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Hilo Airport Mini Guide
Why am I Flying to Hilo?
Hilo is the largest conurbation in Hawaii and its oldest urban centre. It is built on Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano but also, more worryingly on Mauna Loa which is very much active. The town has suffered greatly from natural disasters in the past with tsunamis from earthquakes in the Aleutian Islands and again from the 9.5 magnitude earthquake off Chile in 1960. Both caused great loss of life and destruction. Today, the town hosts Hawaii’s Tsunami Museum which tells the full story of the devastation. On the seafront you can visit the memorial parks and see the trees planted in remembrance by Babe Ruth and Amelia Earhart.
How do I get to Hilo?
From the mainland, Continental flies into Hilo from Los Angeles
and San Francisco
with other airlines operating ‘island hoppers’ from Honolulu
. To get to Hilo from outside of the US, you’ll have to fly into one of the mainland airports and take the connecting flight. The airport is very pretty and designed in the typical Hawaiian style with lots of wooden buildings and flowering plants. Sadly through varying fortune, the airport is much underutilised and is currently undergoing a review of services. Still, it offers a good range of services including an ATM for cash withdrawal, free airport wide Wi-Fi and quite a range of shops and restaurants. The shops include two selling typical Hawaiian clothing and gifts whilst the airport restaurants do traditional Hawaiian food as well as the standard American fare.
If you’re hiring a car, the rental company offices are found across the road in a separate building and you should pre-book a car to ensure availability as there is no public transportation apart from taxis at the airport. Pre-arranged shuttles are available and you should check with your hotel for availability.