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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
The sweet smell of plumeria floats on gentle trade winds into each guest room at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. When entering the room, you may be surprised that floor-to-ceiling picture windows and a beautiful private lanai (patio) beckon you to step...
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Chain of Craters Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778, USA
There are several hidden treasures among the volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. The one that I found most fascinating was a short (0.7 mile) hike from the Chain of Craters road to the Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs. I was most fascinated that this land...
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Kīlauea Crater, Hawaii 96778, USA
The highlight of Volcanoes National Park is the Kilauea Crater. Nothing beats seeing the glow from the active crater at night—well, maybe the prospect of seeing a new explosive eruption. There are a couple of other lava flow viewing areas in the...
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718, USA
The ire of Mount Kilauea reforges the world before visitors' eyes. Nicknamed "the World's Only Drive-In Volcano," it’s produced serious lava every day since 1983 with no signs of stopping. Pele—the fire goddess who lives here,...
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State Hwy 160, Hōnaunau, HI 96726, USA
Catch a glimpse of what Hawaii looked like before European contact. An unmissable destination for culture buffs, this sacred area stretches along the lava flats of the Big Island's western coast. Behind a massive wall stands an ancient pu'uhonua...
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Cane Haul Road is not your Kohala Coast Drive, which can be raw, craggy, and exotic. This road is something we found completely by accident after our visit to Ka'U Coffee Mill, and it winds ribbon-like along the Southeast coast of the island,...
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48-5561A Waipio Valley Rd, Honokaa, HI 96727, USA
There are few places in the islands that offer such complete isolation alongside such crazy surf and wild terrain as Waipi’o Valley on the Big Island. While most tourist make the drive to the lookout, few venture down the narrow, winding (only...
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40 Rainbow Dr, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Just outside of Hilo is one of the Big Island's beautiful waterfalls. Rainbow Falls is a pretty sight, particularly when the sun is shining and its rainbow is shimmering in the mist. The rainbow is out on most days, so chances are that you will...
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‘Akaka Falls, Hawaii 96720, USA
I call this the "postcard shot." Akaka Falls resides in the appropriately named Akaka Falls State Park, which is just a short car ride from the town of Hilo on the Big Island. Park the car for a small fee (based on the number of passengers and...
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68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
It's like sticking your face into an aquarium. Schools of fish undulate around the reef. You can follow a parrot fish as he swims along. And if you're lucky like we were, you will see the oddity of a trumpet fish in his own habitat. This was one...
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Papakolea Point, South Kona, HI 96704, USA
Where else but on the Big Island of Hawaii can you swim in what used to be a volcano cinder cone? The olivine crystal is the remains of a cinder cone which was an extension of Mauna Loa. Visitors desiring to enjoy a great hike will enjoy rolling...
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Ninole Loop Rd, Naalehu, HI 96772, USA
Punaluu Beach attracts visitors and locals to its black sandy volcanic shore. The beach is out of the way (between Volcanoes National Park and South Point), but worth a stop. Punaluu is not overly crowded, but the green sea turtles and uncommon...
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Waimea, HI 96743, USA
Kalahuipua'a Historic Park on the Big Island of Hawaii includes archaeological sites as well as an accessible lava tube. The park is located south of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows. There is public parking across the road from the Mauna...