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Are you planning a trip to paradise and wondering, “Where is Kona Hawaii?” With its sunny weather and breathtaking natural beauty, Kona is a must-visit tropical destination for adventurous travelers.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Kona is located on the western side of Hawaii’s Big Island, facing the Kona coast along the sunny and dry leeward side.

In this complete guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the location of this popular Hawaiian town, including:

1. Exact geographical coordinates of Kona

2. What part of the Big Island is Kona located on

3. Where Kona sits in relation to nearby cities and volcanoes

4. Information about Kona’s unique climate

5. Map and satellite images clearly showing Kona’s position

The Geographical Coordinates of Kona Hawaii

Latitude and Longitude

Kona is located on the west coast of Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island. It sits between the 19°49′N to 19°30′N latitude lines, spanning just under 20 miles north to south along the island’s western shore.

In terms of longitude, Kona stretches from 155°49′W at its northern boundary to 155°55′W at the southern point, covering about 6 miles from east to west (GPS Coordinates).

More specifically, the town of Kailua-Kona rests at coordinates 19°39′N, 155°59′W. As the largest settlement in the district and former capital of Hawaii, it serves as Kona’s urban center and heart of tourism on the island’s sandy Gold Coast region.

Elevation and Terrain

Kona slopes gradually upward from the coastline to about 2,500 feet elevation at the western base of Mauna Loa volcano further inland. The coastal regions are relatively flat lava plains created from cooled lava flows that date back thousands of years.

This accounts for the sandy beaches that drew resort development to the area.

Large sections of the mountains behind Kona are designated as federal forest reserve lands offering more rugged terrain. In contrast, most of the built environment and agricultural areas span from sea level up to about 1,500 feet above sea level.

The town of Kailua-Kona itself sits at just 49 feet elevation near Kailua Bay and the sparkling blue Pacific.

Location Average Elevation
Kona Coast Sea level to 1,500 ft
Kailua-Kona Town Center 49 ft
Upcountry Forest Reserves 1,500 to 2,500+ ft

Given its positioning on the leeward side of Hawaii’s peaks, Kona lies in the rainshadow and has an overall semi-arid climate. The elevation changes from ocean to mountain also contribute to rainfall gradients.

The coast averages just 20-30 inches of rain per year, while higher elevations can receive up to 100 inches annually.

Kona’s Position on the Big Island of Hawaii

Located on the Leeward Side

The Kona region is located on the leeward, or west side, of the Big Island of Hawaii. This side of the island gets significantly less rainfall compared to the windward east side, thanks to the rain shadow effect from the massive Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes.

The Kona coast enjoys warm and dry weather patterns for most of the year, with average high temperatures around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The leeward location shields Kona from the northeasterly trade winds that bring rain to east side areas like Hilo. As a result, Kona sees only about 25 inches of rainfall annually. This relatively arid climate combined with volcanic soil creates ideal growing conditions for coffee – Kona’s most famous agricultural export.

Kona Coast Region

Stretching for around 50 miles along the western shores of Hawaii’s largest island, the Kona coast region features stunning beaches, lush green mountain slopes, and both modern and historical towns and villages.

The North Kona and South Kona districts boast iconic Kona destinations like Kailua-Kona town, Kealakekua Bay, Honaunau, Keauhou, and more. Visually, the area is dominated by the towering presence of Hualalai Volcano, which last erupted in 1801 but remains active.

Kona enjoys a tropical savanna climate, with warm temperatures year round. It’s no wonder this sun-soaked coast is home to world-championship Ironman triathlons and is one of Hawaii’s most popular visitor destinations.

Whether it’s stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling with manta rays, or simply relaxing on golden sand beaches, the Kona coast has it all!

Relation of Kona to Other Hawaiian Cities and Landmarks

Distance from Hilo

Kona is located on the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii, while Hilo sits on the east side. The two towns are separated by the massive Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes in the interior of the island.

The driving distance from Kona to Hilo is approximately 95 miles along the Hawaii Belt Road/Route 200. This spectacular 2-hour drive takes you through rainforests, cattle ranches, and lava fields, offering stunning scenery the whole way.

Proximity to Volcanoes

The Kona district sits just to the west of the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea. The main crater of Kilauea is about 35 miles from Kona town. This means residents and visitors can easily view volcanic activity, lava flows, and volcanic smog (vog) on clear days.

In May 2018, Kilauea erupted in the lower Puna area, sending lava towards the ocean just 25 miles from downtown Kona. This once-in-a-lifetime event drew visitors from around the world hoping to witness Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, create new land.

In addition to active Kilauea, the towering 13,000 foot Mauna Loa volcano forms Kona’s eastern boundary. One of the world’s largest volcanoes, Mauna Loa has erupted over 30 times since written records began in 1843, with lava flows sometimes reaching within 15 miles of the Kona coast.

While not currently erupting, Mauna Loa remains an ever-present reminder that Kona lives in the shadow of immense volcanic forces.

Kona’s Unique Climate and Weather Patterns

Kona enjoys a warm and sunny climate year-round, thanks to its location on the leeward side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Protected by the towering volcanic peaks of Mauna Loa and Hualālai, Kona avoids much of the rain that falls on eastern parts of the island.

This rain shadow effect gives Kona significantly less rainfall and more sunny days compared to nearby Hilo.

Annual rainfall averages less than 25 inches along the Kona Coast, with December to April being the driest months. During the summer, localized thunderstorms occasionally blow in, giving a brief respite from the heat. However, most days continue to be warm and dry.

Thanks to year-round tropical temperatures, swimming and snorkeling can be enjoyed in Kona every day of the year.

Kona’s daytime highs average around 85°F throughout the year, with summer highs approaching 90°F in some areas. Nighttime lows often hover in the balmy range of 68-70°F, although it can get a few degrees cooler in winter nights. Some key facts about Kona’s phenomenal weather patterns:

  • Over 320 sunny days per year
  • Average annual relative humidity 75%
  • Average water temperature 78°F
  • Average summer temperature 83°F
  • Winter temperature range 73-86°F

This consistently warm tropical climate gives Kailua-Kona the well-earned nickname “the Gold Coast.” It’s an ideal location for ocean sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, and paddleboarding year-round.

The calm ocean conditions not only appeal to beginners, but allow adventures far offshore. Experienced fishermen head miles out to deep sea fish off the Kona coast.

While afternoon clouds and showers are rare, Kona’s weather does take occasional hits from winter storms and hurricanes. In winter months, massive low-pressure systems can bring high winds, thunderstorms, and big surf to exposed coastal areas.

Hurricanes are more likely in late summer into fall, fueled by warm Pacific Ocean waters. Thanks to Hawaii Island’s size, hurricanes often weaken before directly impacting Kona town. However, strong winds and rain can still lash shoreline spots.

Perfect Weather for Growing Kona Coffee

Beyond sunshine and snorkeling, Kona’s unique climate helps produce its namesake coffee beans. Kona sits at just the right elevation to foster sweet, complex Kona coffee flavors. The well-drained volcanic soil, mild sunny days, reliable afternoon clouds, and bit of winter rain all help Kona coffee trees thrive.

You can tour lush orchards filled with coffee plants across the upland slopes above Kona town.

The peak coffee harvest runs from August through January each year. Visitors can try “cherry-picked” taste tests at local farms during harvest season. It takes optimal natural conditions to yield Hawaii’s most famous brew.

Kona offers an environment perfectly fitted for both paradise getaways and coffee connoisseurs alike!

Maps and Images Showing Exact Location of Kona Hawaii

Map of the Big Island Highlighting Kona

The district of Kona lies on the leeward western side of the Island of Hawaii, also known as the “Big Island”. This island is the largest in the Hawaiian archipelago, covering 4,028 square miles. Kona stretches roughly 90 miles along the western coast from Kailua-Kona up to Honokōhau Harbor.

It spans inland around 15-20 miles towards the slopes of Hualālai volcano. The Kona district includes both North and South Kona. This area enjoys an arid climate with less than 20 inches of rainfall annually. The main town is Kailua-Kona, often referred to simply as “Kona”.

Some key facts and figures about the size and location of the Kona district:

  • Total land area: approximately 600 sq miles
  • Coastline length: around 90 miles
  • Distance from Hilo (east side of island): roughly 100 miles by road
  • Nearest island: Maui, 89 miles to the northwest

This map shows the Big Island with Kona district highlighted along the western side:

Map of Big Island Hawaii with Kona location

Satellite View of Kona

Satellite imagery gives a detailed overhead perspective of Kona’s geographic landscape. The district spans a long coastal strip, with some inland areas rising gradually into hillsides and mountain slopes.

The views showcase the mix of lava fields and tropical vegetation, as well as Kona’s sun-baked climate.

Zooming in on the satellite photos, some visible landmarks in the Kona district include:

  • Kailua Pier – extending into the bright blue waters of Kailua Bay
  • Kona International Airport (KOA) – major gateway bringing visitors to the area
  • Keahole Point – northern end of Kona coastline
  • Hualālai Volcano – 8,271 ft high shield volcano interior to the coast

This satellite image gives an overhead perspective of Kona’s geographic setting along the leeward Kona coast:

Satellite view of Kona Hawaii location


We hope this guide has helped answer your question “where is Kona Hawaii?” In summary, Kona sits along the western Kona coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, facing a sunny and dry climate that makes it a popular tourist destination.

With its prime location for ocean activities plus proximity to volcanoes and tropical rainforests, Kona truly offers the best of everything Hawaii has to offer. Use the maps, coordinates and location details provided to easily find Kona on your next Hawaiian vacation!

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