-the-grid landscapes, the Big Island is real Hawaii in the raw. (And really, when was the last time you bathed in a steam vent or night-swam with manta rays?) Spend tamer days stargazing at the top of 14,000-foot Mauna Kea, on a wagon ride through wild Waipio Valley, or kayaking the crystalline Kealakekua Bay.
From the white-sand Hapuna Beach to the smoldering mouth of Halemaumau, allow Orbitz to help you map out your Big Island vacation. Our travel experts dish on where to stay, top 10 attractions and Big Island's hidden travel gems.
Best time to take a vacation to Big Island of Hawaii
The Big Island may be home to both fire and ice, but at sea level the island thrives in eternal summer and the water is warm (mid- to high-70s). On the Kona side, conditions are typically dry, sunny and hot. The Hilo side takes the edge off with frequent overcast days and tropical rains. Hurricane season spans from June to November.
Although Big Island travel is always in season, prices dip from September through November. The week after Easter, Hilo's Merrie Monarch Hula Festival packs the town for the largest hula event in the world. Japanese Golden Week attracts crowds as well, so plan ahead if you're travelling in late April and early May. July draws international competitors to Kona's annual Billfish Tournament. In October, the renowned Ironman Triathlon World Championship takes place in Kona.
Insider tips for Big Island of Hawaii travel
Honomalino Beach (South Kona)
Escape to the secluded Honomalino Bay, and relax below coconut trees on the dark-sand beach.
Palace Theater (Hilo)
Spice up the night at Hilo’s 1920s-era theater, complete with a live pipe-organ player. Watch everything from the latest Woody Allen movie to classical-music concerts.
Lava Tree State Monument (Puna)
Hit the trails of this trippy 17-acre parkland where lava-cooked trees leave a mold of their trunks behind.
Two Ladies Kitchen (Hilo)
Well-loved by Hilo residents, this busy little family shop is famous for its mochi –traditional Japanese rice cakes made in every flavor and color.
Laupahoehoe Train Museum (Hamakua Coast)
This Hamakua Coast gem pays tribute to Hawaii's golden era of railroads, sugar cane trains, plantations and memorabilia.
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Big Island of Hawaii Vacation Packages
Your Polynesian style bungalow at Sea Mountain puts you a short 30 minute drive to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and other natural wonders. Located in the arid, isolated, undeveloped part of the island known as South Point, it is set well apart from the bustle of... More
Oceanfront Waikoloa resort offers 62-acre tropical fantasy adventureFantasy becomes reality at the oceanfront Hilton Waikoloa Village, one of Hawaii's most renowned playgrounds. This 62-acre property features more than 1,200 upscale accommodations, and the grounds are... More
Value priced, Island-style Hilo hotel with bay and garden viewsThe locally owned Hilo Seaside Hotel offers guests Island-style budget accommodations and a convenient location near downtown Hilo and the airport. The hotel is built around a swimming pool and landscaped... More
Grand Hapuna Beach hotel with ocean views from every roomWith an ancient name Hapuna, or "Spring of Life," the award-winning Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel sits oceanfront upon South Kohala's remarkable Hapuna Beach. All 350 luxurious guest rooms offer ocean views from private... More
Oceanfront Kailua resort features Don the Beachcomber mai tai heavenPerched on a lava-rock promontory on the edge of downtown Kailua-Kona, the Royal Kona Resort is a landmark hotel with renovated rooms and stellar ocean views. On site, guests find the legendary Don the... More
Fully equipped oceanfront Waikoloa villas on a luxury-resort propertyExperience oceanfront living at Castle Halii Kai At Waikoloa in a deluxe villa with mountain, golf course or ocean views and upscale, contemporary décor. Located on the expansive Waikoloa Beach Resort in... More
Island-style hotel on Hilo waterfront offers location, value and views Hilo Naniloa Hotel, a LITE Hotel rests right on the edge of Hilo Bay, with views onto the town and volcano Mauna Kea. The property opens onto lush gardens, an oceanfront swimming pool and a... More
Mauna Lani Point's vacation rentals are clearly the best value in accommodations with 4x more space than hotel rooms and the privacy of gated resort communities. Exquisitely appointed one- and two- bedroom condos situated on 19 spectacular oceanfront acres. The resort's... More
Oceanfront Keauhou resort with gardens, views and villas with kitchensAffordable paradise is within reach at the oceanfront Kona Coast Resort in Keauhou, just south of Kailua town. The low-rise one- and two-bedroom villas are equipped with a kitchen, washer/dryer and... More
Waikoloa upcountry resort on golf course, with fully-equipped villasGolfers rejoice at the Paniolo Greens at Waikoloa resort, with extraordinarily large one- and two-bedroom villas set on a peaceful upcountry championship fairway. Villas gaze across green landscaping, the... More
*Savings based on Flight + Hotel vacation package bookings of 5 or more nights with individual calculable components on www.orbitz.com from January 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates, and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.
Big Island of Hawaii highlights
Snorkel or kayak this pristine marine life conservation district along the Kona Coast, also the site of famed explorer Captain James Cook.
Hike through bamboo groves, orchids and draping ferns. Then follow the paved pathway (past 100-foot Kahuna Falls) to Akaka Falls -- a 442-foot waterfall that crashes into a steamy gorge.
Laze on the Big Island's most impressive stretch of white-sand beach, eternally sunny with good summer swimming.
Hamakua Coast-North Kohala
Cruise the Big Island's most scenic coastline, followed by a guided trek into exotic Waipio Valley. Visit the hamlet of Hawi or tour a working ranch in misty Waimea.
Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Make a pilgrimage to this sacred Hawaiian refuge site filled with original village artifacts, rebuilt features, and a stunning bayside setting.
Explore the summit of a snow-capped volcano, home to world-famous observatories. The Visitor's Information Station (VIS) has a free nightly stargazing program.
Hit this quaint, historic fishing town with a splash of touristy sites. Shop and dine along Alii Drive or people watch on the pier.
Kapoho Tide Pools
Swim in a network of coastal tide pools – some volcanically heated and teeming with sea life. Bring snorkeling gear or sunbathe on a lava shelf.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Drive, hike or helicopter across a 330,000-acre parkland of smoking vents, native forests, streaming lava and monstrous snow-dusted volcanoes -- an experience native to the Big Island.