We just have a short time on the BI - 6 nights/7days.
We'll be east side in Volcano for 2 nights exploring VNP then heading across to stay at Mauna Lani Terrace.
We're not going to book much in while we're on the West Coast as I hear there is great snorkeling right near our condo but wanted a bit of advice regarding the following places/activities:
- Stargazing at Mauna Kea - we'd rather not book the summit tour as we don't want to be locked into a particular date. So I wanted to know what the stargazing is like from the visitors centre? I have read they have telescopes set up for public use? Is there a big difference in the views/visibility from visitors centre vs summit?
- Are there any good sunset sails in or around the Mauna Lani? Or even down by Kailua-Kona?
- What are people's views on the night snorkel with the manta rays? Is it a must do? When we were in Thailand we did a night snorkel with the phosphorous plankton and it was one of the best things I've ever done - so I think I would enjoy this? Which tour provider would people recommend?
We'll probably do one or the other between the sunset sail and the manta ray snorkel but the hubby is a big star gazer so I think Mauna Kea is a must.
Last but not least, we are planning on self catering for the majority of our stay on the BI so I'm wondering where people would suggest doing a big grocery shop?
We'll be in Hilo and Volcano for the farmers markets so can pick up some fresh produce there but thinking more along the lines of drinks, snacks, water etc... Also wondering of you can pick up coolers with ice at the supermarkets so we could keep things fresh if we had a bit if a drive with food in the car?
Thanks for your help and advice!