Welcome to your detailed guide for hostels in Big Island, USA. You can choose from 14 Big Island hostels. In total, there are 20 cheap places to stay in Big Island such as guesthouses and bnbs. Prices start from $26 for a dorm.
Above we list every single hostel there is in the city. Let us take a broader look at what you can expect - and what not. We created this cheatsheet for you to get a more complete picture of the hostel quality in Big Island, average prices and types of hostels to choose from.
Total number of hostels
Average dorm price
Average private room price
Party hostels in Big Island
Oh no, zero party hostels here!
Most Big Island hostels are located in
Hilo, Pahoa, Kailua-Kona
Average rating of all hostels
Below you can discover the best hostels to suit every traveller type. All of our recommendations are based on information shared by genuine travellers, the hostels and data that has been calculated from the system. Don't forget to check the ratings and see how these compare with the rates.
Travelling on your own to Big Island? Fabulous!
Pick a great hostel designed with solo travellers in mind, and you're bound to meet plenty of like-minded people who have also dared to venture to Big Island alone. Here are the top hostels for solo travellers in Big Island. We've also highlighted which hostel offers special perks you, as a solo traveller, will love. Each hostel offers great social spaces to meet fellow backpackers and wonderful opportunities for making new friends. You'll soon realise that travelling on your own definitely does not mean travelling alone.
This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Big Island. To help you make friends with Big Island before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
The island of Hawaii -- affectionately nicknamed Big Island -- is one of the largest major islands of the Hawaiian archipelago and is an up-and-rising tourist hot spot that boasts a number of great to-dos that only Hawaii can provide. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago composed of some eight major islands and a number of tiny islets located in the central Pacific Ocean. Initially a British colony during the early nineteenth century, it later became a part of the United States in 1959. Now known chiefly as a scenic vacation hotspot noted for its breathtaking beaches, exotic locales, and amazing coterie of multi-ethnic peoples, Hawaii is a prime vacation destination for anyone who loves the surf and the sea. And it isn’t all that difficult to find a hostel in Big Island. Bookings are best done in advance, but with the number of Big Island hostels around, even last-minute reservations are possible.
The first (and perhaps the best) thing that comes to mind when thinking of Big Island is surfing; boasting long coastlines, pristine waters, and a mix of dark-sand/white-sand and verdant seashores, Big Island is definitely the place to be if you’re a water lover. But if surfing’s not your thing, don’t worry -- you could go boating, swimming, snorkeling, wake boarding, or even take a little romantic walk at the shore.
Since Big Island is practically an untouched wonderland of nature’s own crafting, it's the perfect camping ground where you can share stories, songs, and even create memorable experiences with your family or significant other as locals and natives since time-immemorial have done. The great thing about heading off to the Big Kahuna at Hawaii is that some things (from the mellow and pensive to the downright fun) can be free. If you’ve got some cash to spare, however, Hawaii also allows you to tour its majestic and awe-inspiring volcanic formations at the Hawaii National Park. A snorkeling cruise at Kealakekua Bay should send you off to pleasant dreams of underwater wonderlands. For the daredevil in all of us, a hike at the many peaks and summits of Hawaii should provide a bracing enough experience to invigorate even the most hardened trekker.
Hilo is Hawaii's second largest city and one of the most authentically Hawaiian towns on the Big Island. It's located on the east side of the island. While Hilo is not as tourist-friendly as the west-side city of Kona, there are Hilo hostels and some tour excursions are offered for visitors, including ziplining, hiking, and helicopter rides. Trips can be made to nearby Volcano National Park, and the villages of Pahoa, Volcano, Waimea, and more. Kona can also be reached in around two hours by car and three hours by bus.
Hilo hostels are mostly located downtown or on beach-lined Kalanianole Avenue. Downtown hostels are within walking distance of Hilo Farmer's Market, Hilo Bayfront Beach, the historic Palace Theatre, and Kress Cinemas (low price movies), as well as several cafes, restaurants, shops, and museums. Kalanianole Avenue hostels allow access to many of Hilo's best beaches, including Richardson's and Four Mile, and are just a bus ride away from downtown Hilo.
An important aspect in choosing where to stay in Hilo is understanding the bus system. Hilo buses run in only one direction, stop at each stop only once an hour, take a two hour break at midday, and complete their run around 5 PM. This can make getting around town very difficult without a car, especially at night. If you're looking to spend time downtown in the evenings, downtown hostels will help save money on cabs. If getting to the beach easily at all hours of the day is your priority, Kalanianole Avenue hostels are a great choice.
It's also good to be aware that it rains a lot in Hilo. Hilo is in fact the wettest city in the U.S., measuring about 130 inches of rain per year (about 100 inches more than Seattle). If you're looking for a drier climate, Kona may be a better bet, however the beauty of the rainforest climate in Hilo is truly unique and travelers can easily immerse themselves in nature. Try exploring the rainforest at Umauma Falls and Akaka Falls, the World Botanical Gardens, and the nations only zoo in a rainforest, Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo (admission is free).
The Big Island is also one of the best places on earth to explore the skies. Hilo has long been an important location in the study of astronomy and visitors can get in on the knowledge by visiting the renowned Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii Hilo, or by taking an exciting trip 13,796 feet up Mauna Kea, where you can explore the skies from the same vantage point as some of NASA's most powerful telescopes.
So wether you're in Hilo for the water, culture, volcano, rainforest, or the sky, the city has a lot to offer. So consider staying a while when you book your Hilo hostel.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA, is located on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. This area is also known as Kailua and Kona separately. It has pristine beaches, Hawaii's oldest church, and lots of brewing for both Kona coffee and Kona brewing.
Hostels in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA, will celebrate all that this area has to offer. Expect Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA hostels to be beach focused and vacation style. If you want to travel outside of the Kailua-Kona area, there are other hostels elsewhere to stay on your road trip around Big Island. Renting a car is recommended, but biking is also an option.
Kona has become well known because of the beverage products made here. Perhaps the most famous is Kona coffee, which is made of a unique variety of coffee bean. You can even take a tour of Kona coffee plantation. You can also visit Kona Brewing Company, known for their Hawaiian-inspired beers.
For beaches, you'll want to be sure to go to Magic Sands Beach, which is just south of the main part of town. Also check out Kealekekua Bay, Honis Beach, Old Airport Beach, and Honokohau Harbor. Hawaii in general is a calm, relaxed destination, so you can easily spend your days laying in a hammock or on the beach. There is plenty of hiking for active travelers as well -- try the Captain Cook Trail. You can even hike over hardened lava fields!
Also, enjoy the typical Hawaiian tourist activities in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA. You can attend a luau, go snorkeling, ride in a boat, and explore the rainforest-like flora. You'll definitely want to bring a camera (preferably a waterproof one) for all the natural beauty you're going to see!
If you're looking for a beautiful, exotic-type destination with attractions that encourage both relaxation and adventure, a hostel in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA, is the place for you!
Written by local enthusiast for Big Island hostels Angelica Burrage
There are plenty of frequently asked questions about hostels in Big Island. We've collected the most common questions and doubts when it comes to picking your preferred accommodation in Big Island. The more you know, the better you can plan with confidence and ease, right?
A hostel in Big Island costs on average $55 for a dorm. A hostel in Big Island with private rooms costs on average $139.
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Hey fam! Here are a few more tips from the community, from them to you, and you to them. This space is dedicated for travellers to share their best tips on backpacking Big Island. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of Big Island. Everyone is welcome to add something useful, funny, unexpected and the "absolutely necessary to know before you go" - share, share and then share a little more!
It's so fun. I would advise others to go. It's a nice spot for a honeymoon. You'll have lots of fun there.
A rental is a must to get around. If you're looking for adventure, try a 4x4. Some of the best beaches are only accessible by 4x4 or a very long hike. The Big Island is home to the nicest and happiest bunch of people I have ever encountered, and how could they not be -- the air they breathe smells of sea and sweet flowers! Kona was "touristy" but had a small town feel, whereas Hilo felt more like a city (with reason, it is). I think my favorite part of the trip was walking through the Waipio Valley -- a phenomenal experience, from cascades of brightly colored wild impatiens to alien fruit trees and the random wandering horse, and kind wandering tourists I met along the way, and of course the waterfall and black sand beach, it was the highlight of my trip. The volcano was another sight to remember -- I got phenomenal photographs. Sometimes I think my memories of the Big Island are all a dream. The Big Island is definitely more laid back than other popular islands. Pretty much everything is closed and quiet by 10 p.m. (in Kona, at least). If you're looking to party into the wee hours, you may want to consider a different location. But if you want to relax and see nature at its finest, the Big Island is a great place to be.
From Chicago, IL
I'm lucky enough to have been more than once. There are real and friendly people. I need to return but I'm still unsure about sleeping on a volcano.
Kona is the best.
This island is fantastic. There is so much to do and its far less touristy than you might expect. Its pretty much essential to hire a car to make the most of it though, and try to avoid Kona. Hilo is the rain captial of the USA but the weather changed in a matter of a few miles on Hawaii. Its amazing.
Tesh N Ben
Pack smart, not hard
Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for Big Island and USA.
You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:
These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.