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The 10 best tours on the Big Island
The Big Island of Hawaii is so diverse and offers so much to do. If you’re looking for the best tours on the Big Island, you’re in the right place.
The Big Island is… well, very big! You’ll definitely need a rental car, I recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental. You’ll find the best prices on rental cars in Hawaii. Trust me, you don’t want to wait until you arrive and pay “tourist prices” at the airport.
There are plenty of things to do on the Big Island, and many of them can be done on your own. That said, there are some things that you can’t do on your own, and I recommend a tour for them.
I also know that some travelers prefer tours, so I included a few things that you can do alone or on tour, and I’ll note those below. I have lots of blog posts on the Big Island; you can check them all out here.
The best Big Island Tours
1. Kealakekua Sail and Snorkel
If you only do one thing on this list of the best tours on the Big Island, do this one! Kealakekua Bay is one of my favorite spots on the Big Island.
The snorkeling is fantastic, and you’ll most likely see lots of dolphins too. It’s not easy to access unless you can boat or kayak in, so I recommend a sail and snorkel tour.
Make sure to check out my post about Hawaiian animals if you want to know what other sea life you might find on a snorkeling tour.
2. Waipio Valley Waterfall Adventure
You can drive down to Waipio Valley by yourself, as long as you have a 4-wheel drive. Make sure to check your rental agreement, most rental companies do not allow you to drive into the Valley on your own.
Fortunately, you can also take a tour. As mentioned earlier, I always recommend getting a rental car on the Big Island.
If you have a rental car that allows driving down to Waipio Valley, I would do that rather than doing a tour.
In Waipio Valley, you’ll find stunning waterfalls, a black sand beach, and wild horses. Also, please be respectful of those who call Waipio Valley home.
Don’t forget to check out 20 things to do in Hilo for more things to do on the “Hilo side” of the Big Island.
3. Circle of Fire Volcano and Waterfalls helicopter tour
I recommend taking a helicopter tour, no matter which island you’re visiting. The Big Island is extra special because you can see the volcano from the air. I recommend the Circle of Fire and Waterfalls Volcano tour.
If you’d like to check out my Hawaii helicopter tour review, you can do that too. It’s in Kauai, so no spoilers for the Big Island!
4. Manta Ray Night Snorkel
Another unique-to-the-Big-Island-tour, night snorkeling with manta rays is a must on your Big Island vacation.
Although Kealakekua Bay is my favorite place to snorkel on the Big Island, this tour is also a must-do. I would recommend it even if you’re going to Kealakekua Bay because they are so different.
5. Kohala Canopy Zipline
Fly across the lush forest of the Big Island’s northern Kohala region on a 3-hour zipline adventure near Kapaau. This incredible course features nine thrilling ziplines.
While you’re in North Kohala, make sure to check out Pololu Valley. Unlike Waipio Valley, you can hike in, and there is no road. It’s a short but steep hike.
You can learn more about Pololu Valley in my post 25 things to do in Kona post.
6. Kona Coffee Farm
No visit to the Big Island would be complete without a tour of a Kona coffee farm. Make sure to buy a few bags for friends, or to bring them home for yourself. Or, you can just send them straight to me. 😂
7. Island Breeze Luau
I know that a luau is a Hawaii bucket list item for most visitors. Check out the Island Breeze Luau.
You might also enjoy what is the best luau in Hawaii?
8. Historical Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay
If you love history, take a Historical Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay with Body Glove. This is the same bay that I mentioned for snorkeling, but a completely different cruise. Even if you go twice, you won’t be disappointed.
9. Kayak Kealakekua Bay
If a boat tour isn’t your thing, you can also kayak Kealakekua Bay. I recommend a tour, but you can also rent kayaks on your own and do some exploring.
I’ve seen dolphins in Kealakekua Bay every time I’ve been there, except once. Swimming with dolphins in the wild is such a unique experience. Just makes to keep a distance and do not touch the dolphins.
10. Atlantis Kona Submarine Adventure
The Atlantis Kona Submarine Adventure is a popular tour for cruise guests on the Pride of America.
The Submarine tour leaves from the dock in Kona, so it’s within walking distance if you’re cruising. Even if you aren’t cruising, this is a unique way to see underwater if you aren’t into snorkeling or scuba.
A submarine cruise is a great way for non-swimmers or young children to enjoy the sea life on the Big Island.
The 10 best tours on the Big Island
I hope that this list of the best tours on the Big Island will help you figure out what to do on the Big Island.
I also have a free 7-day Big Island itinerary or a 4-day Big Island itinerary if you aren’t sure where to start.
Want more Big Island vacation tips?
If you want even more Big Island vacation tips, check out some of my other Big Island blog posts:
- The Best Luxury Resorts on the Big Island
- How to plan a Big Island Vacation
- 15 free things to do on the Big Island
- Where to find sea turtles on the Big Island of Hawaii
- Best Happy Hours in Kona
- 7 Best Big Island resorts
- The 7 Best Things to do on the Big Island
- Best Hawaii island for honeymoons
- 100 things to do in Hawaii
Book your Big Island vacation with a Hawaii Travel Specialist
Although I am a Hawaii Travel Agent, I am only taking on a few clients per month in 2021. Make sure to contact me for availability. I have spent more time on the Big Island than any other island and it’s one of my favorite places in the world.
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