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Hawaii travel guide

An archipelago of more than 19 distinct volcanic islands in the middle of the turquoise Pacific, Hawaii is U.S. President Barack Obama’s birthplace and America’s 50th state. It has a reputation for offering visitors a friendly welcome, so it's no wonder millions visit each year. Thanks to the easy availability of budget flights, Hawaii has never been more accessible to Canadians.

Hawaii is one of those places where the reality really does live up to the hype. The islands’ flawless natural beauty is still the country’s main asset, with coral reef cities and fiery volcanoes, thundering waterfalls and cavorting whales.

There are eight main islands, six of them open to tourists. The most densely populated and developed is the island of Oahu, home to the state’s capital of Honolulu and one of Hawaii’s best known holiday destinations, Waikiki Beach. There are also rainforests to experience, trails to hike and beautiful beaches that play host to some of the world’s most high-profile surfing competitions.

Thanks to the abundance of cheap flights to Hawaii, you can easily explore the other islands. These include the Big Island to the south (this island’s real name is Hawaii but most call it the Big Island to avoid confusion), the largest in the archipelago and home to one of the planet’s most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa, as well as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here, tourists can see active lava flows and the magnificent Kilauea volcano, a safe spot for active eruption viewing. You can also visit Maui, Hawaii’s second-largest island, and home to several resort areas. This is the perfect place to visit if you’d like to spot humpback whales in the wild.

The chain of islands offers visitors the chance to relax and enjoy sunshine and scenery. Hawaii is known above all for its beaches and water-based activities, with surfing practically a religion among both travellers and residents. In almost all tourist areas there are numerous chances to scuba dive and snorkel, with parasailing, jet skiing and kayaking among the other options for water sports.

It’s possible to book cheap flights year round, but it is sometimes less expensive to travel to Hawaii between the months of October and April, the state’s wet season. Most tourists fly into Oahu’s Honolulu International Airport, which is served by 27 international and domestic carriers, alongside three inter-island and four commuter airlines. There are daily flights between Hawaii and Vancouver.

Go to the Hawaii travel guide