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Old Mar 28, 14, 1:24 am
  #7  
maverick17
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,102
I also stayed in Kona. The Sheraton there was very empty, and we got a great rate by bidding on it. Also my mother and sister, who don't swim/dive, were able to see the Manta Ray's from the deck there, so that was nice. If you like snorkeling or sealife at all, definitely do the Manta Ray snorkel or dive. It is one of the best dives in the world, and is unforgettable. (I would not do the Sheraton cove for this though. I think the other spot near the airport gets more mantas.

The drive to the volcano wasn't too bad. We didn't have a lot of time on the island, so we didn't move locations. There is a nice black sand beach with turtles on the way, and we spent some time in the national park, then up to Hilo for dinner. We then went back to a location along the coast (outside the park, somewhat deserted the night we were there) where you can walk out on a dirt road and get as close enough to see some red) from the lava. The national park is open at night and you can go back in and see the glow of the cauldron. There are lots of trails in the park, and the recommended guidebook will be valuable. If I go back, I think I will do a helicopter tour. Honestly the park is cool, but a bit less than I expected. I would like to be in the chopper over the area where it hits the sea. We drove back that night, for a full 12 hour day.

Lastly, beware seating. I was there in May 2013, and all the flights booked up with triathlon people quite suddenly it seemed. So if you see the flights you want, I would grab them.
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