Important Travel Information for Your Visit

Hale Mar Hawaii

LOCATION

Hale Mar is located on the exotic Puna peninsula of the Big Island of Hawaii, in the sunny Hawaiian Paradise Park area, 20 minutes south of Hilo. The Big Island is known for its pristine natural beauty, serenity, Kona coffee, and macadamia nuts, as well as its active volcano, world-class observatory, and sparkling black sand beaches! It's also home to the world-famous IronMan Triathalon and Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. To find us, locate the town of Keaau, Hawaii on a map, and scroll east to the ocean.

Hale Mar Hawaii

AIRLINES

The closest airport is Hilo (ITO), 20 minutes from Hale Mar by car. Many major airlines fly direct to Hilo: check www.kayak.com to find the best prices. You can also fly into Kona (KOA) on the northwest side of the island, and enjoy a scenic 2-hour drive to Hale Mar, a great way to get to know the whole island. A vacation to the Big Island can be combined easily with a visit to the other Hawaiian islands, there are frequent and inexpensive interisland flights.

Hale Mar Hawaii

WEATHER

Year-round average is a high of 80, and a low of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (27-19 degrees Celsius). December-January is cooler ('70s), and July and August are the warmest months (90's). Check the current weather by clicking on Yahoo weather for Paradise Park.

Hale Mar Hawaii

A TYPICAL DAY

A "typical" day at Hale Mar includes an hour or two of rain, 8+ hours of sun, and continuous pleasant breezes of the ocean. While the east side of Hawaii is known as the "rainy" side, Hale Mar is located in the Kaloli Point microclimate area which enjoys gorgeous sunny days most of the year and is also protected from the "vog" (volcanic fog) that sometimes blankets the south Kona area. From November-January expect dramatic high waves and crashing surf, as well as frequent close-up whale watching from Hale Mar's backyard.

TRAVEL RESOURCES

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CAR RENTAL

You will want to rent a car for sightseeing, dining out, and shopping during your vacation. Hawaii is known for low rental rates (as low as $25/day) and both airports are served by all major rental companies with a wide car selection, from rugged Jeeps to sleek Lamborghinis. We've found good deals through booking agents DiscountHawaiiCarRental.com and Autoslash.com.

Hale Mar Hawaii

FOR THE ADVENTUROUS

The Big Island offers unparalleled treasures off the beaten path. Explore the green sand beach at South Point (the southernmost point in the U.S.); experience the snows and stars at the Mauna Kea observatory, and plunge deep into Waipi'o Valley to see the ancient tombs and taro fields. Hunting licenses are available for feral sheep, goats, and boars as well as designated fowl. If you are adventurous, consider renting a 4 wheel drive vehicle to maximize your freedom to pursue Hawaii wonders to their fullest.

Hale Mar Hawaii

COMMUNICATIONS

Local telephone calls can be made from the landline phone; for long-distance, use a calling card, cellphone, or wifi calling like Skype. Cell phone coverage ranges from moderate to excellent, depending on your carrier. High-speed wireless internet access is available throughout the property at no charge; bring your own computer, phone, or tablet. For entertainment, there is also Dish Network satellite TV and a selection of DVDs.

Hale Mar Hawaii

DINING

Many supermarkets and natural foods markets are nearby, selling excellent prepared foods as well as groceries to cook at home. The Farmers' Market in Hilo every Wednesday and Saturday is a feast for the eyes, nose, and mouth. Casual restaurants range from fast food (McDonald's) to traditional (Hawaiian grass-fed burgers and locally caught fish.) For special evenings, there are a few more formal/romantic restaurants in the area as well - we provide a restaurant guide at the house. Unless you have a large group, you very rarely need reservations in advance.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PACKING

WHAT TO PACK

Bathing suits, sunglasses, lightweight casual clothes, light jacket, sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellent for rainforest walks, your electronic devices and chargers, and maybe some books you've been planning to read. Sturdy waterproof shoes are really helpful for exploring tide pools, waterfalls, and remote beaches. For nighttime lava viewing at the volcano, bring closed-toe walking shoes, long pants, and a sweatshirt. A waterproof cellphone case is good to have for beaching or boating. Nearby stores nearby can provide anything on this list you've missed. We provide all linens and essential toiletries to get you started. Voltage for electronics equipment is regular U.S. AC.

MORE PACKING TIPS

If you plan on island exploration by car, we recommend bringing the "Hawaii Atlas & Gazetteer" by DeLorme, available on Amazon but not always available on the island! Also, the book "HAWAII REVEALED: the Big Island," by Doughty & Friedman, is terrific reading as well as the #1 guidebook recommended by local hosts, with detailed directions to unmarked beaches, sacred sites, and diving holes. Don't forget to bring any specialized sports equipment you need (golf, snorkeling, fishing, or hunting apparatus): most items (fishing tackle, snorkel and scuba gear, mountain bikes, golf clubs) are available for rent or purchase, but if it's important to your trip, it's nice to have your own with you.

Hale Mar Hawaii

WHAT TO BRING BACK HOME

Kona coffee beans; roasted macadamia nuts; locally harvested honey; wood objets d'art (including beautiful ukeleles) made from native ironwood, koa, and ohia trees; Hawaiian clothing (aloha shirts and muu muus); awesome ahi (tuna) fish you caught, filleted and froze. And, of course, photos and memories to last a lifetime. (The renowned artist who made the bowl at right lives near Hale Mar; you can reach him at www.akamaiwoods.com.)

Hale Mar Hawaii

WHAT NOT TO BRING HOME

Do NOT try to take home any of Hawaii's wonderful fresh fruits (mangoes, guava, limes, passion fruit, ginger, avocado, coconuts, dragon fruit, etc.) unless prepackaged for shipping, as they will be detected by the mysterious, all-knowing machines at the airport and confiscated by unamused customs agents.

Note: it is widely believed to be VERY bad luck to take home pieces of lava rock!