Hawaii - ECO South Africa Sport and Travel

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There are eight islands that make up the island-state.  Of the eight, six are open to visitors; they include Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, and Hawaii (often referred to as the Big Island).  It's pretty easy to get from one place to another and you can get flights between Hawaiian islands on any of the three inter island carriers that serve the Aloha State.

The most popular island is Oahu where you will find the capital of the state, Honolulu.  This island is also home to one of the most famous beaches in the world, Waikiki. Oahu is an island paradise that offers a wide range of activities, which blends old traditional Hawaii with the hustle and bustle of a contemporary city.  Honolulu is the largest city on the Hawaiian Islands, the Waikiki area is very popular and often crowded;  however, there are many areas on Oahu that will leave one wanting to return again and again. Oahu is a foodie paradise. There are hundreds of restaurants in Waikiki and other areas of Honolulu. There are world class restaurants. There are inexpensive restaurants. Cuisine from the entire world can be found on the island.

The Island of Hawaii is endearingly referred to as the Big Island because it is so big, and it's always growing from the active lava flow of the Kilauea Volcano.   The Big Island is known for its snorkeling and diving, widely considered to be the best in the state. The generally calm and clear waters of the Kona-Kohala Coast on the west side are also an excellent playground for those who enjoy kayaking, fishing, swimming, and SUP-ing.  Golf is one of the favorite pastimes on the Big Island, with several world-class resort courses. Most are open even to non-resort or hotel guests and there are also less expensive public courses, in a variety of settings, from oceanside to mountainside.

Maui, also called the Valley Isle, is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Central Maui where the majority of Maui’s population lives and it is the center of the business community. The swap meet in this area is a great place to buy souveniers. West Maui has some of the best beaches on the island. This is where you will find highest concentration of resorts and hotels. South Maui is the hottest and driest part of Maui. It is the location of Wailea, which is the home of multi-million dollar resort hotels. It boasts year-round sunshine and black lava shores.

Kauai is known as the Garden Island for its lush, tropical beauty. Although small, it's jam-packed with things to do. You can hike, bike, swim, snorkel, surf, zipline, ride horses, boogie-board or just relax... Kauai is very outdoors-oriented, and there's something for everyone. It's very rural and laid-back. No building is permitted to be higher than a coconut palm tree, so you will find no high-rise condos or other development here. Kauai has many beautiful beaches, some so secluded you might be the only one(s) there. It has the only navigable river in the state; you can kayak, canoe, even water-ski. Kauai's north shore fits many people's image of a tropical island. There are small towns to explore and a variety of beaches. "Bali Hai" is here, and when you look across Hanalei Bay to Mount Makana you'll see why.

Molokai is often called the “Most Hawaiian Island” for several reasons. One is that more people there are of Hawaiian blood than anywhere else. Another reason is that Molokai is decidedly undeveloped. There are no buildings taller than a palm tree, no fancy resorts, not even a traffic light. It is also spacious and private, with only about 8,000 residents on the whole island. Many people still follow the old ways of life, including surviving on the fish they catch in the ocean and the wild pigs and deer they hunt on the range.

Lanai is not for everyone, but it has a lot to offer.  It is generally quiet, with minimal nightlife (just live music at the resort lounges).   On Lanai you won't find a single stoplight, and with a population of only 3,000 you also will not find many people. It can be a place to relax and lounge at the pool or beach, but there are still many things to do, especially outdoor activities. These include hiking, exploring the island's remote spots with a 4x4 Jeep (imagine being the only people on a beach a mile long), snorkeling/diving at some pristine coral reefs (one right off Hulopo'e Beach in front of the Manele Bay resort), stand-up paddle boarding, sport clay shooting, horseback riding, tennis, ATV rentals, surf lessons, ocean kayaking and golfing at the two world-class courses designed by Jack Nicklaus (Challenge at Manele) and Greg Norman (Experience at Koele).
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