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How to Spend Spring Break on the Big Island of Hawaii

How to Spend Spring Break on the Big Island of Hawaii

From beaches and volcanoes to waterfalls and wildlife, the Big Island of Hawaii offers plenty of options for families, groups, and solo travelers on spring break. Here are some of the best springtime activities.

Spend Time at the Beach and in the Water

There are more than 80 beaches on the Big Island, including white, black, and even green sand beaches, so spend at least one day on the beach. There are plenty of ways to get on or in the water as well; although surfing is somewhat limited on the Big Island, there’s plenty of marine life. Go swimming with dolphins and turtles; snorkel or scuba dive with manta rays at night; or catch the tail end of whale watching season.

Chase Waterfalls and Hike Lush Valleys

The Hilo side of the Big Island is replete with lush valleys and waterfalls, including Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, go zip-lining over a waterfall. The Big Island is also home to one of the most scenic valleys in all of Hawaii—Waipio Valley, aka Valley of the Kings. Hike or drive down to the valley to see Hi'ilawe Waterfall, one of the tallest in Hawaii.

Go Stargazing

The dormant Mauna Kea volcano towers 13,796 feet (4,138 meters) above sea level and, due to limited pollution, is an ideal stargazing sport. Head to the summit or to the Mauna Kea Visitor Center—located at 9,300 feet (2,790 meters)—to watch a sunset or sunrise, and get the clearest view of the stars.

Get Close to an Active Volcano

The Big Island is home to Kilauea and Mauna, two of the most active volcanoes in the world, and you can find both at Volcanoes National Park. Depending on when you visit, you might see active lava flow or other volcanic activity. You can also take scenic drives and stop at overlooks, or go hiking to discover craters, lava tubes, and ancient petroglyphs.

Experience a Traditional Luau

Experience local culture and cuisine at a traditional luau. In addition to sampling traditional delicacies such as Kalua pig (roasted in an underground oven called an imu ), lomi-lomi salmon, and taro root paste ( poi ), guests are treated to a dazzling performance that includes music, hula, and fire dancing.

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13 Tours and Activities

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Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History
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Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History

star-5
1830
The Big Island of Hawaii has a diverse ecosystem unlike anywhere else on the planet, and on this day-long nature tour, experience the beauty of its black-sand beaches, thundering waterfalls, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. If you’re lucky, find Hawaiian green sea turtles basking on the coast. Since the tour only requires a moderate amount of walking, it's an educational adventure for travelers of all ages, with snacks and refreshments included.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$204.19
From
$204.19

Night Manta Ray Adventure
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Night Manta Ray Adventure

star-5
1420
Have a unique Big Island experience snorkeling with manta rays on this tour. Led by a local guide, you’ll take a short cruise out to the manta site, where you’ll watch the beautiful Hawaiian sunset before dipping into the water to watch the manta rays up close. All necessary equipment will be provided for your excursion, as well as light refreshments and snacks to enjoy on board. Your tour will conclude at its original departure point. If you don't see manta rays on this excursion, book again for another night--no charge.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$70.00
From
$70.00

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
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Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

star-4.5
684
Experience big skies and incredible nighttime views on this Mauna Kea stargazing trip with a small group. Join no more than 28 guests for a warm pre-trip picnic, proceeded by a ride in a 4x4 luxury van to the summit of the Big Island's tallest peak. After admiring a sunset view, continue down to 9,000 feet (2,743 meters) for a stargazing session, complete with a telescope, hot chocolate, and dessert. The trip also includes a guide and a hooded parka to keep you warm.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$246.07
From
$246.07

Small Group Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour
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Small Group Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

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435
Pack in some of Hawaii’s most mesmerizing sights during this Big Island twilight volcano tour. Sample Kona-grown coffee from a local coffee farm, keep an eye out for sea turtles at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, and taste Hawaiian sweet bread at Punalu’u Bakery. Then, explore Volcanoes National Park before ending your experience by stargazing in a secluded location—perfect for taking in views of the night sky.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$225.13
From
$225.13

Atlantis Submarine Kona - Hawaii Island

Atlantis Submarine Kona - Hawaii Island

star-4.5
203
On this exciting Kona submarine tour, dive deep below the cobalt waters just off the Kona coast, where an entire world of fish and marine creatures is waiting just below the surface. As the submarine descends towards the colorful reef, peer through the portholes at fish that swim to within inches of the submarine windows, and experience the sense of peace and calm in this world beneath the waves. This is a great way to explore underwater without even getting your hair wet, and, if you’re very lucky, there’s even the chance you could see a passing shark.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$152.12
From
$152.12

Small Group Waipio Valley and Waterfalls Adventure

Small Group Waipio Valley and Waterfalls Adventure

star-5
375
See three of the Big Island's most famous waterfalls in a single day on this guided tour. Travel along the Hamakua Coast to Akaka Falls, Hi’ilawe Falls, and Rainbow Falls, and swim at a private waterfall. Learn about the history and legends of the island from a guide. Lunch, snacks and hotel transport are included.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$218.85
From
$218.85

Small-Group Big Island Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kona Coffee Farm
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Small-Group Big Island Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kona Coffee Farm

star-5
145
On this tour from Kona to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, experience some of the Big Island’s best sights in a small group capped at 14 people. In addition to stopping at Punalu’u Beach Park to walk down a black-sand beach, you have the chance to sip Kona coffee on the plantation right where it’s grown, as well as hike through a lava tube that was formed by Kilauea volcano. What’s more, receive an iPad to use on the tour. Use it for photos, videos, and info, as well as playing games or watching movies while traveling between the sites.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$186.99
From
$186.99

Big Island Zipline Over KoleKole Falls

Big Island Zipline Over KoleKole Falls

star-5
262
The city of Hilo is surrounded by some of Hawaii’s most scenic wonders, and on this 7-line Hilo ziplining tour, you can literally soar past thundering falls as you zip through a tropical rainforest. Learn about traditional Hawaiian agriculture as you zip by Akaka Falls State Park, and once you’re comfortable sitting in the harness and feeling the exhilarating rush, prepare for the dramatic crossing that’s one of the longest zipines in Hawaii, and feel the rush of wind on your face as the forest opens up beneath you.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$198.50
From
$198.50

Big Island Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

Big Island Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

star-5
326
Fly across the lush forest of the Big Island’s northern Kohala region on a zipline adventure near Kapaau. Trek through the treetops in a canopy park featuring a series of suspension bridges, platforms, and thrilling ziplines. Expert instructors are on-hand to ensure everyone’s safety while cruising across the customizable, whisper-quiet course.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$208.38
From
$208.38

Maunakea Stellar Explorer HILO

Maunakea Stellar Explorer HILO

star-4.5
47
Hawaii’s natural wonders aren’t only on land and in the sea—the Big Island is also a prime spot from which to admire the wonders of the solar system. This tour is the only one that includes both afternoon solar viewing and nighttime stargazing, accompanied by astronomy experts. Visit Rainbow Falls and the Kaumana lava caves, then explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and use a state-of-the-art solar telescope and Dobsonian telescope to spot solar flares, galaxies, star clusters, and planets.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$218.84
From
$218.84

Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo
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Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

star-4.5
49
Explore the fascinating world of active volcanism, biological diversity and past and present Hawaiian culture at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visit Kalapana, a village destroyed by advancing lava, and the black sand beach on the island. Learn about everything from active volcanic craters and steam vents to the historic Jagger Museum. Enjoy dinner at Volcano Winery, featuring a private tour with wine tasting, then watch for current activity at Kilauea Volcano, the most active of the five volcanoes in Hawaii. Hotel pickup and drop-off provide for a seamless experience.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$229.31
From
$229.31

Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphin in Kealakekua Bay Big Island (3.5hr)

Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphin in Kealakekua Bay Big Island (3.5hr)

star-4.5
311
In terms of history, scenery, and marine life, there isn’t anywhere on the Big Island of Hawaii that compares to Kealakekua Bay. This protected cove on the island’s west shore is where Captain Cook met his end, and today a memorial stands at the bay to honor the famous explorer. On this guided Big Island kayaking tour, hear the history of Captain Cook as well as surrounding temples, and, after paddling past rugged sea cliffs and caves, snorkel and swim in the clear waters of this Marine Life Conservation District.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$110.42
From
$110.42

Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast

Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast

star-5
38
Discover the best snorkeling off the Kohala Coast on this 3 hour Big Island snorkel cruise. Aboard a comfortable catamaran, admire Hawaii's postcard-worthy beaches, mountains and shoreline. Then, dive into the pristine Pacific waters for a chance to see beautiful tropical fish, acres of healthy coral reefs and maybe even a green sea turtle!. Marine life briefing, snorkel instruction (both onboard and in the water) and all snorkel gear and flotation devices are included too. Enjoy personalized service from your expert captain and crew and unlimited single-serve beers, wines and soft drinks as well as individually wrapped picnic sandwiches and snacks.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$159.00
From
$159.00