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Overview and Contents

On this trip we visited two of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai and Hawaii. On each island, we stayed 4-5 days in each of two major areas. And for those of you wondering... have you been to Hawaii before? -- we have to confess... this was visit #9 for Sonia and #8 for Michael. Obviously, the flight time does not deter us! We were also technically on Oahu and Maui, but only in the airports to change planes. We flew from Newark, NJ to Honolulu [about 11 hours], transferring in Honolulu to a plane for Kauai. On Kauai, we stayed in both the Poipu and Princeville areas. We then flew on to Hawaii [the Big Island], Passing over Oahu & Molokai, and switching planes in Maui, before landing in Hilo on the Big Island. On Hawaii, we stayed first at a bed and breakfast in the Volcano Village area then drove overland to Kailua-Kona.

Both Sonia and I are 'foodies' so you can expect to see a lot of food pictures, as we ate our way thru our vacation!

I've separated the pictures into two major groups -- land & underwater. Both Sonia and I love to snorkel and Hawaii once again spoiled us for snorkeling elsewhere with its abundance of endemic, colorful fish and the multitude of excellent snorkeling sites. This is the 'land' album. Be sure to also check out the 'underwater' album at

  1. Getting there
  2. Lawai Beach Resort -- Poipu, Kauai
  3. Wyndham Bail Hai -- Princeville, Kauai
  4. Travelling from Kauai to Hilo, Hawaii [Big Island]
  5. Volcano Village, Volcanoes Park, and Hilo
  6. Travelling from Volcanoes to Kona
  7. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  8. Aloha!   ...and Recommendations

Getting there

With watching three full length movies 'on the seatback in front of us' and eating two meals, the time just flew[ouch!] by. After a short layover and change of planes in Honolulu it was on to Kauai. We had already made our dinner reservations, so once we got our luggage up to the room, we drove to Keoki's Paradise for the first 'fruity' drinks. By the time we finished dinner and dessert, it had been a long, long day, having added 6 hours to it by flying west.

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Lawai Beach Resort -- Poipu, Kauai

The ocean was just across the street from our condo so we had a great view from our lanai. Our condo at Lawai Beach Resort is just south of Poipu. We snorkeled at several great sites, including the one right across the street. I spent two mornings going scuba diving while Sonia did some additional sightseeing. We took in two hula shows and in general just relaxed.

We spent a good part of our 'transition day' on a day trip to Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. It was a little overcast, but we still had plenty of great views.

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Wyndham Bail Hai -- Princeville, Kauai

Princeville is up on the ridge overlooking Hanalei. Our condo was next to a pond which provided a nice frog serenade. We had some rain, but still found plenty of opportunities to get in and on the water -- doing more snorkeling and taking a boat ride along the Na Pali coast.

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Travelling from Kauai to Hilo, Hawaii [Big Island]

We had great visibility on our 'island hop' from Kauai to Hawaii. We flew over parts of Oahu and Maui, so it was fun identifying landmarks that we had visited on previous trips.

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Volcano Village, Volcanoes Park, and Hilo

We landed in Hilo in the afternoon, so fortunately missed the morning rain. After a quick picnic lunch in a Hilo park and a stop at the local Walmart, we headed up to Volcano Village and our bed and breakfast cottage. There was no visible lava flowing in Volcanoes Park, but it was interesting to see the glow of the lava in Halema'uma'u crater, especially after dark. The park is open 24 hours, and we made several late night and early morning visits the see the crater in various whether conditions. There are also several live webcams that provide current views of the crater.

We took a day trip back down to Hilo to visit the Farmer's Market, buy some flowers, enjoy the morning rain, and visit a few local waterfalls. Have you ever gone to see a waterfall and been disappointed because there wasn't much water? Not our issue!! In fact, it was still pouring heavily during most of our waterfall excursions!

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Travelling from Volcano to Kona

The three hour trip was very pleasant. We stopped at a black sand beach for a picnic lunch and got to see three green sea turtles coming out of the water to rest. That was definitely the highlight of the day [except for the cold beer in Kona -- but I'm getting ahead of myself].

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Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

We spent our first night at the Royal Kona hotel because we couldn't quite get our condo rental days lined up exactly. The Royal Kona is a bit dated, but they have a full facility with a great location for sunsets. Even after moving into our condo, we came back several times to enjoy the views, food, and drinks at their Beachcomber bar. I did some more diving, including a night dive with manta ways. I highly recommend that you look at some of the videos from that dive. We enjoyed revisiting some of our usual haunts and were surprised to learn that the night life in early May is definitely 'not so much' like it is in the summer. We had to really hunt for a place that stayed open past 10:00 PM!

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Aloha!   ...and Recommendations

We had another wonderful trip and we both agreed that we will come again. If you haven't done so yet, be sure to check the 'water' portion of our trip which includes several underwater videos and pictures.

Here are several places that we can definitely recommend.

  1. Lawai Beach Resort
  2. Beach House Restaurant -- Great for sunsets!
  3. Wyndham Bali Hai
  4. Thai Thai Restaurant
  5. Hilo Bay Cafe
  6. Volcano Village Cottages
  7. Volcanoes National Park
  8. Royal Kona hotel
  9. Kona Brewery -- great food and atmosphere
  10. Still want to see more pictures of Hawaii?? These may interest you...

  11. Pictures from our 2011 Maui whale watching trip in January 2011, and just the whales
  12. Pictures from our 2009 visit to the Big Island

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Copyright © 2014-2015 Michael Botos. revised: 06/12/2015

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