Hilo Hawaii

Downtown Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii

You are here: Home >> Hilo

Hilo is the capital of the Big Island and lies on the Windward (East) side of the Island. The Hilo side of Hawaii is a wet place – rainfall averages 140 inches annually – which makes this side of the island very lush, and filled with a tropical rainforest of colorful flowers and waterfalls.

Directions | Interactive map | Weather | Practicalities

Hilo Hawaii
Aerial view of Hilo Bay and Downtown Hilo

Hilo also is considered the Cultural capital of the island. Historic buildings, two recent tsunami’s and a heritage of the old plantations days set the scene. You’ll want to check the galleries and museums in downtown Hilo and don’t miss the farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday. Hilo is a major party and a college town, with it’s own special atmosphere, worth a visit!

Did you know that Hilo is the Orchid Capital of the world? The Lush climate on this side makes it the perfect place for cultivating orchids, and you will see them all around you!

Outside Hilo There is also plenty of action. On the north you can find the Hāmākua coast with many scenic routes, canyons and waterfalls that will easily keep you mesmerized for a day. Closer by, there are many easily accessible spectacular waterfalls and lush rainforest trails to pick, of which the Rainbow Falls and “Boiling Pots” are the most famous.

South of Hilo is the picturesque old hippie town of Pahoa that offers great access to the lava flowing in the sea. Plan a day here visiting one of the many beach parks or volcanic powered hot ponds along the coast, and go out to see the lava at night! (back to top)

A good resource about Hilo Town, with often updated local events and information, is www.downtownhilo.com.

Directions to Hilo:

Hilo is the landing place for most visitors to the Big Island through the Hilo International Airport. The hele-on bus can deliver you all over the island for free if you have the time.

Kailua-Kona (86 miles, 2 hr 20 min), Waimea (55 miles, 1 hr 20 minutes), Pahoa (20 miles, 35 minutes) and Volcano Village (30 miles, 50 min) are all easily reachable by car. (back to top)


With an average rainfall of 140 inches annually, a light raincoat is not a luxury. However, the rain here has the courtesy to wait mostly for the evening, and weeks without rainfall (during the day) are common. (back to top)

Local Weather in Hilo:

In general, weather in Hilo is somewhat more humid and less sunny when compared to the rest of the Big Island – but don’t worry to much about the weather: you will still be in the “tropical United States’. If you want to see what this means for your visit to Hawaii (average temperature, hours of sunshine, cloudy days and precipitation), check out the monthly average weather for Hilo.

(back to top)

Interactive Map of Hilo:

This is our map of Hilo with clickable icons. The icons denote information on this website about local activities, shops and vacation rentals. Clicking an icon will display more information. (back to top)

Are you looking for the map of another part of the Big Island? We also have interactive maps of  Volcano Village, Kona and Waimea!