Aloha Hawaiian Islands
Already as a child I always knew I will visit the Hawaiian Islands one day. Movies told me that everyone there finds happiness. Finally, I got the chance to explore those beautiful small Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
We started & ended our trip in Oahu, which was my favorite Island. Oahu offers a huge range of adventures and a good mix of Nature, the social & marine life.
Our Hostel “the Polynesian Hostel” was in the center of Waikiki, 5 minutes away from the beach. The main beach is such a good spot for surfers and has crystal clear water, even if it is crowded. After just a short walk to the left (away from the city) you reach empty beaches with beautiful coral reefs. Also beautiful beaches and good snorkel spots are in the Northshore, a popular place to camp & worth it to stay for a few days! But my favorite beaches in Oahu were in the west coast! You need a car to reach them, but they are endless white sandy & empty. Also my biggest Child dream came true on this beach. Early in the morning you have the chance to see dolphins on the beach and go out to snorkel with them.! I still can’ believe that I was that lucky. Around 6:30 am we went out the first time, when they quickly passed us. Around 8 o clock, we saw them again & got the chance to swim with those wild dolphins alone for almost an hour! They came so close that you could touch them easily (what I didn’t for sure). This was the most beautiful experience in my life. I still keep dreaming about it.
Beside the beautiful beach life, Hawaii is famous for crazy and stunning hikes! Even if my home country Switzerland offers a lot of beautiful hikes I never liked it. But Hawaii suddenly awaked my passion for hikes! When we arrived in the night on our first day, we started with the craziest hike in Oahu called * stairways to Heaven* for sunset. 4’000 Steps up to the top and an amazing view! Every single Hike offered such a nice outlook, my favorite though was the Pill Box trail in Lanikai, with a view down to the coral reefs and the twin Islands.
Also in Waikiki, is a long shopping streets, where time goes past quickly with plenty of good restaurants and coffee’s (My favorites: Island Vintage Coffe for breakfast & Miko Refreshments for the best, cheapest and most fresh smoothies! Cheesecake factory for Lunch or Dinner, and the Farmer’s Market which is open on Thues & Thursdays for fruits, veggies and local snacks. Definitely try the local food called Poke – fresh raw fish cubes with rice, kind of sushi in a bowl). The Nightlife in Waikiki is dynamic as well, Lulus is popular on Mondays, Mooses on Thursdays and Playbar on Wednesdays & Sundays (where drinks just coast 1 $)
For 2 weeks, we did a Budget Island Hopping to Kauai, Maui & Big Island. As the Accommodation in Hawaii was expensive, we decided to camp for the whole stay. So, either we slept on beaches, in a tent or in our car. Here are my Highlights of each Island.
Kauai Is the oldest Island in Hawaii and also called the garden Island cause of the most vegetation. As it is less touristy, the locals are really friendly and helpful. My Highlight of this Island was the Kalalau Trail. The Hike is 22 Miles long and takes at least 2 days (Arund 15 hours with breaks) The whole trail is on the coast and the vegetation changes all the time, from beaches, rocky ways, to forest and canyons. After 7-8 Hours hike on our first day we finally reached he Kalalau Beach for Sunset, while the full moon raised at the same time. The sand on the beach was warm & soft and the sky clear and full of stars. So we decided to sleep without a tent under the stars! – one of my most magical nights ever.
Maui was the most expensive and touristy Island. That’s why we stayed there just for 3-4 days. The Marine life was amazing, and on the eastcoast of the Island are a lot of turtle spots. On each beach, we got to see some. Sometimes up to 15 turtles on one spot. Also possible is it to Scuba dive with hammerhead sharks – what was an amazing experience as well, on the way out to the reef, we were so lucky and got surprised by dolphins.
A must Do in Maui is the Road to Hana – in condition you have a car. Hana isn’t worth it to go, but the way is the destination, which offers a lot of beautiful attractions like Waterfalls, bamboo forests, the best banana bread and a lot more J
Big Island is the youngest and biggest Island of Hawaii which still grows because of the active volcano. It is one of the only places in the world where you can see the active lava. It takes about 30 minutes by bicycles and another 1-2 hours walk/hike to see them what is totally worth it Also in the North is a small village called Hilo, with a lot of nice caffes and restaurant. Down the westcoast is a place called Waipi o’valley which looks like a fairytale. There are 3 huge waterfalls and a black sand beach surrounded by an amazing and colorful vegetation. A bit further south is a famous but illegal hike, where you reach a waterslide in the forest.
Also popular on this Island is to see Manta rays by night. In Kona they use a underwater lighted raft to attract the plankton which attracts the manta rays J – an amazing experience. We were so lucky and observed about 15 Manta rays having dinner in front of us.