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Hilo, on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii, is the precious last living remnant of old Hawaii. Completely unlike every other large town in Hawaii, Hilo is a place to connect with the land and the locals. You won't find the hustle and bustle of the tourist-driven culture here, and you won't find the fancy hotels and restaurants. What you will find are authentic people and one of your last chances to connect with the hidden Hawaii.



Sights and Activities

The Hamakua coast, which starts in Hilo as one of the world's most scenic drives, is home to waterfalls, lush greenery and vast sweeping ocean views.

While in Hilo, find a way to connect with the indigenous people and culture. Take a sacred journey with kahuna to the volcano (in nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park), have a spiritual experience at the base of a waterfall or on a black sand beach, arrange for a lomi-lomi massage on a cliffside. Hilo is the perfect base for a soul-shifting trip to hidden Hawaii.



Getting There

By Plane

Flights to Hilo International Airport leave from Honolulu and Maui (Kahului).





View our map of accommodation in Hilo or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.


See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.


The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Accommodation in Hilo

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Hilo searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Hilo and areas nearby.


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