Oahu Horseback Riding at Kualoa Ranch

One of my favorite parts of Oahu is the Windward side, home to Kualoa Ranch. You might recognize Kualoa for its famous filming locations, but there’s more than Hollywood history to enjoy at Kualoa. For example, horseback riding through Oahu’s scenic Ka’a'awa Valley. I had the opportunity to experience horseback riding at Kualoa Ranch this past weekend. I loved every second of it. Not only was the staff super friendly, the scenic landscape surrounding us was truly unforgettable.

Arriving at Kualoa

I live and work in Honolulu, so on the weekends I like to explore other areas of Oahu. On Sunday, I went out to Kualoa Ranch for their 2-hour horseback ride tour. The drive out to Kualoa is breathtaking. You get to drive through Ko’olau Mountains, pass by the Valley of the Temples, and cruise along Kahekili Highway, which often times is just a few feet away from the sandy shore. I only wish I took our package tour instead driving my car. The tour includes roundtrip transportation. I would’ve been able to enjoy the scenery without having to worry about watching the road. Kualoa offers a variety of activities on their 4,000 acre ranch. The best way to experience Kualoa is with a package tour, which includes roundtrip transportation from Waikiki and your choice of 2-or-more tours, depending on which package you select. When we arrive at the Kualoa Ranch visitor center, the staff were friendly and helpful. Since we booked the horseback riding tour ahead of time, everything was all set up and we were ready to hop on!

Riding a Horse for the First Time

I’ve never ridden a horse before. When I was a kid, I rode a pony, but that’sa little different. At Kualoa, the horses are easy to ride, calm and obedient. At the stable, I was given simple instructions on how to ride Hola Hola, my horse for the next 2 hours. “Hold the reins at all time, kick with both feet to go, pull back to stop, pull back more to reverse, pulling left or right and the horse follow…” As I would soon find out, riding a horse is a cinch. Every horse has a unique personality. There was Hola Hola, a slow-moving fella. Rolex, who liked to lead but was just as good in the back of the line. Pudding, who loved eating grass any chance he could get. After we left the activity center, we rode single file line through a forested trail before entering scenic Ka’a'awa Valley.

An Incredible Valley Landscape

My tour started at 3:30pm, which is an excellent time for taking photos. The sunlight made Ka’a'awa Valley look magical. It was breathtaking. As we entered the valley, to the left were surfers out on the waters, catching perfect-sized waves. Riding into Ka’a'away Valley, the sunlight reached across the mountain ridges and stretched across the fields. A spectacular sight to say the least! We got to see a variety of filming locations, rode alongside grazing cattle, and enjoyed the most beautiful landscape Oahu has to offer. I would definitely do it again!

Experience Oahu Horseback Riding

I enjoyed my tour so much I’m already thinking about going back. I would highly recommend a tour at Kualoa to every Hawaii visitor, it’s an experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Check out our Kualoa Ranch tours.

Written By: