A trip to Hawaii is a journey to a tropical and enchanting place with fantastic beaches, impressive volcanoes, a profusion of flowers and colors, and wonderful people. Hawaii is the epitome of a tropical paradise, so prepare to soak in the sun and surf the waves. Aloha!
The state of Hawaii, home to some 1,2 million inhabitants, is a chain of volcanic islands in the Central Pacific Ocean. The main islands of this tropical paradise are: Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Oahu and the Big Island (Hawaii). These islands were created millions of years ago by underwater volcanic eruptions. Even today, there is still volcanic activity on the islands. The highest volcano on earth, Mauna Kea, reaches up to 4,205 meters high. Hawaii also has a lot of endemic flora and fauna, meaning that many of the plants and animals are not found anywhere else.
You can still feel the relaxed Polynesian lifestyle in some areas, but the Hawaiian islands are also very Americanized. Therefore, the typical Western lifestyle, along with all of the accompanying services and conveniences, will make for an easy and comofortable stay. The downside is the relatively high price levels and mass tourism. But, you can still find calm paradises, like a sandy beach bounded by palm trees and lit by a lovely sunset. Spend the day taking a surf lesson, eating fresh pineapple, and enjoying a mai thai cocktail among a sea of beautiful hibiscus flowers.
When traveling to Hawaii, you will land in Honolulu. The state capital, for better or worse, gives a festive impression of Hawaii. It was here that President Barack Obama was born and it is the home of Waikiki Beach, which you must visit when you are in Honolulu. You will find plenty of waves and surfers there, as you will almost everywhere in Hawaii. The waves at Waikiki are generally long and "rolling", which makes them ideal for beginners learning how to surf. After a long lesson or a beach workout, when it is time to fill your stomach, our highest recommendation is a visit to the burger bar "Cheeseburger in Paradise", located at 2500 Kalakaua Avenue right across from the beach. The name is far from random, as the burgers are simply divine and saliva-inducing. With a cold beer overlooking the sunset, Hawaii truly becomes a paradise. From Waikiki Beach, you also have dazzling views of Diamond Head, a stunning volcano located right on the turquoise sea. While Diamond Head is a breathtaking sight from afar, you should also take the trip to the top. The climb is not very demanding , but there are many steps and jagged rocks. Once you reach the top, you will have a different vantage point, this time overlooking Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean. Although the capital city is in Oahu, the island is only Hawaii's third largest island. However, it is still one of the most popular islands to visit because of its beautiful beaches and hotels.
Oahu is much more than just beautiful beaches and waves. It is also the site of the historic Pearl Harbor, located just west of Honolulu. On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was the site of a major attack on the United States by the Japanese army. It was this event that brought the United States into the Second World War and it remains to be the worst attack that has ever taken place on U.S. soil. Today, you can visit the site and even see the submerged USS Arizona battleship, which remains underwater since the attack. You should also visit the Valley of the Temples, a memorial park in the eastern part of Oahu. This site features beautiful Buddhist temples with lush, tropical surroundings and is representative of Hawaii's Polynesian and Japanese cultures. Both sites are an absolute must.
Of course, a trip to Hawaii is primarily for sun, surf, sand, snorkeling, and volcanoes. You can find the last one in several places, including on the largest island that bears the same name as the entire archipelago, Hawaii. On the Big Island, you can get an idea of the extensive volcanic activity that exists there. There are large, active volcanoes like Kilauea and Mauna Loa, black lava beaches, and lava rivers that flow into the sea. When you see these lava flows, you will notice waves of white steam rising from the water's edge. The view is particularly spectacular after sunset, when the lava and the vapor form an orange glare. The many black lava beaches in Hawaii are due to the same natural phenomenon. When lava cools, dries, and breaks into pieces on the coast, it dissolves into black sand. You can also find volcanoes in Maui, a smaller and less populated island. Haleakala National Park is especially exciting with its huge crater and spectacular sunrise view. Finally, there is the fourth largest island, Kauai. On this island, the main attraction is the stunning Waimea Canyon and Mount Waialeale. Presumably, this tropical mountain and its flowing waters make it one of the wettest places on earth!
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