Blending Ancient & Modern Cultures

Tropical islands are among the world's most desirable locations for exotic vacation retreats and vacation home ownership. The Big Island of Hawaii, the state's largest and youngest land mass, features all but two of the world's climatic zones, from tropical to desert and beyond.

Its celebrated sunny Kohala Coast is home to a collection of the world's most coveted hotel brands, multi-million-dollar resort homes and award-winning golf courses. International airports in Kona and Hilo serve both sides of the island, and cruise ships dock regularly at the port in Hilo, the island's capital city. Green rain forests ring the lush northern Hamakua Coast. Upcountry, ranches and coffee plantations thrive. Small towns, family farms, artists' studios and numerous scenic, historic and sacred sites, such as the birthplace of King Kamehameha I, dot the island's vast tableau.

Flowing lava and the earth's internal mysteries are interpreted for thousands of annual visitors at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Up above, the clear night skies of Hawaii Island provide one of the world's best locations for star gazing. And there is an intriguing link between the secrets of the stars and the ancient path of Hawaii's native culture. As evidenced in the traditions of Wayfinding, a skilled wayfinder uses the stars, the sun, the waves and the wind to navigate open ocean voyages without any modern instruments.

The island is also home to the annual Merrie Monarch Festival, a gathering of dance troupes from around the world who perform ancient and modern forms of hula that are "the language of the heart and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people," according to King David Kalakaua, who helped to perpetuate native arts and cultural traditions.

Here, traditional Hawaiian language, dance, music and craftsmanship thrive. This is a haven where modern and ancient are interwoven, a place still sparsely populated and open to discovery.