Hawaii is a volcanic archipelago. Today the volcano has long been inactive, but the caldera Diamond Head remains, at the foot of which is the capital Honolulu. Diamond Head is an amazing sight, which outlines the background of world-famous Waikiki Beach, at whose eastern end stands an enormous volcanic formation. Diamond Head was formed in the southeast of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and today is considered one of the emblems of Hawaii.
Locals called Diamond Head Le Ahi, which literally means " tuna fin”, because the silhouette of its shape resembles the caldera. Diamond Head is the name given by sailors in the early 19th century. Approaching the Hawaiian coast, from a distance they saw the gleam of volcanic calcite crystals and decided that the crater must have diamonds. Today one of the biggest attractions in the city is going up this sleeping volcano, whose height reaches 231 meters, but from the height of the tip can be extended a comprehensive view of Hawaiian beauty.
The crater was formed about 300 000 years ago and disappeared sometime 150 000 years ago, according to geologists, and has no chance to erupt again. In early 1900 Diamond Head was used as a military watchtower and one of the largest fortresses, Fort Ruger, was built in the crater. Around here in 1910 was built an underground complex of tunnels and galleries on 4 levels. Since 1968 it has been declared a natural landmark in Hawaii.
While part of it serves as a platform for antennas used by the U.S. government and is closed to the public, the proximity of the crater to Honolulu and Waikiki in particular, along with the unique beach hotels make the Diamond Head a popular destination. The walk to the edge of the crater is a little more than a kilometre. From Waikiki are buses that take visitors to the Tourist Centre of Diamond Head.
The Diamond Head crater covers 475 acres including the crater walls. The trail to the summit of the crater was made around 1908 as part of the military complex. Traveling it takes about 2 hours of steep and strenuous climbing, so tourists are advised to bring their flashlights and water.
During the ascent must overcome two sets of stairs - the former are about 74 and the second part will make you very poizpotite while passing 99 feet. The next part of the ascent of Diamond Head is a small tunnel, which is compulsory to carry a torch, followed by a small spiral staircase with 30 steps.
The total number of steps to the top of Diamond Head is 175 paces, but all worth the effort when you reach the surface, covered with foliage and at a glance the Pacific can be seen, along with the southern coast of Honolulu. Good to know is, that the last climb to the summit is at 4:30 pm. A curious fact is that Diamond Head is actually a mountain of the popular series "Lost", which is filmed entirely on Oahu.
If you decide to climb Diamond head on Saturday, it is better to stop en route at the weekly Kapiolani Community College Farmer's Market, where the largest farmers of the island offer their produce. The market is near to Monsarrat Avenue, in which there are many restaurants and snack areas.