We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Big Island excursions

Charlotte, NC
1 post
1 review
Save Topic
Big Island excursions

Hello - Fiancee and I are honeymooning at the Big Island this February over Valentines. We plan on spending a few nights at the Four Seasons and a few nights across the way in Hilo.

Here's what we're interested in doing while at the Big Island:

- Diving (especially the night manta ray dive)

- Stargazing (on Mauna Loa - or is 'Kea' - I can't remember)

- Kayak/Snorkel

- Hike (around the volcano - particularly some lava tubes)

- Helicopter ride (probably in Hilo)

We are both very much looking forward to some serious adventures! Can anyone recommend any good companies/shops/guides that offer these adventures?

Thanks!

Mentioned in this post
Hilo
Hilo
Island of Hawaii, HI
Level Contributor
90 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Big Island excursions

We've gone to the Big Island many times and on our last trip there (September) we did this trip with www.SeaquestHawaii.com. They take you on zodiac type boats to a great snorkeling spot. We saw spinner dolphins and went in caves. Craig was our guide and he was great! We are also going to be on the Big Island in February and this time we are going to do a whale watching tour with www.ILoveWhales.com. We have heard that is a great whale watching outfit. We have done the helicopter tour before....once many years ago we did the entire island tour from the westside of the island (refueling in Hilo), and about a year ago we did the shorter ride out of Hilo. Last time we used www.SunshineHelicopters.com and were pleased with them. We visited the Volcano National Park and hiked around before too. There's lots to do on the Big Island. You will love the Four Seasons! Congratulations and have a great honeymoon!

Mentioned in this post
Hilo
Hilo
Island of Hawaii, HI
Keno, OR
Level Contributor
412 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Big Island excursions

We just spent Christmas on the Big Island (our 2nd trip), and went on a night snorkel/diving trip with Jack's Diving Locker. We had Keller Laros as one of the diving guides--he is the man who set up the Manta Pacific Research Foundation, and even though he is a very wild and crazy guy, he is serious about your safety and the wellbeing of the mantas--we found this whole night trip to be very fun and safe. The spinner dolphins showed up as we left the harbor, and raced our boat for quite awhile. The mantas showed up when it got dark, and 4 of them entertained us the whole time we were out. It was well worth the money, and we bought an excellent video that Keller made of the night's experiences--well worth going out when he is one of the guides. (The other guides were great too--each dive team had 6 divers and a guide, and us snorkelers had a guide on the boat who looked after us).

We have also kayaked across Kealakekua Bay at Captain Cook to snorkel at the marine preserve there--it is an easy 1 mile trip across the bay (escorted by spinner dolphins this last time, serenaded by a whale the time before) and it is a gorgeous place--great water clarity and lots of sea life. An easy snorkel beach is in Kona at Kahalu'u Beach Park--a great place to see green sea turtles. (The book: Hawaii--The Big Island Revealed--by Andrew Doughty and Harriett Friedman really helped us alot--the authors lived there for 2 years and don't recommend anything unless they tried it--they also tell you about negative experiences they had in some places, so that helps alot.

We stayed in Volcano Village at the Volcano TeaPot Cottage--a very tranquil, romantic, private cottage--check out their website if you're interested in being close to the volcano and having your own private honeymoon cottage--we usually avoid resorts because of the crowds and noise, and find that bed and breakfast accommodations (especially at the TeaPot Cottage) provide so much food that you save on one or two meals per day. There's a hot tub, beautiful grounds, the owners help in any way they can (but leave you alone and respect your privacy too), and they have literally thought of everything to make your stay comfortable. We've stayed there twice, and wouldn't think of going anywhere else when we're on the Hilo side.

Congratulations and have a great honeymoon in paradise!

Mentioned in this post
Jack's Diving Locker
Jack's Diving Locker
1,519 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Kealakekua Bay
Kealakekua Bay
701 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Kailua-Kona
Kailua-Kona
Island of Hawaii, HI
Kahalu'u Beach Park
Kahalu'u Beach Park
327 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Volcano Village Lodge
Volcano Village Lodge
731 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Volcano Teapot Cottage
Volcano Teapot Cottage
339 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Hilo
Hilo
Island of Hawaii, HI
Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,465 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Big Island excursions

Congrats.

I live here so I will give a bit about stars. I have been a naturalist and Astronomer and wrote a big bit on Mauna Kea under " driving Saddle Road" I did 3 posts and it tells the whole story and precautions.

Rent a Jeep... from Harper to get you to all the hidden beaches that you will only be able to visit with 4x4 high clearance.

A jeep.... has the clearance the others do not have.

Harpers has no restrictions the others impose.......

You will see some of these beaches to the left as you land in Kona. Note them on a map before you forget. get Big Island Revealed the best guide.

Hilo is wet and rainy very humid every day...If you spend a few more bucks you can get a full tour of the island for 2 hours on the net for 245 @ AND SEE lava but also waterfalls , Waipo valley, the saddle, Hawi coast and Kohala. Book on the web for 20% off

The Four Seasons can't be beat... use it as a base and return to romantic reliability. No packing and un packing. you will be in an ideal location to do day trips

In Kona the location of Bubba Gumps can't be beat. Drive up to Waikoloa Beach for Roys... the best island dining in Hawaii.

Mentioned in this post
Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea
252 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Saddle Road
Saddle Road
3,126 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Kailua-Kona
Kailua-Kona
Island of Hawaii, HI
Hilo
Hilo
Island of Hawaii, HI
Kohala Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations
Kohala Suites by Hilton...
1,163 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Waikoloa
Waikoloa
Island of Hawaii, HI
Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Manhattan Beach, CA
Level Contributor
13 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Big Island excursions

Congrats! You will love the Four Seasons. The Pahui'a restaurant there is one of my favorite restaurants in the world.

As for hiking at the volcano, I can highly recommend taking the Iki Crater trail followed by the lava tube hike, and bring water and a flashlight.

The Iki trail drops down from the rainforest above into an active crater, hikes across the crater and out the other side. It is a serious enough hike that you will get your heart and sweat glands working, but not so much that my 60-something parents could not handle it. Follow up the Iki hike with the Thurston lava tube hike across the road from the Iki trailhead. You will cool off nicely in the cave (very refreshing). At the end of the tube trail there is a gate that you can go through into the unmaintained/unlit portion of the tube as long as you have a flashlight. Allow 2.5 hours for both trails combined.

Two other great places to hike are in at the road's end in north Kohala (beyond charming Hawi) and in the Waipi'o Valley. Both these areas are on the lush windward (rainy) side of the island.

Mentioned in this post
Kohala Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations
Kohala Suites by Hilton...
1,163 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Waipi'o Valley
Waipi'o Valley
843 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI