When you hear the word “Waimea” the first things that come to mind might be, world class big wave surfing, cliff jumping, or maybe just scenes of an endless white sandy beach. From this north shore beach you might not even notice the lush rainforest that fills the valley behind the beach.
Take the time to learn about and explore the valley on your own, or let us share the beauty of this valley with you on any of our following north shore tours:
- Tour 4A: Lost and Famous Films Experience,
- Tour 5A: Pearl Harbor/North Shore Combo,
- Tour 7A: Pearl Harbor/Circle Island Tour,
- Tour 9A: Full Day Scenic Island Oahu Tour,
- Tour 10A: Discover the North Shore Tour,
- Tour 11A: Pearl Harbor/Dole Pineapple Plantation/Polynesian Cultural Center Tour,
- Tour 13A: Polynesian Cultural Center & Deluxe Circle Island Tour, and
- Tour 14B: North Shore and Twilight Ali’i Luau Package.
Oahu’s north shore is full of hidden gems rich in Hawaiian culture, history, legends, flora, and fauna, but none seem to compare to Waimea Valley. Historically, Waimea was known as the “Valley of the Priests.” With a history dating back more than 700 years ago, archeologists have uncovered over 78 sites of interest including religious areas and shrines on the valley floor. Although few sites still remain, the Hale o Lono Heiau, (Hawaiian temple), can still be seen today. Dedicated to the god Lono, or god of harvest, this temple dates between 1470 A.D. and 1700 A.D.
Waimea valley is also home to a 150-acre arboretum and botanical garden area which is filled with over 5,000 species of tropical plants. Of these plants there are 437 species of the known 1,200 Hawaiian plants, making it one of the most extensive collections of native plants anywhere. Take the time to explore the back of the valley where you will find a 45 foot high waterfall. Modern day conservation efforts are aimed at reclaiming the valley and transforming it into a more native environment filled with Hawaiian cultural activities, games, and agriculture.