Hawaii: Night snorkel with giant mantas


The Big Island’s primordial landscape will beckon you outdoors each day. Start with a trek through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where molten lava flows into the sea, thanks to active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to seven ecological zones and endangered species like the hawksbill turtle and the Hawaiian hoary bat.

To the west, The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory has guests (up to 30 people) nibbling on chocolate samples while learning how cocoa beans morph into chocolate bars.

Come nighttime, don snorkel or scuba gear and make friends with manta rays (some with 14-foot wing spans) in the calm waters off the Kona Coast. Using spotlights on the sea floor, outfitters like Kona Diving attract loads of plankton, which the rays gracefully scoop up while doing back rolls.