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Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour
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Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden
The Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden is a 40-acre natural garden of tropical plants and a nature lover’s paradise located in the Onomea Valley.
Waipio Valley Black Sand Beach
The Waipio Valley black sand beach on the Northern coast of the Big Island is a beautiful scenic destination with fine black sand and crashing waves.
The Waipio Valley – What You Need to Know
The Waipio Valley is a stunning scenic destination with a black sand beach, beautiful waterfalls and Hawaiian historical & cultural significance.
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Waipio Valley Wagon Tours
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See the breathtaking sites of the Waipio Valley, Valley of the Kings, via mule pulled wagons with Waipio Valley Wagon Tours. These friendly, surefooted mules, along with your human guide will share the historical significance of the sites and give you an immersive experience of seeing all the beauty that lies deep within the valley.
As the second-most visited site on the Big Island, behind only the volcano, Waipio Valley features lush tropical foliage, wild horses, majestic waterfalls, traditional taro patches, and old Hawaii culture. The best and probably most unique way to see this area is a Waipio Valley Wagon Tour. This mule-drawn wagon tour has been noted by many guests as the highlight of their entire trip to the islands.
Heralded as the cradle of Hawaiian civilization, the beautiful and majestic Waipio Valley, known as the Valley of the Kings is an educational and picturesque destination. Each mule-driven wagon tour offers a fully narrated experience and lasts 1.5 hours. The experience gives guests an immersive look at the cultural backbone of Hawaii, as they enjoy a wagon trek through the valley, with mud and ruts, creeks and all. It effectively gives you the feeling of being in an unexplored portion of the Hawaiian backcountry that perhaps has only been seen by the gods themselves.
Mules make excellent wagon pullers as they are intelligent and sure-footed. They know the pathways almost without having to be led, but the professional and courteous guides always ensure they are heading in the right direction. Mules also have a high level of stamina and can easily travel up to 20 miles or more daily. The locations you can reach via mule-pulled wagon are more isolated and breathtaking than any you could access via car or even on foot.
You will enjoy unbelievable and unforgettable views while on your wagon tour, seeing the Big Island coastline and the Hialawi Falls, the highest falls in Hawaii— at over 1,200 feet tall— are just two of the highlights of the tour. Kids will also love interacting with the friendly, hard-working mules who are people-friendly and charming.
While there are many ways to explore the island sites, from the air or even on the sea, there is nothing quite like a mule-drawn wagon tour to give you a sense of cultural appreciation for the simple beauty of the land. There is no other way to get closer and see more than in a mule-drawn wagon. You will see exactly what Hawaii was like years ago when it was ruled by Kings. Interestingly enough, in the time of the kings, the Waipio Valley was densely populated. Today, it is a beautiful wilderness that features taro fields (staple food of Hawaii) with only a few dozen residents who call it home.
Waipio Valley is named after the river that runs through the valley, the Waipio, which means curved water. This river is a mile wide and around six miles deep. The back of the valley splits into various branches each with its own breathtaking waterfalls. The valley meets the ocean towards its northern end, joining a beautiful black sand beach that is cut in two sections by the Waipio River.
The Waipio Valley Lookout is situated between the Waipio Valley and the parking area. Here, you can get a stunning view of the valley along with the high sea cliffs that stretch westward. This overlook allows you to see the entire valley and is a great stop either right before or after your venture down into the valley itself. The lookout is an ideal spot for pictures, and it also has a picnic area and bathrooms, which makes it a great addition to a day’s adventure in the area.
Tour pickup location for the Waipio Valley Wagon Tours is at Neptune Gardens at the Last Chance Store in Kukuihaele. Guests can purchase beverages, snacks, and gifts from the store. Check-in for the tour is 15 minutes before the departure time.
Insider Tips: -Waipio Valley Wagon Tours are not ideal for anyone with health issues, those who are pregnant, or those who are handicapped. -There is a discount for seniors and for children under 11. Kids under 3 years of age ride free.
Big Island Tours: Honest Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour Review
Are you looking for the best things to do on the big island with kids (or without) keep scrolling to read my honest review of the waipio valley shuttle tour near hilo hawaii., this waipio valley shuttle tour review was written by hawaii travel expert marcie cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, i may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog..
Are you looking for a fun way to explore the Waipio Valley on the Big Island?
The Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour is an excellent option if you’re visiting Hawaii with kids. It’s not as strenuous as hiking down into the valley and back up again, but it still gives you a chance to see some of what makes this place so special.
I recently did this tour with my 5-year-old son on our trip to Hawaii in November, and we had a blast!
Keep scrolling to read my honest review of our experience.
You can’t take your rental car into the valley (unless it has 4WD), so that limits your options when it comes time to explore. There are several tours available, but I recommend checking out the Waipio Valley Shuttle because it’s affordable, easy, and, most importantly – FUN!
We had such an amazing time exploring together that I think everyone should give this one a try at least once during their visit. If you’re like me though, you’ll want to do this on every trip!
Keep scrolling to see how you can book the Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour for your next Big Island vacation.
Don’t have time to read many Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting the Big Island.
Popular Big Island Tours/Activities
- Manta Ray Snorkeling Tour (you can ONLY do this on the Big Island)
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- Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour (this is a cool adventure for teens and adults)
- Swim with Dolphins (this is a unique experience for kids of all ages and adults)
- Kona ATV Tour (we love this one because they also do cultural activities)
- Book a Photo Shoot (this is a Hawaii souvenir you’ll treasure forever)
Favorite Big Island Resorts/Hotels
- Hilton Waikoloa Village (this is a mega resort where you can swim with dolphins or just enjoy their massive pool area)
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- Fairmont Orchid (this is a swanky resort with an awesome pool area and beach)
Want to Rent a Car in Hawaii? One of the best places to rent a car in Hawaii is Discount Hawaii Car Rental because they get the best rates from top national companies like Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty, Avis, Enterprise, Budget, and Payless.
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Big Island Itinerary, complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Where is the Waipio Valley on the Big Island?
Waipio Valley is located on the gorgeous Hamakua Coast on the Northeast part of Hawaii Island in the town of Honokaa. It takes about an hour to drive from Hilo to Waipio Valley and almost 90 minutes to drive from Kona.
The valley itself is about a mile of coastline, but it’s almost six miles deep. The address is 48-5561A Waipio Valley Rd, Honokaa, HI 96727.
Waipio Valley History
You’ll want to know a bit about the history of Waipio Valley before you visit so you can truly appreciate this historic area. This Hawaiian valley was actually the home of King Kamehameha I when he was growing up.
Nicknamed the “Valley of the Kings Hawaii,” Waipio Valley became a center for religious and political life in Hawaii.
While it used to be home to thousands of Native Hawaiians, there are less than 100 Waipio Valley residents today. And the people who live there are pretty protective of this special place, so it’s really important to be a respectful traveler.
Waipio Valley Lookout
If you just want to see the valley from above, you can park at the Waipio Valley Lookout and take photos of the area.
It’s pretty high up, so you’ll see birds-eye unobstructed views of the beach, the valley, and the cliffs. This is a great option if you are short on time or the weather isn’t good.
They have a pretty large parking lot.
Waipio Valley Tours
There are actually a few different options if you want to do a Waipio Valley tour. We chose to do the Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour because I wanted a basic overview of the area.
Plus, we had a few hours before our flight left Hilo, and the timing of this Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour worked perfectly for our schedule. Additionally, it’s the most budget-friendly tour of Waipio Valley. And the tour was limited to 8-10 people.
With this Waipio Valley Shuttle, it took us to see waterfalls, taro patches, streams, and more as we explored the sacred Valley of the Kings.
There are also a few other Waipio Valley tour options to consider:
- Big Island Waipio Valley Waterfalls & Horseback Riding Tour with Naalapa Stables
- Guided Waipio Valley Horseback Riding & Waterfall Tour by Waipio on Horseback
- Waipio Valley Wagon Tours & Big Island Tropical Waterfalls Adventure
- Ultimate Waipio Valley Off-Road Tour, Akaka Falls, and Waterfall Swim
- Volcanoes Circle Island Tour, Waipio Valley & Waterfalls
- Sunshine Helicopters Kohala Coast Waterfalls & Waipio Valley Flight
But, you don’t need to take a tour to see Waipio Valley. You can hike down on your own as long as you are in good shape. It’s about 6.5 miles on a steep incline, and I wouldn’t recommend hiking Waipio Valley with young kids. I saw a lot of exhausted-looking tourists resting on the long uphill Waipio Valley hike back to the lookout.
What to Know about the Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour Before You Go:
Here is my Waipio Valley Shuttle review, including what to do in Waipio Valley while you are there.
How to Book the Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour
We were able to easily get Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour tickets about a week before the tour. And I was even able to change to a later shuttle just a few days before.
However, if you are going with a larger group or during peak season, I’d definitely book this in advance.
This Big Island Waipio Valley tour is limited to small groups. So, if you need to go at a specific time or on a specific date, you should definitely book it in advance. It’s really easy to book online HERE .
Parking at Waipio Valley Artworks
Thankfully, there are quite a few parking spots at Waipio Valley Artworks . This is the meeting spot for the Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour. It’s all free parking, too.
When I drove there from Hilo, my GPS took me down a little side road, so I wasn’t sure I was in the right place. However, I got on a main road and easily found Waipio Valley Artworks.
They will ask you to arrive 15 minutes before your tour time. That’s so you’ll have plenty of time to check in and explore their cute store.
This is a great opportunity to use the restroom before you get on the shuttle (as you won’t be able to stop in the valley).
There are several shaded tables and chairs set up on the wrap-around deck, so my son and I just sat and relaxed while we waited for our tour to start.
Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour
While the name implies that it’s just transportation in and out of Waipio Valley, it’s actually a guided sightseeing tour. You only get out a few times to take photos. However, you can stay in the valley and come back on a later shuttle if you arrange it ahead of time.
The glass has been removed from all the passenger windows, so you can take some amazing photos as you drive down into Waipio Valley.
Insider tip: Sit on the right side of the van if you want to take photos going down into the valley.
Our tour guide (Kaleo) was born and raised in Waipio Valley and still lives there. It was great to hear his perspective on how people can respectfully visit this sacred area.
He started off by doing a Hawaiian chant asking permission to enter Waipio Valley. And then, he shared some of his personal stories about growing up there, what life is like, and why he chose to stay there.
Our first stop was to see Hi’ilawe Falls, one of the tallest Big Island waterfalls . It’s featured in several Hawaiian songs, including the famous Hawaiian song Hi’ilawe .
This was my first time seeing Hi’ilawe Falls, and it was absolutely breathtaking. It also felt really special to be able to see something so hidden away.
While we were there, a bunch of wild horses came by the shuttle van. The rest of the group was still out taking photos of Hi’ilawe Falls, but my son and I were already sitting in the van. So, it was extra cool when the wild horses started poking their heads in!
We drove a lot through the valley and saw a ton of homes and taro patches. Along the way, residents stopped to say hi to our tour guide. It was nice to feel like we were with someone that was truly part of the community.
A lot of the other tour guests had questions about the Waipio Valley, so it was nice to hear the answers while looking out at the valley.
It’s truly one of the most beautiful places on the Big Island, and this 90-minute tour is the perfect length to give a quick overview of the area.
If you’re like my kids, you’ll be hungry as soon as you finish the tour and will want to know where to eat in the Waipio Valley.
I suggest heading to Tex Drive In . It’s about 12 minutes from the Waipio Valley, and it’s right on your way to Hilo. They have amazing malasadas (Portuguese donuts), a variety of loco moco, as well as hamburgers and hot dogs. And their prices are very reasonable.
The Highlight of This Big Island Tour and What You Should Look Out For
I was seriously impressed with this tour of the Waipio Valley. We were able to just sit back and take in the gorgeous views without having to trek down and up the long, twisty road. It was a great way to go “off-roading” with someone else driving.
I’m not really an animal person, but I was in awe seeing wild horses so close up. Apparently, they live in the area, and they are just part of the community now.
The other big highlight was finally getting to see Hi’ilawe Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in Hawaii.
It was really magical to be able to explore such a beautiful part of the Big Island that was full of so much history and culture.
Waipio Valley Tour Tips for Families
What to wear.
Because this is a shuttle tour and you’ll be in the van almost the entire time, you really can wear whatever you like . Be sure to check the Waipio Valley weather before you go so you can dress accordingly.
Since the windows stay open the entire time, you might consider wearing layers if you think you might get chilly.
Keep in mind that you will be getting out a few times on natural terrain. We wore athletic shoes, and we were able to easily walk around without worrying about dirt or rocks.
What to Bring
You’ll definitely want to have a camera with you. I just used my iPhone, and that worked well. I don’t think I got reception down there, but it was perfect for photos and video. You can get some pretty great pictures during your visit with all the taro fields, tropical plants, waterfalls, and Old Hawaii.
Sunscreen is also a smart idea. It’s really important to make sure your arms, neck, and face are protected from UV rays.
If you’re doing this tour with young children, you can also bring a car seat or booster. Another tip for parents is to make sure your kids know not to throw any toys out the window during the tour. With the windows open, it seems like something that could easily happen.
You’ll also want to make sure to bring cash so you have tipping money .
How Much Does it Cost and Where is it Located?
The Waipio Valley is located in Honokaa, and it’s about a 60-minute drive from Hilo, Hawaii. It can be a little longer during thick traffic or road construction, so be sure to check before you go.
Waipio Valley Shuttle tour tickets are $69 for adults (ages 12+) and $38.50 for kids (ages 11 and younger). Kids of all ages can participate.
Big Island Waipio Valley FAQs
There are no age restrictions to do this tour of the Waipio Valley. It’s a van tour.
Only vehicles with 4WD are allowed to drive down into Waipio Valley. That’s because it’s the only Waipio Valley road, and if a car gets stuck, no one can get in or out. Most rental car companies do not allow their vehicles to do the Waipio Valley drive.
It’s a sacred place for Hawaiian people, and there were a lot of heiau (ancient Hawaiian temples) here. This was also the setting for several Hawaiian myths and legends. It was also featured in the movie Waterworld with Kevin Costner.
Waipio Valley is located on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is on the East Side of the island.
Yes the Waipio Valley is only open to the general public through the Waipio tours. The Waipio shuttle will take you safely down, and the ride is full of beautiful scenery and a knowledgeable guide.
Most will say that the Waipio Valley is one of the best Big Island valleys to go exploring. The Pololu Valley is another Big Island valley that is quite fun to go exploring as well.
So, is the Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour Worth It?
Totally! It ended up being one of my favorite things to do on the Big Island! It was a great overview of the valley and perfect for people who have never been there before.
The Waipio Valley is one of the most beautiful places on the Big Island. Just seeing Hi’ilawe Falls was a highlight for me!
From the natural beauty to magnificent waterfalls, streams, verdant valleys, meandering rivers, and so much more, you will truly love the Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour!
Your knowledgeable tour guide will take you through the valley floor, sharing about the history, showing you the beautiful waterfalls, taro fields, tropical plants, and so much more; you will love your visit.
Next time, I want to book a horseback riding tour with my kids so we can spend more time in Waipio Valley just enjoying the scenery.
Looking for more things to do on the Big Island? Check out my reviews of the Lavaloha Chocolate Farm , best Big Island waterfall hikes , Royal Kona Luau , Akaka Falls , Kona ATV tour , and the painted church .
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WAIPIO VALLEY SHUTTLE TOUR
- Hour Glass Duration: 105 minutes
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The shuttle leaves on the hour, please arrive at your scheduled time to allow for on time shuttle departures.
Waipio Valley Shuttle Tour
Waipio, the land of Curving Water, is one of the scenic wonders of Hawaii. Experience one of the most verdant valleys and wander through the meandering rivers that flow between the taro patches until they lose themselves in the breathtaking surf at the ocean’s edge. This is the adventure of a lifetime, one you don’t want to miss.
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Waipi'o Valley Hawaii
Waipi'o Valley Hawaii - Valley of the Kings. One of the most spectacular valleys in all of Hawaii, Waipi'o is beautiful beyond imagination. Steep walls of thick vegetation drop abruptly to the lush and verdant valley floor. Waves wash up on soft grey sand along the nearly mile-long Waipi'o Beach .
Waipi'o Valley is the largest of seven valleys that fan out along the northeast coast of the Big Island. Pololu Valley sits at the opposite end, approximately 10 miles (16k) to the northwest. Waipi'o is often called Valley of the Kings because it was once the residence of many Hawaiian ali'i (chiefs or kings).
Waipi'o Valley Overlook
The scenic Waipi'o overlook is at the northern end of the Hamakua Heritage Corridor, the section of highway that runs along the Hamakua coast from Hilo to Waipi'o. To reach the Waipi'o overlook, drive west about twenty minutes from the community of Honoka'a on the north side of the Big Island. Honoka'a is about 20 minutes east of Waimea, just off of Highway 19.
Dramatic views from the overlook make it worth a stop even if you don't actually venture down to the bottom.
Hiking Into Waipi'o Valley
The overlook is the starting point for another great Hawaii hike. The very steep one-lane road drops more than one thousand feet straight down to the valley floor. Did we mention steep? The hike down is pleasant enough, less than a mile to the bottom. Coming back up feels far longer and may test your endurance. Take your time and stop along the way to enjoy the awesome view.
To walk farther into the valley, turn left when you reach the valley floor. This area was once a thriving Hawaiian village, gathering place for Hawaiian ali'i (chiefs) and home to thousands of Hawaiians. Today Waipi'o has a population of fewer than 40 or so residents, some with small taro farms and various livestock. Please be respectful and mind their desire for privacy.
If you time your visit right, you might catch a glimpse of Hi'ilawe Falls plunging more than 1400 feet (427 meters) from the upper reaches of the Kohala Volcano. During much of the year, this waterfall is pretty much dried up. When there is sufficient rainfall, Hi'ilawe is the tallest waterfall in Hawai'i.
Retrace your steps and head back toward the coast, or, when you reach the valley floor turn right and walk to the shoreline, then turn left and cross the small stream that cuts across the beach. Enjoy the long walk along the beach and gaze up at steep cliffs that shoot skyward on both sides of the valley, in some places more than 2000 feet (610 meters). Waipi'o beach is not a good place to swim unless the surf is really calm. Rip currents are common.
Hiking Beyond Waipi'o
For more adventurous explorers interested in a longer and more strenuous Big Island hike, from the west end of the beach the trail continues straight up the far west side of the valley, zigzagging to the top and then across into Waimanu, the next valley over. It's too far to make it all the way to Waimanu Valley and back in one day. If you wish to explore beyond Waipi'o you'll need to secure the necessary backpacking and camping permits weeks in advance by contacting the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo (808-974-4221).
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Waipio Valley Wagon Tours
“ *Bathroom outside the Neptune Garden/Last Chance store is clean but bring your own toilet seat cover. ” in 2 reviews
“ Sure the van isn't brand new and the road is definitely steep, but Bob , the tour guide, knows what he's doing. ” in 8 reviews
“ He knew every plant , every story, every last thing about this amazing and gorgeous place. ” in 2 reviews
Location & Hours
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Honokaa, HI 96727
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We loved loved this tour! Book quickly bc the tour books fast due to weight restrictions for the mules. We booked the 2:30, but was told it was sold out, then by the time I called (an hour later) for the 12:30 that was sold out too. Thankfully our weights allowed for us to join the 2:30 tour after all. If your coming from Kona it's about a 2 hour drive. About an hour from the Kohala resorts... They run the tours rain or shine (unless it's a major downpour). It was drizzly on our trip but it was still great! It's one of only 3 tours that tour the valley floor. All others only do the rim, which is beautiful as well. The tour runs exactly as described on their website. The stable keeper, who gave us the tour was great! On the 4x4 van ride down (as in a 25% grade!) it was BEAUTIFUL and the scenery was amazing. She gave us a detailed history of Waipio Valley and the area. She has lived in the valley for 15 years and worked in the valley for 20! Once we arrived the stables we were greeted by their horses and the mules were hooked up and ready to go. There are beautiful waterfalls directly above the stables, these made for great photo ops. The valley and surrounding area are lush and wet soooo BRING BUG SPRAY. (Mosquitos love me and I was prized with 4 big welts for my souvenir despite continuous spraying.) We loaded the covered wagon and distributed our weight as directed. Each seat has handles and you'll need them to hold on during the bumpy ride. Our 4 year old did fine, but if your kiddo isn't a good listener and decides to stand up or move around, they will fall. We toured the valley floor, crossed water ways 4 times and saw more waterfalls and beautiful views and were introduced to all of the flora in the area as well as many wild horses! So cool! We returned back to the stables, fed the horses there and travelled back out of the valley in the van, and back to our car at the Last Chance store. We would return for the tour again if we had friends or family in town and wanted to take them. I highly recommend the tour for anyone that would like to see the Waipio Valley up close and personal. Active folks love to hike down and hike in the valley which is an awesome way to see the valley but if you're with small kiddos or if you don't have 4 hours minimum to commit, this is a lovely and unique way to see the valley and learn some history. A hui hou!
See all photos from J J. for Waipio Valley Wagon Tours
The other one-star reviews are spot-on. We spent more time in the dirty, stinky van, and waiting for the dirty stinky band, than we did in the wagon. The van's transmission warning light was on, my seat belt wouldn't latch, and three of the four tires were beat up and bald. For your own safety, please pick a different company. I'm sad to have to give a negative review and try to give people the benefit of the doubt when at all possible, but putting guest safety at risk like this is never acceptable.
Fun, beautiful and more exciting than I had hoped. Our guide , Bob, was informative and competent. I felt very safe on some winding roads. Loved every second of this special trip.
Our tour guides happen to be mules.
Waipio Valley Wagon Tour
We enjoyed our wagon tour with Bob and his mules. Interesting to learn another aspect of the island, and much easier than hiking down and back in the humidity!
My sister recommended we visit Waipio Valley and try the mule wagon tour because it is the only real option for exploring with little kids so we booked a tour on a Tuesday morning. I was actually naive about the road into the valley and thought the mule ride would be the entire trip I didn't realize about the van portion. When I read other reviews about the van being old and the road being scary I was very nervous. Turned out my nervousness was for nothing. Sure the van isn't brand new and the road is definitely steep, but Bob, the tour guide, knows what he's doing. At no point did I feel unsafe and the van was perfectly comfortable for our family. Once on the valley floor, Bob took about ten minutes to get the mules and the wagon but it gave my kids a chance to look around and burn off a bit of steam. The wagon ride was fun, my one suggestion would be to increase the wagon exploration time/length a little bit more if possible, although I realize this is limited by the roads in the valley. After the wagon portion we waited another ten minutes for Bob to get the van which gave my kids a chance to splash in the stream which they enjoyed. Overall, this is a fun, safe way for families to experience the valley. There is not a snowball's chance in hell I would ever drive down to the valley floor myself with kids in tow and they are too little to horseback ride so Bob's relaxed, low-key tour was a way for us to spend a fun morning appreciating the beauty of a truly amazing place. Thank you, Bob!
There isn't anything more to say that Dave G. hasn't covered. So I will break my learnings down in bullet points: *Fascinating history of Hawaii and why Waipio Valley went from the Valley of the Kings with a population of 3,000 to the sparsely populated land where only 50-75 Hawaiians reside today. *If you have back problems or are prone to back problems and pinched nerves, you may want to skip this tour. It's bumpy, the road down the valley is steep enough to make an atheist start getting religious. *Spray lots of OFF on your exposed body parts. There are many, many critters all too eager to feast on fresh blood, haole and otherwise. So either wear long pants or douse yourself in OFF. *It's windy at the lookout so dress in layers, light jacket or windbreaker will do. *Bathroom outside the Neptune Garden/Last Chance store is clean but bring your own toilet seat cover. *Minor detail but the website lists the meeting point address as 48-5300 Kuikuihaele Road, Honokaa, HI. We entered it in our GPS and couldn't find it because it's actually 48-5300 Kukuihaele Road, Honokaa, HI. Bonus points if you can spot the error. *Mules are smarter than horses and can pull heavier loads. Being called an ass, not so bad. *Taro is hard to grow and harvest. Appreciate your poi and taro chips for they are lovingly grown by earnest Hawaiians, one of whom is our tour guide Li'a. *Tip Bob and Li'a. These two guides are doing their part to keep the old Hawaiian spirit and culture alive so help these brah's out. *The tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours and the drive from either side of the island can take 1-2 hours one way. Grab some malasadas from Tex Drive-In on your way into the valley and stop by Jolene's for local food and Hamakua Fudge for dessert to end your day. *Lastly, show respect and pay reverence to the old Hawaii that you won't see in these Disneyfied resorts or urbanized enclaves of Hilo Hatties and ABC stores.
The landscape is beautiful and not to be missed, but I wouldn't use this company to visit the valley again. The woman who takes the reservation over the phone is incredibly rude. I was definitely made to feel stupid. I was willing to give this a pass until I saw how the guide treats his mules. Firstly, you descend into the valley in an old rickety 4-wheel drive van. The mule-driven portion is only a short distance. The guide whipped the mules and smacked them with a PVC pipe when they weren't moving fast enough. It made me sad, especially since they were so cute. Again, wouldn't use this company solely because of the animal mistreatment.
Do not do the wagon tour. Bob the older gentleman who took us on the tour was late picking us up, wasn't very loud during the tour, seemed mean to the mules, and in general just seems he just needs to retire. The van had broken glass in the window seal and had over 200,000 miles on it and I didn't think it was going to make it up the hill. We had taken our jeep down the same trail the wagon took thinking they took a different path but didn't. We enjoyed the jeep ride more than the wagon ride. Besides visiting with the horses and the stable it still wasn't worth $200 for the 4 of us paying the local rate visiting from Oahu. If i would have paid full price we would gave really been pissed.
All these 5-star reviewers I am not sure if you have any experience talking to the staff there. The staff on the phone, is RIDICULOUSLY RUDE about any inquiries and asks. We first try to book the tour online and made the phone call as well, since it is just 2 days before our target trip date. Someone told us all tour has been sold out (Somehow as expected during Xmax) but we still submit the requests. They sent us the email asking us to make a phone call to reconfirm the availability. We made phone call twice, before the time they mentioned in email, no one responded, neither did I get the call back. So I was thinking the reservation was not successful. On the date they made the phone call to us the YELL at me asking why we are not showing up. At first we asked if we could have another time slot at that day and the female staff said yes and she will rearrange it. We drove immediately to catch the schedule. 20 Minutes later, she called back and YELLING at us again saying no tour is replaced but we will be charged. I tried to explain the situation and told here the fact that we never get any callback but this women is just hanging off the phone with saying 'byebye' in a sarcasm way. I really don't understand how their business can be running in such an unprofessional way. NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER want to deal with these people again, ruined the whole day on Big island somehow and lost my money.
Thelma was very rude on the phone when i was inquiring about available dates. I don't want to deal with crappy customer service no matter how exciting this tour will be. She talked in a very condescending and impatient tone while I'm explaining myself. She shouldn't be handling calls and inquiries at all. I live in Oahu and island hop to experience the outdoor adventure in other islands and her attitude makes you wonder if most of the Big Island tourist customer service reps will be as rude as her. Talking to her definitely made this Big Island trip a little sour.
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Waipio Valley, the Valley of the Kings. In ancient Hawaii this valley was considered a sacred place to the ali’i (Hawaiian Royalty) and they would often gather here to decide the successors of their authority.
The floor of the valley is classified as a wetland climate, and is still today ideal conditions for growing the staple food source of Hawaii, Taro. Calm rivers originating from Hi’ilawe waterfall at the back of Waipio cascade across the valley floor (which is surrounded by sheer cliffs 2000 feet above sea level) crossing through one of the longest black sand beaches on the island and straight into the ocean.
Many scenes in the movie Waterworld , were filmed here on this beach.
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Grand Circle Island Tour - Volcano, Black Sand Beach, Waipio Valley & Waterfalls
I felt like I got to see all the best spots of Big Island on this 1 day tour!
Waipio Shuttle - An Exceptional Guided Sightseeing Tour of Waipio Valley
Waipio valley tour.
We’ve been to Waipio Valley several times but have never taken a guide-led tour, and it made a huge difference. The guide was charming, knowledgeable and experienced. We saw parts of the valley that we wouldn’t have been able to in the past, and certainly now that the valley is closed to non-residents. Highly recommend!
Very informative tour
My wife and I took this tour with our three young kids. We had a very knowledgeable guide for our tour—Ray. He is a native of Waipo Valley and he had a lot of good information to tell us both about Waipo Valley and Hawaiian history in general. Beyond this, the valley itself is breathtakingly beautiful! All of us thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Overall, this was an excellent tour!
I HIGHLY recommend this experience to everyone. My crew enjoyed a shuttle ride down to Waipio Valley with the most knowledgeable and engaging guide. We learned so much about history, culture, farming, and geography of the valley. Five Stars.
We had a wonderful time on our Waipio Shuttle experience with an exceptional guide, timely service, and of course, incredible scenery. Looking back on our family vacation to the Big Island, this was one of my favorite activities we got to share! Highly recommend, and look forward to returning.
A must do experience on the big island. The tour guide did a great job of driving the very steep and very bumpy road and explaining the history of the valley. If you get car sick or can't handle a really bumpy ride, you may want to wait til a hiking trail is made. At this time, this is the only way to see the valley. We finished our tour with a Hawaiian lunch at the food truck down the road and a fruit stand. It was a perfect day.
Second tour and still amazing
Took this tour 6 years ago and had the most amazing experience. So I had to do it again. This tour offers the best of Big Island because you get to see Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls. We saw lots of turtles at black sand beach and an actual rainbow at Rainbow Falls! Our guide Brent was very informative and helpful.
Waipio is unreal. So beautiful
An absolute must see. The tour guides are from Waipio, so it's a great opportunity to really learn and experience the history and beauty of the land.
Amazing experience this is the best way to get into the vally and hear the story's from your guide I came back to the island to do just this and it did not disappoint.
Waipi’o Valley Van Tour
Awesome trip down into the valley with incredible photo opportunities. Forest did an excellent job telling us the history and plant life even got to eat fresh passion fruit from a very nice local.
There and back again!
It was almost magical, definitely a fun tour to a place you cannot go on your own. Waipoi valley is like going to a hidden paradise that only a few outsiders get to visit and I feel envigorated that I was one of them. I saw many people in regular vehicles at the view point over looking the valley but only residents and tour groups are allowed to enter the valley and if you request it you can get off the 4x4 van and walk to the beach and catch the next vehicle back for a small fee. Overall I very nice experience.
Big Island Highlights Tour - Volcano, Waterfalls, Black Sand Beach & Coffee Farm
The tour was very well organized and very well planned. I felt I saw so much and learned a lot about the culture and history of the island. Jim was full of interesting information and made the trip memorable Fun group.
The best way to go through the valley.
After hiking this trail years ago and taking the van trip this time (2023), I would never choose another way to go other than the van ride. Pleasant driver and informative. Felt safe.
Hawaii Waterfall Swim Adventure, Waipio Valley Lookout & Botanical Garden
Drew's the best.
The six if us had a great time with Drew who kept us entertained while ensuring we understood the historical and cultural importance of many of the sites we visited. The dad jokes were appreciated over the course of the day travelling from Kona to Hilo and points in-between. The consensus highlight was the swim in the waterfall pool. Even the weather cooperated. Fabulous day! Mahalo Drew!
Excellent Tour With Extremely Knowledgeable Driver Guide Forest
- Hawaiian History, Flowers, Trees, Birds, Fish & Tame Wild Horses - Fabulous Scenic Views - Enjoyed The Delightful Pick Up Spot
Best way to experience BI
You hit it all and you do not need to drive and miss views along the way!
Must-do on the Big Island!
Breathtaking views of natural Hawaii. A must-do on the Big Island.
Great Great Great tour even better guide and hospitality.
Incredible tour but our Tour guide, Anson really brought the island and the tour to life. Honestly enjoyed the tour to the max but we would pay to just hang out with Anson again. Lol. I'm sure all the guides are great and extremely courteous. All the jokes we made he would rebuttal and be involved all while still maintaining his poise and professionalism. It's the little things guys and this tour has it all. Thank you From the bottom of our hearts.
We had a lot of fun on the tour Ridge was amazing and gave us a lot of good local history and knowledge. If he didn't know the answer to a question he found it out for us. We'd highly recommend this tour to anybody looking for a great day on the island.
Aloha, Barbara! Thank you for sharing your positive experience! Ridge is indeed a fantastic guide, always eager to provide local history and insights. We're thrilled to hear you had a lot of fun and enjoyed the tour. Your recommendation means a lot to us, and we hope to welcome you back for another great day on the island in the future! Mahalo again!
ワイピオ渓谷 乗馬ツアー 絶景のなかを気軽に乗馬体験 ＜午前・午後／英語ガイド＞ by ナアラパ・ステーブルズ
あいにくの雨で、どうなる事かと心配しましたが、いざ馬に乗る時になったら雨もやみ、ちょうど良いお天気に！気温が低めだったので、半袖の上にウインドブレーカーを着ても暑くなかったです。どの馬もおとなしく、下の子（9）も楽しく乗れました。 途中でガイドさんが採ったグァバを食べました！美味しかったです。とても楽しいガイドさんで、冗談を言ったり丁寧にアドバイスしてくれたりで良かったです。 渓谷に降りる道はものすごい急でちょっと肝が冷えましたが、ガイドさんの運転は慣れたものでした! 最後にガイドさんがそれぞれの写真を撮ってくれました!
Hit all the events!
So much goodies in 1 day- we loved the Kona coffe and cannot stop thinking about it!
Loved this day
Amazing experience! Lots of the island wrapped up in a day you can't go wrong.
Can’t-miss adventure with wonderful guide
My wife and I had a great time listening to stories and information from our very knowledgeable driver, Forest. He made the whole experience enjoyable and I can’t say enough about him.
All the Best Parts of BI
From local coffee to black sand beaches to wineries to lava flows to lava tunnels to a charming sunset, this tour is a entire day filled with memories. The guides were knowledgeable and so kind and accommodating, which we appreciate :)
Aloha Kara, Thank you so much for the kind review! Thanks for acknowledging the guide, they are your captain for the day and we are so proud of the ones we have. We hope you enjoyed your time on the Big Island!
Worth Every Penny
Not only does it cover so many aspects of the island, you have an excellent guide the full time that makes you understand each area you are stopping at and the history!!
Aloha Kara, and thanks for your kind words. We're glad you enjoyed the tour, and we thank you for choosing Kailani Tours!
This was such an amazing tour. Forrest was very knowledgeable of the Hawaiian history and legends of the valley. He knew each local resident by name. It felt very special to get to see such a remote, sacred part of the Big Island.
Just want to say that my husband and I really enjoyed our tour with Zachary he was very knowledgeable and attentive with everyone in our group! Thank you!
Aloha Flora, Thank you for your review! We appreciate you picked Kailani to tour you around the island. Zachary is amazing, a very humble and knowledgable guide. Thanks again for posting, and we hope you enjoyed your time on the Big Island!
The best tour you will ever take on the Big Island
This tour was worth every penny. The sites and culture we experienced were beyond our expectations. The tour guide was so friendly and her knowledge of each and every site visited and of the Hawaiian culture and history was beyond outstanding. This tour has to be the highlight of our visit to the Big Island. If you want an exciting, exhilarating, beautiful, and culturally immersive experience this tour will meet your every expectation.
Big Island Private Tours - Kilauea Volcano & Mauna Kea Stargazing with Dinner
Long but amazing day.
We really enjoyed our full day tour filled with waterfalls, visiting volcanoes national park and capping it off with a stargazing tour at the end. Our guide was good but would have liked him to relate more of his stories to our grandaughter. When we did the stargazing, he was great. You could tell this was his passion.
You see everything on this tour!!! Delicious coffee!!
Thank you Kara! We hope you had a wonderful experience and that your time on the island was amazing!
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ALL ABOUT THE VIEW
Utv tours on woh ranch, explore hawaii island's everlasting coast, an incredible adventure not easily forgotten.
- Featured Adventure
UTV TOURS ON WOH RANCH
This scenic UTV tour allows travel through many different landscapes, from fertile gardens and a working livestock ranch to sweeping grasslands, oceanfront, and tree canopies. Enchanting wildlife abound, both on land and in the water, and the views of WOH Ranch inspire awe from start to finish.
- Clock 2.5 hours
- Users 7+ years old
Welcome to All About the View, where we are happy to explore this rich cultural landscape with you, on a UTV adventure from mountain to sea.
This scenic opportunity allows travel through a traditional land division (ahupua’a) that stretches from the mountain to the ocean and is home to native flora and fauna alongside new plantings of rare and exotic fruit trees. Trek from the midland where most of the agroforestry and edible landscaping projects are underway. Read more about our WOH Ranch tours.
Clemson fans: VIP Death Valley tour for blood donors
C LEMSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Blood Connection and Clemson Athletics are teaming up to offer blood donors a special fan experience.
A blood drive is being held Saturday, Feb. 10 from noon to 5 p.m. in the WestZone Club hospitality suite at Memorial Stadium.
Blood donors will receive the “Ultimate Clemson University Fan Experience at Death Valley,” including a VIP tour of Death Valley, a chance to run down the hill, locker room excess, professional photos and more.
The VIP experience will be held on Sunday, Feb. 18.
Click here to sign up to donate blood at Memorial Stadium.