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  • Anusha Parthasarathy

A Pedacito Of The Big Island Of Hawaii

Updated: Jun 19, 2022

Hawaii is the world's ideal vibe. And I'm no exception. After my first ever trip there, to Maui, in 2018, I decided that I would try to visit these islands as many times as I possibly can, and I faithfully kept my promise over the next two years.

I've visited two of the four islands so far and love both for various reasons; Maui for the pineapples, sugarcane juice (which reminds me so much of Indian summers as sugarcane juice is a popular street-side drink in the South), and windy roads.

Big Island for the coffee, volcanic beaches, and just the dramatic changes in terrain. But of course, for the sake of this story, let's stick to Kona, the biggest island.

Our trip to Kona in 2019 was an exciting one, and not just because I got to go back to a place I loved, but because of the Airbnb's, we had booked for our 6-day stay. For three days, we would be on the South-Western part of the island, near Captain Cook, where the terrain was dry, and more like a desert.

For the rest of the time, we would stay close to Hilo, near the lush rainforests that dot the islands.

Neither of our accommodations was near tourist hubs, so it goes to say that while we enjoyed both of them immensely, we had to drive quite a distance to get to locations.

We didn't mind, though; the drive was beautiful through and through, and we were all about exploring the entire island in any way possible. The accommodation itself was on top of a hill, with lovely panoramic views of the valley and ocean below.

One of the many beautiful beaches along the coast of Big Island, Hawaii
One of the many beautiful beaches along the coast of Big Island, Hawaii

On the first two days, we explored the popular beaches on the west coast; Hapuna Beach State Park, the area near the Four Seasons Hotel in Hualalai and Mahana Beach, just soaking in the sun and learning more about the history of the island.

On the third day, we drove to Volcano National Park and admired the sheer depth of the landscape. A volcano eruption the previous year had caused a lot of damage to the larger area, and we learned that while some tourist attractions and beaches are now gone, there were newer ones formed by the lava.

A view from Volcano National Park on Big Island
A view from Volcano National Park on Big Island

In fact, there was a completely new beach that was now open to tourists on the island, and we were definitely going to check it out.

The second Airbnb was my favorite; it was a one-of-a-kind studio nestled in a coffee plantation deep in the forests near Hilo. The area was deserted for the most part, and we enjoyed eating fresh star fruit and kiwi and walking around the area.

Just across the road from where we stayed were also a series of mermaid pools by a rocky shore. We spent many an evening splashing in them, met a few locals, and even got invited to a local weekend beach hangout.

The host was also full of helpful tips on where to get the best fruits, find the best views, and more such useful tips. We also took the time to visit the iconic Akaka and Rainbow Falls and were humbled by just how incredibly nature had decided to paint her canvas here. It also definitely gave us Jurassic Park vibes.

On our last day, we drove along the picturesque Red Road (which follows some parts of the east coast) and stopped at the gorgeous and awe-aspiring Waipi'o Valley. The regal cliffs meet a dramatic shoreline in a beautiful, open cove beach where surfers delight in the waves and locals and tourists enjoy the sun and sand.

It was a fitting and beautiful end to an incredibly adventurous trip, and it was almost impossible to leave without your heart tugging at you disappointingly. Who knows. Maybe someday I'll be back again.


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