by Sharon Colaizzi
Five volcanoes literally blasted, molding the “Big Island” which is known as Hawaii, and it’s one big blast for vacationing.
The Big Island, the largest of six Hawaiian Islands, presents striking diversity, from the snow-capped Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa Peaks to the sea beneath where exquisite aquatic life forms dwell among fascinating coral.
The moment visitors spot the Big Island from the sky, a meeting with the awesome power of Pele, goddess of volcanoes, is imminent. The landing strips at the Keahole Airport on the Kona Coast are engraved out of glistening pahoehoe lava, which stretch in saturnine obsidian fields towards the volcanoes of Kohala, Haulalai, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea.
Volcano Hawaii Hotel
The Volcanoes National Park is home to the worlds most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea; Pele looms in their sulfurous mist. At Volcano House Hotel, a lodge within the park, guests claimed to have seen her frolicking within the flames of the hearth. There are superb drives and hikes through the park’s landscape of twisted lava tubes and rainforests. Pele’s presence haunts the Kilauea Trail, which traverses Kilauea, with smoldering underground fires that haunt the feet and ghostly steam, which seeps from crevices along the trail. Thousand of petroglyphs can be found in the Puu Loa Petroglyphs Field on the coast in the park, they were carved between 500 and 700 years ago.
The Big Island’s attractions include black and white sand beaches, humpback whales, sunbathing sea turtles, thunderous waterfalls, molten lava deserts, rare native flora, and overhead flocks of variegated birds, including Hawaii’s national bird, the Nene. Possibly at eye level to the Nene, Mauna Kea, which at 13,796 ft. is the highest point in Hawaii and the tallest mountain on the planet, is great for stargazing with its world-renowned observatories. Mauna Kea has been dormant for 3,500 years, skiers gather here in winter when the volcanoes slopes are covered with snow.
Big Island Rentals
December is the ideal time to visit the Big Island, most resorts and hotels are on the Kona and Kohala coasts on the islands west side. From Kona, head to Spencer or Kahalu’u beach parks, fine for viewing green sea turtles. Take a drive north to Kohala Coast, on the way see the Kalahuipua’a Fishponds, near the Puako Petroglyphs, venture inland through the Hawaiian cowboy country to Waimea and explore Parker Ranch on horseback.
South of Kona is black-sand beach of Punalu’u, the Captain Cook Monument, and Crater Rim Drive where placing a fresh lei may keep Pele peaceful for another day. Spend a night at the Volcano Inn before heading back to Kona, where you can snorkel or take a submarine excursion.
Pure Kona Coffee
Wake up and smell the Kona coffee, a Hawaiian volcano vacation on the Big Island is a mystical, magical, historical and the ultimate in beautiful destinations, Pele, the hot-tempered goddess is looming in the lava, awaiting your arrival.
Places of Folklore and Legend. Pleasantville, New York: Reader’s Digest, 1997. Print.
Rosendo, Joseph. Where to Go When, the Americas: North, Central, South America & the Caribbean. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2008. Print.