Best Things to Do in Hawaii
Hawaii is the most recent of the fifty states of the United States and in my opinion the most beautiful of all, is located in Oceania and is an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. The state includes almost all the islands of the archipelago which is composed of hundreds of islands spread over 2400 km. At the southeast end of the group of islands are the eight main islands, which are, from northwest to southeast, Ni'ihau, Kaua'i, O'ahu, Moloka'i, Lāna'i, Kaho'olawe, Maui and Hawai'i (The Big Island).
Hawaii is the most beautiful state in the United States, it has eleven of the thirteen climatic zones that exist throughout the world, each with a unique ecosystem and determined climatic characteristics. Factors such as height, pressure variations, rainfall, winds and topography combine to create the most unique locations along the islands. Each of the Hawaiian Islands houses the four most important biomes: desert, rainforest, tundra and temperate zones.
Hawaii has various American and Asian influences along with its native culture. The state has one million permanent residents, in addition to occasional visitors and US Navy personnel. There are fewer than 6,000 pure-blooded Hawaiian Polynesians, although there are already over one million descendants. The official languages are English and Hawaiian, and one of the main traditions that endure is the Hula or traditional Hawaiian dance, which is a dance accompanied by chants or songs that along with the movement of the hands tell stories or legends.
O'ahu is the most populated island in Hawaii, its largest city is Honolulu which is also the state capital. Honolulu only occupies a part to the southeast of the island but it is the most densely populated area. Waikiki is the most famous neighborhood in Honolulu, where 90% of hotels in the capital are concentrated, you can find complexes with a wide range of gastronomy options. It also offers an active nightlife. The beach is crystal clear with white sand and coconut trees. This beach is not one of those preferred by surfers, as the waves rarely reach high.
Right at the end of Waikiki you can see Diamond Head (in Hawaiian Lē'ahi) which is a volcanic cone, at the top you can enjoy a panoramic view that has become a tourist symbol. The name was given to nineteenth-century English navigators who confused the crystals of calcite embedded in the rock with diamonds.
Also in Honolulu you can find the Bishop Museum, the most important of Polynesian culture; The Honolulu Academy of Arts, an art museum with an important collection of Asian art; also the Lyon Arboretum, a tropical botanical garden and the Palace 'iolani.
Another of the iconic landmarks of the island is Pearl Harbor, a natural harbor in the interior of a sea water lake that lies west of Honolulu. Much of the port and surroundings belong to a naval base of the United States Navy, which is the headquarters of its Pacific Fleet. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941 caused the United States to enter World War II. The remains of the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri are commemorative monuments of the war.
My biggest recommendation on O'ahu is to get out of Honolulu and Waikiki, which are considered tourist traps, because you will find in the rest of the island extremely beautiful places. You can rent a car and drive to the north coast, along the way you will find countless beautiful beaches, places to practice surfing and walking paths to admire the local nature.
Close to Honolulu is Hanauma Bay which is an extinct volcanic crater, the crater is open to the sea and has several species of fish, this is a popular site for diving and snorkeling.
Close to Hanauma Bay you will find one of my favorite hikes in the world: the Makapu'u Lighthouse, this trail starts with an incredible view of Makapu'u Beach and Kaupo Beach Park.
In the middle of the path are hidden the natural pools of Makapu'u, access is not easy but many locals like to bathe in these natural wonders as they are among the most beautiful in the world.
In the eastern part of the island you will also find Lanikai Beach, a famous beach for kayaking and a path called "Lanikai Pillbox Hike" from which you get beautiful views of the beach and the best sunsets.
On the north coast of O'ahu you will find the best surfing areas, these areas are for more experienced surfers, Waimea Bay is known for its giant waves, Turtle Bay for big waves or if you want something more laid back you can try Sunset Beach.
My favorite activity on O'ahu is swimming with wild dolphins in the open sea, this is done on the west coast of the island at Waianae Boat Harboren. It is important to clarify that it is only sighting and swimming with dolphins, it is forbidden to touch them as they are wild and usually this causes them to move away. The secret to admire these mammals is to attend the morning tour where you swim at 6am in the open sea and with this you can appreciate them while still sleeping with what they ensure 100% the dolphin watching.
Maui is the second largest island of the archipelago and has a population of 117,644 inhabitants, making it the third most populated island. Maui, is an island formed by two volcanoes that are united in an isthmus. The oldest volcano is Mauna Kahalawai which is heavily eroded and is also called West Maui Mountain. To the east is the Haleakala, a younger and larger volcano with a caldera at 3,050 meters altitude.
You can visit and climb the crater of the Haleakala volcano, which has one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world.
The variety of beaches in Maui are one of the main attractions on the island: there are very long, white sand beaches such as Kaanapali Beach and Big Beach, a small nudist beach and where drugs are allowed to dance until sunset. Sundays called Little Beach, a black beach called Waianapanapa Black Beach and a red one called Kaihalulu Beach.
One of the main tourist sites on Maui is Molokini Island which is partially submerged and is an inactive volcanic crater, located on the Alalakeiki Channel, between the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe. This is a popular tourist destination for diving, snuba and snorkeling is considered among the 10 best places in the world to develop this type of aquatic activity. The islet is a seabird sanctuary and home to approximately 250 distinct marine species
My biggest recommendation in Maui is to rent a car and ride the famous "Road to Hana", this is one of the most beautiful roads in the world but it is also very dangerous since it is a single lane both ways and in some places it becomes a single lane to share, in addition to waterfalls and rivers crossing the road so there are landslides or floods constantly, do not forget to fully insure when renting a car.
Along the way you will find waterfalls and lagoons that are on the side of the road and where you can dive, the waterfalls with most famous lagoons are Upper Waikani Falls and the Seven Sacred Pools.
Near to Seven Sacred Pools is also Pipiwai Trail which has a bamboo forest.
And for Surf Lovers, Maui is home to Hawaii's most gigantic waves called Jaws on Peahi's north shore, here the waves can reach a height of more than 18 meters between the months of December and March. Without a doubt a place that attracts the most experienced surfers every year.
Maui is the favorite island of surfers and hippies, being much quieter than O'ahu and where you really admire and notice the love of nature, many people live from their own small farms and something that I like is that many people who seek a happy place they find in Maui the perfect place.
Isla de Hawaiʻi o Big Island
The island of Hawai'i or also called "Big Island" is the largest island in size and the second most populated with 158,400 inhabitants. There are twelve different climatic zones, from tropical forests in Hilo, through the desert area of Ka'u to the snowy summit of Mauna Kea.
The island of Hawai'i is the youngest of all and has been formed by the activity of five different volcanoes: Kohala (extinct), Mauna Kea (inactive), Hualalai (inactive), Mauna Loa (active) and Kīlauea (active). The last two are in the National Park of the Volcanoes.
If measured from the bottom of the ocean to the highest peak, Mauna Kea is the highest mountain in the world, even more than Mount Everest, according to the Guinness Book of Records. The climate at its summit is cold, which favors the existence of glaciers that go from the crater to the skirt of the volcano. The top is also an ideal place for astronomical observations, twelve observatories from different countries have been built, including two of the largest optical telescopes in the world, the Keck I and II telescope. It is undoubtedly the best place in the world to appreciate the sky and the stars, and especially the Milky Way.
Mauna Loa is the largest volcano in the world with 4,170m, Mauna Loa lava is very fluid and poor in silica; Eruptions tend to be non-explosive and the slopes of the volcano are not very pronounced.
Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, offering to scientists and visitors a perspective on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and views of dramatic volcanic landscapes. Its crater has a boiler with constant activity so it is not allowed to approach it but there are tours by helicopter to enjoy it. The volcano also has active zones of rupture which one of them allows to reach the lava to the ocean giving a vision of how the island has been forming.
Akaka Falls State Park is the other national park most visited in the island thanks to its 130 meter waterfall.
And of course the Big Island also has beautiful beaches and 3 colors to choose from, Hāpuna Beach is the most beautiful white sand beach on the island, Punalu'u Beach is black sand and Papakōlea Beach is green sand.
Kaua'i is the oldest and the fourth in size of the main islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also known as the "Garden Island". Kaua'i is a mountainous island of volcanic origin, with the highest point being the Kawaikini peak of 1,598m followed by the Mount Wai'ale'ale near the center of the island, 1,570m. This island is one of the most humid places on Earth. Heavy rainfall has greatly eroded the eastern part of Mount Waialeale, and created deep valleys, canyons, and large waterfalls.
The island has been used for several movies and television series, including Jurassic Park and Lost. This is certainly the favorite island of nature lovers, there are several trails to admire the vegetation, waterfalls, peaks and beaches that the island offers. Highlights are Wailua Falls, Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon and certainly the helicopter tour is one of the best ways to appreciate this island.
Hawaii is undoubtedly one of my favorite destinations in the world and I repeat the most beautiful state in the United States: from swimming with wild dolphins, surfing giant waves, enjoying white, black or green sand beaches, wonderful nature and waterfalls, admiring its volcanoes or the stars from the top of their mountains, it really has it all for an unforgettable adventure. I must admit it can be quite expensive but there are always options to reduce expenses, but you should certainly visit Hawaii at least once in your life. I say goodbye with a last video in 4k of Hawaii because undoubtedly this is a place that makes you fall in love with its images.