Results 1-10of 15 Reviews
by Chris & Carinne
January 8, 2012
From journal The Last State
Zoo York, New York
November 13, 2008
August 23, 2008
From journal Sights and Shops to Visit on the Big Island
February 9, 2007
Our guide took us through unbelievable forests that used to be sugarcane fields. It is amazing the amount of history that surrounds this area. The lush tropical atmosphere is tremendous.
The tour provided water and a sack lunch; it wasn't Cordon Bleu, but when you're hungry after hiking a few hours, it tasted just fine. I would definitely do this tour again. It was pretty easy as long as you are in somewhat decent shape and are ambulatory. This tour is not tough, but not for anyone with heart conditions either. If you bring a camera that you value, either bring a waterproof case or a baggy that you can seal it in.
From journal Hawaii in August
Pompton plains, New Jersey
January 17, 2007
From journal Big Island Action
October 8, 2006
From journal Beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii
January 10, 2006
We arrived late afternoon and immediately began our trek down the mountainside in Waipio Valley, Hawaii, laughing until our sides burned as much as our calves from the sharp downward stroll that seemed to never end. We are going to have an “awesome” time climbing this later, someone remarked sarcastically, which sent us into another bout of giggles at the thought of us attempting to crawl up the steep mountain road. When we reached the valley, there was an enormous pit of mud, and of course, being myself, I decide to go straight through it instead of around like the rest. I sank up to my mid-thighs within seconds. I waded out laughing and shaking my head at my new ruined Nike's and caked-on mud. I looked like half of the Abominable Mud Man, or woman for that matter.
We headed out to the beach area at the edge of the valley. Seven great blue whales were blowing showers of water into the crystal-clear blue sky just a ways offshore. One of the guys had been dying to see a whale for months, so it was a total answer to prayer on one of the best days ever.
We continued along the musty-colored sands and into the forest area. Little huts lined the beaten path and our friend Joey began telling some of his infamous crazy stories. We saw a few locals standing over a fire pit outside of their hut and asked if they knew which direction it was to get to the waterfalls. They pointed us to the left (which we found out soon enough was the opposite direction of the waterfalls). We passed a huge granddaddy tree, several "No Trespassing" signs (because of which we kept having to change directions), and a dog that wanted to kill us. Finally we reached the Seven Tiers.
Safely (enough), we could only climb to the fourth tier. It is a straight-up climb with no more than a slimy rope for an aid. When we reached the top, we swam in a bottomless, black water pool. It was so refreshing, but we had the guys test it out first to be sure it was okay.
The hike back was intense, particularly because we were cold, wet, and tired, but we were still having a blast! Like we imagined, going up that steep climb to the top of the mountain was trying but so incredibly breathtaking, we hardly noticed the strain. The diamond stars seemed like they were hanging by their crystalline treads close enough for us to grab hold of them. The beauty was a memory I would not trade.
It is more than worth doing. Just wear good shoes and bring a small, light backpack with essentials: WATER, energy bar, towel, and a light jacket for when the evening air takes on a slight chill.
From journal Waipio Wonder
January 8, 2004
Then you are matched with a horse and begin the horseback ride through this enchanting valley. You trek through streams and past taro rot fields, mango trees and waterfalls.
They took a picture of us as a family in a gorgeous spot, which is our favorite Hawaii picture. Well worth the money - we did have a discount coupon from the local travel coupon books that are at the airport and local stores.
From journal Big Island
Orchard Park, New York
November 26, 2003
Don't drive down. While you may get there and back it will cut your enjoyment because the fords are rough and deep. For a hike, it will take a while to get down and back up. I think the horseback ride is really the best choice. In two hours, you will enjoy the ride and see a lot, plus you will get stories about the valley, its past, and its present.
From journal Week in Hawaii (The Big Island)
Boynton Beach, Florida
July 24, 2003
We were greeted by a wiry, enthusiastic young woman who introduced herself as Maka'ala (which means "Bright Eyes" in Hawaiian - a fitting name.) One by one we boarded the bus along with some 8 other people for our tour. As the last ones in line, however, our seats were all the way in the back of the long van.
Now normally, that wouldn't be a big problem. But the trip did make me a little queasy. The road down to the valley is steep. Not a little steep. I mean the-hair-stands-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck steep. There were times when to look at Maka'ala who was driving, I had to look down.
After a series of hairpin turns and stops for upcoming vehicles we arrived at the bottom of the most lush place on this green earth. We were in the Valley of the Kings (so named because many kings of ancient Hawaii resided here.)
Maka'ala hitched a team of one horse and one mule to the wagon and my husband and I sat in front with her. And away we went!
We toured the verdant crop fields and nurseries of the valley. There are some forms of vegetation that only grow here and nowhere else on earth. One is the jade lilly, which spills its aqua colored foliage abundantly. We saw taro fields, as neatly laid out as patchwork. Guava forests and wild ginger spikes gave off a scent so heady that it was intoxicating!
This valley is so lush that in times of famine, it could grow enough food to sustain the entire island's population. It is considered sacred to the Hawaiian people. In the tsunami of 1946, the entire valley was flooded, but, miraculously, there was not one death.
After the flood, families started moving away from the valley. In the 60s and 70s there was some resurgence of interest and hippies started moving there to get "back to nature." Still, to this day, there are no electrical lines to the valley. Maka'ala is a resident, and loves the peace that living without cable TV and other modern conveniences has to offer.
We tasted koki nuts (YUCK!)and macadamias. We saw breadfruit and mangos growing. The wagon bounced across shallow streams and we got wet and a little muddy. No matter. And we got an earful from Maka'ala about the lore of the valley, including intriguing ghost tales.
The tour lasted about an hour and a half. We consider it to be some of the most fascinating and enchanting time we spent on the Big Island. I found myself wishing the time were longer as we began the ascent back up to the real world.
From journal Nirvana on The Big Island