What I loved about Big Island was the extremes. Tropical rains on one side, beautiful sun on the other, snow at the summit of Mauna Kea.
The other thing that I loved was the Ecohostel, in Hilo. Situated in the very middle of the rainforest, you can camp with the noises of the outdoors—birds and stars and trees—shower under rainwater, and book a guided tour to the volcano not so far.
But what I loved to most was the fact that everybody is so relaxed and helpful. Google Maps royally misinformed us about the walk to the James Cook Memorial; we thought it would take 20 min max but as we walked along the road, a car stopped and a girl asked where we were heading to.
We still had 3-4 hours of walking before we got to our destination, but the woman gently offered us a lift, and it was just as easy to get a free transportation back, in the back of an open truck, with a dog drooling on my legs, and me not giving a damn.