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Safety is a major issue on the Hawaiian Islands. The beauty of the ocean and mountains can often distract viewers from the fact that the terrain varies greatly and the land is very unpredictable. Taking precaution is no laughing matter; tourist deaths, unfortunately, are high in Hawaii.
Hiking and biking are popular activities in and around Hilo. Hilo receives an incredible amount of annual precipitation and attention must be paid to slippery roads and paths. Even a simple walk in Akaka Falls State Park can become dangerous, especially after heavy rains. Wearing appropriate clothing is necessary, and extra caution must be paid at all times; paths change through wear and tear and weather conditions. Wear comfortable hiking shoes, comfortable clothing (for hikers), and bring an umbrella. The other thing you must not be without is sun protection; even a rainy and cloudy day in Hilo can lead to a nasty burn.
Swimming, snorkeling, and surfing may pose dangers as well. Make sure to always participate in water activities with other people, pay careful attention to lifeguard and beach warnings, and always check with your hotel for weather conditions before setting out. Island weather is unpredictable!
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is another place where extreme caution must be observed. The excitement of seeing a volcano can quickly dissipate a traveler's attention to detail. But lava paths are not predictable in any way; although "pathways" are marked several times in a single day, the flow can change. Getting too close to the lava river for a picture is simply not worth the risk.
The bottom line is that Hawaii is a beautiful sanctuary of nature and is full of mysterious elements of our world. To enjoy these, we must execute extreme attention to detail, show respect, and remain cautious.