Are your clients looking for a unique experience on the Big Island this fourth of July? Here's a great one for turtle fans. Since 1989, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows has received three- to five-month-old juvenile honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle) from Oahu’s Sea Life Park and has raised them in the saltwater ponds of the resort.
The honu are cared for until they grow to a size and weight that is deemed appropriate for release into the ocean. Mauna Lani generally raises the honu for two to three years until they grow to a minimum shell length of 35 centimeters. The release occurs every July 4 at the ocean’s edge fronting Mauna Lani. (Clearly, the project has been successful. Mauna Lani has released 206 honu over the years.)
On July 4, the honu will be gathered at the ponds before joining a procession down to the beachfront for release. A Hawaiian ceremony will take place at the beach.
As part of the day’s activities, guests can also enjoy live Hawaiian entertainment, an educational display about the honu and a special July 4 BBQ with menu items including Big Island Beef hamburgers, vegetarian burgers, jumbo beef hot dogs, corn dogs on a stick, grilled Hilo Corn on the cob and more.
Good deal: Book a room at the best available rate and the second room is $99 per night (plus taxes). Visit www.maunalani.com.