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Activities: Eco-tourism

With eleven of the world's thirteen climates, and one of the most diverse areas on the planet, the Big Island offers tremendous opportunities to get back to nature. Habitats range from rainforests and beaches to desert and active volcanoes. Whether you are seeking rare birds or plants, a trip to the top of the world, or a look at volcanic lava, we have it here.


Kailua-Kona Hawaii Sunsets   Volcanoes, Snow & Sunsets

Perhaps the most dramatic and moving experience is a visit to the top of dormant volcano Mauna Kea. See international observatories against a background of fresh white snow, yes it even snows on the Big Island! Relax with a spectacular sunset before viewing the sky as you have never seen it before. A few interesting facts about Mauna Kea:

  • Mauna Kea is taller than Mount Everest
  • The volcano is more than 1 million years old.
  • In Hawaii peaks are sacred and Mauna Kea is the most sacred of all. An ancient law allowed only high-ranking tribal chiefs to visit its peak.
  • It is home to a very rare flower that blooms as infrequently as once every hundred years.
  • It's very cold at the peak – be sure to pack warm clothing.
  • It might take you two hours to reach the observatory. Be sure to check with your concierge for the map. If you arrive before sunset you will be there for the stargazing tour where they set up multiple telescopes for you to view the galaxy and stars.

At night, walk out on crusted lava fields to see Madam Pele creating new land with flowing lava. We actually have a "walk-up volcano" in our back yard!


Kailua-Kona Helicopter Tours   Helicopter Tours

One of the best ways to see Kona is from a helicopter. We recommend Sunshine Helicopters who has been providing quality helicopter tours since 1985 with a perfect safety record! They provide you with a safe, smooth, and comfortable Big Island helicopter tour ride. Choose from various length tours ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

We have taken this tour ourselves and recommend you take the 2 hour tour. You've flown all this way to Hawaii and the only way to see the Big Island is from a helicopter. Since Kona has 11 of the 13 world climates, you will get the best views from the sky. You also will be able to see valleys and waterfalls that are only accessible by air.


Kailua-Kona Hawaii Swim with Dolphins   Swim with Dolphins & Night Snorkeling

Swim with dolphins, snorkel at night with Manta Rays, and watch whales breaching the surface.

Sea Hawaii Rafting: Join Sea Hawaii Rafting as they go on search of the giant Kona Manta Rays. Board a Zodiac and head to an area that is the number one spot for manta rays in all of Hawaii.

Their crew will accompany you so that you can experience the dance of these majestic creatures up close. At times they are less than a foot away from your mask. Our concierge has a close relationship with the guides and can make the appointments for you. If there is one thing you do, you must swim and snorkel with the Manta Rays.


Kailua-Kona Hawaii ATV   Zip Lines, ATVs & Kayaks

Ride an ATV from ranch land to waterfalls or soak up dramatic views with eco-friendly guides on one of the 8 zip-line runs. Hike or bike the famous Waipio Valley and Kayak to the remote Captain Cook Monument.

A note about Waipio Valley: Also referred to as the Valley of the Kings, it was once a retreat of Hawaiian Royalty. It is a very sacred site and you can feel the energy of ancestors past. It is protected to keep it pristine and vehicles are prohibited. Be sure to bring very good walking shoes, a hat, water and snacks for your hike into the valley.

The Big Island is truly a haven for the environmentally conscious tourist considering a trip to Hawaii.