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    Oahu, Hawaii: where it is, when to go and what to see

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    Oahu, part of the Hawaiian archipelago, is the island where the capital Honolulu and famous and important places such as Pearl Harbor and Waikiki beach are located. This atoll is also the most densely populated one and every year it attracts tourists from all over the world, which here can find wild and uncontaminated volcanoes, wonderful beaches but also state-of-the-art facilities and excellent accommodation. Oahu has also been the set of popular TV series such as Lost and Hawaii Five-0 and of films such as The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire.

    Are you planning a trip to this paradise? Here a guide on how to organize everything for the best.


    1. Travel informed: useful information
    2. Where it is
    3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
    4. 10 things to see: beaches and places of interest
    5. What to do in Oahu: excursions and tours
    6. How much does an Oahu vacation cost? Prices, offers and advice
    7. Pictures of Oahu
    8. User questions and comments

    Travel informed: useful information

    • Inhabitants 1.000.000
    • Capital: Honolulu
    • Languages: Anglo-American and Spanish
    • Local currency: US dollar ($) / exchange: € 1,00 = $ 1,19
    • Weather: tropical with a hot season from June to October with temperatures of 20/28 ° and a cooler season from December to March and temperatures between 18/26 °. The north-eastern part is the wettest, with annual rainfall of 3.200 mm
    • Time zone: GMT-10 (-11h compared to Italy)
    • vaccinations: no vaccination required
    • Entry requirements: valid passport; ESTA authorization ($ 14,00 / € 11,80) or Visa
    • Safety info: visit the US section on the Farnesina website
    • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

      Where it is

      Third by area of ​​the Hawaiian Islands and second from the north, Oahu it is located in the North Pacific Ocean and extends for 1.600 sq km. Inside there are volcanoes, mountains and valleys, while the coast is famous for its coral reefs and its fish.

      How to reach us

      • From the main European capitals: there are no direct connections, it is always necessary to make at least one stopover in San Francisco, Dallas or Los Angeles.

      When to go? Info on climate and best time

      • Weather: tropical with a hot season from June to October, with temperatures of 20/28 °, and a cooler season from December to March, with temperatures of 18/26 °. It rains all year round and about 3.200 mm of rain fall. The sea temperature in February and March is around 24 °, in the other months 26 ° / 27 °
      • Best time: from December to May
      • Period to avoid: the hurricane period runs from June to November, with a peak between late August and early October
      • Advice: pack light clothes for the day, a sweatshirt for the evening, possibly a light jacket and K-way. Snorkeling equipment, swimwear and sun creams. For mountainous areas, around 1.000 meters, spring / autumn clothes, a sweater or jacket for the evening, around 2.000 meters a warm jacket and hat for the evening. For the highest peaks (Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa) very warm clothes, down jacket, gloves, scarf, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, hiking shoes

      10 things to see: beaches and places of interest

      The island of Oahu is made up of 4 regions: the Windward Coast, that is the east coast where there are beaches and green areas, here it is possible to leave to spot dolphins and snorkel in Waianae; the North Shore, the north coast, a paradise for surfers and ideal for various aquatic experiences, such as diving with sharks; the Leeward Coast, or the west coast characterized by beaches, countryside landscapes and golf courses; and finally Central Oahu, the central area where there are valleys, sugar cane fields and pineapple plantations.

      All regions have numerous activities and attractions to offer to those who visit them, let's see in detail what are the 10 things to see in Oahu:

      1. Honolulu: capital of the island, with an area full of historic buildings, the city harbor, chinatown, the famous Bishop Museum which offers visitors an interesting insight into the history and evolution of Hawaii
      2. Pearl Harbor: lagoon port famous for the Japanese attack during the Second World War. It houses an interesting memorial in memory of the victims of this tragedy. The tour with pickup is recommended to learn about the history of this place
      3. Waikiki: one of the most famous beaches of the island and of Hawaii, 3,2 km long and characterized by a crescent shape, surrounded by skyscrapers, clubs, offices overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You can explore it all thanks to the Waikiki Trolley panoramic bus.
      4. Diamond head: volcanic crater 230 meters high to be reached with a 2/3 hour trek. Once at the top you will enjoy a breathtaking view with Waikiki and Diamond Head Lighthouse. It is recommended to take part in an excursion in the morning with a guide
      5. Kalanianaole Highway: panoramic highway that circumnavigates the southern part of the island. Along it we recommend stopping at Halona Blowhole, a point where if you are lucky you can see humpback whales, and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, a bay with strong currents but where colorful fish swim among the corals.
      6. Hoomaluhai Botanical Garden: a huge garden in the central part of the island, surrounded by mountains and with plants and animals. A short distance away is the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout, from where you can admire a splendid view and from where some paths start that go into the forest
      7. Haiku stairs: 3.922 steps that climb vertically along the mountain, in the east of the island. Since most of the time they are shrouded in clouds and due to their steepness they are nicknamed Stairway to Heaven. NB: The climb is illegal and the fines are between $ 600 and $ 1000, but there are many tourists who risk penalties every year to enjoy the wonderful view.
      8. Mount Tantalus: point from where you can admire a splendid landscape especially at sunset, when the shades of pink and orange in the sky are in contrast with the city of Honolulu that begins to light up.
      9. Manoa Falls: interesting waterfalls 46 meters high which can be reached by crossing a magnificent path of 2,6 km (round trip) immersed in the rainforest, among bamboo, ancient trees and where it is not uncommon to meet chameleons.
      10. Kane'ohe District: the Valley of the Temples, here is the Byodo-inn Japanese Buddhist temple, a magical place where you can breathe tranquility built in 1968 to celebrate the centenary of the landing on the island of the first Japanese immigrants

      What to do in Oahu: excursions and tours

      How much does an Oahu vacation cost? Prices, offers and advice

      Oahu and the other Hawaiian Islands they are a very popular destination although they are remote and quite expensive. The prices of both flights and accommodations vary according to the season and the months from December to February and those from mid-June to the end of August are among the most expensive.

      As regards the air connections, prices start from a minimum of € 800,00 and can even reach € 1.700,00. To Oahu then there is no shortage of accommodations where to stay: hotels, hostels, B & Bs and the famous condos, or American-style residences characterized by houses with several floors, and a common central swimming pool. Each apartment has a kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. Average accommodation costs range from € 55,00 per person to € 120,00 depending on the season and the accommodation.

      To get around the island then we suggest hiring a car, which costs approximately $ 50,00 per day (€ 42,00). Alternatively, you can use the buses of The Bus company, which serves several areas. Regarding the costs of meals, in Hawaii you spend approximately $ 10,00 (€ 8,40) for a breakfast and $ 25,00 (€ 21,05) for an average lunch / dinner. To save on tours and attractions, we recommend purchasing the Go Oahu Pass!

      • Hotel and b & b starting from € 55,00 per room -
      • to Honolulu from € 780,00 -

      Pictures of Oahu


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