AAA Editor Notes
Waimea Valley is at 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy., across from Waimea Bay. This 1,875-acre historical nature park re-creates ancient Hawaiian culture. A paved .75-mile-long pathway traverses the valley and leads to Waimea Falls. If you can't or don't want to make the walk, you can opt for a one-way or round-trip shuttle ride.
Off the main path are 35 themed gardens featuring 5,000-plus different plants from Hawai‘i and other parts of the world. Hale O Lono Heiau, a sacred outdoor place of worship built between 1470 and 1700 and dedicated to the Hawaiian god Lono, also is on the grounds.
You can participate in activities like coconut-frond weaving, lei-making, hula lessons, storytelling and cultural hikes and learn how to play ancient Hawaiian games. You can also take a dip in a 30-foot-deep natural pool at the base of Waimea Falls (weather permitting). Flotation devices are available for rent, and there's a changing facility.
Note: Visitors are prohibited from smoking; picking and eating fruit, nuts and seeds; drinking from the stream; feeding and approaching the peacocks; and swimming anywhere other than in the Waimea Falls pool. Visitors may enter the pool only after asking permission from the lifeguard and should not swim if they have wounds or open sores. Pets (except service dogs) are not permitted. Heiau are culturally significant and should be treated with respect. Closed-toe shoes, insect repellent and sunscreen are recommended. Restrooms are available in the visitor center; portable toilets are available elsewhere. Snacks are available at the visitor center and at Waimea Falls.
Picnicking is permitted. Food is available. Time: Allow 3 hours minimum.