The Rugged Side of Hawaii's Big Island
While there are more than a dozen villa vacation rentals on the West side of Hawaii's Big Island, the more rugged personality of paradise resides on the wet East Coast.2015-12-28
While there are more than a dozen villa vacation rentals on the West side of Hawaii's Big Island, the more rugged personality of paradise resides on the wet East Coast. There, you can get away from the crowds and gigantic resorts and instead walk through centuries-old forests while witnessing cascading waterfalls that haven't stopped flowing since they were created tens of thousands of years ago.
On the East side, is Volcanoes National Park on Mount Kilauea and Rainbow Falls near the town of Hilo. All across this coastline are places for you to explore, and even though the name of the island might make you think they're far away, many of these destinations are located within a one- or two-hour drive from Hawaiian villas.
A visit to Waipio Valley, on the other hand, takes a little more planning, as the nearest town is several miles away and there aren't many marked parking lots. If you follow local rules, such as obeying signs that say "Kapu," or forbidden, and leaving your valuables at your villa rental rather than in your rental, you can easily spend the entire day hiking through the valley and seeing a side of Hawaii that few people, even locals, have ever laid their eyes on.
Once you descend into Waimanu Valley, you and your trekking buddies won't be able to prevent yourself from gasping in pure wonderment. This side of the island gets rain nearly every day, and the resulting green mountains are an astonishing sight. You won't even be able to count the number of waterfalls thundering down the cliffs, nor will you be able to resist the urge of imagining yourself in a "Jurassic Park" film. Don't worry - the closest thing to a dinosaur you'll find here is a tiny green gecko.