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Information and guide to the Hawaiian Islands

You frequently hear people say they want to go to Hawaii, but nobody specifies which island they are going to in Hawaii. In fact, many individuals do not realize that Hawaii is made up of six different main islands, each of them having their own special beauty and benefits. The six main islands will each be described in the following paragraphs to help you get an idea of what the Hawaiian Islands have to offer tourists.

Hawaii—The Big Island
The biggest island of the six main islands is the island named Hawaii. It is generally referred to as the big island simply because it is double the size of all of the other Hawaiian islands combined, so the phrase “the big island” truly fits.

The big island has 266 miles of coastline and is made up of more than 4,000 square miles. And although the big island is the biggest it is the youngest of the six. The big island of Hawaii is a result of two volcanoes, the Mauna Loa and the Mauna Kea.

The big island of Hawaii experiences great weather year round and although it has two seasons, summer and winter, the temperatures are always balmy making the big island the perfect location for a vacation at any time of the year.

Lanai—The Pineapple Island
The island of Lanai is another island that makes up the chain of islands in Hawaii. However, Lanai is considerably different than the other islands. Lanai is not very large and has just over 141 square miles with coastline making up 41 miles, although it is the sixth largest of the eight islands. The island is 18 miles wide and 13 miles long and there are very few paved roads on the island. In addition, Lanai island receives very little rain each year, approximately 37 inches, so it is dryer than some of the other islands.

Lanai used to be the biggest pineapple plantation in the world, however today the pineapple plantation is made up of less than 100 acres. And the once called “ Pineapple Island” is now making the majority of its income from tourism rather than pineapples.

Over 98% of Lanai’s land is owned by the Lanai Company, which is a development company. And the general population of Lanai is less than 3,000 people while tourism brings in about 95,000 tourists each year.

Kauai—The Garden Island
Kauai, at 5 million years old, is the oldest Hawaiian island and the most beautiful in the mind’s of many simply because it has such lush plants, beaches, and amazing sunsets. Many tourists visit Kauai as a result and this beautiful Hawaiian island is almost always full because individuals are so anxious to see the amazing beauty of the 90 miles of coastline.

Kauai is approximately 540 square miles in size and while it has a population of more than 55,000 it is the least populated island of the major Hawaiian islands.

You will find some of the most amazing natural sights in Kauai from the Na Pali Coast to the Waimea Canyon and because of this more than 1.5 million tourists visited the island last year. Because of the main source of income on the island is tourism there are plenty of hotels, activities, restaurants, shopping, and anything you can imagine for tourists.

Maui—The Valley Island
Maui is another beautiful island that makes up the Hawaiian Islands; however unlike the constant temperatures the other islands experience Maui experiences a wide range of temperatures depending on location. For example, in Hana the average temperatures are from 71 degrees to 77 degrees and in Haleakala the average temperatures are 42 degrees to 50 degrees. The same goes for rainfall, in Hana the average inches of rainfall each year are 69 inches yet only 15 inches in Lahaina.

Of the six Hawaiian Islands Maui is the second youngest and was formed by the volcano Haleakala, the largest dormant volcano worldwide, and the Puu Kului volcano which is now extinct. After many years and erosion the two volcanoes created one island, Maui, which is the reason it is called the valley island.

Many tourists visit Maui each year and last year approximately 2.5 million visited the Valley Island, which has all the necessities for tourists and many amenities as well.

Molokai Island
This island was the location where individuals suffering from Leprosy in Hawaii were dumped to live out the rest of their days while the disease ate away their flesh. Literally, Molokai Island was the last place anyone wanted to visit. However, in the mid 1800s a Belgium priest arrived and made the victims of Molokai island feel as if they had some hope.

Today Molokai Island still has a resident population of leprosy victims, although the number is very small. The rest of the population is mostly Hawaiian and they simply enjoy living daily life fishing and spending time with their family. As a result, if you are traveling to Hawaii and looking for the most peace and relaxation you can find then you should consider Molokai.

Molokai is the third oldest Hawaiian island at 2 million years old. It rose up from the sea to make an amazing island that is tranquil, beautiful and exhibits the lifestyle of old Hawaiian culture.

Oahu—Then Gathering Place
Everybody has heard of Honolulu, but few people realize that Honolulu is located on Oahu. This is amazing yet true. Honolulu does exist on Oahu which is the third largest Hawaiian island and has 607 square miles and boasts 112 miles of coastline. Oahu is the second oldest Hawaiian island and is home to the majority of the state’s population.

While Oahu makes up only 9.2% of the total land mass in the state of Hawaii more than 80% of the state’s population lives on Oahu. In addition to this, approximately 9% of Oahu residents are made up of US military personnel.

Tourism is the main business of the island and while the other islands receive a lot of visitors, approximately 5 million tourists visit Oahu each year. When you visit Oahu you will get a sense that it is more populated than it is simply because so many tourists visit each day.

Now, when you begin planning your vacation to Hawaii you will know there are a variety of islands to choose from and depending on what you want to do and see will affect which island or islands you choose for your vacation!

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