Hawaii Private Tour: Top 6 Popular Areas

A photograph of a beach in Hawaii

If you are planning to go on a private tour, one of the best places to travel in the world to be considered is Hawaii. The reason the 50th state is such a sought-after travel destination is because of its immaculate beaches, warm water, vivid reefs, comfortable climate, and interesting new things to see and experience. Every year, around 10 million tourists come and are welcomed by the islands’ aloha attitude.

It can be difficult to organize everything on your own when there is so much to discover and do in Hawaii. Private tour guides are a fantastic opportunity to learn from industry professionals and see a lot of locations without the burden of driving. Here are some of Hawaii’s popular areas that you may visit.

How to Get to Hawaii

The most convenient way to go to the Big Island would be by air. Some visitors fly into Hilo or Kona from the Big Island, while others choose to sail, cruise, or even swim there. When traveling to Hawaii, there are only a few airlines I suggest, but there are two in particular that I would avoid at all costs. The oldest airline that travels from and into Hawaii is Hawaiian Airlines, which was founded in 1929. They depend on their track record of safe flights, their good name, and devoted clients to maintain their operations.

Hawaiian Airlines typically arrives on time and offers good customer service. I’ve always received excellent service from Alaska Airlines. The nicest part is that they offer a complimentary drink of wine, beer, or a Mai Tai before touchdown, which has become uncommon on domestic flights. They travel directly into Kona and Hilo from numerous locations on the western coast of the U.S.

Take a look at Jetstar if money is limited. Jetstar is a pay-as-you-go airline, so keep that in mind. The flights are affordable due to any additional costs (i.e. headphones, food, blanket, soft drinks, pillows, and anything but the lavatory.) You will more than likely fly to Honolulu and then switch to an inter-island flight if you can’t get a direct ticket to Hilo or Kona. You must follow the directions towards the inter-island terminal when you exit the plane.

Mokulele is the airline that I advise for inter-island travel. They provide complimentary juice on short flights and have excellent customer service. Additionally, their planes are always on time.

Accommodation

There are several hotels in the Kona and Hilo area, but I suggest searching online for homestays and vacation rentals. Typically, people who are looking to lease out their properties for a few months out of the year may list them privately. You can save money by cooking at home because they often cost less than hotels. There are many hostels in Hilo, Volcano, and Kona for travelers. In Volcano, the Holo Holo Inn offers the finest value for your money. Anyway, let’s move on to the Big Island’s attractions!

asphalt road beside trees

National Volcano Park

On Highway 11, Volcano National Park is situated 30 miles to the west of Hilo. One of the few sites in the world where you can observe a volcano exploding is here. Kilauea Volcano began to erupt in 1983, and it has continued to do so ever since. That is a continuous flow of lava for 16 years! At Halemaumau crater in the park, you may see a fairly recent surge. From the renowned Jagger Museum, one may observe the volcanic glow of lava and sulfur smoke plumes that reach up to 1000 feet into the air.

As the lava joins the water, visitors could also go along the Chain of Craters amid ancient lava from earlier eruptions. Visitors can journey by foot through the Thurston Lava Tube, a 100-meter tunnel left in the wake of subsurface lava. Witnessing the lava flow into the water from the park requires a very long journey because the lava flow might occasionally change direction. If so, ask a park ranger how to go to the Kalapana Flow, which is back on the road that leads to Hilo.

South Point

You will pass the small settlement of Na’alehu as you continue on your journey to South Point. Here, you need to halt twice. The Punalu’u Bakery comes first. They serve wonderful pastries, notably Malasadas, a delectable native Hawaiian doughnut. The Na’alehu Lunch Shop is located across the street, next to the field, public restrooms, and basketball court. If it’s available, the fish burger is one of their ono grinds (good food).

Once you’ve finished your meal, drive another five miles or so until you reach the South Point exit sign (twelve miles from the highway). Once the road smoothes out after about 12 miles, turn right at an unmarked intersection, and follow it to the end.

The southernmost point in the United States is here. There is the charm in that place. To be able to leap off of America while standing at its edge. When I visit there, I do. A 30-foot jump will put you in the water. I promise that although it appears relatively shallow, it is not. Probably 30 feet or so down. The ladder up is quite old and might not be functional once you reach there, so I don’t advise doing something like this if other people are leaping as well.

Return to the route you turned off and turn right once you’ve had your fill of cliff jumping. A further pull-out (also unmarked; get used to this) that allows you to park is located about one and two miles farther down the road. The path that connects to the enchanted green sand beach starts here. You can keep going if your vehicle has four wheels. If not, you must walk because this is the end of the street for cars. Continually head for the water.

Turn left into a very bumpy road just before you reach the shore. After about two miles, you will reach the top of an extremely steep embankment if you keep going in this direction. Park here and proceed to the beach on foot.

Please remember to include plenty of sunblock, drink, and sunglasses for the walkers. It’s a fantastic beach for swimming and snorkeling. Enjoy!

Punalu’u

Punalu’u is a black sand beach located about 30 miles farther down the path from Volcano National Park (several signs point you 1 mile off the highway). Although it’s gorgeous, I wouldn’t suggest going swimming or snorkeling there. When you arrive, park your vehicle, take off your shoes, and proceed to the opposite side of the beach.

Because the temperature of the black sand can vary greatly according to the time of day, bring your footwear (flip-flops or sandals). Local children playing in the ocean and waves crashing on the reef can be seen. Water, snacks, and trinkets are available at a tiny vendor stand. Walk all the way to the end of the beach, please! The turtles, known as Honu, sleep here.

Remarkably, they are much more likely to show up in the morning. If you decide to swim, be cautious of rocks because the beach does not extend into the ocean entirely. Keep a close eye on your small children if you have any because there is a slight undertow. At the further end of the beach, you’ll find a freshwater spring where you can wash off after you are finished. The water is freezing!

Hapuna State Park

A stunning white sand beach called Hapuna State Park is about 30 miles to the north of Kona. This would be a great beach to spend a day with the family. The crowds would be the only drawback. Being a tourist destination, it is frequently highly congested (for the Big Island). Bring water and sunscreen.

There are places where you may hire snorkeling equipment, towels, and boogie boards. I do not suggest renting here if you want to do boogie boarding or snorkeling. Comparatively speaking to Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau, the snorkeling will seem dull.

Waipio Valley

This location is fantastic! It takes around thirty minutes to get from Hapuna State Park to Waipio, passing via the towns of Waimea & Honoka’a. Due to the prohibition against two-wheel drive vehicles on the road, the majority of people are unable to experience what Waipio Valley has to offer. Even though the distance is only approximately two miles, the walkout is, to put it mildly, exhausting. Turn right when you get close to the bottom of the hill and keep going until you reach the water.

The conclusion of the 1995 movie Waterworld took place in Waipio. Cliffs in the valley were formed by erosion over millions of years. A waterfall cascades down the valley’s backside toward Taro fields. Straight into the ocean, the stream meanders through the valley. Horses can be seen grazing all along the mile-long stretch of black sand beach. Because of the valley’s topography and private ownership of the majority of the property, horses are free to wander. The horses shouldn’t be fed! And take caution because they have a history of bucking. Waipio is renowned for being a fantastic camping and surfing location.

Kailua-Kona

You will witness a lot of lava on the drive to Kona. On the route, there are several locations worth visiting. There is a memorial to Captain Cook at Kealakekua Bay. The Hawaiians determined that Captain Cook really wasn’t welcome here, so they killed him. Renting kayaks and canoeing across this bay is something I highly recommend. The snorkeling is amazing on the opposite side, which is where the monument is. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Nia (dolphins) playing in the harbor.

Honaunau National Park is another fantastic location for snorkeling before you reach Kona. You must pay a fee to enter this park, so bring cash. The Big Island’s tourist hub is Kailua-Kona. It’s a good idea to eat, shop, and use the restroom while you’re here.

Beyond what I’ve mentioned, there is more to see on the Big Island. These are but a few of the Big Island’s highlights. Anyone visiting should explore and discover what the island has to offer. You’ll be astounded by what you discover. Travel safely.

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