Things to do in Island of Hawaii

Vivid emerald cliffs, active volcanoes, and black-sand beaches make this island a fascinating natural wonder.

Our most recommended things to do in Island of Hawaii

Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

1. Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

Visit the Royal Kona Resort to experience an interactive luau show celebrating the rich cultural history of Hawaii with seating on the glimmering shores of Kailua Bay. Feast on a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet with traditional Hawaiian dishes made with local ingredients. Savor authentic island entrees such as teriyaki beef and freshly-caught fish. Be treated to Big Island flavors with sides like, coconut rolls, sweet potato-macaroni salad, and Waipio Valley Poi. Enjoy stir fry vegetables, kalua-style pork and cabbage. Finish off your culinary experiences with tasty favorites like Hawaiian haupia pudding and coconut cake. Sip Mai Tais, wine, beer, and soft drinks as you embrace the local culture and radiant sunset. Then, as drumbeats build, the sensational Voyagers of the Pacific Luau show unfolds on stage. Be captivated by a dramatic show inspired by Polynesian stories told through live music, song, and dance, culminating in the exciting Samoan fire knife dance finale.

Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

2. Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

Snorkeling with manta rays is a must-do while in Hawaii! Enjoy this amazing opportunity to see manta rays up close. Feed and interact with other ocean creatures on this cruise trip. After a safety briefing, gear up with the snorkeling equipment and wet suits provided. Relax and enjoy the cruise with drinks and snacks on board. Bring your underwater camera for photos and capture memories that will last a lifetime.

Big Island: Kona 2-Hour Small Group Surf Lesson

3. Big Island: Kona 2-Hour Small Group Surf Lesson

There is a saying in Hawaii that "you never forget your first wave," and this surf lesson in Kahaluu Bay brings that saying to life, providing quality surf instruction to people of all ages and skill levels. The 2-hour surf lessons are designed to teach people how to surf safely and effectively from the best surfing and snorkeling beach in Kona, Hawaii. Upon arrival at the surf shop, you will be outfitted with reef booties and rashguards. Then, before entering the water, learn how to paddle and pop up on land, as well as important surfing etiquette and how to wipe out properly. Once you are comfortable, it’s off to the water to practice your skills on the long rolling waves of Kahaluu Bay. Your surf instructor will help you catch the waves, letting you know where you need to be, when to paddle, and when to pop up. They will even give you a little push to ensure that you catch every wave you paddle for. For more advanced surfers, instructors offer advice on how to turn and catch larger waves. Instructors work in small groups, with no more that 3 participants per teacher to ensure maximum attention and a highly personalized experience.

Big Island: Night Swim with Manta Ray with Hot Chocolate

4. Big Island: Night Swim with Manta Ray with Hot Chocolate

Experience a nighttime snorkeling expedition on a cruise from Big Island. Get up close and personal with stunning manta rays as they gracefully soar through the water. Your underwater adventure will take place in clear warm waters near protected reefs abundant with marine life. After the sun sets, head off into the nighttime waters to see a fascinating "manta ray ballet" along the Kona coast near the mouth of Keauhou Bay. This point of departure is one of the island’s most successful and consistent manta ray viewing locations. Your snorkeling guide will outfit you with all the necessary gear needed to embark on your experience including snorkel gear, wetsuits, and flotation devices. After a quick safety briefing, plunge into the dark waters and be captivated by these graceful creatures as they feast on plankton. Grip onto the flotation swim ring with high-illumination blue water lights that attract the plankton on which the mantas feed. Soon afterward, rays will glide through the water almost at arm's length opening their enormous mouths to feast. After your remarkable underwater adventure, return to your boat and warm up with a nighttime snack of hot chocolate and cookies

Mauna Kea: Summit Sunset & Stargazing Trip with Photo

5. Mauna Kea: Summit Sunset & Stargazing Trip with Photo

Get your photos taken by the stars during this sunset and stargazing adventure on the summit of Mauna Kea. Learn about the area from your guide as you sip on hot chocolate and eat snacks. Choose from pickup and drop-off options at several locations.  Delight in the awe-inspiring sunset at the top of Mauna Kea, the highest point in the Pacific. Get cozy with a parka, gloves, and hot drink as you learn historic accounts of Hawaii, the Big Island, from your guide. Stand amidst the world’s largest collection of research telescopes and see two of the eight telescopes which took the first photo of a black hole. Enjoy your very own private star show with a Celestron telescope. Capture your experience forever with photos taken by your guide on a DSLR camera. Get emailed these photos after your experience. After your unforgettable evening with the stars, depart back to your pickup location for drop-off.

Hilo: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Waterfalls Flight

6. Hilo: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Waterfalls Flight

Take a helicopter ride over ever-changing scenery at Volcano National Park with this tour from Hilo. Journey over black sand beaches where lava once flowed into the sea. Take off from Hilo and fly directly to Volcano National Park. See the caldera of the Kilauea volcano. Admire the Pu'uo'o' volcanic cone. Snap pictures of the massive volcanos Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Discover new lava fields that are forming and go over old lava fields. View how waterfalls create a deep blue pools amid jungle greenery.

Kona: Dolphin Watch and Double Snorkel Boat Tour with BBQ

7. Kona: Dolphin Watch and Double Snorkel Boat Tour with BBQ

Discover the beautiful coastline aboard the Kibou zodiac vessel. Search for playful dolphins in the gorgeous blue Hawaiian waters, snorkel with exotic underwater species, and enjoy a hearty Hawaiian-style BBQ lunch. After meeting your crew and boarding the boat, begin by searching for majestic dolphins in the shimmering ocean surrounding Kona. Learn a bit about marine biology, Hawaiian history, and local traditions. Stop in a spectacular bay with a vibrant reef and enjoy plenty of time for snorkeling. Swim with wild turtles and exotic tropical fish as you explore the underwater world. After snorkeling, the crew will bring out the barbecue and cook up a delectable meal. Once finished snorkeling and with lunch, travel to a second snorkel spot to try and see more wildlife and potentially some manta rays, before heading back to the meeting point.

Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

8. Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

Prepare for a thrilling day exploring 3 unique snorkeling locations in South Kona with time to take a break from swimming for lunch with breathtaking views. Begin your snorkeling adventure by heading to the turquoise waters and vibrant reef of the 315-acre marine sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay, with your crew members highlighting interesting sights along the way. Once there, experience a vibrant reef filled with coral and schools of tropical fish. On occasion, even catch glimpses of spinner dolphins swimming nearby. After snorkeling, savor a gourmet deli lunch in the shade of the canopy with the monument to Captain Cook as a backdrop and the cliffs of the bay soaring above you. Next, jet off to a new location with visually spectacular snorkeling opportunities and cultural significance, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, the “Place of Refuge.” Beautiful Honaunau Bay is fronted by large, smooth, and lava rock flats and fascinating gardens of coral.  For your third snorkeling stop, let your expert captain transport you a location that even island locals have yet to see. At this remote location, snorkel at a remote black sand beach, marvel at a stone arch, or maybe admire a spectacular lava rock formation created thousands of years ago. Explore sea caves and lava tubes in a safe, exciting, and maneuverable vessel designed to get you up close and personal with the coast. Rest assured that the local operator is proudly part of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association and seeks to create a culture protecting and promoting healthy oceans through many sustainability efforts.

Big Island: Snorkel with Manta Rays - Manta Guarantee

9. Big Island: Snorkel with Manta Rays - Manta Guarantee

As you arrive at Keauhou Bay you will be fitted for wetsuits and then board a 45 ft spacious sailing trimaran. As the sun sets you will coast to the World Famous Manta Ray Village. A quick boat ride and you will arrive at the site where expert tour guides will provide you with a knowledgeable and professional briefing as they prepare you to enter the water. After the briefing the crew will guide you onto a state of the art manta floatation devise. Here you will float above the manta rays as they dance below you feeding on microscopic plankton. The plankton rises from the bottom of the ocean at night and is attracted to the light source attached to the manta float. As your incredible snorkel experience with these gentle rays comes to an end, your crew will guide you back onboard where snacks and hot cocoa await. Snorkel time is approximately 45 minutes.

Mauna Kea: Stargazing Experience with Free Photos

10. Mauna Kea: Stargazing Experience with Free Photos

Explore a secluded stargazing spot on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Stargazing on this summit has never been allowed for any individual or tour group; all other tours do their stargazing on the side of a busy road near the highway, but this tour allows you access to a remote spot located miles from any highway.  Head to the meeting point and grab a parka jacket. Hear about this unique spot from your guide, as they use a green laser to point out constellations, planets, space objects, and hopefully some fast-moving shooting stars. Your guide will also take some photos of the best objects in the night sky with an astro-modified camera/lens for you to check out later. Next comes everyone's favorite part; have some fun posing for astro-photos with the stars in the background. 2-3 photos taken during the experience will be sent to you after the trip. Look back on these photos, touched up with Lightroom photo-editing at no extra cost.

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What people are saying about Island of Hawaii

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,089 reviews

Simon and his crew were amazing! Was kind of scared to do this, but they were helpful, funny, kind & amazing! They made all my nerves chill & helped me have a blast! 100/100 would recommend! The manta rays were so cool & huge! One touched me on its way under the light! For anyone who thinks they might not like this or are iffy about doing it, do NOT hesitate! This is so far by far, the most amazing activity on our trip! Wish we could do it again during this trip!

We had an amazing time on this trip. Every part of it was really cool. Our guide, Rob, was the best. We learned so much about the island’s history, culture, current issues, and interesting facts. The whole trip was very comfortable with just the right amount of bathroom stops, snacks, water, yummy food. We never felt rushed. And we saw the most epic views of Kīlauea’s bubbling lava with millions of stars and the Milky Way. It was remarkable.

Amazing!!! This was a fabulous experience! The MantaRays were so amazing! They swam right by us, touching us a few times. It really was an incredible experience. Everyone was so professional, kind, knowledgeable and helpful! Wonderful crew!

The staff is over the top Friendly!!!!! They were not only fun but quick to be attentive to anything we needed. A+ rating for me and my husband.

Loved this relaxing dinner cruise! Just a fun way to hear a little island history.