Everyone knows about the seven wonders of the world, but not everyone is as familiar with the seven natural wonders of Hawaii. Because the Hawaiian Islands are home to incredible geological formations, beautiful mountain peaks, ancient volcanoes and breathtaking scenery, it was difficult to choose just seven wonders.
1. Kilauea Volcano
Within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is Kilauea Caldera, the fiery home of one of Hawaii’s most revered gods: Pele. Kilauea is both Hawaii’s youngest shield volcano on land, as well as the most active. The volcano is also experiencing one of the most long-lived eruptions known to man – the eruption began in 1983 on the eastern rift zone, and continues to this day.
2. Waimea Canyon
Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacifc,” Waimea Canyon is certainly a thing of immense beauty. At ten miles long, a mile wide and approximately 3,600 feet deep, and is home to plants and trees of all shapes and sizes – giving it a more dynamic landscape than its more famous canyon cousin. For anyone planning to visit this natural wonder, we urge you to consider exploring the neighboring Koke’e State Park for some less interrupted views of the canyon.
3. Akaka Falls
Cascading 442-feet into a lush, tropical jungle is perhaps Hawaii’s greatest waterfall. Located on the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast is Akaka Falls, a place of pure paradise flowing from the Kolekole Stream. To view the falls, visitors take a half-hour paved trail leading through a jungle of banana plants, towering bamboo groves and lush orchids.
4. Mount Haleakala
Just 27 square miles short of equaling the entire size of Oahu, Mount Haleakala is a gentle giant – a dormant volcano that has inspired those who make the journey to its summit for centuries. Translating to “House of the Sun,” Haleakala rises more than 10,000 feet above sea level, comprises 75 percent of Maui Island, and is home to desert-like conditions, rainforests, and everything in between.
5. Diamond Head
Perhaps one of the most iconic images associated with Hawaii is the towering silhouette of Diamond Head on the southernmost tip of Oahu. Dubbed Diamond Head by sailors who were entranced by the volcano’s glittering peak, the mountain’s summit is littered with calcite crystals – but the name stuck. Once used for military training, the government-owned property has since been opened to the public, and is now the most iconic hike on the island for tourists.
6. Papakolea Green Sand Beach
The southernmost point in the United States is memorable not just for its location, but for the natural wonders you will find there. On the southernmost tip of Hawaii Island is Papakolea, a green sand beach so unique that you will only find one other spot with this iconic sand on the planet. The stunning beach is only accessible via four-wheel drive, or a 3-mile hike, but trust us, the experience is entirely worth it.
7. Kauai’s Na Pali Coast
This piece of rugged Kauai coastline is said to be one of the most unspoiled natural beauties in all of Hawaii: thousand foot cliffs are eroded to create vaulted valleys and hidden beaches. The erosion is the culprit behind one of the coastline’s other main features. You see, the only way to gain access is by a long, arduous hike, by boat, or via helicopter tour. And that’s not for lack of trying – roads were once attempted, but as one of the most rapidly changing shorelines in the world, it was a futile attempt.
Runner-ups include Mauna Kea, Maui’s Hana Coast, Hanauma Bay, Lanai’s Sweetheart Rock, and Molokai’s Papohaku Beach Park. We know this list will easily generate some debate, and we’d like to hear your opinions; what other Hawaii wonders would you add to this list?