The Waipio Valley is
on the east side of Hawaii and it has always been an isolated place.
Still, years ago it was densely populated, but ever since World War II
and the great tidal surge of 1946 it has been nearly abandoned. There
are only a handful of farms and most of the folks you meet are tourists.
Of course, the road down is part of the problem. It runs 900 feet down
and is nearly as exhausting on the way down as the way up. Some people
take jitneys, while others take donkeys. We always like to walk. If
you've read our food reviews you understand why.
The road is lined with guavas, and there are tantalyzing views of the
coast. The Waipio Valley is actually just one of a series of valleys,
and despite the arduous descent required, it is one of the most
There are taro farms, partially flooded down on the valley floor, and
there is a lovely beach. Do be careful crossing the river as it crosses
the beach. It looks like a sluggish, shallow stream, but depending on
rainfall and the tides, it can become rather deep and brisk towards the
middle. For all this, it is fordable.
The beach continues on the other side and there are a few little caves
you can explore at low tide. If you are energetic and well prepared,
you can climb up the other side. We are told that there is another
valley after that, and then another one.
We usually turn around here and head back. The 900 foot climb awaits.
You can earn your malasadas here as you struggle up the twists and
turns to the lookout above.