Seeing the Big Island by air will have you sitting on the edge your seat anticipating what will turn up around the next mountain or valley. Waipio Valley, one of the most beautiful areas on the Island, is best seen from the air to really get a perspective of the area’s vast beauty. If staying on the ground is more your style, hit the trail and do some hiking through the Waipio area or make your way to the ocean and enjoy the sound of the surf.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Waipio Valley Waterfall Hike
A happy accident and some particularly friendly locals allowed me to hike up to the beautiful twin falls at the back of Waipio Valley known as Hi'ilawe.
There is a famous Hawaiian song inspired by these falls, but few people have taken the time to visit them. The problem is that there is no trailhead, so to visit the falls, you have to make nice with the locals and ask if they'll show you the way.
We bartered some of our Hawaiian CDs and a few beers in exchange for help from one of the locals. He lamented that many people trespass on his property to get to the falls and get skittish if he comes across their path. Don't be those people and just be respectful and kind.
The hike itself is not that long but it is a bit strenuous, including stretches where you have to swim upstream, cross through rapids, and scramble across slick rocks. Be well-prepared, go with at least one other person, and keep an eye out and you'll see everything from young ginger to mountain apples growing along the way. The payoff is a sheer cliff with two 1,450-foot waterfalls that are roaring so load you can barely think.