Whats the best way to get from KOA to Pahoa? Is there any kind of shuttle from KOA to ITO? I'd prefer not to drive, as my flight comes in at night.
This is not going to work well. I'm almost without words at the thought.
Either change your flight as jet suggested, which isn't going to be cheap or easy if coming from the mainland, or bite the bullet to stay on the west side that night.
Where are you staying? 99% of people who say they are staying in Pahoa are not in Pahoa but in some other part of lower Puna.
There are no shuttles from KOA to the east side. A private driver you might get for several hundred dollars.Edited: 13 June 2016, 09:39
KOA to Pahoa late night not even a good idea if you have your own car. Maybe if you fly in to Hilo ITO. If so make sure you have good map cause if in the dark in lower Puna you could get lost easily especially with a loss of GPS signal. Reminds me my first time into lower Puna where I did a constant loop thru Pahoa when I finally figured I got off the main road and was looping the back way into Pahoa :)
Rent a car would be the best option. If you don't drive, then Pahoa isn't a good choice (and actually, I wouldn't recommend the Big Island at all). If you're going for some sort of retreat at Kalani then you should change your flight to ITO and contact them about transport options. If you must fly in from KOA then I'd book your first night in Kailua Kona but you'll still need to rent a car to get to Pahoa the next day.
Like everyone said - renting a car is the only feasible way to do what you want. Despite what everyone else is saying, however, my first trip we flew in to ITO, rented a car and drove over to Ali'i drive in Kailua (North Kona) at night in the rain (at least from ITO up the first third of the saddle road). For me it was quite exhilarating but my wife found the winding road up from Kaumana Dr. to be a bit too exciting for her tastes. For me the hard part was figuring out directions in the dark after a long flight. Mahalo to the nice lady at the convenience store that got me going in the right direction on that night four years ago. BUT, if you are the type that doesn't like to drive much, you definitely want to wait until daylight.
I personally would spend the night in Kona the first night, and venture over to Pahoa during the day. The views are breath-taking, and beware of changing climates. It will be sunny, then suddenly it'll start raining.
It's very dark on the Big Island because of the giant telescope that requires darkness closeby.
We loved the Pahoa area and it's truly what Hawaii is about. Very peaceful and relaxing and prices are reasonable.
You will already have a long day so stay on west side one night. During my first trip I had no concept of what dark was on a rainy night driving the southern route back to Kailua-Kona. I took a wrong turn, ended up in total blackness, unsure whether to turn around or continue. I have back to the same place many times since then, but not at night.
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