Now that we have experienced a part of the Big Island, I thought it would be fun to create an itinerary for a future trip. How would my trip look, if I were to do it again? Presuming I had a week, with no restrictions on where to lodge and rented a car, then my itinerary would look like this:
Day 1: Fly into Kona airport, pick up rental car, stay two nights in Kona in the Waikoloa area. Take it easy that evening with a local beach, grocery shopping and dinner at the Queens Marketplace.
Day 2: Rise early and drive north.
- Spend early morning at Hapuna Beach.
- On the way back, stop at Puako Petroglyph Park. This would take most of the morning/ afternoon. Back to hotel to rest and recharge.
- Leave for the Manta Ray Snorkel tour.
Day 3: Check out of hotel and drive south.
- Sonny JJ would really enjoy a tour of the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm where he can see, touch and learn about seahorses.
- Drive down to visit Kona Coffee Living History Farm. As coffee lovers, this would be a must-see in this area. However, we would have to time these two tours properly as the farm is only open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm.
- Head to Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Park, unique for its historical and cultural significance as well as natural beauty. Spend a couple of hours here, enjoying the rich history. Snorkeling is allowed just outside the park, adjacent to the boat ramp. The park closes at sunset.
- Drive to Volcano Village rental which will be our home for next two nights.
Day 4: Spend full day at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
- The Jaggar Museum, Kilauea Visitor Center, the Thurston Lava Tube and the Chain of Craters are all on the top of the list. Back to rental to rest.
- Return after dark to Jaggar Museum overlook to admire the glow from the caldera
Day 5: Drive to Hilo where we will spend the night.
- Hit one of the beaches, either Carlsmith (four mile) or Richardson.
- After lunch and rest, drive to Rainbow Falls
- Then onto Mauna Kea Visitor Center. We want to be there in adequate time to get a parking spot. Spend evening at Mauna Kea stargazing.
Day 6: Leave Hilo to drive back closer to the airport.
- Enjoy a helicopter tour from Hilo
- Leave Hilo and enjoy Umamuma and Akaka Falls
- Eat malasada at TEX Drive in
- Back to Waikoloa for last night, hit local beach, if we have energy. Eat dinner at Charlie’s Thai
Day 7: Relax and get ready to leave for airport
Dislikes about this itinerary:
- amount of driving, but these distances are much shorter than what we have done in the past, like in New Zealand.
- the packing and unpacking at so many hotels, but again, this can be managed with a bit more planning than usual.
Like about this itinerary:
- Allows us to enjoy the variety of experiences this island has to offer.