Big City & Tropical Paradise
Like the other islands, islets and shoals that make up the 1,600-mile Hawaiian Island chain, Oahu is believed to be the product of a single hot spot in the earth’s mantle. Over the course of millions of years, the earth’s crust drifted to the northwest across this hot spot, giving rise to each island. The bulk of Oahu was created nearly four million years ago, by two now-extinct shield volcanoes — the remains of which are today visible as the Koʻolau and Waiʻanae mountain ranges. These mountain ranges also separate the wetter windward shore from the drier leeward side, forcing rain clouds blown in off the ocean to leave their water on the east side of the island before gaining passage to the west.
Home to nearly three-quarters of the Hawaii’s 1.2 million residents, O’ahu offers more of everything than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined. It’s the epicenter of Hawaiian tourism and a perfect mix of big-city-life with world-class shopping, dining and entertainment and a laid-back island vibe of a tropical paradise.