5 star rating: Highly Recommended 93 Reviews

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  • Address: Kohala, Hawaii
Like a large thumb jutting into the sea, the Kohala district occupies the northwestern tip of the sprawling Big Island of Hawaii. Formed by a 5,400 ft. volcano which last erupted over 120,000 years ago, the Kohala district today is dominated by lush valleys, laidback plantation towns, verdant pastures, and ancient Hawaiian religious sites. It’s an outpost of cowboys and hippies, beaches and valleys, and architecture which ranges from the modern resorts of South Kohala to ancient temples constructed entirely of stone. Although the land area of Kohala only comprises 6% of the island’s total, it could still take weeks to explore in its entirety. More than just a part of the Big Island of Hawaii, Kohala is easily a destination unto itself.

Most visitors to South Kohala are familiar with the resort enclaves of Waikoloa and Mauna Lani where irrigated golf courses sit in stark contrast to the surrounding black lava fields. The white sands of Hapuna Beach are a favorite of South Kohala beachgoers, and history buffs will love stopping in to the Pu’ukohola Heiau which was commissioned by the great King Kamehameha. While this National Historic Site sees thousands of visitors annually, only a mere handful will make the journey to the smaller Mo’okini Heiau on windswept Upolu Point.  Constructed in the 5th century A.D. by some of the earliest Polynesian voyagers, this is also the spot where King Kamehameha was born.

Further up the road in Hawi and Kapa’au, these North Kohala plantation towns built during the sugar days now serve as artisan outposts of craft stores and coffee shops. In Kapa’au, a massive statue of King Kamehameha presides over the town, and is still draped in flower lei during the annual King Kamehameha Day celebrations each June.

On the eastern coast, rugged valleys with sing-song names such as Pololu, Waipio, and Waimanu form deep clefts into the lush mountainside, and are a favorite of island hikers and thrill-seekers. Adventure activities from waterfall trekking to jungle ziplining take place in these outdoor playgrounds, and Waipio Valley is regarded as one of the most scenic corners of Hawaii’s Big Island. Lastly, in the cool uplands on the slopes of Kohala volcano, the paniolo town of Waimea is the center of Big Island cowboy country, with the Parker Ranch being one of the largest privately-owned ranches in America.

Entirely distinct from Kilauea volcano or the famous Kona Coffee Belt, Kohala is a region that is perfectly content to drift along at its own mellow pace.

Tours & Tickets

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Volcano and Kohala Landing Helicopter Tour on the Big Island

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 26 Reviews

This exclusive Big Island helicopter tour includes not only wonderful views of Hawaii’s famous volcanoes, but also a private landing in a secluded ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $599.00

Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 15 Reviews

Discover the best snorkeling off the Kohala Coast on this 3.5-hour Big Island snorkel cruise. Aboard a comfortable catamaran, admire Hawaii's postcard-worthy ...  Read more

Location: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $146.99

Big Island Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 34 Reviews

Swing across the lush trees of North Kohala and get a bird’s-eye view of the Big Island’s tropical forest! Experience the thrill of rushing through ...  Read more

Location: Kapaau, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $176.04

Private Tour: Hawaii Island Adventure

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Experience the best of the Big Island's natural beauty on a full-day private tour with an experienced guide. Explore Hawaii's active Kilauea volcano, lush ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii, Hawaii
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $270.83

Kohala Waterfalls Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

Experience the Hawaiian beauty of the Kohala Waterfalls on this small group Kohala Waterfalls adventure tour. Drive along the Kona coastline and explore the ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $186.46

Gathering of the Kings Luau on the Big Island

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Experience a traditional Hawaiian luau on the Big Island's gorgeous Kohala coast. Start with a delicious meal that features Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes like ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $113.54

Viator VIP: The Sunset Experience Helicopter Tour from Kona

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Reviews

See the breathtaking landscapes of the Big Island of Hawaii like a VIP on this unforgettable helicopter tour from Kona. Home to some of the most biologically ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $685.00

Private Tour: Big Island Organic Farms & Merriman

Go behind the scenes at Merriman's Restaurant, one of the innovators of Hawaii's regional cuisine. On this unique culinary guided tour, you'll visit two farms ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $248.61

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