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Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

Charlotte, North...
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Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

After a very long trip we arrived on the Big Island yesterday afternoon. While I know that our plans may change along the way, I am a planner so I wanted to see if the itinerary I have tentatively put together makes sense. I know this is just going to be a small portion of what is available on the island but we are only here for 6 days so I did my best. :)

We are staying at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott which has ended up being very nice.

Friday, April 12

- Hapuna beach late morning/early afternoon

- Lunch in Kona, farmers market, pick up a few things at Costco/Walmart

- Late dinner at Merriman's Waimea

Saturday April 13th –

- Makalawena Beach (highly recommended by a friend)

- Early dinner near Marriott

- Mauna Kea Visitor Center

Sunday April 14th –

- Captain Cook/Place of Refuge

- Manta Ray Twilight Snorkle with Big Island Divers

Monday April 15th –

- Green Sand Beach or Black Sand Beach

- Late dinner at Ulu or Beech Tree

Tuesday April 16th –

- Waipio Valley Overlook or hike

- Drive to Volcano area and check into Hale Ohia Cottages

- 4:00 Meet at Kalapana Cultural Tours Headquarters for Volcano lava tour

Wednesday April 17th –

- Breakfast at B&B

- Hike Kilauea Iki (approximately 4 hours)?

- Late lunch in Hilo

- Flight to Maui approx 5:30 pm

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1. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

I would not be making the drive back from Mauna Kea Visitor center to Waikoloa in the dark. Certainly NOT Saddle Road. Too dangerous.

Do MKVC when you are staying in Volcano.

Big Island, Hawaii
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2. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

Pareo.....what? You need to get back to Hawaii soon, you've forgotten your geography! :-) The drive to and from the MKVC is much shorter and safer from Waikoloa Beach than Volcano. The Hilo side of the Saddle is the most treacherous due to weather. And there's no other route from the MKVC other than Saddle Road.

Friday, April 12:

This is a lot of back and forth. You're already doing your day, so it may be too late, but I would just stay up north and skip going to Kona.

SAturday April 13th –

"- Makalawena Beach (highly recommended by a friend)"

You're not going to any of the good snorkel spots. Since you just got that nice new camera, what's up with that? I'd skip Makalawena (you'll have to hike in if you do it, no driving down, and don't leave anything in the car!) and spend the day at the Mauna Lani snorkeling and seeing the fishponds.

Sunday April 14th :

"- Captain Cook/Place of Refuge"

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau, please. And you should snorkel in the adjacent Honaunau Bay, but there are both south and WNW swells moving in this day, so ocean conditions may be a factor.

Monday April 15th :

No, you do not want to drive to Punaluu or hike to Papakolea from a hotel in Waikoloa. Way out of the way. Go visit the Mookini and Puukohola heiaus up north and hike into Pololu Valley, or go spend the day at Kukio/Kikaua Point for lots of turtles and peace.

Tuesday April 16th :

I wouldn't try to hike into Waipio with a deadline to meet in Kalapana. Plus you'll be following one tough hike with another. Overkill. I'd limit yourself to the overlook, and also stop at Akaka Falls and the botanical gardens if you have time. You'll need to allow plenty of time here because it's about three hours to Volcano with no stops, then another hour back to Kalapana.

Wednesday April 17th –

Kilauea Iki hike only takes about two hours. I would also do the Pu'u Loa petroglyph trail if you have time.

Edited: 3:03 pm, April 12, 2013
Canby, Oregon
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3. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

I would recommend changes in your first day plan. You now plan to go to Hapuna Beach-great choice, then drive back to Kona for the Farmers Market and Costco/Walmart, then drive to Waimea for dinner.

That's alot of backtracking.

I would go to Hapuna-then after a nice day there, up to Waimea for dinner. You could go back to Waikola to change. that will save you at least 1 1/2 hrs. Then on the next day go to Kona, Makalawena Beach, dinner and as Pareo says go to Mauna Kea from Hilo.

I'm getting quite wordy here, but I would go to Waipio on Monday, then on Tuesday go to Green Sand Beach, which you should plan 3-4 hours for and/or Black Sand Beach which is a couple of minutes off the highway.

Hope this helps

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4. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

Your day plans for today are probably underway....but they seem a little zigzag to me....especially if you are getting a late start visiting Hapuna.Perhaps you aren't planning on spending any significant time there?

Lots of back and forth on the Hwy?

As to tomorrow... From a visitors perspective,.beaches are best visited during the weekdays.....Local families come out in huge numbers on the weekend.

I would pass on Papakolea( Green sand beach).Punalu'u or "Black sand beach " is a brief stop when on the east side or transitioning via the southern route.

Mauna Kea VIS is best visited from the west side.

If Ulu is the plan for Monday...I would have a reservation in place.

Safe Travels

Charlotte, North...
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5. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

OK, OK. So I am somewhat jet lagged in combination with excited and trying to cram a ton of stuff into our trip. SheaG, I can almost feel you slapping my hand right now. :)

We will skip Kona today. My main reason for going was to pick up some things that I forgot and knew I could easily get at the bigger retailers. But nothing major so it can wait.

I will modify the plan today to stay at Hapuna Beach. Could we also fit snorkeling at Puako in as well since it is pretty close?

Then we will decide tonight if we would rather do Mauna Lani and fishponds OR Pu'uhonua O Honaunau tomorrow based on conditions. That will leave Sunday morning/early afternoon open for something else.

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6. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

If you do go to Makalawena, you should avoid the weekend, as locals arenʻt too keen on tourists going to these beaches. As has been said, cut out all the running south then north then back again. Itʻs not productive.

Omit Papakolea and sub with one of the great west side beaches that you are missing, one where you can get in the water.

As was said, donʻt tire yourself out before the lava hike. Youʻre going to need all your energy for it.

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7. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

I would go to Waialea instead of Puako. Nice beach and the snorkeling is just as good and a lot easier. right next to Hapuna. Not sure how visibility will be, but probably pretty good, I swam up there Wednesday and it was quite clear, and it's been pretty calm since then.

There's a large, well stocked grocery just up the hill in Waikoloa Beach and a huge Foodland in Waimea, where you'll be for dinner.

Edited: 3:47 pm, April 12, 2013
Canada
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8. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

Just to clarify the well stocked market referenced "up the hill" is in Waikoloa Village.

ktasuperstores.com/waikoloa-village-market.a…

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

Oops sorry, I meant to type Waikoloa Village!

ON, Canada
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10. Re: Itinerary Advice - on Big Island now

We did the drive from S. Kohala to Volcano last week and I would only plan on stopping at the lookout at Waipio (not hiking down to the valley) if you're going to check into your accommodations in Volcano and then drive to Kalapana for 4 p.m.

From Waikoloa resort it's going to be a 3 hour drive to your accommodations. Once you check into your cottage, you'll have another hour plus drive to get to Kalapana - then back again after your hike. (We did the hike as well, but not on our arrival day in Volcano.) I would try to get away from Waikoloa by 9 a.m. or shortly after & you'll want to be back on the road to Kalapana by about 2:30. You could save quite a bit of driving and backtracking if you checked into your cottage after your hike, but that means leaving valuables in your car while hiking, and we didn't have a secure spot to leave our car during the hike (not sure where KCT meets - we went with Volcano Discovery.)

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