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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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Night Manta Ray Adventure on the Big Island, Hawaii
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Night Manta Ray Adventure on the Big Island, Hawaii

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2171
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
$85.00
From
$85.00

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

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2687
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
$220.32
From
$220.32

Big Island Zipline Over KoleKole Falls

Big Island Zipline Over KoleKole Falls

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442
The city of Hilo is surrounded by some of Hawaii’s most scenic wonders, on this 7-line Hilo ziplining tour you'll start off small and gradually increase in length and height per Zipline, you can literally soar past thundering falls as you zip through lush greenery. Learn about traditional Hawaiian agriculture, 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. Important tip, for this experience travelers must be between 80lbs-260lbs
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$198.50
From
$198.50

Atlantis Submarine Kona - Hawaii Island

Atlantis Submarine Kona - Hawaii Island

star-4.5
284
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
$164.39
From
$164.39

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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638
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
$249.10
From
$249.10

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

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225
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
$209.00
From
$209.00

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

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855
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
$267.02
From
$267.02

Big Island Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure
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Big Island Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

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434
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
$225.13
From
$225.13

Maunakea Stellar Explorer HILO

Maunakea Stellar Explorer HILO

star-4.5
56
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

Doors-Off Helicopter Lava & Rainforests Adventure from Hilo

Doors-Off Helicopter Lava & Rainforests Adventure from Hilo

star-4
136
Get views of the Big Island's volcanoes and waterfalls from the air on this helicopter flight from Hilo. Fly over the rain forest, lava flows, craters, and the Wailuku River. Upgrade to guarantee a window seat for the best views. Multiple departure times are available to suit your schedule.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$494.28
From
$494.28

Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast
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Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast

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45
Explore the underwater world off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island on this snorkeling cruise adventure. Set sail on a comfortable catamaran and enjoy beautiful coastal views along the day. After learning about the marine life and how to use the snorkel equipment, follow along on a guided snorkeling tour or explore on your own with a buddy. Back onboard, enjoy lunch, snacks and drinks before heading back to shore.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$159.00
From
$159.00

Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo
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Evening Volcano Explorer from Hilo

star-4.5
57
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. 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

Guided E-Bike Tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park & Lava Viewing Area

Guided E-Bike Tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park & Lava Viewing Area

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95
On this 2-wheeled, adventurous Kilauea tour, explore Hawaii’s active volcano from the comfortable seat of a bike, where you ride through multiple microclimates and past rugged volcanic terrain. This Hawaii bike tour is one of the best ways to explore Kilauea volcano, where every bend in the road reveals a new volcanic wonder, from steaming craters to lava fields to cliffs dropping off toward the sea. Even better, the tour includes visits to the steam vents and Thurston Lava Tube.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$229.00
From
$229.00