Waipio Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii
Waipio Valley is a must see when visiting the Big Island of Hawaii.
Located along the Hamakua Coast on the Northern side of the Big Island, Waipi’o Valley is a mile wide and almost six miles deep making it the largest and most beautiful valley on the island. There are literally hundreds of waterfalls along the valley’s cliff walls which reach up to 2000 feet high.
The tallest waterfall is Hi’ilawe located at the back of the valley. The waters of Hi’ilawe cascade over 1,300 feet into an emerald green pool of water at the base of the waterfall which you can jump into. The waterfalls feed into the Waipi’o River which flows through the middle of the valley, across the black sand beach and into the ocean. It is not uncommon to see wild horses grazing through the lush valley and drinking from the Waipi’o River.
Waipi’o which means “curved water” in the Hawaiian language is known as the “Valley of the Kings” because it was once home to many of the rulers of Hawaii. The valley is considered to be the spirit of Hawaii and referred to as very sacred. It has both cultural and historical importance to Hawaiians.
Getting into Waipi’o Valley can be a bit tricky because the road into the valley is very steep and narrow. There are areas along the road where there is only enough room for one vehicle at a time. The easiest way to view the valley is from the Waipi’o Valley Overlook located at top of the road into the valley. Visitors to Waipi’o Valley can get to the bottom by four wheel drive vehicles, guided tours or by hiking to the bottom. There are several companies around the area that offer shuttles and guided tours daily. Our favorite way to see Waipi’o Valley is with Ride the Rim ATV Tours. They offer a great sightseeing adventure and insight into the historical and cultural background of Waipi’o.