Why The Big Island of Hawai’i is The Adventure Capital of the World

Yes, you read that title correctly. The adventure capital of the world is located in the United States, in the state of Hawai’i and it has gone under the radar for many years. Get ready and I will state my case as to why the island of Hawai’i is the greatest place on earth for adventure!

Let’s just start by stating some of the facts that set this island apart from other places. Kīlauea is the most active volcano in the world.  In the Hawaiian language it means “spewing” or “much spreading,” in reference to lava flows. Mauna Kea is over 33,000 ft tall, making it the world’s tallest mountain from base to summit, beating out even Mount Everest. The Big Island is home to 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones. There are as many different climate zones on the island of Hawaii as exist along the entire coast stretching from Alaska to Costa Rica. The largest subaerial volcano in both mass and volume, Mauna Loa has historically been considered the largest active volcano on Earth.

Credit: Vadim Kurland

Snow Capped Mauna Kea – Credit: Vadim Kurland

Some interesting tidbits to consider. Kealakekua Bay home to Captain Cook Monument, where the great navigator Captain James Cook’s remains are buried, is considered by many to be the best snorkeling in the entire world! The big island is the third largest island in Polynesia behind only the two main islands of New Zealand. The Hamakua Coast has some of the purest fresh air in the world. In Hawaiian language the name Hamakua means as I’ve learned it, God’s Breath/Breath of Spirit.

Kealekakua Bay

Kealekakua Bay with Captain Cook Monument in foreground.

Now for the fun stuff lets talk adventure. Where to begin? Want to see new land being created? Check out Volcano National Park and watch as lava pours into the ocean.

August 2016 lava flow. Photo Credit: Epic Lava - John Tarson

August 2016 lava flow. Photo Credit: Epic Lava – John Tarson

Diving and snorkeling with marine life on the big island is spectacular, from the wild dolphin encounters, to manta ray dive, tropical fish all over the reefs and deep water diving. Excellent diving in warm clear water.


Manta Ray encounter.

In the winter months Kona and Hilo get big wave days weekly, where the big island becomes a surfer and body boarders paradise. When the big swells come, don’t be surprised if people skip work to get in the water!

BIF Waves

Big Waves in Kona.

The Valley of the Kings includes Pololu Valley, Waipio Valley, and Waimanu Valley. If you love to hike you will want to check out this world class hike through the valleys.

Waterfalls in Waipio

Waterfalls in back of Waipio Valley.

The Southern most point in the United States is known for it’s deep sea fishing, cliff dives and one of the world’s only green sand beaches.

Gorgeous silky white sand beaches with crystal clear water that you can hike to and discover all over the Kona coastline. Beaches like Makalawena, Hapuna, Kua Bay, Mauna Kea Beach.

Sandy Beach

Beach 69

When it comes to waterfalls, rainforest and jungles, the big island has you covered, check out Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls and so much more.

Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls

Star Gazing on the summit of Mauna Kea, is so incredible, world governments spend millions of dollars to build telescopes on the summit. Let’s not forget about the sunsets and sunrises from the summit.

If you enjoy foraging and finding your own food, then the big island has that too. Whether its foraging the rainforests in Kohala, Hilo, Hamakua or Puna, wild fruit such as coconuts, guava, papaya, mango, avocado is in abundance.

Kekaha Kai State Park

Deep sea fishing on the Big Island is world famous for pelagic fish like marlin and tuna. With blue water very close to the coast and with the Pacific off the west side of the island typically very calm, the area can be an anglers’ dream.

Blue Marlin weighing in over 300 lbs.

Blue Marlin weighing in over 300 lbs.

During the winter months of November to March, humpback whales migrate from Alaska to give birth to their calfs. Encounters with beautiful whales on all parts of the island are common.

Whale off Kona coast.

Whale off Kona coast.