Big Island Flow chronicles the adventures of the Big Island of Hawaii.

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Big Island’s Fire Goddess, Madame Pele

Every year thousands of tourists visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The National Park is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes. You must be flexible with your travel plans because the volcano is lively, spontaneous. The erratic nature of this national park makes is even more exciting to visit. Yes, Volcanoes National Park is a great destination to explore but it also holds spiritual importance. It is home to the fire goddess, Madame Pele. Legend has it she lives on the big island, at Kīlauea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Kohala. In this article, Big Island Flow will discuss the significance of Pele to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Hawaiian people.

A Brief Synopsis of Madame Pele

Learning a bit about Hawaiian mythology is an important task before visiting Volcanoes National Park. For many locals, Madame Pele is more than just myth – she is a faith – she is a deity. According to ancient Hawaiian mythology, the Hawaiian Islands were formed by the fire goddess, Madame Pele. Legend claims Madame Pele still lives in Halemaʻumaʻu crater Kīlauea. There are multiple legends of how and why Pele came to Hawaii. Some say she was born here. Others claim she wanted to travel; there’s even rumor her older sister persuaded her to come to Hawaii after seducing her husband. One thing is clear, Madame Pele represents passion, power, jealously, and change.  As a result, she’s an important symbol to Hawaii and ought to be respected.

Respecting Madame Pele & Volcanoes National Park

You can respect Madame Pele and her home by leaving no trace. Pick up after yourself. Respect the Big Island Community. Do not bring volcanic rock home. Bringing volcanic rock off the island is terrible luck. Visitors who do so often send their stones back to Volcanoes National Park begging Madame Pele for forgiveness (seriously, do not mess around with Pele’s home). Recognizing the cultural importance of Volcanoes National Park will make you appreciate your journey there even more. Further, you will gain a greater insight of what it means to be Hawaiian.

Next Article about Mauna Kea. >>>>>>>


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Traditional Hawaiian Food

Traditional Hawaiian food is influenced by the Pacific Polynesian Islands, yet still entirely its own. Hawaii’s diverse population has cultivated a number of delicious meals that you must try. Additionally, Hawaii’s warm, tropical climate makes many of these foods lightweight and fruity. This article will share three traditional Hawaiian foods.


Poke echoes the taste of Japanese sashimi except it’s more savory and salty. Rather than slicing the fish thin, Poke is diced in thick bite size cubes. They have a real bite (something sashimi misses). Poke is typically made with ahi (tuna) but other fresh saltwater fish may be used too. You can find poke in countless different tastes – spicy mayo poke – limu poke – and countless others.

Fresh Tropical Fruit

This little list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning tasty tropical fruit native to Hawaii. Fruit is a staple of almost everyone living on the island. Citrus fruit is abundant and free! Mangoes – lilikoi (passion fruit) – lychee – pineapple – Hawaii has it all. It is common for fruit to be served at nearly every meal and sometimes as a meal in itself.


Poi is a staple food in traditional Hawaiian cuisine. This starchy dish is made from taro or corm root that is typically pounded or baked. Poi can be quite bitter especially if its made from taro root. Fresh poi is more sweet and is great by itself but when it becomes sour its typically used as a condiment for salted fish.

In conclusion, Hawaii is a great place to explore unique flavors that you wouldn’t normally encounter on the Mainland. Be sure to check out these dishes at a Farmers’ Market or Luau. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even try to make them yourself. Either way, they are sure to be tasty!


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Top Farmers’ Markets on the Big Island

The Big Island has an island culture that is environmentally conscious, self-reliant, and invested in its community. These values are best displayed in public places like Farmers’ Markets. The Big Island has some of the best farmers’ markets in the United States. These cultural hubs are a meeting place and they help Hawaii’s local economy. Locals  know food from Farmers Markets are typically more fresh and less expensive. This article will highlight three fantastic Farmers Markets on the Big Island.

Kona Sunset Market

If you live or are vacationing near on the Kona side of the Big Island, checkout the Kona Sunset Farmers’ Market. You can sense this market’s party vibe. It is open from 2:00 PM to dark every Wednesday. You can find the market on Kamakahea Avenue you will find locally grown, locally made products. Kona Sunset Market’s top priority is offering social and economic opportunities to locals that will allow for greater self-reliance in the local community.

Hilo Market

Hilo’s Farmers’ Market is a great place to visit if you want reliable, fresh produce every day of the week. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the market has over 200 local crafters and farmers. Every other day of the week there are a little over 30 crafters and farmers. If you live in Hilo this a great, reliable market for almost all of your groceries. You can find this marked in historic downtown Hilo, at the corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha avenue.

Maku’u Farmer’s Market

You can find Maku’u Farmers’ Market on Keaau-Pahoa Road (about 3 miles away from Pahoa).  Maku’u Farmers’ Market a well known Farmers’ Market on the Big Island. This is a fantastic place to listen to live music, indulged in tropical syrup gummi bears, and find fresh produce from all over the island. What visitors like most about this market is its roomy, spacious and it never feels overcrowded. Maku’u Farmer’s Market is the largest market on the island but it never feels overwhelming. It’s a great place to spend Sunday afternoon. Sunday Funday.

In conclusion, Farmers’ Markets are a way to experience local life. Get a taste of where you are. Check-out Farmers’ Markets on the Big Island.

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The Big Island’s Jungle Town — Hilo

A Small Jungle and Coastal Town

On the Big Island, tourists are usually most familiar with the resort town Kailua-Kona. Kailua-Kona welcomes guests yearly to its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. There is plenty to like about Kailua-Kona but the Big Island has other fantastic coastal towns that are often overlooked. One small beach town that is often under represented is Hilo, Hawaii. Hilo is located on the wetter, northeastern coast of Hawaii (it’s in the jungle). Hilo is known for its rural community.  Located approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from Kailua-Kona and approximately 45 minutes from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hilo is a great launching point to see other areas of Hawaii. The small coastal town Hilo is gifted with dramatic waterfalls, endless gardens, and fertile rain forests.

A Brief History

Like many Hawaiian towns, Hilo is rooted in a Polynesian ancestry. The earliest citizens arrived in 1100 AD. Hilo’s artifacts from this time are scarce but its oral history is rich and survives today. Hilo is known for its production of sugarcane beginning in the 1800’s. The production of sugarcane allowed the town to develop and eventual become the most populated community on the Big Island. The small coastal town has miraculously survived a number of natural disasters. Today, the town is a colorful community shaded by Hawaii’s plentiful jungle with a rich history and plenty to do.

More to Hilo

Visitors can embark on numerous journeys in the Hilo area.  Visit Rainbow Falls for spectacular views and a location that is easy to reach.  Alaska Falls State Park is another great location you can explore. You can Zipline over the falls and Hilo’s magnificent jungle, an experience you will not soon forget. Let your jaw drop. Further, there are paved trails for easy accesses and navigation. For a sleepy, dreamy night visit Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is a mystical place for stargazing and making a wish. Also, Hilo is known for its blossoming botanical gardens. Do not end your trip without visiting  Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and Hilo’s Japaneses Garden. These are both lovely gardens to enjoy a sunny afternoon.

A Unique Experience

In sum, Hilo is a popular destination for people who are looking to have an nontraditional experience on the Big Island. If this is your second or third tip to the Big Island, visit Hilo for a different experience. Even if this is your first trip to the Island, Hilo is worth a visit for a more diverse, interesting holiday. Expand your horizons in Hilo. Gain a real taste of local life on the Big Island from this small coastal town. Get into the Big Island flow.

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Playing in Paradise — Great Bars in Honolulu

Night Life in Honolulu

Nick named, The Gathering Place, Oahu is known as the most populated, most urban Hawaiian Islands. While it is still possible to find rural communities on Oahu most people visit Oahu for work or urban play. If you enjoy a fast paced city scene in paradise, Honolulu is for you. Honolulu has some of the best bars in all of Hawaii making it a great place for fun and games. This article will highlight three of the best bars in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bar 35

For an easy night that doesn’t forego taste, checkout Bar 35. This bar is dedicated to all things beer providing over 150 brews from more than 20 different countries. There is a brew for everyone at Bar 35. If you still can’t find a beer to match your taste buds try one of their fantastic cocktails. Live music and DJs keep this Bar upbeat and energetic. This is a great place to party.

Amuse Wine Bar

Keep it classy at Amuse Wine Bar. This is perfect spot for young professionals that want a relaxed spot, enjoy live music while nibbling on cheese. Relish in a wide wine selection of wine and cocktails galore.  Amuse Wine Bar has 80 different types of wines and provides an atmosphere that won’t let you down.

Surfer, The Bar

For an experience that has it all (bar, club, and restaurant) – Check out: Surfer, The Bar. Surfer, The bar is a great place to spend your Saturday night if you have a large group of people and you’re not sure who to cater to.  There are endless events at Surfer, the Bar, from karaoke on Sunday nights to live music. Surfer, The Bar is a place everyone can appreciate.

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Exploring the Wild West of Maui — Makawao

Maui has become one of the most tourist dense islands of Hawaii. Maui has many resorts, as a result there are countless activities and locations on the Valley Isle. But some visitors want to stay rural.  Luckily, there are still a number of locations that are dedicated to agriculture and local life, like Makawao — Explore the Wild West of Maui.

Discovering “Upcountry”

Makwawao, Hawaii is located on the rural northwest slope of Haleakala, consequently the community is known for be the hub of “upcountry”. Rolling hills and misty mountains unfold effortless in Makwawao. The fertile forest floor makes Makwawao home to numerous ranches and botanical gardens.  Makawao is known for it’s young, remote, artistic community. If you choose to make a visit you will find it’s well secluded from bumbling, buzzing Kahului.

Not a Place of Luxury but of Growth

There are countless ways to explore Maui but you may find that you prefer a more secluded life style. Makwawao is a great location if you are looking to make an extended trip (a month or longer). Consequently, this is a place where you can unplug, get back to life’s basics. Learn to grow your own food and provide for yourself, but understand these experiences do not come in a vacation package. This community, will expose you to alternative living, self suitability. Hiking is endless in this area of Maui.  Before beginning your journey to Makwawao ensure if this is the type of trip you’re looking for because it is not for all visitors. This is not a destination for a luxury vacation.  This is not a resort town.

For travelers who are looking to learn, experience local life – Makwawao is a great spot.  Explore the center Maui’s wild west, explore Makwawao. You will find more than meets the eye.

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Exploring Magical Mauna Kea

According to ancient Hawaiian mythology, the peaks of each Hawaiian island are sacred. Many people believe this to be true. This is one reason (among others) that Hawaiian culture harnesses a great respect for planet earth and environmental sustainability – it’s a product of spirituality.  The summit, Mauna Kea, is one of Hawaii’s sacred peaks. So, if you visit Mauna Kea, treat the peak with the same environmental respect and care as the locals.


Spiritual and Scientific Significance

Standing 13,802 ft (4,207 m) above sea level, Mauna Kea is an ancient relic of Hawaii’s earliest landscape. This dormant volcano is estimated to be about a million years old, as a result it has been thousands of years since the volcano was active. Furthermore, Mauna Kea’s age makes its terrain more rugged than it’s neighboring volcanoes. You can sense the peak’s timeless stance; the volcano communicates wisdom and ancient truth. Mauna Kea is spiritually important and it is also used to look to the heavens. The peak’s dry environment and high elevation makes it an excellent site for cosmological discovery. The summit has thirteen telescopes and numerous observatories that eleven countries are invested in.

Visiting Mauna Kea

A 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended if you want to explore this summit. Also, forewarning, many rental companies do not allow their vehicles on the volcano, so  if an accident happens, you are responsible. Also, you are not allowed to camp on the summit but visitors can hike to the top of Pu’u Kalepeamoa. At night, many visitors flock to the summit for dreamy stargazing. Although, because of oxygen levels, visitors will be able to see the stars best from the Mauna Kea Visitor Center.

Mauna Kea Heavens Timelapse from Sean Goebel on Vimeo.

In conclusion, Mauna Kea is an excellent attraction for travelers that want to keep their Hawaiian experience rooted in nature. To understand Hawaiian culture, it’s imperative to understand Hawaiian land.  Mauna Kea is an excellent place to start begin your lesson.

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Visit the Southernmost Point of the U.S.

Take it Chill or Live on the Edge Venture to the southernmost point of the Big Island and of the United States – Head to Ka Lae. Ka Lae is a National Historic Landmark, registered under the name South Point Complex. South Point is a brilliant spot to checkout incredible views of the great pacific. […]

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The Most Dangerous Hike in Hawaii

The Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau Trail has earned a reputation as the most dangerous hike in Hawaii and one of the most menacing hikes on the planet; it is also one of the most stunning.  In the past several years there have been numerous accounts of hikers becoming stuck and even killed on the trail. Before anyone embarks on the Kalalau Trail they should be well aware of potentially dangerous obstacles and follow the rules defined by the State of Hawaii.

An Overview

The Kalalau trail provides the only land access to the outer most part of the Na Pali Coast, offering other worldly views that are truly awe-inspiring, but only to the hikers that can brave this rigorous trek. Kauai is one of the slipperiest, wettest places in the United States. When this rainy climate meets towering sea cliffs, rocky paths, falling rocks it makes for an eventful adventure. This is a hike for experienced hikers that know when to turn back. At times, the trail must close unexpectedly because it’s simply too dangerous for visitors. The hike’s numerous valleys flash flooding is common, is especially in Box Canyon. The Kalalau trail is approximately 22 miles, most hikers need at least two days to complete the hike in-and-out. Camping is only allowed in Hanakoa Valley and Kalalau Beach, permits are mandatory.

The Kalalau Trail is certainly not a hike for the weak of heart or timid but if you are an experienced hiker you should be able to complete it. Prepare in advance. Remember that there is no fresh drinking water on the trail; you must pack-out all of your belongings; and do not hike without a permit. It is also wise to bring proper hiking equipment, including trekking poles. If you prepare in advanced you should have an experience that is unfathomable for words.  Listen to your gut.  Look well to each step. Happy hiking.

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The Wettest Mountain on Planet Earth

Kauai is a small, rainy island resting at the top of Hawaii’s island chain. It is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands and it is known for dramatic landscapes, gorgeous plant life, and oxygen-rich air. Kauai’s age has allowed the landmass time to form stunning mountains, making it a great place for climbing, mountaineering, and hiking. This article will specifically highlight Mount Waialeale.

An Ecological Paradise

Mount Waialeale is the second highest mountain on Kauai.  In the Hawaiian language, Waialeale translates to “overflowing water” or “rippling water”. This peak is a great place for a number of adventurous activities but visitors should approach the landmass with caution; it is one of the rainiest summits on earth. Mount Waialeale is home to a number of rare plants, making it a dream destination for botanists and ecologists.

Wettest Mountain on Earth

The summit has a number of trails but they are often difficult to find and even more challenging to hike in wet weather (which is constant). Luckily, travelers can still visit one of the wettest places on Earth with the help of a guided tour or an adventure in a 4-wheel drive off-road vehicle. Typically, this mountain requires a mixture of hiking and driving along with an adventurous, flexible spirit. Before embarking on your trek be sure that you are prepared and willing to adapt to your surroundings. There are number of different guided hikes available to beginners and expert hikers. Still, it is highly encouraged that visitors (regardless of their skill level) tackle this mountain with someone familiar with the terrain.

Ambitious Topography

Mount Waialeale attracts visitors to its tropical, rainy climate and ambitious topography. While reaching the top of Mount Waialeale is a bold challenge and sometimes simply, impossible, the hike is intriguing.  Mount Waialeale is absolutely worth a visit.

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