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Big Island Travel Guide

  • Photo: Marisa Estivill / Shutterstock


The Puna District is wild in every sense of the word. The jagged black coastline is changing all the time; the trees are growing out of control, forming canopies over the few paved roads; the land is dirt cheap and there seem to be no building codes; and the people—well, there's something about living in an area that could be destroyed by lava at any moment (as Kalapana was in 1990) that

makes the laws of modern society seem silly. So it is that Puna has its well-deserved reputation as an "outlaw" region of the Big Island.

That said, it's well worth a detour, especially if you're near this part of the island anyway. Volcanically heated springs and tide pools burst with interesting sea life, and some mighty fine people-watching opportunities exist in Pahoa, a funky little town that the "Punatics" call home.

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