The Big Island is where you say aloha to the highest sea cliffs on earth, otherworldly sunsets and stargazing above mesmerising volcanoes - just to name a few selling points. Combing a Hawaii holiday with one of the USA's southern cities can also seal the deal. Imagine taking in these beautiful tropical landscapes before basking in the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
Yet whatever way you choose to see the land of Hula, be sure to have your camera poised for these stunning natural wonders…
Seven Sacred Pools, Maui
The Pools of ‘O’heo, often referred to as the Seven Sacred Pools, have Hawaii beauty written all over them. Made up of pools, bamboo forest, and waterfalls, it is the perfect nature retreat. To avoid the crowds at this extremely popular haunt, it’s advised to get there before noon. This scenic spot is part of the Haleakala National Park which boasts plenty more natural wonders, such as a Mars-like desert and a dormant volcano.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island
Home to two active volcanoes, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is something to behold - more like walking on the surface of a moon than being in a national park. Located on Hawaii’s largest island, it allows visitors to venture through lava tubes and hike across a lava field. Plus, holiday photos don’t come much more impressive than the world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa. And if you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear night, a sky full of stars is sure to add to the glory.
Akaka Falls, Hawaii Island
Hawaii’s most stunning natural wonders wouldn’t be complete without an epic waterfall. And Akaka Falls most definitely fits the bill. This 442-foot cascading beauty can be reached in around a half-mile hike through the thick luxurious rainforest. Take in the sights of wild orchids, bamboo groves, draping ferns, and even Kahuna Falls. This 100-foot waterfall is just a little teaser of the splendour to come.
Kehena Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island
Although black sand may not be the typical brochure image of a Hawaii beach, there is something truly magical about the vibrant contrast of colours here. With the charcoal-like sand enclosed between lush greenery and dazzling blue sea, this hidden gem is a unique sight to behold. Located in the eastern Puna district, this beach is also sometimes referred to as Dolphin Beach, due to Spinner dolphins frequenting the water. However, it is also one of the few ‘clothing optional’ beaches in Hawaii, so you may find a few nude bathers here – just a little something to be aware of.
Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Earning the nickname ‘the Grand Canyon of the Pacific,’ you know you’re in for something spectacular here. Hawaii’s own bucket list spot, Waimea Canyon, is approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep. The Waimea Canyon Drive takes you to some incredible lookout spots for sweeping views of this colour-diverse gorge. Or if you fancy getting those steps in, there are several hikes to take advantage of. And when hunger strikes, you will definitely want to grab one of the picnic tables. After all, it’s not everyday lunchtime comes with a view like this.
Na Pali Coast State Park, Kauai
Situated on Kauai’s northwestern coastline, Na Pali Coast State Park is a stunning natural wonder that keeps on giving. Multi-coloured cliffs tower over majestic valleys while the crisp blue tones of the sea top it all off. This 15-mile coastal stretch is popular with campers, and if you’re feeling up for the adventure, the 11-mile Kalalau Trail leads you on a magical journey through flourishing valleys, waterfalls and sea caves. Although always check before you travel as the trail can sometimes be closed or require a permit.
Lanikai Beach, Oahu
Like something straight from a postcard, Lanikai Beach is soft white sand and crystalline water in all its glory. It's the ideal spot to lounge the day away, plus the superb coral reefs also make it a great choice for snorkelling - so keep your eyes peeled for the sea turtles. And for that perfect picture, be sure to do the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, which leads to stunning panoramic views of the beach below.
Halawa Valley, Molokai
One of Molokai Island’s most historic spots, it’s believed that ancient Polynesians settled in Halawa Valley as early as 650 AD. Now this sacred destination has visitors’ jaws agape as they digest panoramic views of the lush greenery. Two of the main attractions here are the Moaula Falls and the Hipuapua Falls. Although if you want a closer glimpse of these beauties you will need a guide, as the trail passes through private land.
Road to Hana, Maui
Road trips are certainly never boring in the stunning islands of Hawaii. However, one that makes it onto many Aloha State itineraries is Maui’s Road to Hana. Leading you through flowing waterfalls, dense rainforest, and sensational seascapes, there is sheer beauty around every curve (all 620 of them). Stretching from Kahului to the town of Hana, it’s roughly a 64-mile journey. But this is certainly one road trip that’s not just about the destination.
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout, Oahu
For a picture-perfect view, nothing quite beats the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. Coastal cliffs and sea views stretch as far as the eye can see, making it one of the most jaw-dropping spots on the island. And you will find this piece of paradise just a five-mile drive northeast of Downtown Honolulu. As you take in the serene sights of Kaneohe and Kailua, it’s hard to believe that it was actually once the site of one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history.
If you’re ready to experience the beauty of Hawaii, browse our incredible Hawaii Holiday offers - or get in touch with our Travel Specialists today.