1) Jump Out of an Airplane
Who wouldn’t want to see the Big Island from above? And why not via a parachute jump? The Big Island has several options for you whether you have gone skydiving or not. You can go tandem with a professional skydiver or even take some training on how to do solo jumps. Here are some options: Skydive Kaillua-Kona and Big Island Gravity, LLC.
2) Hike the World’s Tallest Mountain
The hike up Mauna Kea is not for the faint of heart-literally. It is cold, the air is thin and it’s an 11 mile trek and you’ll think you are walking on the moon. The trail round trip it is 11.5 miles. You will need sturdy shoes, plenty of water and appropriate winter gear as snowstorms and blizzards do occur. You don’t need a permit for this trail but you do need to sign-in at the Visitor’s Center where the trail head is located.
3) Explore a Hidden Lava Tube
The island is full of lava tubes as the whole island is made up of a volcanoes. Emesine Cave is one that you can hike to and explore at your own risk (the dangers are real and there is no one near). To get there take Saddle Road from Kona to 4/10 mile past mile marker 22. On the south side of the road is a short 4WD road. It will take you to a powerline road. It is typically gated so you’ll need to park (at your own risk). You’ll hike for about 2 1/2 miles. When you get near you will be in a lush fern forest and it will descend to newer looking lava. About 200 feet beyond the descent look to your right for the tube opening. NOTE: Please do not touch the formation as they are VERY delicate. Also the state appreciates you letting them know you are there: call 808-587-0166
4) Swim/Dive with Giant Manta Rays
The Manta Rays are large winged ocean creatures. Diving with these massive creatures swimming around you can be a memorable experience, and if you’re not dive-certified you can snorkel with them. Many say this is a highlight of their trip.
5) Kayak The Ocean with Wild Dolphins
Captain Cook is the area where Captain Cook himself was killed. The draw to this area is the phenomenal snorkeling. That and the spinner dolphins love to hang out in this bay. Most people get here by taking a Snorkel Boat Tour. But why not kayak? There are many outfitters willing to help you with kayaking. We have used Kona Boys in the past and had a good time. Do note, the launch area is not the easiest to enter as you have to go down a 4-5 foot sheer cement area. But if you’re in reasonable shape it won’t be too difficult.