Paradise vacation in Hawaii
When the main purpose of the vacation is the desire to see the most beautiful places in the world, then Hawaii rightfully takes the first place in the ranking. The archipelago is considered the most remote inhabited place on the planet. This only increases the interest of tourists.
In 1959, Hawaii officially became part of the United States, becoming the 50th state. That same year the nickname, “Aloha State” or the hospitable state, was earned as well.
Composition of the Hawaiian Archipelago
To date, people have inhabited seven of Hawaii’s major islands. The eighth island, Kahoolawe, has been developed by man, but has uninhabited status.
The main islands of Hawaii are:
- Big Island;
- Northwest Islands.
Oahu is the third largest developed area of the archipelago. It is home to the state capital, Honolulu. This undoubtedly makes it the most popular place for outdoor activities and shopping. The most famous and frequently visited beach – Waikiki is also located on Oahu.
Maui is a medium-sized island with a lack of large crowds of tourists. Together with Moloki, it is considered the best place for diving, surfing and water excursions.
Big Island is the largest not only in the archipelago, but also in the United States. The island is rich with active volcanoes, which periodically extend the earth’s boundaries. The island is also home to the highest mountain in the world.
Molokai is the quietest area with minimal cars and population. The preferred mode of transportation is bicycles, which allow not only to get from one destination to another, but also to enjoy the beauty of nature to the fullest.
Lanai is a former pineapple plantation, which now has only one settlement. This island is a favorite destination for divers. Of entertainment – hunting, jeep rides and the opportunity to swim with the amazing dolphins.
Ni’ihau is the smallest part of the developed area of Hawaii. The local population of 130-150 people is ethnic Hawaiian. It is possible to move around the island by bicycle or horseback. Although the size makes it possible to get to any point of interest on foot.
The Northwest Islands are home to 70% of all the coral reefs that abound along the coasts of the United States. The area is considered a natural landmark with over 7,000 sea creatures.
How to get to the island? Features of obtaining a visa to Hawaii
To visit the island’s capital, Honolulu, tourists will not need a Schengen visa. A standard U.S. visa is enough.
A very limited percentage of people receive a permit to enter the United States, even taking into account that the process for citizens of Ukraine and Russia has been greatly simplified.
Beginning the preparation for the visa you need to prepare for a long wait and not a quick decision from the center. The documents are submitted at least two months in advance.
There is a mandatory list of rules, following which will help increase the chance of obtaining the coveted visa:
- Pay a consular fee of about $150;
- Fill out an electronic application form;
- Make an appointment for an interview, which takes place at the U.S. Embassy.
The package of documents is different from the standard sets for opening visas to other countries, such as Europe. To get a U.S. visa you will need to provide:
- A passport (prerequisite – the document must be valid for more than six months at the time of completion of the trip to Hawaii);
- If your old passport had Schengen, U.S. or UK visas, you will also need to present it;
- Questionnaire in English with a live signature of the applicant, form DS-156, for men in the age range 16-45 years old additionally fill out form DS-157.
- 5*5 cm format, color photograph;
- Invitation from the party hosting the tourists in the USA (relatives, friends, business partners, travel agencies);
- Certificate of employment, which confirms the information about the position, work experience and income of the applicant;
- documents, confirming financial stability (copies of declarations, bank account statements);
- if a visa is needed for non-working people or pensioners, in this case, the proof of solvency will be statements of relatives about sponsoring a trip;
- documents, which speak about economic and social ties of the applicant with the native country (papers on ownership of movable and immovable property, certificate of marriage and birth of a child, registration of own enterprise);
- Students in schools and institutions of higher education need to provide a birth certificate, student card and a certificate from the place of study. Documents about the parents’ financing of the trip and about the kinship of the sponsors are also enclosed.
Copies of papers confirming travel and accommodation reservations to Hawaii can be attached to the general packet of documents. However, this is not a guarantee of obtaining a visa. The employees of the embassy consider the applicant’s compliance with all the mandatory rules, the slightest non-compliance with which may be a valid reason for refusal to enter the territory of the United States.
Attractions in Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands group consists of 162 separate areas. Man has mastered and conquered only eight of them. Seven are open for tourist excursions and recreation. Each island is different from the others. The contrast is so striking that it concerns not only the sights, but also the climate, weather, and natural features.
The Rich Life of Honolulu.
For city-lovers and shoppers, the state capital will do just fine. The main attractions of the city are the Waikiki area, which has gathered the best stores, nightclubs and restaurants, as well as the crescent-shaped beach of the same name.
Millions of tourists from around the world flock each year to see Honolulu and walk its fabulous streets. It is in the capital that you can enjoy traditional Hawaiian cuisine, have a day of relaxation in one of the hotels or have fun in the many entertainment centers. There is one important thing to remember for the novice traveler, the capital of Hawaii is expensive.
Groceries and goods are shipped to the island from the nearby mainland, which accounts for the high cost of transportation. The accommodations offered by the hospitable Hawaiians are premium, which also entails a hefty price tag.
Apartments for Kings
A striking attraction of the island is rightly considered to be the Iolani Palace. This is the only residence in the U.S. that actually housed the monarchs. More than half a million people come to see this historical and architectural monument every year.
The palace is located in the heart of Honolulu and serves as a museum. There are daily guided tours that allow you to see not only the ceremonial rooms of the kings, but also the private chambers.
There are two stores in the palace, and you can find a wide range of souvenirs, jewelry, books, postcards, and more.
Pearl Harbor .
The world-famous harbor is just 12 kilometers from the capital. Pearl Harbor is a picturesque bay that encircles the island of Oahu and has great historical significance. After the release of the movie of the same name, the crowd of tourists rushed to look at the famous place and compare how episodes of the film coincide with the real state of affairs.
The main highlight of the bay is the Arizona, a great battleship that was sunk in the placid coastal waters in the first minutes of a Japanese air attack. Today most of the island is still occupied by a U.S. military base and some areas are off limits. The remaining areas are ready to welcome tourists and introduce them to the area’s culture, existing museums, and fabulous attractive views.
Secrets of Fishing Villages
For tourists who prefer outdoor activities, Hawaii offers plenty of hiking trails and excursions to numerous temples and small villages. One of the most popular places is the village of Kailua-Kona, which served as a refuge. Many legends and myths are associated with it. According to the stories, the refuge village helped people who violated various prohibitions and committed sins to survive.
The hard and dangerous way to the place was not for everyone, but it did not stop the brave men who wanted to beg for forgiveness and save his life. The village still keeps the spirit of bygone times. On the territory you can find the old church and burial places of the great leaders of the area.
Hilo is a riot of colors, blooms and love. A town fortunate enough to be famous for its amazing floral beauty. Whole fields of orchids are not a fantasy at all. The best photographic backdrops and locations for fabulous photos created by nature itself.
In addition, Hilo is also considered the owner of the active Kilauea volcano crater. The uncommonness of Hawaiians is amazing. At a time when the whole world talks about the horror stories of volcanic eruptions, this nation makes romantic legends about the goddess who lives in the mouth of the volcano. Everyone can see real divine “tears” in the pieces of cooled lava or appreciate the unearthly beauty of the goddess’ evolving “hair” as streams of lava flow directly into the ocean waters.
Haleakala Park gets its name from the volcano, which is the central figure of the area. Until 1961, the national park was located on two islands at once, Maui and Hawaii. The total area of the island is 118 square kilometers, most of which (100 kilometers) is under strict protection.
Haleakala volcano, which means “house of the sun,” is not active and last erupted back in 1790. It is also entangled in legend, which states that the god Maui hid the Sun in the mouth of the volcano to increase the length of the day.
Tours in Haleakala National Park go directly to the top of the volcano to the extinct crater.
Entertainment in Hawaii
In addition to the azure ocean waters and snow-white beaches as in the picture, Hawaii is able to surprise tourists with a variety of cultural and entertainment program.
The list of top attractions includes:
- water excursions;
- helicopter tours;
- diving classes.
Island Water Sports Hawaii operates in Hawaii, which provides a wide range of services in the direction of water activities. Maunalua Wau Bay is the center of active water activities, where you can choose from a variety of services that will suit you – scooter trips, kayaking, fishing, catamaran rides, cruises on the ocean depths and other interesting tours.
For those who prefer to combine a pleasant holiday with learning useful skills, you can book surfing lessons and learn to conquer the ocean waters.
The list of original activities in Hawaii includes the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the scenery from above. It’s not the observation decks of high-rises or mountain peaks. It is a unique service of helicopter flights. Tourists are offered an extensive program during which you can admire the panoramas of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Magic Island and pineapple plantations. Also on the must-see list are Sacred Falls, rainforests, volcano craters and beaches.
The underwater world on the Hawaiian coast is colorful and rich. You can enjoy its beauty to the full with underwater excursions. For the best diving, head to Molokini. This island is part of the volcano crater, which remained on the surface after the sinking and is considered the best location for diving.
Over 250 varieties of fish and other exotic animals, a diverse world of rare birds and breathtaking scenery all offer visitors to Molokini.
Hawaii’s finest food
Local cuisine is an amazing blend of the best flavors from Japan, China, Mexico and America. You can find the perfect mix of the world’s most popular cuisines on the islands, which are sure to have a special touch of Hawaiian traditions.
The top main dishes that every tourist should try:
Saimin is the national soup that includes nori seaweed, egg noodles, crab sticks and an egg. Dashi broth serves as the base for the dish.
Hawaiian-style mac salad or “Olivier”. An interesting appetizer which serves as a complete meal. Macaroni, potatoes, carrots, onions, eggs, vinegar, pepper and mayonnaise are used to make this salad. The mac salad should only be served chilled.
Loco Moco is a multi-layered, hearty dish. The bottom layer is made of boiled rice, the middle layer is one of the variations (fish, meat cutlets, various seafood) and the top layer is scrambled eggs. The entire dish is lavishly poured with sweet and sour sauce and sprinkled with herbs.
Hawaiians are very fond of desserts, so they pamper tourists with interesting combinations and a large selection of sweets.
The best desserts in Hawaii
The first place is taken by the traditional pie. The recipe is simple – it’s a chiffon cupcake, guava pulp, lime and passion fruit. The airy white-pink sweetness is a must-have dish at every gala event.
Shave Ice is fine crushed ice with sweet syrups made from different fruits. Such a simple dessert is a real salvation on hot days.
Malasadas, or Hawaiian doughnuts, are a staple snack at every fair. The golden crust and powdered sugar are all brilliantly simple, but how delicious.
Hawaii is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. The territory offers a great combination of opportunities to combine active and passive recreation, gain new knowledge, learn new sports and get a lot of impressions.
Tour operators are already at full speed preparing attractive offers. If you take a direct flight from Kiev to Hawaii, the price is 1700-1800 USD for a single person. The price includes flights and hotel accommodation. The duration of the trip is 7-8 days.
There are also options to visit the island on one of the combined itineraries. A one-day stop in Vancouver, Los Angeles, or San Francisco will allow you to dilute the paradise trip with a tour of a Canadian city with a huge list of interesting sights.