Updated: Aug 1
The getaway of all getaways that you don’t need a passport to get to. These islands are full of volcanoes, waterfalls, cultural experiences, and animal excursions you won’t find anywhere else. We travel to Hawaii to support my brother competing in the Iron Man finals on the big Island. You will most likely fly into Honolulu, and from there disperse to the other islands.
THE BIG ISLAND
Opt for your helicopter experience and witness the Kohala coast, filled with vibrant waterfalls every quarter of a mile racing off of cliffs 5,000 ft high. This experience makes you realize how small you are in the big beautiful world we live in, and you have no choice but to live in the moment and admire the beauty.
(I know the photo to the right is a bit tricky, but look past the glass at those cliffs and waterfalls!)
I still talk about this experience to this day. Whenever somebody tells me they’re going to Hawaii this is the number one thing that I recommend. The manta rays have adapted to having tourists visiting and observing their behavior, they have learned a better way to collect food, and you get a front-row seat! These massive archaic ocean mammals, that you get to observe so closely, are graceful and gentle. It is truly a sight to see and genuinely feels like you’ve been transported back to the dinosaur era.
This is a nighttime excursion, and you will be getting in the water. There’s an 8-foot rectangle made out of PVC pipes, that floats, and also has lights on it. The lights attract the plankton, therefore attracting the manta rays for food. Once you’re in the water you will hold onto the PVC pipe, face down. You’ll have a snorkel so you can breathe consistently and still look under the water. Now is when the fun starts, the manta rays will swim up to you and flip right underneath you in a backward motion to collect the plankton and other small bacteria in the water. They come right up under you within inches, but they’ll miss you every time! This is a beautiful experience, especially if you can share it with family and young kids.
Located in the Hilton Waikoloa Village, you’ll find Buddha point. When you first see the statue, even from afar, you can feel the peace it brings. Located right on the water, this is a great easy walk to connect with the generous energy nature gives us, it is a time to disconnect from technology and all of the attachments we have to our everyday lives, and just breathe. Be present. This is also something you would find more in Thailand, so to have it here in the states is such a treat!
This is a pretty popular hike due to it's proximity to downtown Hilo. This 80-foot waterfall usually has a rainbow out in front of it. You can explore above the waterfall, and below the waterfall. It is advised that you do not swim in the pools or go off of the marked trails.
Manta Ray Experience
Photo flying into Honolulu