The Hawaiian Islands are home to majestic sea coasts, stunning waterfalls and amazing natural wonders. From Akaka Falls in the Big Island to the Hana Coast of Maui, there are numerous sights that will take your breath away. Which are the top five natural wonders of Hawaii? Read on to find out.
This national park tops our natural wonders of Hawaii list as it is the most visitor-friendly active volcano in the world. Where else can you walk through a lava tube, cross through a lava rock desert, watch as molten lava pours into the sea, view the world’s most massive volcano Mauna Loa and get a first-hand look at the Kilauea Volcano as it erupts lava? The 300,000 plus acres of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park features so many wonders of the world you’ll want to spend more than one day here if time allows.
The 16-mile stretch of Na Pali Coast in Kauai is perhaps one of the most gorgeous sights to see on all the islands. As one of the natural wonders of Hawaii, the lush, emerald green sea cliffs rising more than 4,000 feet from the ocean are a true treasure. However, it’s accessible only by hearty hikers or by boat. Accordingly, Na Pali Coast cruises are a popular excursion. I recommend reserving one so you can get the best views of the rugged cliffs. In addition, you’ll be treated to views of stunning waterfalls, lush valleys and isolated beaches. If you’re up for it, you can hike the Kalalau Trail. 11 miles one way, this hike traverses five major valleys of the Na Pali Coast State Park. It ends at Kalalau Beach.
You don’t receive the nickname “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” without being able to live up to the wonder the name suggests. A conflux of volcanic movement and years upon years of water from the Waimea River created the 10-mile, 3,000 ft. deep canyon. The name Waimea means “reddish water” in Hawaiian and pays homage to the canyon’s red soil. The colors of the canyon come from rainfall turning over freshly exposed lava rock from black to various shades of red, contrasted by the greens and browns of various vegetation. This natural wonder can be seen by auto touring, hiking or by helicopter.
Visitors rave about this national park no matter what time of day they visit. Home to the Haleakala Volcano, the name of the park – Haleakala – means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian. It’s famous for it’s stunning sunrises. As a result, it attracts numerous visitors each morning. On a clear day, you can also see five other Hawaiian islands from the 10,023 ft. summit. Of course, star gazing here is spectacular as well. Astronomy buffs marvel at the different formations one can find from atop the summit.
This sight is one of Hawaii’s signature landscapes. The dormant volcanic tuff cone received its name from British sailors who arrived in the 19th century. They mistook the calcite crystals in its slopes for diamonds. However, its Hawaiian name is Leahi, which describes the mountain’s silhouette’s resemblance to the dorsal fin of a tuna. No matter what you call it, you’ll want to make the 45-minute (0.8 mile) hike to the summit of Diamond Head. Overlooking Waikiki, Honolulu and Oahu’s South Shore, the views from the top are postcard perfect.
Seriously Amazing Sights
The natural wonders of Hawaii are some seriously amazing sights. You’ll never forget the first time you see them. As a result, each is totally worthy of being added to your bucket list.
Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Hawaii to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.