The Big Island of Hawaii is perhaps the most diverse island, offering sunny beaches, mountain hiking, verdant valleys, ancient lava flows, tropical rainforests, and is the only island with active volcanoes.
With its diversity of crafts, clothing, fresh produce, colors, and flavors, the Maku’u Farmer’s Market in Pahoa, Hawaii is not to be missed.
The famous Spam musubi makes for a great hiking snack.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach.
Highway 11, the route to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Steam vents in the active Kilauea Caldera.
The Kilauea Iki Crater, once a smoldering lava lake.
Hiking across the barren Kilauea Iki Crater.
Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
While Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is known for its ancient lava flows and smoldering cauldrons, the rim trails have grown into dense tropical rainforests.
The Kilauea Volcano erupting into the Pacific Ocean.
Wherever I went on the Big Island, the drive was just as beautiful as the destination. On the drive to Waipi’o Valley, we stopped to enjoy roadside waterfalls, ocean alcoves, and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
Waipi’o Valley, a verdant valley accessed only by a steep, narrow dirt road that drops more than 2,000 feet from the highway above.
Wild horses in Waipi’o Valley
The island of Maui boasts beautiful beaches, Haleakala National Park, tropical rainforests, and the lush Hana Highway.
Roadside stand along the Hana Highway. This winding highway circumnavigates Haleakala National Park, taking you along oceanside cliffs, through tropical rainforests, and past roadside waterfalls.
Nahiku Marketplace on the Hana Highway
Jumping from the cliffs at Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu).
Fresh coconut for sale along the Hana Highway.
Te Au Moana Luau in Wailea, Maui.
Watching the sun rise, above the clouds, from the 10,023 ft summit of Haleakala.
Haleakala National Park’s dryer, western side.
Banyan tree along the Pipiwai Trail on Haleakala National Park’s lush, tropical eastern side.
Waimoku Falls - Pipiwai Trail, Haleakala National Park.
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.