The Waipio Valley is located on the Northern Hamakua Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Waipio Valley was the origin of many tales and legends, most notably the Hawaiian Legend of the Shark Man. It was also, probably more importantly, the childhood home of King Kamehameha I. The Waipio Valley is as important culturally and historically to Hawaii as it is beautiful.
The Valley is only about 1 mile across and 5 miles deep. It is naturally surrounded by tall, gorgeous cliffs that can rise up to 2,000 feet high. Once home to thousands of Native Hawaiians the Waipio Valley now has less than 100 residents. However, those residents are lucky enough to live amongst the waterfalls, rivers, and taro fields that prevalent in the valley. Towards the back of Waipio you can find the Big Island’s tallest waterfall, Hiilawe Falls. Its water falls down 1, 300 feet and is a site that causes wonder and appreciation of great wonder.
There is a majestic coastal overlook at the end of the Hamakua Hertiage Corridor that you can view much of the beauty of the Waipio Valley. You can drive the corridor yourself or you can always take a guided van tour via one of the local tour companies on the Big Island. Better yet, jump into your adventurous skin and take a guided horseback ride to fully explore the Waipio Valley’s natural beauty up close & personal. Driving into the valley is highly discouraged. The road is very steep and requires a 4×4 vehicle to safely traverse it. However, joining a guided tour will ensure that you are not only safe but that your experience will be much richer as professional guides will be willing to share legends and stories of the important, majestic valley.