You can’t go wrong when you book flights to the Big Island, Hawaii. Luaus and leis await you on Hawaii’s largest landmass. Although it’s approximately the size of Connecticut, the Big Island also happens to be the least populated of all of the islands. 

When you book a flight to the Big Island you’re in for an entirely different experience: volcanoes, snow-capped mountains and black lava deserts are just as common as lush rainforests, peaceful alpine meadows and beaches. Although, don’t expect to see the beaches laden with white sand – green and black beaches are actually the most common here. 

Mother Nature got something right when she crafted the Hawaiian Islands – each piece of land has its own tropically distinct appeal. The Big Island’s eclectic terrain and climate are what makes it so special and intriguing. In the morning you might sunbathe on a sunny, sizzling beach, then at night experience the alpine cold that comes courtesy of the towering mountains. One side of the island is dry, while the other is incredibly lush, so if you like variety you can’t go wrong booking a flight to the Big Island for a little taste of island diversity. The Big Island has the highest peaks in the Pacific, the most volcanoes in the state and the “newest” land on earth – this slice of heaven is saturated in superlatives and is just a mere flight away. Mauana Kea, the world’s tallest sea mountain, hails 14,000 feet above sea level, and its next door neighbor, Mauna Loa, happens to be the largest volcano on the planet, and still erupts quite frequently. 

Spend your time kayaking through coves, or scuba diving amidst underwater caves and tunnels to explore the striking exotic marine life. On land, choose to hike, bike, or horseback your way through the picturesque rainforests and that makes the island so uniquely attractive. Your dream vacation is waiting for you.

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Big Island climate

While you’ll experience tropical weather no matter when you book a flight to the Big Island, the area does offer quite a mix of weather in such a small area. Depending on which geographic part of the island you’re on, conditions could range from cool and rainy to hot and dry. Summer lasts between May and October, when days are warm, and peak at the hottest and driest in August. Between December and March are the coolest months, when wind and rain move in and take the heat out of a perfectly good beach day.

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Best Time to Fly to Big Island

There’s no bad time to plan flight to the Big Island, but if you go during the summer you’ll experience the best beach days, blue skies and dry conditions.

Peak-Season:

If you’re in search of sunny beach days, jaw-dropping views and outdoor excursions book your flight during the summer and take full advantage of the hot weather and tropical atmosphere. 

Off-peak Season:

Winter storms and heavy rainfall can put a damper on the winter months, but you’re more likely to find cheap flights to the Big Island and deals on accommodations during the months of February and March when the weather is coolers than the rest of the year.

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Getting around Big Island

The best way to get around Hawaii’s Big Island is by renting a car. If you manage to get yourself up from the beach you’ll find very few public transportation options. There are two major roads that wrap around the island - Mamalohoa Highway is the scenic upper road and Queen Kaahumanu will get you around faster, but with less scenery. If you don’t have a car, you can find taxis, shuttles and buses on the island, but they are few and far between. Hele On, the island-wide bus system, loops around West Hawaii, Ocean View and Kawaihae.

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Big Island Travel Information

Akaka Falls: If you’re booking flights to the Big Island to immerse yourself in natural beauty, then Akaka Falls is a sight for sore eyes. Said to be the most scenic waterfall in the state, it boasts a 442-foot drop and is situated next to the gorgeous, but somewhat smaller, Kahuna Falls. Once you trek through the blossoming rainforest, pass by the pungent ginger and bamboo plants and reach the observation point you’ll be able to circle the falls on a one-mile paved loop that allows clear and stunning views. Most days, you’ll also be able to see a rainbow or two. 

Submarines: If the kids are antsy from the long flight to the Big Island have no fear – there are plenty of perfect opportunities to entertain while exploring parts of the island that intrigue people of all ages. Go down under in the 48-passenger Atlantis, a submarine with plenty of windows to see all of the colorful marine life in the depths of the Pacific. The high-tech underwater vehicle plunges 120 feet under the surface – the tour lasts around an hour and will captivate kids and adults. 

Kayaking: Craving a little racy action? Strap yourself in a kayak and hit the deep blue for the day. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro-kayaker booking a Big Island flight, there are perfect opportunities for you to challenge yourself on the surface and still enjoy the incredible scenery. If you’ve never kayaked before, you’ll start out in calm water, most likely in a peaceful lagoon like Kailua Bay. If you’ve mastered the waters, you can try more exciting places, like Honokohau Harbor or head straight to Hamakua Coast and take on the rocky waters. Rent one or two person kayaks for either a half or full day. Some tours go around monuments and sea caves, where you can hop out and swim with the beautiful fish and turtles as they glide through the water with you. 

Ka Molokai Makahiki Festival: If you book flights to the Big Island in January you’ll be fortunate enough to experience one of the biggest parties of the year – the annual Ka Molokai Makahiki Festival, which is traditionally held right after Hawaii’s winter harvest time. The celebration starts with the story of Captain Cook, who brought his ship to Big Island during the Makahiki season. Arts, crafts, games, food, and hula all make up the wonder and excitement of the festive atmosphere. Enjoy watching sport competitions and ancient Hawaiian games like huki huki (tug of war), ulumaika (lawn bowling), or uma (arm wrestling), and feel free to participate in the communal gift giving that radiates throughout the island. 

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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