The largest of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, Tahiti held a magical attraction for artist Paul Gauguin and writer Robert Louis Stevenson. To understand why, simply listen to the winds whistling through casuarina trees on a secluded black-sand beach, or stroll through beautiful botanical gardens and marvel at island flora.
Part of the Society Islands of Polynesia, North West of Tahiti.
Port of the Society Islands of Polynesia.
Located on the eastern seashore of the big island of Hawaii, Hilo is an old sugar town and the second-best (after Honolulu) seaport in the islands. Also known as the flower capital of the state, Hilo boasts flower farms and Queen Liliuokalani Park, an authentic Japanese garden. You may wish to visit the black sand beaches of the Puna District. Or Kilauea, the world's largest volcano; its crater is the legendary home of Pele, goddess of fire, who keeps watch over her domain of Volcanoes National Park.
Located on the leeward side of the Big Island and best known for its coffee, Kona was once the playground of Hawaii's royalty. You can visit both coffee and macadamia nut plantations, Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook first landed (and was later murdered) in 1779, and The Sacred City of Refuge, a haven for ancient lawbreakers. Or Parker Ranch, the largest cattle ranch in the world, with over a quarter of a million acres.
Located on the north side of Maui, known as the Valley Island, Kahului is the principal seaport and the best "jumping off point" for this island's attractions. You may visit the old provincial town of Wailuka and its museum; or the Valley of the Kings, with its towering rock monolith, Iao Needle -- dramatic, beautiful and isolated. You'll also find fabulous beaches and resorts, and Lahaina, an old whaling town and the first capital of the islands. Maui also boasts the largest dormant volcano in the world.
This quaint port was named for the wiliwili trees that grow here in profusion. Known as the Garden Isle, Kauai claims the wettest spot on earth - Mount Waialeale, with 486 inches of rain per year. All this rain makes lush vegetation, taro, pineapple and sugar plantations, famous Fern Grotto and a huge variety of native flora. You may also visit Waimea, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and Sprouting Hole, a blowhole that sends a geyser 50 feet into the air. Or, enjoy a swim at the very beach where the movie South Pacific was filmed!
Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor - these names evoke feeling of magic, mystery, drama and history, and they are all located in Honolulu. The capital of Hawaii, this city not only offers some of the best beaches along side big-city skyscrapers, there are also parks, fabulous shopping, the only royal palace in America, the Arizona Memorial in the harbor at Pearl City, the Polynesian Cultural Center and more.