- Type: Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Tours
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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Waipio Valley is historically significant to the Hawaiian people. It was once one of the most fertile valleys on the Big Island and the home to an estimated 10,000 people when the navigator Captain James Cook first arrived in 1778. It was also home to Kamehameha the Great and many other Hawaiian rulers, earning it the nickname "The Valley of the Kings."
Now, Waipio Valley is regarded as a modern-day Garden of Eden. One-mile wide, more than five-miles deep, and encased by verdant cliffs that climb up 2,000 feet, the valley is best beheld from an overlook point on its southern side. You can also enjoy Waipio's scenery on a van tour, a strenuous hike (you'll have to make a steep descent into the valley) or by horseback. There's a black sand beach, as well, but the murky water isn't good for swimming; head to Hapuna Beach State Park or Kaunaoa if that's what you're interested in.
Technically, the Waipio Valley is free to enjoy, but most people visit on a tour. The cost varies dependent on the company you choose and the type of excursion you've opted for; Big Island's tourism site has information on some of the most popular companies.