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Waipi'o Valley, Island of Hawaii

4.6
#2 of 17 in Historic Sites in Island of Hawaii
Hike down into dramatic Waipi'o Valley to see the tallest waterfalls on the island plunging from steep cliffs, a black sand beach, and fields of taro. The valley measures 1.6 km (1 mi) across and 8 km (5 mi) long and the cliffs, and mountains on either side plunge down 600 m (2000 ft). Check out Hiilawe Falls, which drop 400 m (1,300 ft) at the back of the valley. When you reach the beach, you can cross the river that bisects it if the tide is out. Pack a light lunch, wear comfortable clothes and hiking shoes, and bring sunscreen and a hat to make the long, steep hike down from the top of the valley easier. If you choose to drive down, make sure it’s in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, given the bumpy road. You can plan Kukuihaele trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.
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Waipi'o Valley Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
793 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I found the big Island of Hawaii short on big landscapes, this was one of them. I wish I would have taken the time for the tour into the bottom of the valley. The photo opp from the overlook is great,...  more »
  • The lookout over Waipi'o Valley is absolutely stunning! If you have some free time, it's definitely worth the trip. Check the weather because if it's rainy you might not have the nicest views. It's a ...  more »
  • Where both sea and sky blue and be healed. Go to the weather is always good. You can relax. It is quite favorite spot.
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  • Very nice place, definitely must see on Big Island. We hiked the road down to valley (about 20 min walk) and after we explore wonderful beach and also made some hike up the valley, we walked up from the valley. It took is 35 min with stops, slowly. I think that difficulty of this trail is strongly exaggerated in feed backs. If you are healthy and sportive, you can do it without a problem.
  • Beautiful valley. Gorgeous waterfall. Black sand beach with big waves. Quite steep hike.
  • My wife and I went to Waipio on our honeymoon. We walked/hiked the steep road to the bottom. The view of the waterfall is underwhelming if you walk in. However the beach is phenomenal. Sparkling black sand and clear water. It may be my all time favorite beach for sheer beauty. Some notes. The road in is very steep, think 30 degree grade. If you would rather book a shuttle. You can drive in theory, but I would not recommend it. The beach is beautiful, but not a swimming beach. The current is very strong. Bring lunch, read a book, stroll on the beach. Bring lots of water. There are port a potties on the beach but that is it.
  • Beautiful black sand beach after a daunting hike down the cliff side. Not for the faint of heart but rewarding for the adventurous.
  • There are three ways to get to the Waipi'o Valley: you hike, you pay $$ for a commercial tour (you have one hour free time in the valley) or you rent a four wheel drive and do not tell the rental company you are going to this valley. What I heard/read prior our trip: locals living in the valley arranged that the only four wheel company on the island does not allow you taking their truck down to the valley. And they went further: locals arranged and have an agreement with the businesses taking you on a tour to trespass their property (of course they get some of the $$ from the tour company). It stinks. We did not want to pay $$ for any tour so we decided to hike it. I read many reviews how difficult the hike was and all the locals were discouraging tourist from entering the valley saying that "many tourists are dropping dead on the way up from the valley". I have to laugh, what a funny discouragement! Well, we hiked it, spent only about half an hour in the valley, walked on the main road and on the beach. Disappointed. Nothing to see. There were five "wild" horses which were so tamed you could pet them, they followed us for a bit. And yep, there were many signs such "do not enter, private property, be aware of flying stones (this was a good one), if you enter, we will shoot you and if you survive we will shoot you again". Yep, locals do not want you there, but are happy to get your $$. Hiking up was not easy, but it was not difficult. We were not experienced hikers and were carrying heavy backpacks (the negative reviews freaked us so much, we packed LOTS of water for the hike) and had to stop at places to give way the four-wheel vehicles going down. Took us only 38 minutes to hike up. Without heavy backpacks you can hike it up in less than 25 minutes. And this was the dreadful, hard hike? Hahaha. Nope. We personally thought this valley was not worthy of our time. I highly recommend hiking to the Pololu Valley and beyond it - no crowded, spectacular and peaceful. Do not get discouraged by locals telling tales how hard the hike is, do not spend your $$ either on any tour. And do not trespass, you will be shot or the worse stoned to death lmao.

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